I am trying to get a piece finished for a client for Christmas. Last
night I was close to throwing the whole piece across my studio. I
have 5 faceted stones to set. I have soldered on my tubes, created
seats firstly with a setting bur then switching to a bud bur.
Problem # 1 - my stones will not sit level. So also tried a hart bur
to see whether this would help create a better seat I finally managed
to get the stones into place sitting nicely in their tubes. And so I
proceeded to set them with a setting punch. I have used this often
and it does work nicely.
Problem # 2 - on testing that the stones were "caught", using
toothpick to push up from the bottom, each one of them popped back
out. I put pressure on the tube and I can see that the edges have
moved inwards. But they are just not holding the stones. I also
tried to burnish by hand and this still isn't working. And now I
realise that I have been work hardening the metal each time, that
it's going to get harder and harder.
Perhaps my walls are still too thick, thus trying to move too much
metal over the girdle. But everything I have read, mentions that
0.2mm is a good thickness (mine is probably just that). I will
return to the piece and gently file down the walls, making it
slightly thinner. But apart from this, I am at a complete loss.
This happened last week on another piece which was consequently
I have just read the wonderful article on Ganoksin by Charles
Lewton-Brain and it all makes perfect sense.
What am I doing wrong? It's worked on plenty of other pieces.
Can anyone help? I want to get this piece done and out the door,
hopefully never to set eyes on it again!
Thank you everyone, anyone, someone?
Hi Ms. Tallack,
Out of curiosity, what size stones are you setting with the punch?
For some reason, I've never had good luck with those under 2mm in
size. (I assume you are referring to a punch with a concave end that
closes the entire tube in one tap)
The best advice I can give would be to mount the piece in setter's
shellac or something comparable and use a hammer and punch to
individually go around and close each bezel. That's the way I've come
to set every bezel-set stone I use these days as it ensures a nice,
tight, closed bezel no matter the size of stone being set.
Erich C. Shoemaker
I use a ball bur to cut my seats creating a pocket for the stone to
sit in. You can then snap the stones in place. If the stones still
wiggle then I use petroleum jelly to keep them still. This will
clean away once the stonesare tight in the ultrasonic. Way better
than bees wax. Then I use my gravermax to gently hammer them in. If
you don't have a gravermax a hammer and punch will work just fine.
Then I clean up with a graver and a rubber wheel. Hope this is of
Take care and may God bless all of us this Christmas season. Paul Le
May, Bracebridge, Ontario. +
Emma. I think you have the order in which you are using your burs
reversed. You need to use the ball bur first to cut a bit of an
opening, then use the setting bur for the seat.
You will have to cut new tubes, as I doubt you can remedy the ones
you have already made. Just remember--ball bur first, then setting