Professional Jeweler Archive: Finishing and Setting a CAD/CAM Wedding Set

February 2005

Bench / Manufacturing Up Close

Finishing & Setting a CAD/CAM Wedding Set

Knowing tips and techniques using Foredom's tools and accessories contributes to higher levels of quality and proficiency for your shop

By Mark B. Mann

Customer Design Request
  • 14k white gold wedding set.
  • Center diamond: 6.5mm.
  • Side diamonds: 4.5mm each.
  • Wedding band diamonds: 2.5mm each.
  • Size: 6-1/2.
  • Set all diamonds in partial bezels.

Computer-aided design was used to develop three designs in multiple views to show the customer. After the customer selected the design, the wax was milled and the ring was cast, prefinished, set and polished. Foredom tools, equipment and accessories were used to finish and set the ring.

1. Three wedding set designs were developed using Matrix jewelry-design software. The customer saw renderings featuring five views of each of the three designs. This is one view of the wedding and engagement ring design the customer selected.
2. The waxes are milled using the Revo 540 multiple-axis mill. Time required to mill the two rings: less than six hours. The red arrow on the left indicates the wax that’s being milled; the one on the right points to the computer monitor showing the tool path the cutter is following.
3. This shows the two waxes after milling and preparation for casting. They’re being checked for fit and alignment.
4. The waxes are prepared for casting using the Foredom Wax Carver wax pen with the small scoop tip. In this photo, the sprue wax is attached to the heaviest part of the ring. The rings with sprues attached are weighed, then attached to the sprue base.

The Foredom wax pen has a small variable heat control that quickly heats the tip. The wax pen is connected to the control unit with an easily bendable and maneuverable lightweight cord.

5. The rings are cast using 14k palladium white gold. They are cut off of the sprues, filed, checked for size and alignment, and then prefinished.
6. After filing, a knife-edge pumice rubber wheel sharpens the detail in the scalloped area. Foredom’s new #20 quick change handpiece is used for prefinishing. (See additional information about this new tool at the conclusion of this article.)
7. The new Foredom Micro Motor and Micro Motor quick-release rotary handpiece are used for the final step in prefinishing. (See additional information about these tools at the conclusion of this article.)
8. To prepare the bearings for the 2.5mm diamonds, the Foredom #52 quick-release handpiece and #52 AllSet Adapter kit are used. The arrow on the left points to the guide that rests on the top of the partial bezel wall.

The left arrow shows the 2.4mm setting bur used to create each bearing. By using the AllSet, the bearings are created evenly, systematically and quickly.

9. The diamonds are seated in their bearings and checked for level. The ring is lightly heated, and red utility wax is melted into each bearing to lock the diamonds in place. The Foredom Micro Motor with the Stone Setting/Engraving Micro Motor Reciprocating Handpiece is used to hammer-set the bezel walls.

The technique includes hammering down on a 45&Mac251; angle on opposing sides of each diamond, then hammering at a 90&Mac251; angle directly from the top as shown.

10. The bearings for the three diamonds in the engagement ring, which the mill precut in the wax, are now recut by hand to make them more precise and slightly deeper using the Foredom #52 and the AllSet quick-change adapters with a 2.2mm 90&Mac251; bearing bur.
11. The Foredom Micro Motor Setting and Engraving Handpiece hammers the partial bezels inward and then down.
12. The rings are prefinished again then polished using Foredom’s Blue and White platinum polishing compounds. The white compound is 8000 grit, which produces a very high luster in the palladium white gold rings.

Tool Time

This project included two new Foredom products:

The No. 20 quick-release handpiece features a lever-type opening and closing device. It operates smoothly, is easy to use and fits nicely in your hand. It costs for $79, making it the most inexpensive quick-release handpiece on the market.

Foredom’s new Micro Motor Kit No. 1070 provides variable speed using dial or foot-pedal controls. It also has a forward and reverse control selector.

The kit comes with the No. 170 micro motor rotary quick-release handpiece equipped with a 3/32-in. collet (a 1/8-in. collet, No. HP4-117B, can be bought separately for $26), the control box, foot-pedal speed control (not pictured), handpiece cradle, extra motor brushes and collet wrenches. Suggested retail for the kit, $395. Items in the kit may be bought separately.

Photographs by Mark B. Mann
Visual Communications Inc. © 2005

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications