Wicked Sticky Wax

I secured a stone to set in a collet setting. I cannot remove the wax. Some of it is inside the setting.

Also what are better methods for securing a stone while setting it.


Have you tried dissolving the wax in denatured alcohol? Usually it will work if you soak it in a jar overnight. If it is tough then place the jar with the setting covered in alcohol in a heated ultrasonic.


It’s been a long time ago now, but I used to remove wax from difficult places on small bits of cast metal by putting it in the ultrasonic filled with warm or hot oil. I used silicone oil, but probably most simple hydrocarbon oils would do, or even light cooking oils.
Then it went back in the ultrasonic with hot soapy water.

Thanks, I figured it out. But I would like to know how to secure a stone while setting it.


Collet, as in bezel setting? I will work the interior of the bezel to make sure that the stone sits inside of it with minimal movement. If the bezel doesn’t conform to the gemstone, it makes your job harder when you try to work the lip over the stone. When done right, all you need is to use your finger to keep it from moving around. This of course applies to stones that are large enough to hold.

Hi Cathy
Wax is a good idea, but this can be a little sticky at times. Do you have any gravers on hand?
If you do, I for one, make a little wire hook inside the hole just where the girdle is. In the next email, I’m going to make a diagram showing where this “wire hook” should be situated. I do this all the time, there are setters who might frown on my suggestions, but this has been working for me for only 63 YEARS!!!
Give me a few minutes, agree?
Gerry Lewy

Hi Cathy Hoke
I have another simpler method if you are not familiar with using a graver point used to create a "wire-hook or little securing bead. This method is much simpler, here are my three ‘roughly drawn’ diagrams. Give this as another option.


This hammering, on the top of the bezel wall, will keep your stone from “jumping out”. The sole action of having the Girdle dig into the Bezel wall, is in my estimation, the easiest technique that I use. This is so very handy, without using any wax or another other process. BTW, I use this process all the time…trust me, it works!!!

Hi Gerry,
Thank you so much. I have been having a heck of time trying to set a stone in a 14k handmade tapered setting. The information I have been using is from Paul Leibold book on stone setting. The book is excellent. I used a round bur.

Secondly, I would love info that is clear and concise on hand sharpening gravers for stone setting. Or a class ( Massachusetts)
It seems for me that videos don’t cut it.
I have to see and do it at the same time.
It is just the way I learn.

This is my problem. It moves a little.

Hi “Cathyh60246”
What are your problems that you need (extra) assistance on? I’d really like to help you (kindly send me your email address) by way of a new essay through my ever-growing tutorial-blog.