Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Tube Settings


#1

Need some help with my tube settings.

Made some 22 g sterling silver tubing. Diameter is such that when a
brilliant seat is cut in, there is about a .010 shoulder
remaining.

Soldered all 22 of the one C settings in place on the necklace.
Made a tool out of a piece of tubing with a taper inside the
tubing. The idea was to roll the tubing around the setting to roll
the edge over the stone. Requires so much force it destroys the
settings. Plus they are so small they are difficult to hold.

Experimented with the remaining tubing. If I cut the stone seat,
put the tube into the vise and use the taper-tool in a drill motor
and apply a lot of pressure the tube edge will roll and create a
super setting.

I have another design of three stone in tube settings. I figure
that I can do three before cutting the setting from the tube and
then solder the setting with stone.

The questions: Is there a better way (I’m sure there is)? Can I
solder Cubics without damaging them or me?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Bill in Vista, California
a climactic wonderland


#2

Hello Bill, I would make the seat alittle deeper and file it at
an angeland use your toolyou madetofinsh. though what is your
made of and what dose it look like on the working end? Iv made
some. thay are made of drill rod that has been heat treated. let
me know how you have configred the ends.

True from the land of 10,000 lakes


#3

Hi Bill

Try making the tubing from fine silver instead of sterling- much
softer, easier to work with. Other ideas: Support back of design
under stones with shellac so the design can take the pressure of
the setting process. Or preset the stones, then thread tubes in
place by tap and die, alternatly, rivet them by filing the
tubings lower half to a smaller diameter and then rivet them by
flaring them from the back of the setting. In my experience CZ’s
can’t take the heat, but I have succesfully soldered preset
garnets.

Good Luck, Tom Tietze
Artisan Workshop Jewelry School in (piuuh! 106 degree) Fresno,Cal.


#4

Evenin Tom, The use of fine silver is a great suggestion. Thank
you. Since I spent half a day (I’m really a big turtle) setting
one one c and two half c cubics into the tubes, I’m going to try
to solder them. If I lose the stones I won’t cry too loudly. My
concern was they not explode. I may even have some garnets about
and will try the fine silver route ifn I burn out.

Another reader (True) asked how I was setting the stones and so
there is another posting

Thank you for your advice. I will try it tomorrow between the
grass cutting and the square dancing. It’s tough being retired.

I know where Fresno is and the great produce that grows there.

Bill in Vista,
California’s climactic wonderland
35 miles north of the city of San Diego


#5

Bill: First, there is NO WAY to heat CZ without causing it to
shatter. Second, I would recommend that you cut your tubing in
equil sections, solder them to the piece & then cut your seat,
install the stone & set them with a bezel pusher. A simple piece
of steel rod in a graver handle. Works for me.

Steve K.

P.S. For dias. & all other heat tollerant stones, & solder the tube to
another piece of sheet metal (silver), put it into my ring vise, set the
stones, heat & remove from the sheet & solder where desired.


#6

Good Evening True, I have made two tools for the tube settings.
The first is a titanium tube slightly larger in diameter than the
setting. I used a stone to grind a taper inside the tube. The
other tool is piece of flared stainless steel tubing (made too
short for a vehicle brake line). Since yesterday, I have managed
to set three cubics. I used the tools described and now need to
solder the settings with the stones already set.

I found out that putting the tubing into the vise and the tool
into the drill motor is backwards. The vise flattens the tubing.
Putting the hard tool into the vise and the setting into the
Jacobs chuck of the drill motor makes holding the stone a little
more difficult, but the three jaw action of the chuck is much
kinder to the silver tubing.

I need to true the setting bases, notch and solder them into
position.

This wont fix the problem i still have on the other twenty-two
setting but I will experiment with your advice.

Again, many thanks for the advice.

Bill in foggy Vista,
Californias climactic wonderland.


#7

Have you considered trying the garnets first–for practice?
I’ve learned an awful lot from trial and error, mostly error, so
I tend to hunt less “important” stones on my mainden voyages into
the untried.

Joyce atop a very hot mountain in Colorado


#8

I have been casting CZ’s in place in bronze with no problems.
They have been in a large shell mold burnt out in a gas furnace
(raku kiln). The burnout is only about 30 minutes long as the
molds have been steam dewaxed. The only care taken is to let the
mold cool to ambient temperature before breakout. Toarch
soldering would be too rough I believe. Jesse Brennan


#9

One fast way to cut a seat in the tube setting is to put the
tube in your foredom handpiece, spin the tube in the handpiece
and use a round ball bur in a pin vice to grind the inside seat.
Works real fast and good if you’re careful…Dave

Kickass Websites for the Corporate World http://www.kickassdesign.com
Crystalguy Jewelry http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Recumbent Cyclist’s Advocacy Group
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/bent/rcag.html


#10

Hello Bill. Greetings from the grate land of 10,000 lakes,and
taxes too. Some one wrote this morring,saying to solder your tub
first. He is right not to many stones will stand the heat. I wish
my scanner was up. So I guess I will do my best to explain. I use
drill rod to make my tooling. Cut so it fits your hand with
graver ball handle. damn! Do you have a lath? Any way drill a
pilot hole say a little deeper than the tube diameter is and use
a smaller drill too. then use a ball bur a bet bigger than your
tube go in to the shoulder of the drill. This will give you a
cup. Then use some pumice with oil and a cone hard buff to give a
polish. when setting, rock the tool around. and you have it. Then
use a point bernisher to clean the fold up. Hope this works for
you.

Good luck,
True


#11

Hello Steve, beg to differ. But you can solder with CZ’s in there
mountings. Have done it many times. To many to have a count. In
repair work , time allowed and price charged combined with all
else ( customer and value of piece) demand that you try. The good
side is that as a wholesaler they are cheep if you fail. The key!
Is that you get on and off fast as you can. Heat control, and
never cool in water. They must air cool to the
touch. Again I stress, never dip. Don’t be afraid to try.

You’ll be amazed. Steven


#12

Hi everyone!I have never tube set any stones and would like to
try. Someone mentioned that Rio Grande sells a punch set that you
can use to turn over the edge of the bezel. Another person said
they don’t work and they just use a bezel rocker. A friend of
mine says the stone moves too much with a bezel rocker and it
doesn’t work. Also what size tubes should I buy to fit what size
stones? Are there just a few standard sizes I could start to try
with? Also do I need to buy burs to seat a stone? Is there a
chart somewhere that tells what size stones go in what size tubes
and thickness of tubes? I am going to the tucson show and hope to
pick up some cheaper stones to practice in sterling or fine
silver with. Is it best to buy pre made tube settings and from
who??? Thanks in advance orchids are beautiful! Sue K in Rainy
Shingle Springs, CA.


#13

Hi, depending on the design and size of the tubing anneal the
tubing, mount in your fordum or drill and open the of the tubing
a little, put a little wax on your stone and put it in place and
close the bezel around it with a pair of pliers. (run drill
during these operations) This works great for cold joints or
stones that you can soldier with.

Hope it helps.
Joe

Joe Kilpatrick
Expressions With Metal
@jeweler
http://www.expressionswithmetal.com


#14

I always use a pusher to start and seat the stone and then use a
burnisher.

Also what size tubes should I buy to fit what size stones? 

A 6mm tube should fit a 6 mm stone but it does depend on how the
stone is cut. Some with deep bellies won’t sit in the same size
tube.

Are there just a few standard sizes I could start to try with? 

Hoover and Strong offers a wide range of bezel sizes and also is
one of the few places to do them in 18k too. But many places
sell them and they should be available in .01 ct. sizes up to
about 8 mm (At least I stock sizes in that whole range so they
must be available.) Also do I need to buy burs to seat a stone?
Yes you may have to bur some out depending on the stone. You
can also turn them over and solder them on upside down and create
a whole new seat for a stone that is a little too small for the
tube to begin with.

Is there a chart somewhere that tells what size stones go in
what size tubes and thickness of tubes? 

This point seems to be moot as a 6 mm stone will fit a 6 mm
tube. There are many charts available (check Hoover and STrong’s
catalog) that will give you mm sizes for weights of diamonds (ie
how big is a .05 ct. stone.

I am going to the tucson show and hope to pick up some cheaper
stones to practice in sterling or fine silver with. Is it best
to buy pre made tube settings and from who? 

Try Boston Gems and Findings, Hoover and Strong, Stuller, Rio
Grande–there are hundreds of findings houses that have the
goods. In Tucson Rio has a big display and will probably have
some available. Making your own is certainly possible but not
necessary unless you get weird size or shaped stones. T


#15
 have never tube set any stones and would like to try. Someone
mentioned that Rio Grande sells a punch set that you can use to
turn over the edge of the bezel. 

The punches (often called bezel closers) you mention do work,
and can give you a very nicely round and uniform outer profile to
a tube type bezel. Used right, the results will almost look
"lathe turned". But they have limitations. You can’t
effectively use them to set really heavy weight stiff metal
Bezels. White golds, for example, especially larger sizes, will
pretty much just laugh at those punches (which have a cone shaped
depression on the end)

Some folks who’ve decided these don’t work are using them wrong.
They are NOT used by just pushing straight down on the tube with
that closing punch. Doing that is attempting to get all the
metal to close in simultaneously, which would likely take more
force than you can generate by hand, at least with most metals.
Nor are they used with only a rotational movement, like a burr
(or even chucked into a flex shaft… This movement can burnish
a finished bezel a bit brighter, but it isn’t effective at
actually moving much metal)

To use these, the punch is pressed down onto the bezel (choose a
punch size only a little larger than the bezel top) and tipped
over from about 5 to 15 degrees to the side, and at that angle
(vary the angle as you work), is rocked around the end of the
bezel, moving the handle of the punch in a circle. What this
does is that although the whole punch is covering the bezel at
once, only a small portion of the punch surface, which will be
closest to horizontal, will be pressing the bezel in
substantially at any one time. As you rock the handle in that
circle, you’re working around and around the bezel, gradually
closing it in. The other (more vertical) portions of the punch
depression burnish the outside of the bezel at the same time,
generating a slight curve to the outer pressed in portion of the
bezel.

