This weeks Tool Time Tuesday goes along with the past few, Tube Cutting Jig and the Miter Cutting Jig . This week I will demonstrate a set of tools called Bezel Setting Punches. I like to use these when I am doing tube settings on round stones.
There are a number of sets that can be purchased and just like any other tool, there is a wide range in prices. The set I have is an economy set, but still runs about $50 for the 18 piece set. I do have one of these here if anyone is interested in buying it. If you are, just let me know.
Here you will see that I have completed the construction of my pendant and all the clean up work before setting any stones. When I do a tube set stone, I use thick walled tubing. Then I take a setting bur that is roughly the same diameter as my stone and cut a seat into the end of the tubing. Here I am using a 6mm cz. The tubing is 6.5mm OD.
The stone should sit so the girdle of the stone is below the upper edge of the tubing. You don’t want to go too low or your tubing will cover too much of the stone when you push the outer edges over to hold it into place.
The set of setting punches I have come in this nice little box. It makes it easy to keep everything together and I don’t have to go hunting for tools.
I am not even sure how small t he smallest is as I don’t have stones that small. I do use the smaller punches for adding texture to my metal. This set has 18 punches, the largest of them is 6mm which is perfect for my stone. I don’t typically tube set stones larger than 6mm anyway.
Here you see the setting punch and the handle.
Just insert the setting punch and tighten the collet and we are ready to go.
The inside of each punch is concave so it won’t hurt your stone when it comes down and presses the tubing wall over the edges of the stone.
Place your punch so that it sits straight up and down over your tubing. The straight part is VERY important because you want to come down evenly when setting the stone.
Using a rawhide mallet, gently tap to fold the edges of the tubing down. You don’t need to do this with much force.
If necessary, use your bezel pusher to touch up any areas that may need to be straightened out or didn’t go down quite evenly with the punch. This might be necessary if you have a portion of your tubing wall that is slightly thicker than other ares of the wall.
Being careful not to nick your back plate, run the tip of the burnisher around the top edge of your tubing to give it a nice high polish. You can also use the punch for this. Just place the punch back onto the tube, hold it firmly against the stone and twist.
The finished result is a beautiful tube set stone. This is an alternative to making a bezel for smaller stones.
The bezel setting punches can also be used to set prongs on round stones. You would follow the exact same process as above. Be sure not to hit your punch too hard with the hammer so as to not distort the prongs.
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