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4 Prong Setting Tutorial

How to Set a Round Stone in a 4 Prong Setting

I wanted to demonstrate how to set the 2mm stone in a 4 prong setting. In past blog entries I have set stones in shared prong settings, flush settings or gypsy settings, channel settings, bezel settings, and “V” prong settings, but I have never showed how to set the most common of all settings, the basic 4 prong setting in a die struck setting, so kick back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy.

Prong Setting Header

I do a little prep work to the head before I begin setting the stone. When I soldered the head into place, there is a little fire scale to the inside of the head. I pre-polished the shank and the outside of the prongs with a 3M Brushes and a Brass Brush in my Foredom. I like to clean up and polish the inside of the setting before the stone is set, for once the stone is set, it is difficult if not impossible to shine the inside of the setting. To polish the inside of the setting, I use a small piece of cotton wrapped around a 0.7mm Tapered Cylinder Bur. A small ball bur will also work. I like to use Natural Cotton, which I usually get out of an aspirin bottle, as opposed to synthetic cotton because it seems to me that the natural cotton holds onto the polishing compound better, but either will work. I spin the cotton onto the bur into a cone shape and add Red Rouge to the “bullet” shaped cotton. I insert this into the inside of the setting and polish.

Prong Setting (1) Prong Setting (2)

Prong Setting (3) Prong Setting (4)

Prong Setting (5) Prong Setting (6)

After the inside is polished, it is time to notch or cut the seats into the prongs. As a rule of thumb, I like to cut the seat about 1/3 the way down the prong, from the top, and cut about 1/3 the way into the prongs. Here, I use a sharp set of dividers to mark the inside of the prong at the same level. I scribe a line as a guide to start cutting. In this instance, the stone I am setting is 2mm, I am using a 1.5mm Hart Setting Bur. The girdle (or side) of this stone is a little thicker than normal, so I cut the seat at an angle to match the stone. When setting stones, always try to match the shape of the girdle with the shape of the cut into the prong.

Prong Setting (7) Prong Setting (8)

Prong Setting (9) Prong Setting (10)

Prong Setting (12) Prong Setting (11)

Next, after you have cut the seats into the prongs, place the stone into the setting and visually check to make sure each prong matches the stone shape and make sure the stone is level. If it is not, adjust the cuts in the prongs at a bit and check again until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the way the stone sits in the prongs, gently close the prongs with a pair of Needle Nose Pliers to hold the stone in place. Again, check the stone to make sure it is sitting the way you want it to. After you have the prongs closed onto the stone, it is time to tighten the stone. Using the same pliers, gently pull the top of the prong over the stone by placing the pliers at an angle, using the prong on the opposite side to support the pliers and pull the top of the prong down onto the stone. Do this to all 4 prongs, making sure the prongs are “square” or evenly spaced from one another. Check to make sure the stone is tight by grabbing the stone with your Tweezers and seeing if the stone spins.

Prong Setting (13) Prong Setting (14)

Prong Setting (15) Prong Setting (16)

Prong Setting (22)

Once the stone is set and tightened, I like to file the prongs down just a bit to make sure the prongs are even and all the same height. I use a #4 Barrette Needle File to do this. Next I use a small 1.0mm Cup Bur to round and finish the top of the prongs. The prongs measure about 0.6mm in thickness and a 1.0mm cup bur seems to be about the right size. You want to use a cup bur that just fits over the whole prong and does not “ride” on the stone. Make sure you only use this just enough to round the prong and not reduce the size of the prong too much. You want some prong on top of the stone so it won’t wear down too quickly.

Prong Setting (17) Prong Setting (18)

Prong Setting (19) Prong Setting (21)

Prong Setting (20)

Lastly, after the stone is tightened, and the tops of the prongs are finished to your liking, it is time to polish the tops of the prongs. I like to use a Medium Hard Felt Wheel with Red Rouge on it. Again, you do not want to get carried away and polish off the tops of the prongs, but just enough to give them a good shine.

Prong Setting (23) Prong Setting (24)

Prong Setting (25)

I know this stone setting is rather small at 2mm, but the same process will work for any size stones. If you are new to setting stones, I would suggest starting with larger stones to get used to the process.

