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Width of channel and walls for 1mm stones?

I am fabricating a channel set band in silver for 1mm stones. I have
tried twice now and failed to get the width right, and the wall
thickness right. I was wondering if anyone could recommend
measurements for this. I apologize in advance for my ignorance; I am
more proficient in fabrication than stonesetting. I would like to be
able to fabricate this and pay a stonesetter to do the rest.

Jessica Scofield

Do you have a setter in mind? I would ask the person who you would
like to do the work what they would prefer, different setters will
have different opinions. My preference would be to open the channel
myself, and I would want a minimum width and depth of 2mm where
stones are to be set.

David Lee

There are a number of ways that channels are set. Each method of
setting has different requirements. Are you making a master model
for production or a “one off”? If it is a “mm”, then the dimensions
will change from shrinkage and you have to account for that in your
design. If it is a “one off”…then my question would next be…is
there going to be a seat for the stones or is it open behind them?
Is it an “anniversary” style ring where the channel goes all the way
around? Will the channel be exposed to wear or is it recessed in any
way? If it is going to be exposed to wear, then you’ll want a little
thicker metal.

I would help if you provide a sketch…it would inform the response

BTW…channel setting is very easy once you have the dimensions
right.Get yourself a stick of water soluble glue and cut your seats,
place your stones, and hammer set them in place. Rinse out glue,
check for loose stones, tighten them, smooth out hammer marks,
polish, and voila!..done I hope you’re setting diamonds…
channeling 1mm soft stones is a hair-greying event.

Jonathan Simons

you would want a 2mm width for a 1mm stone?

Hello Jonatham

Thats an interesting tip! set the stones out in water soluble glue.
In all the years I have been setting stones I never thought of that,
at the end the cleaning process will wash it all away, Clever!

@ Jon -This would leave .5mm side walls after opening a 1mm channel
down the middle. I personally wouldn’t want any less, especially for
a band of sterling. Wider would be stronger, limited only by comfort
on the finger and design considerations.

David Lee

Hi Hamisj,

Years ago I saw my setter using beeswax to glue them in place. I
thought that was clever until I tried it and experienced the plethora
of problems from temp and residue.Seeing the need for adhesion plus
clean and easy removal, I stole my wife’s gluestick, set some
channels, and the results were completely serviceable.Put a little
water in the cap after opening and it will keep the glue moist and
runny. I found the thinner the application made it less likely to
need much tightening afterward.

I do not believe that the original question has been answered. All
this nonsense about which glue to use is ridiculous.

If channel is the right size no glue is required.

So let’s determine the channel size for 1mm stones.

Ideally, I would say cut the channel 0.9mm, which leaves 0.05mm per
side to secure the stones. It is work requiring attention, but not
especially difficult. Cutting channel to 0.8mm, leaving 0.1mm per
side is easier, but it would cover 20% of stone diameter which would
make work less attractive. My recommendation is cut channel to 0.9mm
and take you time with setting.

Walls should be considered in relation to visible part of the stones.
If we use 0.45mm per wall, it would make area of visible metal equal
to area of visible stones. Not very attractive. One should expect 90%
light returned from polished metal, but from 1 mm stones probably
less than 60%. That means that while geometrically areas are equal,
optically stones would look much smaller. So to get some decent
appearance walls should be no more than 0.25mm per wall. Which makes
the width of the complete setting 1.4mm. Not an easy job. The
question should be asked why not use larger stones, or instead of
channel use bead technique. Channel works for larger stones, not so
well for small ones.

I have video on bench tube. “when 2 thumbs better than one”. It
demonstrates technique of securing stones in channel without use of
glue or any other substance. Here is the link

Leonid Surpin

All this nonsense about which glue to use is ridiculous. As much as
I hate to agree wholeheartedly with Leonid :-) If you are using
glue to set stones, then you need to go back to school. You're not
yet a diamond setter in the real sense. Setting design has many
issues about prong size, length, weight and what-have-you, but
there is one common thing that never varies - the stone should
~just~ NOT go into the setting. It should hang up just on the
edge. Leonid's measurements are about right, but it can be taken
to any stone - a setting for a 6mm stone should be 5.5mm or
something like that. 

Often the details - 5.3, 5.5, etc., can amount to aesthetics.
Sometimes you want delicate, sometimes you want chunky.

I also wouldn’t channel set 1mm stones unless it’s some element like
a sparkly thread that’s not intended to really show stones at all -
more like a tiny strip of color or sparkle. Bead-set…

Thank you, Mr. Leonid for your advice. I appreciate your pointing out
that a channel setting is not the best for very small stones. How
wide should I make the band for the setter to set the 1mm stones
using the beading technique? The same as your suggested size (1.4mm)
for the channel setting?

Jessica Scofield


Happy to see you are well and back on-line.



The use of water soluble glue is ancient (egyptians, hellenes,
etruscans, etc. ) and far from ridiculous. The question was answered
in private after being shown the project. Making size and proportion
assumptions without seeing the project is feckless and
unprofessional. If you had seen the project you might have surmised
that cutting a 1 tenth (and how would you accurately measure that?)
of a millimeter groove on either side of the channel for 90 stones
would be a considerable time/cost burden and unnecessary for the
design integrity…there are approximately 90 stones.

Your comments are more of a design aesthetic theory not practical
application, not that I would disagree with your eye for proportion.
If you have seen jewelry or fashion publications for the last 35
years, you would notice that channels work exceedingly well for small
stones as seen by the plethora of channeled diamond designs filling
every page. I just finished watching your setting video… My
thoughts on your technique are as follows: I probably would have
stopped you on about the 1st minute of the video. I think that is
where you start marking with ink. When did felt markers become
"traditional"? I jest here but the point is that there is no such
thing as “traditional technique” in reality. There is only using what
is current in technology or not… i. e. felt markers, stainless
steel, gravers, hammers, electric lights… et al, were all new
technology at one time.

How long did it take to mark the band that you had to make it a
cutscene? If you’ve engineered your band to fit the stones properly
and account for metal movement, there is no need for marking. The
setting rails should already be in place at the right height with an
accounting for prepolish.

Then cutting seats with the graver on an anniversary band…
setting 30 bands a day, with consistency and precision, week after
week, will cure you of that archaic romanticism. Let me introduce
you to Mr. Flexshaft and his friend the setting bur. If you are
really savvy with a mill, you can set it up for fast and accurate

Then cutting “stitches” over the stone…glue is faster, cleaner,
and without mishap… if you are raising beads/stitches then don’t
call it channel setting. Pushing the channel walls by hand… this
isn’t the stone age… Try creating pliers for the job or use a
hammer piece on a flexshaft or air powered… there are other more
clever options but I’ll save that for later. Dragging a file over my
melee… I don’t care if you polished a dead side… don’t waste my
time, money, and chance knocking an edge off… try a pumice wheel
or any other number of rubber wheels that will shape the channel
without harming the stone.

I’ve had quite a few jewelers over the years, using antiquated
techniques thinking they were doing it the “right way” or
traditional. Some were retrainable, some were not.

There is a certain arrogance that comes along with learning a
technique or You see it in doctors where they think
their patient is incapable of understanding the complexity of their
illness and I see it in jewelers that think how they learned it is
the “real way” or “right way”. There isn’t a “right way”, there is
only doing it to the best of your knowledge and capability…
everything else is anachronistic ego fulfillment. While I get
satisfaction on many levels, jewelry is my trade, not my therapy.

If you really want to show traditional techniques, try beating
placer gold with a rock.

With all of your “cutscenes” it’s difficult to accurately ascertain
your total time for completion.

I’m going to guess it’s far over an hour for your 15 minute video.
(Iwould love to know the stone count and actual time it took) Did
you square chamfer the underside or leave round drill holes?

How much do you charge your customer per stone?

Time is money and my time is very expensive. If you want to be able
to profit from your labor, I recommend more modern techniques.
Otherwise you are spending time planning on your obsolescence and
subsequent unemployment. Keep in mind the coach makers of the last
century. I understand you want to position your opinion as an expert
and promote your site and technical products but try to refrain from
calling other peoples comments “ridiculous”, we all live in glass

Warm Regards,

“There is no such thing as “traditional tool or technique” in
reality. There is only using what is current technology or not.”

How wide should I make the band for the setter to set the 1mm
stones using the beading technique? The same as your suggested size
(1.4mm) for the channel setting? 

The best way is to leave it for setter. Drill 0.5mm holes where the
stones should go and leave sufficient metal on each side. I would say
total width 2.5mm. Good setter can make your stones look bigger given
enough metal. You can also ask setter what would he prefer. Extra
metal can be filed off after setting is completed.

Leonid Surpin

I'm going to guess it's far over an hour for your 15 minute video.
(Iwould love to know the stone count and actual time it took) Did
you square chamfer the underside or leave round drill holes? How
much do you charge your customer per stone? 

I do not charge per stone, I receive compensation for the completed
ring. Time is not really relevant here, but if you have to know I
allocate a complete day on setting of the ring of this type, and
sometimes longer. There are subtleties of setting with graver that
simply not available to any other technique. They may not be
important to some, but there are others who appreciate it.

Leonid Surpin

Missed the thread on glue and stones. I use cyanoacrylate, super
glue to hold the stone in place for the first 4 pushes in a bezel
set. I do this even though the stone, depending on hardness is a
tight fit. But hey John and Jo-Ann I am a goldsmith not a jeweller
and use.8mm thick bezels seems most jewellers use.5mm or less.


Richard, Do you remove the cyanoacrylate after setting or leave it
in? Doesn’t it yellow over time? Are you setting faceted or cabs?I
prefer water soluble for the easy clean up.