I don't believe this question, I was just teaching the very same
demonstration this morning at my setting class here in Toronto,
Canada...here is my honest reply for Thor and all !
First of all I have no idea of this items name, I call it a
"diamond/stone picker-upper", what else would you say???...:>)
It is made of basically a composition of Bee's Wax and Charcoal You
must first melt with a low torch flame or warm lightly, the Bee's wax
and have this softened wax mix now with grains of FINE or GRANULATED
charcoal.. This can be a burnt wood, I usually find that either
charcoal soldering block residue or burnt wood granules will do just
fine for this method. I will gently roll in the palm of my hand these
two agents. This is one of the most dirtiest things to do in stone
setting, yuk! Once you have mixed these two things together you will
find the Bee's wax now less sticky.
So assuming this mixture is doing fine, place a sharp nail or used
undercutting bur (156C) bur and prod into this mixture half-way and
this will be now your little handle. This named bur will prevent any
of the slipping out of the wax. AS your warm hand or palm is still
rolling with this item, keep placing the new item again into more
charcoal as NOW you want your new tool to be less sticky as time goes
on. The life of this new tool will last for many months or sometimes
years depending of its size and usage.
Hope al of you understand how this is manufactured, it isn't a clean
job to make, but lots cheaper than buying it somewhere else for about
$6-10.00 plus the taxes up here. That's if its available in the
general market....Gerry Lewy!