What size in diameter are pearl posts typically? Not the length but the diameter. I am beginning to design jewelry in Zbrush, then I support them in a Slicing software for a resin printer and I want to make sure the dimensions are correct/accurate. I think it’s around .8mm, does that sound correct for most pearls the way they are drilled? I assume this would mean the pearls are typically drilled with 1mm bits but posts are around .8mm to allow for glue room?
What I mean is when pearls are half drilled so they can be mounted, what is their typical diameter they are drilled? I assume around 1mm based on some jewelry files I purchased from CG Trader but I wanted to confirm before printing. thanks.
Hi Rick! I usually use 20 gauge, round, sterling wire for my pearl posts. If using gold, I’ll use the appropriate color match but in a lower karat - for additional strength. If the pearl is tiny, I’ll switch to 22 g wire. When the pearl opening is too narrow, I (carefully) open up the diameter - while the pearl is immersed in a container of water - with a 19 or 20 g, diamond core drill. It’s usually safer to drill with a slightly smaller diameter bit as we humans tend to wiggle! I use care not to drill through the pearl. I ensure this by inserting a thinner gauge of wire into the pearl, marking where it comes out, and then marking my core drill at the appropriate spot. Moving onto the metal, I use a 20 g drill bit, drill, and then solder the post in place. Next, I twist the wire with chain or flat nose pliers to work-harden it. Then, I trim it to length and mar the end of the wire with wire cutters or pliers with serrated faces - this gives the glue more to hold on to. Finally, I use either Devcon, E6000, or cyanoacrylate glue, which I apply with a toothpick hammered flat on one end (creating a little brush).
If something goes horribly wrong, I use Attack to remove the pearl. Don’t use Attack on Mabe Pearls.
I know you didn’t ask for all this and probably already know how to set a pearl, but I can’t help myself! Ha. Maybe it will help someone else? Happy creating!
Wow, I was off-mark there Rick! Missed the Z-Brush reference. All I can say is, sorry!
This is a timely thread as I have just finished drilling and gluing about three hundred pearls onto mounts supplied by the customer. The drill diameters I have had to use to get a snug - not loose - fit have ranged from 0.7mm to 1.2mm. As a general size I would suggest 0.9mm allowing for a 1mm drill (the sizes are always a little less than stated on the box) but if you want to go thinner consider what other support the pearl might need e.g. a basket to sit in or shoulders to help deflect knocks.
Also when gluing I use epoxy - I have found that I get a lot of items that have previously been “super glued” as the pearl had come off due to the glue being brittle.
Hope this helps - basically there is no set rule.