It should be mentioned that this is NOT a hammer driven tool, at
least not by design. You can use a hammer in some instances to
try and help, but you risk chipping the tool. They’re not
engineered for that degree of force. And, these punches are also
not very effective for people without at least fairly strong
hands. For most bezels, you do need to be pressing down fairly
hard with your hand to generate sufficient force to move the
metal anywhere in a reasonable amount of time. With larger or
thicker bezels, or those in harder metals, it’s probably easier
to use a hammer handpiece. but if the bezel is of a
weight/hardness where you can resonably burnish it in or push it
in with bezel rollers, then these punches can usually do the job
a little faster, and most importantly, with a more uniform and
round result. It’s also important to prepare the bezel well.
Be sure the stone is correctly and snugly seated. These punches
are not as good at bringing in a loosly cut oversize seat, and
you’ll end up going back to a hammer handpiece or other tool if
you need to move a whole lot of metal. Also, they aren’t as
effective if your wall thickness isn’t uniform, maybe due to a
poorly cut seat or chattering bur. And you’ll make your life
easier if you make sure that the height of the metal above the
girdle, which will be what’s closed in to set the bezel, is no
higher than it needs to be, so you don’t have to move more metal
than needed.

Note also, that these closing punches don’t finish the inside
edge of the bezel, which you’ll usually still want to trim with a
graver and/or burnish down tight to the stone.

Hope this helps

Peter Rowe


#16

I do some tube setting for accent. I have found the rio set of
setting tools to work quite well. They come in a variety of sizes
with a handle and are more convenient for me that a rocker bezwl
pusher…


#17

Hi Peter… I just wanted to let you know that i have used the
bezel punches for years in volume production cast 14k gold and
sterling. We hammer the bezels over with these tools and have
never broken one. I also occasionaly mount them in a drill press
and with the motor on… bear down on the setting to burnish the
settings over the stones.

another trick i have is to use a Diamond burr and remove the
center of the bezel punch (deepen the center) to greatly reduce
the posibility of damaging stones ( i also modified a set this way
to set cabochon stones as well) typically we do runs of 500 to
1000 pcs setting close to 70 stones an hour. just thought i’d let
you know. Dan Grandi racecarjewelry.com


#18

In response to bezel setting only diamonds, I have had excellent
results installing the bezel in a #30 handpiece(no larger than
3.5mm will fit in the chuck)with appx 1.5mm of the bezel exposed.
Tightening of the bezel with a chuck key is most important(too
tight will collapse the bezel and too loose won’t hold). A
setting bur then is held by hand and pushed into the bezel while
depressing the foot pedal at lower speeds, thus creating a seat.
Install the round diamond and hold it in place with wax into the
bezel. Using a heavier and polished piece of steel(I use the
bottom side of a beading tool plate-used for reshaping ends of
beading tools). This bottom surface is then used to push the
bezel edge over the stone while spinning the bezel in the
handpiece. To enhance the inside edge of the bezel I use a
polished #52 round graver BACKWARDS to form a beveled edge on the
inside. Practicing and finding the limitations(how hard to
push-how thin of a bezel edge to start with-and mentioned
before-how to tighten the bezel initially) Finally, the bezel is
removed from the handpiece and soldered into place-of course
looking PERFECT!


#19

Peter: I always enjoy you comments for their accuracy and
professionalism.& usually download them for future reference. On
the subject of tube settings,one should note the difference in
tube setting cabs vs. faceted stones as there is a difference in
the seat for the stone. I find that the thickness of the tube
wall and the projected height over the stone are the critical
considerations. The higher the wall over the stone the easier it
is to close the bezel but more stone is covered with metal than
desired and then you have to bright cut back with a flat
graver…tricky. My solution to this is to use a bead bur of the
proper size to thin the wall of the tube about 1/3 down in
thickness. Then I use the bezel setter you described in your
response. A small and useful small burnisher can be made from a
old bur breaking of the bur end and reshaping the shaft to a
modified point. Put this into a holder and lubed with saliva or
whatever, this tool will burnish the edge of the setting to a
bright finish.

Stanley R. Rosenberg


#20

Peter: I always enjoy you comments for their accuracy and
professionalism.& usually download them for future reference.This
is a corrected Message-Bud bur revised to CUP bur On the subject
of tube settings,one should note the difference in tube setting
cabs vs. faceted stones as there is a difference in the seat for
the stone. I find that the thickness of the tube wall and the
projected height over the stone are the critical considerations.
The higher the wall over the stone the easier it is to close the
bezel but more stone is covered with metal than desired and then
you have to bright cut back with a flat graver…tricky. My
solution to this is to use a CUP bur of the proper size to thin
the wall of the tube about 1/3 down in thickness. Then I use the
bezel setter you described in your response. A small and useful
small burnisher can be made from a old bur breaking of the bur
end and reshaping the shaft to a modified point. Put this into a
holder and lubed with saliva or whatever, this tool will
burnish the edge of the setting to a bright finish.

Stanley R. Rosenberg