Tips on channel setting

GlacierI’ve been doing jewelry design and goldsmithing for a long
time but had never studied stone setting. I felt this was a real
handicap to me since I work for a jewelry store and setting is a
constant requirement. A few years ago while I was recuperating from
back surgery I bought all of Robert Wooding’s setting tapes from Rio.
They have helped me tremendously and I have been doing the bulk of
my own setting work since then. However I am having some problems
with the more advanced types of channel setting. Since I design and
handcraft all of the custom work this dilemma is of my own
making–but I would appreciate any advice. Many of the pieces I do
have curved channels which require diamond melee which is graduated
in size. I am having trouble determining the proper depths at which
to set the stones so that the tables all lie on the same plane. Also
I am having problems with the proper spacing between the stones. I
seem to be either getting them too far apart or too close together. I
also have a problem with the diamonds tilting just a bit. I’m just
not sure what to do about this. Any suggestions would be greatly
appreciated!! Barbara Gillis

Chris, There are many many tips we all can give you on channel
setting, to do that would take a lot of time… I think one of the
biggest tips I can give you is that if you are at all possible to
travel, take the class for advanced stone setting at New Approach
School for Jewelers. Blaine Lewis
is a great instructor. If you can’t make it to his school, I highly
suggest his video tapes that will be coming out shortly. I took his 5
day advanced setting course and I have been setting for 11 years. It
was a very educating class. You will have no problem with any kind of
channel setting or flush settinf or pave’ or any kind of setting after
taking his class… Check it out… Marc Williams

Barbara: Sounds like you may be over cutting the seats which can
cause the stones to tilt. check out the setting tips in Stuller
Settings findings book if you have one. Second tip is I always use a
black magic marker to darken the inside of the channel and then I use
a scribe to make the exact depth I want to cut the seat. Three, I cut
the channel only 1 to 1.5 mm smaller than the stone to go in it. This
way I don’t have to over cut the seat. Last I use Play-Doh to hold the
stones in place. I usually place a stone in the seat and smear a
little Play-Doh across the stone to hold it. If it is a loose fit or
wants to tip at an odd angle I let the Play-Doh dry for ten of fifteen
minutes before I start to tighten the channel. The Play-Doh will come
out in the ultrasonic and steamer. the black magic maker comes of
with alcohol. I have placed all the stones in eternity bands using
Play-Doh. Made sure they were all level and spaced correctly and then
tightened the entire band at once rather than a few stones at a time.
( if you get in a real slow period you can always eat the Play-Doh,
it is only soy and non toxic) I prefer it over wax as it does not heat
up and melt away as you cut the next seat or burr out corners etc.
Good luck. Frank Goss

i would very much like to buy your tapes if you are through with
them… hi i am a new person trying to learn. if you think it may be
ok then just say yes and i will send you check and then you can mail
them. i am just learing, i am 47 and just went back to school to
learn a year ago. it has taken some time to get all the equpment i
need. i can use all the help i can get

thanks barbara garrett
830 980-3513
28420 sierra
new braunfles, texas 78132