Professional Jeweler Archive: A New Level of Power and Performance

April 2003

Professional Bench/Tool Tips


A New Level of Power & Performance

Power, high torque and performance from ForedomÕs new TX Flex Shaft facilitate the multiple prefinishing and finishing steps for this cast ring and stone-setting process


When manufacturing and repairing jewelry, rotary equipment is essential. Nothing is more frustrating or potentially damaging than equipment that offers less than smooth, reliable performance. The new TX flex shaft from Foredom®, used in this demonstration, results in greater efficiency, consistency and valuable time savings.

1. This 14k yellow gold men’s ring casting will be prefinished, the platinum top soldered and the ring finished. The final step will be bead and bright-cut setting of a 6.5mm gemstone.
2. First, prefinish the inside of the ring using the TX flex shaft, Foredom’s #52 quick change handpiece and 3M Trizact bands. Round the ring on the mandrel and complete the prefinishing by cross filing and cross sanding.
3. Tack-weld the top onto the ring in the precise position, then torch-solder it using easy flowing solder. File the top to fit the dimensions of the ring. Using dividers, locate and mark the center of the top plate. With an automatic center punch, create a small divot at the center mark.
4. With the ring secured in a ring clamp, drill a pilot hole in the top using the No. 30 handpiece and lubricated standard twist drill. With platinum, a moderate speed with constant torque is required.
5. Enlarge the diameter of the pilot hole using a lubricated reamer bur. Constantly check while burring to make sure your enlarged hole is centered in the plate. Use moderate speed with constant torque.
6. The ring is now ready for the final steps of the setting procedure.
7. Using a lubricated tapered cone bur, enlarge the top of the plate.
8. Prepare the bearing for the gemstone by using a 6.4mm or slightly smaller lubricated high-speed steel setting bur. Use a moderate speed when burring and constantly check for depth and level.
9. Place the gemstone in its bearing. The top of its table should be even with or slightly higher than the surface of the platinum top. All that’s left is the bead and bright graver work.
10. The TX delivered smooth even speed for prefinishing and finishing, constant torque during the stone-setting procedure and the power necessary to complete the job.
11. The Foredom TX flex shaft is ideal for use with the Foredom model DP 30 drill press. The TX has 1/3 HP, the most power of any Foredom flex shaft unit. The motor is made with advanced rare earth magnets, giving it more constant and reliable torque at all speeds. When in use, the TX has no hesitation, roughness or vigorous bouncing when stone setting, wax carving, prefinishing, polishing and more. The TX flex shaft must be used with the special foot or dial speed controls sold with it. A switch for reversing the motor’s operational direction is available from Foredom.

For questions related to this process, contact Mark B. Mann at markbmann@aol.com.

This installment is sponsored by Foredom, Bethel, CT. For information on Foredom products or a list of distributors, contact Michael Zagielski at (203) 792-8622, sales@foredom.com.

– by Mark B. Mann

Photographs by Mark B. Mann
©2003 Visual Communications

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications