As stone setters, we can’t get enough of tips and tricks that increase our efficiency and productivity—not to mention make our work easier! Here are a few we use at Stuller and hope you find them useful too.


  • Tip #1: Shorten a few stone setting burs by about a half inch with a separating disc, especially any burs used for channel setting like 90° or 70°  burs. Having the head of the bur close to the hand piece will give you a little more control, which allows for clean seats.


  • Tip #2: Large ball/round burs can be modified to make great cabochon setting burs. Simply grind the top half of the burr off. To do this, use your bench grinder and quench the bur in water every few seconds to avoid overheating. One idea is to set up three like this, in these sizes: 2.5mm, 4mm , and 6mm.


  • Tip #3: When a job requires a hole in a stone to be bored out a little, such as a briolette, Masonic stone or a pearl, try diamond points (19-6001) or (19-6002). These, obviously, will work on anything except diamonds.


  • Tip #4: Get a Diamond Impregnated Stone Wheel! Specifically item number 28-6005. With the rise in popularity of tungsten-carbide and titanium rings, every jeweler should have at least one of these wheels on hand for emergency purposes. At Stuller, in 2006, we had our own R&D department run some tests for us. The best method we came up with to remove one of these rings was using this knife-edge, diamond-impregnated wheel, with a thin piece of stock inserted between the ring and the finger. One cut through the ring on the top of the finger with the stock as the protective barrier, the ring separates and falls apart. The wheel is expensive, but that won’t matter much if a customer needs your help. We also carry the Tungsten Ring Cracker Kit (58-2440), which offers a quick and affordable solution for stuck tungsten and ceramic rings.


  • Tip #5: Increase efficiency when working with an inside sand ring: Use a 1" drum arbor (43-1267) with a 1/2" coarse-grit sanding band on half and a 1/2" fine grit on the other half. Doing this cuts down on steps and improves your speed instantly.

[Adapted from the March 2007 Stuller Standard]