A lot of my tutorials involve prong (claw) settings, so I made this free setting tutorial as an overview to help my students practice setting skills and complete their projects more easily.
This free tutorial follows the same format as all my other free and premium tutorials. This gives you a good insight into the technical teaching methodology.
I start with the blank ring.
This ring is 4.5 mm wide and the stones that are going to be fitted are 3 mm in diameter.
The stones don't quite fit in between the claws yet.
The stone diameter is 3 mm and I am using a coloured stone to give a better visual contrast against the silver metal.
I use a 2 mm 60° setting burr for this job, because the stones are 3 mm in diameter.
Theoretically, a 3 mm setting burr would be easier because all four claws can be cut at once, rather than using a 2 mm burr and cutting the claws one at a time.
However, in practice, claws cut with a big burr tend to be over cut, and once cut, leave no room for adjustment.
With a slightly smaller burr than the diameter of the stone, one can go back and do some adjustments should the stone not be level.
I first cut one side of the claw so that a notch forms. Not too deep, because otherwise the claw will be weakened.
And not too shallow, otherwise the girdle of the stone won't lock into the notch.
This is the part that takes a bit of practice.
This picture shows the notch that is cut to the correct depth. One can see the girdle of the stone will hook under the top lip of the notch.
All the claws are cut in this manner. The setting burr leaves a bit of swarf on each prong and this needs to be removed with a scriber or a flat graver.
Here the first stone is fitted into the claws.
Note that the table of the stone is about the same height as the top of the claws.
Here all three stones are fitted and are all the same height and also level.
At first this process can be a bit frustrating for a beginner, particularly getting them all the same height.
With practice though, it becomes easier and the bottom line in all jewelry making is practice, practice and more practice.
Now the claws are pushed over the stones.
First the one side and then the other side of a stone.
It is better to push a little form one side and then push a little from the other side and the a bit more on the first side.
This picture is posed showing the brass pusher and the angle of force.
Before force is applied, consciously check to see that your pusher is firmly on the claw and also at the correct angle, to avoid slipping off.
I make my own brass pushers out of 3 mm brass rod. It is good practice to make your own pushers, because it allows you to make a pusher for a particular job.
Because the pusher was made for that job, the work is finished off more quickly and neater, rather that struggling with a pusher that it to big or too small.
The claw pusher is fitted into a mushroom graver handle.
Afterwards the ring is polished in the normal manner.
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