How to Flush Set Stones





Introduction: How to Flush Set Stones

About: I am a Goldsmith, Blacksmith, Leather worker, Anime freek, Rennie, Cosplayer, average guy.

This is how to flush set stones for jewelry or other similar items. I will show where to use this in other instructables. A sleek way of setting stones without adding components to the item as well to hold that stone.

Materials: Metal plate, or item to be set with a stone. Stone.

Tools: Ball bur, drill bits, setting bur, dremel/flex shaft, burnish tool, Jetset/pitch or some way of holding onto the item, bench vise.

Step 1: ​Gather Materials & Tools.

Gather materials & tools. I am using a 1.3mm thick plate of copper to demonstrate. I will be setting a 2mm diameter CZ. The CZ is also 1.3mm deep. You don’t want to use a stone that is deeper that the metal unless it is alright for the back of the stone to stick out the back. With enough practice you could set a stone much larger than this in a plate this thick. Too big & there won’t be enough material to hold the stone properly. Next is the tools. All of the burs, & drill bits fit into my quick change flex shaft rotary tool. The jetset is a plastic material that is used to hold onto items while you work on them. Because the piece of copper is too small to hold in my hands & work safely, or comfortably I am using that. The bench vice will hold onto the jetset so I can work with both hands, instead of holding the mounting with one & working with the other. The burnish tool is how we make secure the stone.

Step 2: Getting Started.

Heat up the jetset to make it soft so we can put our piece in. This is done with boiling water. Once the piece is in let it cool for a while till it is hard once again.

Step 3: Where Are You Going to But the Stone?

Using the ball bur make a small cut into the metal where you want to set the stone. This will be the center of that, & allows the drill bits to cut in easily with out straying off course.

Step 4: Drill Thru

Drill all the way thru with the smaller drill bit. I used a 1mm bit for this. Used for cleaning later this is important to make sure is done.

Step 5: Remove More Material

Using the larger drill bit (1.8mm) drill only a little bit down. This removes enough material to make the work done next with the setting bur much easier. Do not drill all the way thru.

Step 6: Using the Setting Bur

The setting bur is the same size as the stone to be set (2mm). Use this to make the hole the final size & depth. You need to leave enough material under the stone to hold it.

Step 7: Test Fit

Test the fit of the stone in the hole. Sometimes you have a stone that is just bigger than the settings bur & will need to adjust the hole accordingly. Do not make the hole too big. If the stone dose not have a good fit then it is going to be hard to get/keep it tight in the item.

Step 8: Burnish the Stone In.

There are 2 types of burnishers that can be used here. The first is the more traditional, the round pointed burnisher. With the tool pointed down & slightly at an angle push outward with a sweeping motion to move the top edge of the material outwards. The shape of the tool & how you push the metal causes the material just above the stone to pull in towards the stone. A very difficult means of setting. The second type of burnisher is easier to use. Laying the flat of the tool against the crown facets of the stone, push with the tip on the metals edge outward while rotating the piece. This is less likely to slip & scratch the surface. It also makes for quicker setting & a better finished setting.

A very impressive way of setting stones. It really looks like the stone is just stuck there. In actuality it has been inbeded into the metal with very little showing as to how it is held in.



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    I have experience with metals and a steady hand but haven't tried this setting before. I have a 14k 5mm wide rose gold band that's about 2mm thick (as I was told - it looks like it may be a bit thinner now that I have it) and I want to set a 2mm opal in it - do you think it's possible??

    1 reply

    I have not done this with a cab stone before. I know it can be done. You might not need a hole deeper than the stone is deep, which is normal with a faceted stone. Also opal is going to be a very difficult stone to do with this setting technique due to how fragel the stone is. You might want to practice on black onyx and silver, a fairly inexpensive stone and the silver is softer and easier to work than gold. Good luck, I would love to see what you get done.

    I cannot get the stone to stay in. What am I doing wrong?

    3 replies

    Several factors may be at play here. first you need to make sure the stone is a tight fit in the hole. The stone can not be too deep or too shallow. Depending on the tool that you are using, the way your tool is held & used will be different. If you are using the round pointed burnisher you need to keep the tool straight up. Pushing outward on the metal while keeping the tool straight up in a circular motion. This should move the metal at the top out & the metal just over the stone back over the stone. This is the hard way. The other is a flat burnisher with a rounded edge at a 45 degree to the surface of the metal push down while moving around the stone. This will have the same effect of moving the metal at the top out & the metal just over the stone back over the stone. THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT WAY TO SET STONES. It will take practice. I was a dozen stones in before I started to get right. I recommend copper & CZs. Try different sizes of stones, you may find that helps.

    Thank you so much for your reply. I will keep practising x

    Sure thing. Helping out is what this site is all about.

    Thank you so very much, I finally understand how this works! I'll be trying it this weekend.

    1 reply

    Good luck. I would love to know how you do.

    Hello, Thank you for sharing the great instruction! I tried it the other day, and I found difficult to make the final hole with setting bur. Do you use a pendant drill for that or do it by hand?

    11 replies

    I call it a flex shaft, but yes that is what I use to drill the hole. It really takes a sharp settings or hart burr to get a good seat. I will sometimes use a twist drill bit to remove most of the material (even some from the final hole). You want to try & get as close to the final hole size with your drill bits so that the setting burr is really just refining it. Sometimes I will order new burrs for a project just because my others have been used, even though they are not fully dul yet. Just so I have a sharp bit to use.

    Thank you so much for your reply. I was going to reply when I actually tried this technique. I finally had a change to do it yesterday. I used a flex shaft and it was much easier than doing by my hand like I used to! Thanks for the tip! However I kept failing to set a stone... The stone kept rotating at the Step8. I suppose the hole was a bit too big. When you drill the setting burr, how far do you drill?

    That all depends on the stone. The deeper the stone is then the deeper the hole needs to be. I have also set stone deeper than others for effect. A good guideline is no deeper than the table of the stone flush the plane of the metal you are setting into. This is a really hard tech. Try to keep the hole size as close to the size of the stone as you can. A tight fit is best.

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I think I now know why it didn't work. Maybe the hole was too deep. I will try again next week. Thank you so much! Your instruction is very clear!

    Hello again! I like the idea of using a jetset. However I cannot find it on online shop (I normally use cookson and gold). I wonder where I can get them...

    Jet set can be found with companies that sell jewelry making tools. You can get it here:

    Jet set can be found with companies that sell jewelry making tools. You can get it here:

    Jet set can be found with companies that sell jewelry making tools. You can get it here:

    Jet set can be found with companies that sell jewelry making tools. You can get it here:

    Jet set can be found with companies that sell jewelry making tools. You can get it here:

    Jet set can be found with companies that sell jewelry making tools. You can get it here: