Gemstone Jewelry -- 10 Minute Jewelry Making Projects Page 18

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More Bling for Less Cha-Ching™ CZ & Gemstone Jewelry Making Projects
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Gemstones & Jewelry Making Findings          Gemstone Jewelry Making Terminology          View our Gemstone Jewelry Kits

Gemstone Setting Pliers Used for Making JewelryUsing Gemstone Setting Pliers to Set Gemstones

Gemstone Setting Pliers Used for Making Gemstone JewelryOur WigJig Stone Setting Pliers are shown at right.  These pliers have one long jaw with a smooth inner face and one short jaw with a groove carved lengthwise in the face.  In the picture at left, you can view the groove in the shorter jaw of the pliers.  This groove is used to help hold one side of your setting, while the long jaw is used to bend the opposite prong in the setting into its final position.

Setting Larger Gemstones to Make Gemstone JewelryIn setting any gemstone, you need to begin as we described in page 15 with first cleaning out the notches in the setting with a file.  For those settings that do not have notches, you will need to use your file to create notches.  The notches should be about 1/16" to 3/32" from the end of each prong.  The second step is to bend each prong in slightly using your bent chain nose pliers so that they will grip the gemstone.  Setting Larger Germstones Jewelry Making ProjectSee the picture below-right to see how the prongs need to be bent so that they will tightly grip the gemstone once the two are pressed together.  Finally you are ready to push the setting down onto the gemstone. 

Gemstone in Position for Making Gemstone JewelryWhen the gemstone is in the position shown at left, held relatively snugly by the prongs of the setting, you are ready to begin using the gemstone setting pliers.  In the two pictures shown below, we show how you would grip two different settings in the jaws of these pliers.  In these pictures you should be able to view that the setting is aligned on one side with the length of a prong resting adjacent to the short jaw of the pliers.  On the opposite side of the setting, the long jaw is aligned with the top of the opposite prong.  By squeezing the jaws of the pliers firmly, the pressure will cause the tip of the opposite prong to be bent in toward the center of the gemstone.  Doing this on all 4 or 6 prongs of your setting, one at a time will cause the tips of the prongs to be bent inward thereby griping the gemstone snugly.  (With snap fit type of findings you will need to squeeze very, very gently or the setting may be damaged.) 

Gemstone Setting Pliers

Setting GemstonesFor larger gemstones you may find that even after bending all the prongs in toward the center that the stone still isn't held as firmly as you would like.  In those cases the final technique to finish setting the gemstone is the same technique that we used to tighten Tiffany style rings.  For this technique you use your bent chain nose pliers and squeeze the two prongs on the same side toward one another very slightly.  Then you would squeeze the opposite two prongs toward one another.  If you were to number the prongs in a 4 prong setting in a clockwise order you would start by squeezing prongs 1 and 2 together then you would squeeze prongs 3 and 4 together.  To finish this technique, you would then squeeze prongs 1 and 4 together and then prongs 2 and 3, thereby returning all the prongs to their original, symmetrical positions.  Doing this will tighten the gemstone in the setting. 

Like every skill that must be learned.  You will find that you get better at doing this with practice. 

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More Bling for Less Cha-Ching™ CZ & Gemstone Jewelry Making Projects
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Jewelry Making Techniques         Beginner's Jewelry Making Instructions          Gemstone Terminology

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Last modified: January 19, 2010.