Bead Setting

Introduction: Bead Setting

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

How to bead set stones

This is how to bead set stones for jewelry or other similar items. I will show where to use this in other instructables. A fairly easy 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, round graver, bead 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 round graver & the bead tool are how we make sure the stone won’t fall out.

Step 2: Support the Piece.

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 tight in the item.

Step 8: Engraver Tool

Raising the bead. The round tip graver is used to cut & push material towards the stone. Again Do not cut all the way to the stone. You need to stop close enough to the stone so the material is useful for forming into a bead just over the edge of the stone & is still attached so it will stay put while holding the stone.

Step 9: Making the Bead

Round the pulled up material into a bead using the bead tool. Pushing the material down I over the stone. Not a lot of pressure is needed, & with some stones too much will cause them to break.

Step 10: Repeat

Repeat steps 8 &9 until the stone is secure. Different # of beads for the size of stone or arrangement of stones can be used. A tight grouping & specific pattern of stones is called pave. A very diffucult bead setting task, but very impressive.

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    Question 2 years ago

    Hello! May I ask you the size of the graver? I’m trying to make bead setting but my bead are really small.. many thanks Alice


    Answer 2 years ago

    Hi, thanks for the question. I have only a few sizes of engravers. I try to match up the size of the engraver to the size of the stone. If that makes sense. Smaller the stone the smaller the engraver, larger the stone the larger the engraver needs to be. I don't have a set size to tell you here. you can make it work w a smaller engraver. Just make a few passes. The bead tool will hide a lot of that when used. I hope this helps.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Well I appreciate your work. in this week i lost 2 Cubic Zirconium so was searching hard for the solution. I made 2 silver bands one for my wife and one for my mother with a Beautiful CZ and lost both of those gems with the difference of 1 day. I was sad and finally found your post.
    Thanks bro for a simple solution.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah this works well. You should also check out how to flush set stones. Done well both will hold the stone for a long time, but the flush is even better.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. I will be making use of it in another instruction soon. Good for something like this to be a stand alone item.