I hope this helps to explain and simplify the basic 4 prong setting. Mastering this process will go a long way in stepping up your stone setting program and help you to design more pieces with stones, opening up a whole new world and making you more confident in all types of setting.

Thank you as always for stopping by and following along on this journey. I hope you are experimenting with some of the techniques I share. Be sure to sign up to get these tips emailed to you, or send in comments or questions either by commenting here, emailing me at doug@jewelrymonk.com or send me a voicemail. I read and check them all.

Now, get out there and Dazzle the World!

Doug

”The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”

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How to Bezel Set a Square Stone

Quick Story….. then a tip.

I have always had goals….. In my head. I work towards them, I get new goals, I change my goals, I accomplish some goals, but to be honest, I forget most of them, because I am off running after other shiny goals. I tried something new in the past couple of months, I WROTE DOWN some goals. Long term (Someday), Short Terms (5 and 1 Year), Monthly, Weekly, Daily……. Then, I review it, EVERY DAY. (takes 2 minutes)Ya know what…… These Goals are slowly, and not so slowly becoming reality. I am getting ready to “Kick-Off” something New and Exciting at JewelryMonk.com, that I always had as a goal…. a someday goal…. a dream really more than a goal, that I have had for years and years. But you know what? Just by writing it down and reviewing it every day, It is FAST becoming REALITY.I am still going to hold “This Cat” in the bag so to say, for a little bit, but Stay Tuned here and see What is Coming Next. I really am so excited I can hardly sit here and type.

Now, on with the tip:


How to Bezel Set a Square Stone

 

Today I will demonstrate how I set a square shaped stone in a bezel. It is a little harder that you would think and special attention must be taken when laying out your design, and if the stone has too much room between the edge of the stone and the bezel, the corners will give you “fits”.

First, I am not a HUGE fan of Magnetic Tumbler, but I did tumble this piece in a Magnetic Tumbler to polish underneath the stone and in the hard to get to places, then I place the stone into the setting. I hold the ring in a Ring Clamp and squeeze the bezels together just a bit to hold the stone in place. (which I forgot to take a picture of) Then I place the ring on my Ring Mandrel to support the ring as I press the bezels into the stone, starting at the corners. The corners are the most important part, because if you don’t get the corners tight, there will be a gap.  Start tightening the corners, then work towards the center of the bezel.

Tumbler2  Bezel Setting Rec (1)

Bezel Setting Rec (2)

Bezel Setting Rec (3)   Bezel Setting Rec (4)

Next, after the bezel walls are pushed over the stone to hold the stone firmly in place, I tap lightly on the top of the bezel to force the top of the bezel walls tight around the stone. I use my Chasing Hammer and an old bur to do this, but you can use a Hammer Hand Piece to do this as well. I have cut down the bur to a flat surface with just the slightest dap to it. I also sand the end with 600 Grit Sandpaper to give it a little “grip” and so it won’t slip off the bezel as easy. Be careful not to touch the stone, especially soft stones.

Bezel Setting Rec (5a)   Bezel Setting Rec (5)

Bezel Setting Rec (6)    Bezel Setting Rec (7)

 After the stone is tight and the top of the bezel wall is uniformly up to the stone, take a Snap on Sanding Disc and clean the scratches up. If the scratches are deeper, use a #4 Barrette Needle File first. After the sanding, I use a Knife Edge Rubber Wheel to dress it up and take out the scratches from the sanding.

Bezel Setting Rec (8)   Bezel Setting Rec (9)

Bezel Setting Rec (10)   Bezel Setting Rec (11)

Lastly, I take the piece to the polishing machine and final polish it with Red Rouge.

Bezel Setting Rec (13)   Bezel Setting Rec (14)

There you have it, a tight stone, and I now have a finished piece. The grid work under the stone isn’t really necessary under a cab stone where no light can get through, it just adds a nice touch, but if you have a faceted stone, the extra light it allows will really make it “Pop”.

Bonus: If you want a FREE VIDEO on how to tighten a Bezel Set Stone:

CLICK HERE

As Always, Thanks again for stopping by. If you don’t want to miss out on any FREE CONTENT coming up, Make sure to SUBSCRIBE, like so many others have done, if you haven’t already.

Now, go make someone’s day brilliant!

Doug

Pendant Project Part 4, The Finale

Pendant Project Part 4, The Finale!

