Welcome - Greg Mason

Hi Greg!

About the burs you use for settings stones. A lot of setters are
using bud burs because with them you can put the stones at the
right level and you can squeeze them with a small presure so they
don’t move when you set. They are better in bead setting instead of
45 and 90 for prongs. Always use a bud about 1/4 bigger than the
stone you set.


Vincent Guy Audette
gaudette@videotron .ca
Quebec Quebec

Thank you for your response Guy. Question. Are you speaking of
using bud burs for prong applications or just for bright cutting?
The only time I use bud burs is to clear out room for pavillions in
pin point or cluster settings. If you are using them for actual
bearing cuts, please explain further. My problem is deciding
whether to use a 45 or 90 degree bearing burs. Which in your
opinion is better?

Hi Greg! Yes I told you that a lot of stones setters are using bud
burs for bright cutting (bead setting) in French (leve de grain),
but each setter have their own way to set. This is one technique
but there is others. You can use buds also with very thick prongs.
First you make a hole with a drill about half diameter of the stone
and then you drill with a bud about 1/4 larger than the stone
diameter. Drill all the holes and check the height and the level,
each stones should be on the same level. Why larger bud? Because
the hole must have a V shape, with this you will be able to push
the stones and they will be stick in the hole, instead of moving
stones with a 90. With a bud the diameter of the hole is always
accurate, you don’t have to look for the exact bur. So the metal is
always very close to the stone. After that you can easily push
metal or prongs over the stones with your onglette graver or a
pusher and the stones will not move during the work. This technique
is hard to learn but very good when you got it. The 90 and 45
degrees burs can be use differently. For myself I use 90 degrees
burs when I want to drill 4 prongs at a time (for round setting),
for this I take a 90 having the same diameter than the stone. I
use the 45 when I want to drill one prong at a time (for other
stones shapes). In this case I use a 45 about 1/2 diameter of the
stone and I bend back the tip of the prong and push it back with
the stone in it. Also 45 are good for channel setting. But all
depends, sometimes I will take also 90 for one prong at a time.
Many situations brings many differents applications. This could be
a very very very long story. You have to do a lot and the trade
will come. You can also buy books and video from Robert Woodings,
they are just great. The videos are extremly clear and well done
with constant Zoom on work. For bright cutting you need the best
gravers (grobet vallorbe high speed with yellow handle) and good
metal too, if the white gold is to hard (nickel one) this is realy
harder than palladium one. I am not a professionnal setter but I
often set stones. I am teaching the basics of setting at school.
The bead setting is generaly done by professionnals setters. I
think that we have to choose between beeing a stones setter
(talking about bead setting) or a jeweler. These trades are so
differents and they both takes a lot of time to learn. I think, if
you want to be a very good setter and get good money out of it, you
have to do only this.


Vincent Guy Audette
Quebec Canada