After drilling the holes, turn the jewelry over and clean up the back of the plate. If the plate is thin, all you can do is scrape away any burs and polish with a bristle brush. If the plate is thick enough, you need to cut away some of the metal surrounding the holes. These cuts are called azures.
The easiest method to cut an azure is to taper the hole using a bud or cone bur. Then polish the taper with a hard felt point in your flex-shaft.
On finer jewelry, you will want to cut a square or triangle shaped azure. The results look like bright cutting on the backside of the jewelry. To begin, cut a tapered hole with a bud bur. Then, using a hart bur held sideways cut your corners in each hole. Next, use a small wheel bur to clean away the metal between the corners. Then use a polished flat graver to clean up and polish your cuts.
Before bead setting stones, properly measure the thickness of your metal. At a minimum, the metal should be as thick as the distance between the girdle and the culet. If the metal is too thin, you will not have enough metal to get a good bead.
If the metal is particularly thin, use a setting bur that is slightly dull. Then, rather than cutting the metal away cleanly, it will push some of the metal down. This metal will bulge down below the plate supporting the stone.
A mistake many beginning jewelers make when Bead Setting is to cut the seat too shallow, not allowing them to form adequate beads to hold the stones. On the other hand, be careful when cutting that you do not cut all the way through the metal. As a general rule, cut the seat deep enough that the table of the stone will set just below the plate surface.
Use a hart bur or knife-edge bur to rough out bright cutting, then clean up and polish with a graver. This will save time doing the bright cut and time spent sharpening gravers. Do the cutting with the bur before you set the diamond, or be very careful around the diamond edge.
When Bead Setting, use a small tray or tin to lay the stones in while you are setting. Fill the bottom of the tin with wax, and with the point of a tweezers, draw the shape of the metal plate. The stones can then be placed in this tray in the same position as on the jewelry. Then, when setting them, they will fit the same way you laid them out.
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When bead or pave setting, cut the seat with a setting bur one size smaller than the stone. By using a setting bur, it is easier to see how deep the stone will set and to keep them even. Then, take a hart bur the size of the stone and cut the seats. By using a hart bur, the beads are undercut slightly. When the stones are in place, the metal is already over them and you do not need to move the metal as far to tighten them.
Use an annealed beading tool, when bead setting colored stones. You will have to reshape the tip often; however, the softer tool will not abrade the stone as easily if you happen to rub against it while forming the bead.