Header Setting

This little “Bezel Pendant” project started a few days ago when I got the bright idea to show how to make a “V-Bezel” after I had the need for one. I thought I would show the process after I got a few comments and questions on application, so I said to myself, “well self, let’s just show how U would use one”.  Today I will show how I finished the setting and finishing on this pendant.

For holding the setting, I mount the pendant in Dop Wax to secure it during setting. I have some dop wax pre-loaded on different sizes of wooden dowels. I “slightly” heat the surface of the wax, as well as the pendant with my Mini Torch, not too hot or it will sink too deep into the wax. Play with this a bit to get used to it and how it reacts to heat. I also pre-heat the pendant a little to help it hold.  After the pendant is settled in the wax, I press or mold the inside of the wax with a metal awl to make room for the bottom of the stone.

Setting 01 Setting 02 Setting 03

After the piece has set into the wax and is cool enough to handle, I scribe a line with my Dividers, equal height on both the large bezel and the “V” bezel. I mark the line from the base of the setting on both, so the seats I cut will be the same height and the stone will sit level.

Setting 04 Setting 05

Now I carefully cut a “seat” into the bezel. You will want to check out the stone’s girdle and match the shape of the girdle with the cut. In this instance, the Amethyst has a very thick girdle, so I cut the stone seat with a 2.5mm Hart Bur, following the scribed line as best as possible. After the initial cut is made, I shaped the bottom of the seat with a 1.2mm Ball Bur to match the stone as best as I could.

Setting 08 Setting 07

Setting 05 Setting 06

The V-Bezel is cut a bit differently. Since the stone end that is going to be secured is pointed and therefore more fragile, you will want to drill a small hole or divot (not all the way through) into the bezel where the point will be so there is no pressure on that point of the stone. The rest of the seat can be cut with a ball bur, once again trying to match the shape of the stone’s girdle. As you are cutting the seats, you will want to constantly check the stone against the seat, to see how well they match. I hold the stone with a small piece of sticky red wax on the end of an old bur or a nail. (Click on the image to see it in more detail)

Setting 09 Setting 10

Setting 11

After the seats are cut, place the stone in the setting and press the bezel over the stone carefully with a Flat End Prong Pusher. Slowly push the corners first to secure the stone, then “fold” the rest of the bezel over the stone. Be careful not to add too much pressure and constantly check the stone for tightness.

Setting 12 Setting 13 Setting 14

Now that the stone is set secure, remove the pendant from the Dop Wax by adding as little heat as possible until the wax releases the pendant. Be especially careful with Amethyst stones, they are not fond of heat. Place the pendant in Alcohol to dissolve the wax, in an Ultrasonic Cleaner to speed up the process. Make sure the stone can tolerate the heat, alcohol, and ultrasonic waves beforehand. For a free downloadable guide for stones that can take heat, steam, and ultrasonics, CLICK HERE .

After the piece is cleaned from the wax, use rubber wheels and polishing wheels to finish the bezels. They look better the flatter you can get them. BE CAREFUL not to touch the stone with the wheels as you are finishing the bezels.

Setting 15 Setting 16 Setting 17

Finally finish polishing the pendant on a polishing wheel with Red Rouge. Clean with an Ultrasonic Cleaner and a Steam Cleaning Machine.

Setting 19 Setting 21

There you have it, an extended lesson on how to make a V-Bezel and how to use it in an application. I hope you enjoyed it and it has opened up some ideas for you. Feel free to comment or share.

By the way, if there are things you would like to see on JewelryMonk, let me know, and make sure to Subscribe, so you never miss any JewelryMonk Goodness.

Thanks for coming along this journey, now go make something brilliant!

Doug

Pendant Project Part 3

Pendant Project Part 3

Part 3 of the V-Bezel pendant. Today we will finish soldering the pendant I started a couple of days ago, and I have a couple of clean-up tips for you before I get it ready to set the stone.

First I take the setting base and scribe a center line in the back of the half round bezel with Steel Dividers. This is just a location line so I know where to solder the bail. I picked a bail in the last post that had a diamond setting on it, but decided to cut it off because of strength and aesthetic issues. I used Handy Flux, Medium Solder, and my Mini Torch to solder the bail on. I hold the bail with Soldering Spring Tweezers and secure it with a Third Hand Tweezers.

