To Jett or not to Jett

A few people have mentioned Jett Sett recently as a solution for
holding pieces so I had to jump in with my two cents - because it is
Jett BASIC and not Jett SETT that might be the better option. Jett
Sett is a ceramic-impregnated material that arrives in pellet form
and is intended to melt together and be formable into any sort of
holding shape without stickiness (the key issue). Jett Basic arrives
in white pellets but melts into a clear, completely unified mass that
is also formable into any shape.

Jett Basic IS sticky so it does just what I want - conforms exactly
to the object I’m holding without having to load up a lot of bulk
around it. Moreover, it sticks completely to itself, forming a thick,
malleable putty with no gaps or bits that flake off. It doesn’t leave
any residue in the heating pot since you can swirl a chunk around in
the water and it picks up every bit that might be floating around.
And it dries HARD, so it gives great support. I use it for setting
enamels & stones and hold it steady by squishing it into a vise. This
is the stuff you see Blaine Lewis use in his bezel setting video, btw
(no vested interest here.)

The only downside to Basic I’ve seen is that it sticks to anything
plastic so you have to be careful about what it touches. It doesn’t
stick to skin though, so it’s not a pain to use.

On the other hand: the fact that Jett Sett ISN’T sticky makes it
difficult to hold objects tightly. Since it doesn’t stick to metal,
it carries a coating of water that inhibits good contact. Then, since
the contact is poor you have to load up bulk around the piece, making
access more difficult. Moreover, it doesn’t stick to itself very well
so even after kneading to make it into a solid mass, bits flake off
and crevices open up as it is drying. This makes it poor for holding
small objects - they just split pieces off and pop out. It is also a
god awful mess to use and to clean up - It leaves powdery flakes all
over the bench and a gunky sludge in the pot because the smaller
particles are impossible to ‘catch’ and incorporate into a larger
mass. After all, it isn’t sticky.

Sooooo, I don’t know if people really meant Jett Sett or Jett Basic
when they mentioned it, but for the applications in question (holding
small pieces for drilling, etc,) I would recommend Jett Basic. FWIW,
I’m trying to salvage some utility out of the Jett Sett by making
shallow dapping punches out of it. I’ll let you know what happens.
Betcha five bucks it shatters to bits after 3 uses. No offense to the
manufacturer, of course :slight_smile:

A blanket disclaimer - these are my experiences and others may see
it differently. Will that save me from a deluge of ‘you used it
wrong’ emails?


Where can you get jett-basic souds like the aqua plastic or thermo
plastic that we have seen before.

Let us know the price and source.

Kenneth Singh

Dear Kenneth,

Try Tyler Teague at:

Michael Knight

Hi, Linda,

Thanks for the about Jett Basic-- I didn’t know about

I’m surprised, though, by your comments about Jett Sett. You’re
right about it not sticking to metal and needing bulk to hold, but
I’ve never had any flaking or breaking, or sludge in the bottom of
the pot, and swirling it in hot water picks up all scraps like a
charm. It cools hard and smooth and very strong. I’ve used it to
make pairs of dies to hammer metal between (don’t have a hydraulic
press) and it has never cracked.

I wonder whether something is wrong with your batch-- could
overheating or something cause the “powdery flakes”? I’ve never seen
it flake at all.



I’m glad that Jett Sett has worked so well for you. Having used the
hot pot & thermometer supplied with the kit, I doubt that overheating
was an issue in my case. I’ve now tried it for simple dapping dies
and it has worked well - perhaps because in that situation bulk is
useful and stickiness is not. I have still experienced fissures,
though - as fine lines that might leave imperfections on very thin
gauge metal.

I still prefer Basic - but to each his own! By the way - for the
person who requested a source, it is also available in the Rio Grande


Speaking from personal experience, when the Jett Set gets dirty (if
you clean a piece while set in the Jett Set) it will begin to
deteriorate. I was told at Rio Grande Catalogue in Motion that by
mixing the Jett Basic with the deteriorating piece it will
recondition it. But I’ll have to look back at my notes to verify the
proportions. There are no instructions (at least on my jar) for the
process. I LOVE Jett Set. It has allowed me to speeeeeeed up the
setting process immensely. I use the holder that Jett Set promotes
that fits into my GRS bench pin/vise. And now, no cleaning the piece
in the Jett Set unless absolutely necessary.

Happy setting!
Kay Taylor