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Trying to learn stone setting


Hello everyone,

I’m self taught & trying to learn stone setting at least some of the
basics to incorporate in my work. Cabochons & bezel setting I ramped
up quickly and have no trouble doing them (bezel or step bezel
setting). I have used findings, prong settings and had good luck with
them for calibrated sized stones. I have made prong “baskets” for
trillions with success but the dreaded flush setting has me dreaming
at night, it looks sooooooooo easy but for me it is not. I’ve read
the should be slighty undersized and the stone should “snap” in. It
ain’t happenin’, what am I doing wrong? I have just about all the
sizes of Hart 45 & 90 burrs, plus the same in round burrs not to
mention the actual stone setting burrs. I have the tools, not the
talent or trick of this particular setting.



cutting a level seat is the key here- snapping in is a nice image but
not really the most important objective- i only have things snap in
place when i use a collar inside a setting as a bearing. First make
sure the material is deep enough so the stone’s cullet isn’t touching
the wearer, and use any method (leveling powder, scribe, Foredom’s
All Set system (the easiest BY FAR!) to insure the seat is fully
level and cut deep enough into the wall to hold the stone and have
enough material to rub over the sides. Some people use a round bur to
cut the bearing, some use hart burs at a 45 degree angle, others 90

  • that in my opinion depends on the stone and whether or not you are
    using gravers too.

If you plan on a lot of stone setting you should consider the Foredom
Allset Master system - it cuts the work time in half - if not less,
and the setting is perfectly executed with little or no experience
from the first use on. Well worth the investment and more precise
than using stops on the burs to keep them level relative to the
stone. I keep one set up with an extra #30 handpiece too save even
more time putting it aaway on weekends and holidays.

good luck, rer


Hello Kent, and everyone.

“Flush” setting, or as it is more commonly named “Gypsy” setting has
only one watchful problem for beginners…and here is the method in
negotiating the stone into the hole.

You said that you have all of the right size of burs, great. I would
now ask you to look very carefully at the very top rim of the
prepared hole…you will notice an overlap of metal. Your problem is
that you haven’t opened up the hole wide enough to allow the stone to
"snap-in". If you try and exert too much pushing, you will find that
you can now easily break the stone.

Get a round bur about 80% of the stone size and slightly remove more
of that overlap of metal…Do this a few times till the stone almost
slides in. But do not remove all of that rim of metal. This the
"trial and error" part of Gypsy setting…

Be very careful of how much you grind away…remember that you are
only going to be removing only little bit of metal at a time…don’t
grind away everything…you still need that rim to press down to
secure that stone…

I would re-check how much you drilled with your Hart bur ( a.k.a.
156C), you might have to re-access your under-cutting again at this
time…I prefer only the 90 degree hart bur, why? It is shaped at the
same angle as a regular faceted stone… 45 degree is too shallow for
basic setting…hope that this little reply helps you…

Gerry Lewy!



After just taking a flush setting workshop this past weekend, let me
tell you, even w/ the teacher right there, there is a learning curve.
It took about 8 attempts before getting two flush set CZ’s in tight.
Neither snapped and took a tremendous amount of pressure when
burnishing them in. Diamonds and CZ’s ok, but probably not for
faceted colored stones. It’s going to take me a lot of practice to
get the eye for matching appropriate burs to stones. The best I would
suggest would be to get some professional hands-on instruction. Look
at DVD’s, read, and practice, practice, practice. And to add to the
mix, a lot of great stonesetters have different methods.

So there ya go,
Kay Taylor

It's going to take me a lot of practice to get the eye for
matching appropriate burs to stones. 

Get the Eye? Get the digital caliper!! The sizes–and the
tolerances-- are way to small to consider trying to eyeball, for me
anyway. A good digital caliper is an absolute must for flush
setting, IMO.



Check out YouTube and search on ‘flush stone setting’. There are
several videos that may help you.

Good luck,



yeah, well, its making me mad now so I have to pursue it till I’m at
least confident of the technique.

I set up & operated screw machines, bridgeports etc. so me & cutting
tools speak the same language, most of the time.

I guess pratice will make “perfect”. Thanks for your persepective.