Do you love tools that make your work at the bench a little easier?
We use a lot of tube-set faceted gemstones in the jewelry we make and in the classes we teach. We decided to create a set of the most-used sizes of punches for our students – and now we're bringing them to you.
Here's how simple it is: Working on a steel bench block or in a steel work holder, put a stone in the tube setting, place the cupped end of the punch on top, strike firmly with a hammer, and your stone is set. All at once, the setting is perfectly smoothed around the girdle of the stone, holding it in place. No additional burnishing necessary!
The set includes five cup sizes to fit common stone/setting sizes from 2 to 8mm. We send a guide to tell you which punch to use with which size stone (the guide is pictured in the fourth photo above).
The punches were designed for setting round faceted gemstones, but they will also work with smooth-domed round cabs if the dome is low enough.* Works great for bezel cups in these sizes too.
Our shop also carries sterling silver tube settings as well as a selection of gemstones to set in them. These settings have the seat already cut in them so they're ready to hold a calibrated gemstone in the same size (e.g., buy a 3.5mm setting to fit a calibrated 3.5mm gemstone). You may find that some stones don't fit perfectly; the setting will need to be enlarged a tiny bit with a setting bur. If you're totally new to tube setting in general, you may want to take a class or learn from some online videos about the process so you become familiar with how to properly seat the stone in the setting.
Our tool set is handmade the old-fashioned way: The tools are tempered and hardened steel, each one shaped and polished by our terrific tool & welding shop partner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We make the painted pine bases ourselves in our home studio, which also is home to our jewelry-making business, Michael Thee Studio.
We wanted to give you some fun colors for storing your new tool set, so use the pull-down menu to choose a painted wood base in Blue Topaz, Citron, Green Turquoise, or Ruby (colors are shown from front to back in the primary photo above). Michael's tip: Store the punches with the cupped ends down to keep out dirt and dust, leaving them perfectly smooth so they won't mar your metal.
Watch a super-short video on how to use SmoothSet:
Scroll through the images until you see the orange "Play" icon.
Standard shipping is via first-class mail in a padded envelope. Your tool set can ship USPS Priority Mail service in a sturdy box to anywhere in the U.S. for $7.95 (choose Priority Mail option at checkout). You'll be able to add other small items for no additional charge, and I'll refund any shipping overcharges calculated by Etsy. If you don't change the shipping option, it will default to standard first class.
Please visit our Etsy jewelry shop too: www.etsy.com/shop/MichaelTheeStudio
*Some high-dome stones can shatter because the cup doesn't have enough clearance and it hits the top of the stone. If you're in doubt about whether the dome is too high, approach the setting carefully and use the punch as a hand tool instead of striking it with the small mallet: Place the punch at an angle over the stone in the setting and use hand pressure only, rotating the punch to burnish the stone into place.
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