How to Set a Stone Using a Simple Bead Setting Process
“Sometimes ya just gotta bling things up a bit”. There are plenty of times when I have a piece of jewelry and it just needs a little something to make it “pop”. I have shown in the past how I set stones in different settings and channels, but today I will demonstrate how to bead set a round stone flush, into a flat surface.
Today I am starting with a flat topped ring that I have finished with 600 Sandpaper on my Sanding Stick, and the surface is completely flat. I found a 2mm stone I am going to set in the center. Layout is an important part of setting, so I take time to find the center of the space I am working on. What I did was measure the total width, and divide by 2. I set my Dividers at this at this measurement, and lightly scribe a mark from each side. I do the same with the height of the piece, so when I am done laying this out, I have a lightly scribed cross in the very center of the space I am working. I try to make the scribed cross smaller than the stone I am using so I will remove it when cutting the seat for the stone.
Now that I have the center found, I use my sharp scribe to make a small “divot” where the very center is, or where the lightly scribed lines intersect. This will make it easier for my drill bit or ball bur to drill and not “wander” while I drill a hole. I decide to drill the hole with a ball bur using my Foredom, first with a 0.7mm Ball Bur, then with a 1.4mm Ball Bur. I use the smaller bit first as a pilot hole to make the larger bit drill easier. I like to use a “through-hole” under my stones about 70% of the stone size, which allows more light to get to the stone and make it shine a bit more brilliantly.
Next I cut the seat for the stone I am using. I am using a 2.0mm Setting Bur to drill into the hole and make the seat for the stone. Drill the seat deep enough so the whole girdle, or side edge of the stone, is below the surface. Continually check the stone while you are drilling to make sure it is deep enough, but not too deep. You want to be able to see just a little metal over the top of the girdle.
Once the seat is cut, use a straight edge to lightly make a mark to locate the corners of the setting, at 45 degree angles, to follow the shape of the surface I am setting on. I line up my straight edge from corner to corner and make a small mark. I do the same for the other side as well.
Place the stone into the seat and make sure it is completely flat in the bottom of the setting. I am using a #52 Round Graver to “raise a bead” from the flat area on the outside of the stone. I am cutting into the surface from the direction of the scribed layout lines at 45 degree angles. Start with one raised prong or bead, then move to the opposite side and do the same. How I make these beads is start with my graver about 1-1.5mm away from the stone and dig into the metal lightly with the graver, pushing the excess metal towards the stone, making sure to stop before you get to the stone itself. I hope that makes sense.
Once you have all 4 beads raised, use your Beading Tool to make the bead into a prong to hold the stone in place. Find a beading toot that is just a little larger than the metal you are making into a bead. Use firm pressure to move the metal over the stone, but not too much to break off the prong.
Now that the stone is set, you can finish the area around the stone as you wish, either leaving it with a brushed finish for contrast, or polish to a high luster.
Have fun trying this type of setting, get used to it and get creative, because there are many uses for this type of setting, and it is the building blocks to pave’ setting.
There ya go, a little setting action to make your week exciting.
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That’s all I got!
Have an awesome day and go Bling your world!
“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?“
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