Well, this thread certainly has elicited some very strong opinions!
I remember hearing a similar discussion at Penland one year…in
the wood studio. Seems that some wood workers were equally adamant
about using only fine joinery in their work, while others felt that
the technique only courted disaster. The guy working on the addition
to my studio swears by construction adhesive. They’re all correct.
Gluing a diamond into a setting would be just as inappropriate as
using construction adhesive on a fine cabinet. Fine joinery is a joy
to behold, but would be out of place when stick framing a house. A
good craftsman should know when a technique is appropriate, and when
it is not. If a stone can be set without using any adhesives, I’d
have to agree that this is the proper way to set a stone, but if I am
unsure that this technique alone can guarantee the safety and
security of the stone, I will look for another way to do it. There
are other ways to do the job without resorting to glue. But modern
chemistry has come a long way, and there are adhesives out there that
you will not believe. And remember, this thread started out
discussing bullet cabs, not the crown jewels…
The world around us is rapidly changing, and so is the technology
available to goldsmiths. Cnc milling, stereo lithography, laser
welders, even Internet marketing was not available only a generation
ago. Many will follow the path of new technology, while many others
will continue to keep the old traditions alive.
So, before I leave this thread…how do you feel about trimming
a stone to make it fit?