Professional Jeweler Archive: Precutting Proficiency

November 2001

Professional Bench/The Path to Proficiency

Precutting Proficiency

Save time by doing some preliminary work on models before making the molds

The shop at Underwood’s Fine Jewelers in Fayetteville, AR, manufactures a portion of the store’s inventory. One regular seller is an 18k yellow gold ring with bead- and bright-cut-set Ideal-cut melee diamonds. Here’s how Tom Weishaar prepared the model to save time in the manufacturing, setting and finishing processes.

Above is a wax pattern replica. Before injecting wax, Weishaar:

  • Made the original model.
  • Determined how the diamonds will be set into the cast reproductions, an intricate and time-consuming task.
  • Used gravers to precut the bead- and bright-cut arrangement. (Note: Because of potential shrinkage of the wax and resulting casting, Weishaar spaced the stones a bit farther apart and prepared slightly larger beads.)
  • Made a rubber mold of the model.
  • Injected wax into the mold to obtain the wax pattern replica as shown in the photo.
  • Using the lost-wax process, cast reproductions of the model in 18k yellow gold.
This photo shows the rough casting after it was magnetically finished. (See future installments of Tool Tips for more on magnetic finishing.) At this stage, Weishaar:
  • Redrilled to true the holes that will be below each diamond.
  • Burred seats for the diamonds.
  • Recut the thread lines, bead definition and bright cuts.
  • Preset the diamonds.
  • Performed the final forming of the beads and final setting.
The finished ring. By precutting the model, Weishaar has saved time. The same size diamonds will be used each time the ring is reproduced.

Bead- and bright-cut setting is a requirement for the third and fourth levels of JA’s Bench Jeweler Certification program. For more information about becoming certified, visit or call (800) 223-0673.

Photographs courtesy of Underwood’s Fine Jewelers
©2001 Jewelers of America Inc.

– Mark B. Mann, Director of Trade Programs, Jewelers of America

Featured application by Tom Weishaar, JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler™ and Shop Manager, Underwood’s FIne Jewelry, Fayetteville, AR

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications