This is the calculation I learned to determine how deep you should make a bezel setting: measure the distance of your stone between girdle and culet + 1mm extra allowance for the stone to drop in.
Measuring the distance between girdle and culet is just too complicated for me.
How do you know you're actually lined up with the culet? Waay too much room for error. I quickly changed it to distance between table and culet + 1mm. Much easier!
And now I’ve simplified it even more. I lay the stone table side down on my bench and place different wax thicknesses behind it. Then I choose the most suitable one.
Wax thinner than the stone is an immediate no.
Wax much thicker than the stone, immediate no as well. Too much filing. Unless of course I'm planning to do something with all that wax at the back.
I choose a wax that is a little thicker than the stone. That way I can still file and shape the wax, and the stone won’t poke through the back once it’s set!
In the grand scheme of things, dividing by 2 is not that difficult. Still, when I want to measure the centre line of something, I mark from both directions. I don’t even take a measurement from a ruler, I just guess a distance on my dividers that seems right.
Then I mark a small section to check if the lines are overlapping.
If the lines are far apart, I adjust the dividers and try again.
When the lines overlap I know I have the centre line.
Even though I know I have the correct measurement now, I still mark from both directions.
If the lines overlap the entire length, I know that the piece is the same measurement all the way through.
But if the lines overlap part of the way and then move apart, I know that my piece is not the same measurement all the way through and maybe needs some work before I continue!
Time to cut the excess wax away from this ring to 2mm. I could measure how thick it is now and - 2, measure that on my dividers and mark. Or I can mark what I already know!
I measure 2mm on my dividers and mark a small line using the inside of the ring size as my guide.
Then I use the top as my guide and match my dividers to the mark I just made. Now I can mark the entire section and cut the excess away.
Matching dividers is such a quick way to remove calculations from your work. Start with what you know and mark it. Match your dividers and mark the rest. No need to even know what the measurement is on your dividers!
You can remove a lot of calculations by just doing what you think looks good. I don’t decide and calculate beforehand how much to taper a ring, if the court shape and comfort fit should be equal distance, if an angle should be steep or gradual. I decide in the moment what I think looks good!
The easiest way to do this is by marking several options and choosing the version you like best.
You can mark with pen so you can easily rub away the version you don’t like.
Only mark a small section with the different options before marking the entire thing.
As long as you think it looks good and it’s comfortable to wear, you can’t go wrong!
Comment below and let me know if these tips were helpful!