Pendant 1 Pendant 2

After I solder the bail onto the setting, I clean the back with a Snap on Sanding Disc, make it flush, and add a Sterling Stamp.

Pendant 3 Pendant 4 Pendant 5

I next clean up the edges, making them sharp and crisp. I used a Barrette File, then I wrapped a piece of 600 grit sand paper around the same file and take out the file scratches. I also used a Knife Edge Silicone Wheel and  JoolTool 3M Bristle Brushes. These little babies work amazing for taking out scratches.

Pendant 9 Pendant 10 Pendant 8

Pendant 11 Pendant 12

Now if you have ever wondered how to polish inside places like the inside of a bail, here is a neat trick to get into those hard to get into spots. Get yourself some cotton string, (in different thicknesses) and rub polishing compound on it, now run the string through the bail and tie the other end to your bench. Rub back and forth and it will polish nicely. I use Graystar Compound first, then Red Rouge.

Pendant 6 Pendant 7

I also polish the tip of a burnishing tool on a piece of paper rubbed with Yellow Rouge and use it to polish the inside of the setting, if the setting base is polished, this will help the stone reflect more brilliantly.

Pendant 13 Pendant 14

Now the pendant is ready to set and polish. Stay Tuned.

By the way, make sure you subscribe if you haven’t, so you don’t miss ANY JewelryMonk Goodness.

Pendant 15

Now go make something Spectacular!

Doug

Pendant Project Part 2

Pendant Project Part 2


Ok, ok, After the V-Bezel illustration from a few days ago, I had quite a few comments about how I would use the bezels and a good application for V-Bezels. Well, you ask, you get.

Over the next few days I will make a pendant and set a stone using the now “semi-famous” V-Bezel. I found a stone that I have had in my drawer for a while looking for a use for it, well now I have found a purpose for it, so let’s get going.

First, I find a piece of flat silver for the pendant base. In this instance, I use a piece that is 1.25mm thick. I place the stone I am using top down on the silver, (I slightly dull the surface of the silver with a piece of used 1200 grit sandpaper so it will show the tracing better) and hold it in place with a small piece of sticky wax, something that will hold it firm. Once the stone is held down, I use a scribe to trace a light line around the stone. I pull the stone off of the silver and use my Saw Frame with a Saw Blade to cut along the outside of the line. I hold the silver with a pair of Smooth Jawed Parallel Pliers. I file the outside up to the scribed line.

Photo 1 Photo 2

Photo 3 Photo 4

Once I have the base cut out, I scribe an offset line inside, approx. 1.5 mm thick, then I drill a hole in the center of the base and load it on my Saw Frame. I cut along the inside up to the line, as close as possible. I use a Barrette Needle File and a Half-Round Escapement File to clean the inside and make it smooth and crisp.

Photo 5 Photo 6

Photo 7 Photo 8

Now I have the base cleaned up, I roll a piece of silver approx. 4mm wide and 0.8mm thick with my Rolling Mill to use as a bezel for the back of the stone. After I roll it to the desired thickness, I anneal it and form it to match the shape of the back of the setting. (If you are unfamiliar with the annealing process, see THIS BLOG ENTRY) I now solder the bezel to the back of the base that I made. You can see I place the solder in between the bezel and the frame on my Soldering Block. I solder using my Smith Mini Torch with a fairly small flame from the #5 torch tip. (I have drilled out my tip, so it is a little larger than a #5, but a #5 is a good tip) I am using Oxygen (approx. 30 psi) and Propane (approx. 10 psi) as gas for my torch. (to see how I set up my torch and to safely check for leaks, See THIS Blog Post)

Photo 10

Photo 11 Photo 12

Next, I take the V-Bezel that I made last time, and saw off about 4.5mm of it to use as a bezel setting for the point of the stone. I solder it to the point of the setting base while holding it with my Soldering Spring Tweezers with heat protective handles.

Photo 13 Photo 14

Can you see it starting to take shape yet? A little more massaging and it will come alive….. I found a bail that I have been itchin’ to use as well, seems like the perfect project for it.

Photo 15 Photo 16

Stay Tuned and I will finish cleaning it up and set the stone in the next days.

By the way, make sure you subscribe if you haven’t, so you don’t miss ANY JewelryMonk Goodness.

Now go make Something Surprising!

Doug