Tube Setting – What to buy?

I have had a lot of questions about which burs and sizes to buy when it comes to tube setting stones. Here are the tools I use every time I create my tube settings from scratch (or at least from a premade length of tube.)





Choosing the Right Bur

So how do you know which bur to use? You want to use a bur that is just slightly smaller than the diameter of your stone. For instance, if I have a 6mm stone that I am going to set, I would start with a 5.9mm round/ball bur to get the depth of the tube close to where I want it to be. Then I would switch to a 5.9mm setting bur to complete the setting. 

The stones I tube set are typically 3, 4, 5 & 6mm. So here is what I use:

  • 3mm  stone
    • 3.5mm outer diameter heavy walled tube (Rio 100452)
    • 2.9mm Round ball bur ($3.40)
    • 2.9mm Setting bur ($4.05)
  • 4mm Stone
    • 4.5mm outer diameter heavy walled tube (Rio 400427)
    • 3.8mm Round ball bur (4.05)
    • 3.8 Setting bur ($4.85)
  • 5mm Stone
    • 5.5mm outer diameter heavy walled tube (Rio 100429)
    • 4.70mm Round Ball Bur ($4.75)
    • 4.70mm Setting Bur ($5.35)
  • 6mm Stone
    • 6.5 mm outer diameter heavy walled tube (Rio 400431)
    • 5.90mm Round Ball Bur ($4.75)
    • 5.9mm Setting Bur ($5.35)



    Of course, here is the video that I did that shows how I do some of my tube settings. 

I hope that helps answer the questions regarding the size of burs and tubing. I know that rio also sells tubing for stones 1.5mm – 6.5mm every 1/2 size. If you need help figuring out which tubing and/or bur to buy, just let me know. Again, the email is at the top of the navigation bar for the blog. 

All content and images on this blog are the property of Melissa Muir and use of them in any context is strictly prohibited unless written permission is first obtained. Please feel free to repin any of the pictures of pieces done by Melissa Muir only.

8 thoughts on “Tube Setting – What to buy?

  1. Angie S

    What a timely post as I was just wanting to try this! Can I ask a big favor? Will include an image of a tube setting you’ve done so I can pin this?

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  4. Eleni

    Hello Melissa,
    I just found your blog from youtube and I have to say how helpful it is. I have a quick question for you, I am interesting in doing some tube setting and setting the stone upside down. I was wondering if you could use the bezel setting punches with the stone upside down or would the stone be on the way? Thank you for you time and keep up the good work!

  5. Melissa Muir

    Hi Eleni,

    You might be able to use it depending on how high the culet sets from the girdle in the setting. I don’t know that I would risk it though as generally that is where the majority of the material on the stone is. You could certainly try it with some inexpensive stones, such as a CZ, to try it out. I know that my punches have a small hole at the top that would allow for the culet, but I don’t know about the rest of the facets as the inside of the setting tool is domed. 
  6. Eleni

    Hi Melissa,
    Thank you very much for getting back to me, I’ve decided to give a try so I went ahead and ordered the setting punches. Once they arrive i’ll have to experiment 🙂



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