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Thread: Stone setting - Need help!

  1. #1
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    Default Stone setting - Need help!

    I've got a pendant that I want to set some 0.9mm sapphires into. I've read that the burnish setting seems to be the simplest and looks like the setting that I want.

    My surface is a textured sphere though, do I need to flatten and polish the areas I want to set the gems in?Click image for larger version. 

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    Additional info: The pendant is 10k gold and about 1 1/4 inch for the globes diameter.

  2. #2
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    I presume you are talking about flush setting.
    The selected areas can be prepared with the end of a sightly larger cylinder burr in a pillar drill. Setting stones of that size would be problematical without a microscope. Not something I would attempt myself, but routine for an experienced setter. Dennis.

  3. #3
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    Yes the flush setting - Sorry for my inexperience and lack of terminology! I don't think the gems are 0.9mm now that I've put it side by side with a burr of the same size (which is marked 017)

    I don't have digital calipers so I was just reading the little ruler.

    Do you think this is possible without a microscope?
    Would you prepare the surface any other way then drilling the spots for the gems?

    Thanks for the reply! Any little bit of advice helps alot!Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by FreshFund; 03-08-2016 at 11:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    As Dennis says, if the stones are 0.9 then you'll need good eyesight to set them. I use a magnified headband as I dont yet have a microscope, but its possible to flush-set them by hand.

    You've said that flush-setting is the 'simplest' but its still a difficult method to master without practising first. I suggest you buy a bunch of cheap CZ stones and practice flush-setting them in some scrap copper / silver first before attempting to do so on your pendant.

    Once you've got to grips with the technique, then in my opinion the surface you're setting the stones into doesnt need a lot of preparation. The act of use a setting burr / ball burr to create the setting will prepare the surface for you and you'll simply be burnishing the edges of the hole over to secure the stone. I do this regularly with cuttlefish castings that have a highly textured surface without having to smooth off the suface beforehand.

    Cheers,

    Nick

  5. #5
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    I have not seen an 017 round burr, but judging by the table below it will be 1.7mm in diameter, which is a great improvement on your previous estimate and certainly doable with just head band magnifiers, as mentioned by Nick. The cheap ones which have an additional flip down lens will do just fine.

    At that size I have no qualms about the texture either. However, I would suggest you invest in some 4" electronic callipers as the stones must have a tight fit. They are available on line for less than 15.

    To learn more about the technique, you might look for YouTube videos on flush setting, or get a book such as Creative Stone Setting by John Cogswell.Then practice on copper sheet first, before committing to gold. Dennis.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Burr Sizes.JPG  

  6. #6
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    Flush setting is actually quite tricky until you get the hang of it, I certainly wouldn't be practising on something like that in gold!
    I would also not even bother trying to flush set unless I had a decent pair of callipers as it is absolutely essential that you select the correct size burr for the stone and stone sizes vary so even selecting a size stone and the same size burr on purchase will not guarantee that they match.
    If the hole is not the exact right size the setting will not work.
    I would suggest either getting a professional to do the setting or getting yourself a decent set of callipers and spending as long as it takes to perfect your setting in copper and then silver first or you will simply ruin this.

  7. #7
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    Whilst agreeing with much of the above, the first thing I'd want to know is the thickness of the gold used for the sphere. It's very possible that it's much thinner than it might at first appear, which would making setting anything without damaging the shape (or going straight through it) pretty difficult.

    I'd be asking a really good stone setter to do the job for me!

  8. #8
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    I was thinking on the same lines as George, depends what thickness of metal on the globe.

  9. #9
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    That's an interesting thought. Did Fresh make this item and knows the thickness, or is it bought in. If the latter it is not a good candidate for setting. Dennis.

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