Baguette Channel Setting

Channel setting is the most common style of setting baguettes. With this setting, baguettes can be set in various ways. On this page I have just mentioned about Double Undercut technique, which involves undercutting seats in both metal walls of channel.

Channel Baguette Setting

How to make Baguette Channel Setting?

Baguettes have four corners and a deep pavilion, incorporating step cut style pattern. Corners of baguettes are quite delicate and very prone to chipping or breaking, therefore should be handled very carefully.

So, it's crucial that before starting with the setting procedure, baguettes should to be studied in detail, because this makes the setting process easy and safe.

  • Check all four corners are intact and stone is not damaged.
  • Are there any inclusions in the corners or setting areas?
  • Is the shape of the girdles and overall baguette uniform on all four sides?

Following are the usual steps that are involved in setting process of baguettes in channel:

  • Layout
  • Seat Cutting Process
  • Stone Setting

Layout

Preparing layout is essential as it helps in anticipating and avoiding problems. Before setting the baguettes, you must know the exact location where the stone has to be set.

  • Lay the stones in table-down position, wherever you want to set them. This ensures that each diamond is perfectly placed and evenly spaced. Arrange the baguettes in order of their girdle thickness and table height. Thickest baguette should be placed in the middle and thinnest at the edges.

Channel Baguette Layout

Baguettes Layout

  • Compare the baguettes length with the width of metal channel walls. The diamonds should overlap about one-third of the walls thickness.
  • There should be a slight gap between each stones in the layout position (table down). This gap will cover up when you turn the diamonds in the set position (table up). During layout step, you should keep in mind that deeper the diamonds are set into the mounting, they will get closer.
  • When the diamonds are in layout position, their center-line on both sides of the outside of the ring is marked with a sharp tool. After marking, diamonds are removed, cleaned and kept in proper order.

Seat Cutting Process

Seat cutting is a slow, step-by-step process and requires patience. Stones are set into seats individually grooved into the opposite parallel walls. The seats must be deep enough so that the table of each stone is in same level as the top of the channel walls.

  • You can use a pair of dividers to transfer and mark the guidelines of the depth of the baguettes (from the bottom of the girdle to the table) along the inside of the channel walls.
Channel Baguette Measurement

Depth Measurement of Baguettes

  • It’s important that diamond fits well into the seat as per its girdle’s thickness. There should not be any gap visible from the top. Start cutting seat with a 90 degree bearing bur, cutting one seat at a time. Proceed along the guideline marked before.
Channel Baguette Seat Cutting

Seat Cutting

  • Remember to provide a relief cut at each corner. This provides safety to corners of the baguette by not allowing it to touch the metal. If there is metal touching any of the four corners of the baguettes, the corners of the stone might get chip or break off. So, remove metal at the same angle as the pavilion of the baguette.
Channel Baguette Relief Angle

Relief Angle

  • Now start cutting the groove where the baguettes will be finally placed. Check that baguettes fit in the groove you’ve already cut. If diamonds don’t fit comfortably and are not at required depth then some changes would be required using appropriate tools.
  • Start placing each diamonds individually, keeping in mind the difference in dimensions of each baguettes namely; difference in girdle thickness, pavilion depths and crown height. Place the first diamond, wax it in place and then start with other diamond.
Channel Baguette Placement

Baguettes' Placement in Channel

Before proceeding further, confirm following:

  • Tables of all baguettes in row are even and at same level.
  • There are no gap between baguettes.
  • Baguettes don’t overlap each other. Corners of baguettes are very delicate, if they are too close and overlapping each other then corners will chip-off or break.
  • The baguettes fit tightly into the channel and a relief cut at each corner has been provided.

Stone Setting

Now is the time to finally set the baguettes.

  • To start with, first angle the top of the channels walls away from baguettes. Angled channel walls put less pressure directly on baguettes during mounting.
  • Now, tap and bend the channel walls downward on to the baguettes to secure the stones in place. Work on the opposite side too and remember to bend only small amount of metal at a time.
  • Any hurry at this stage can cause damage to baguettes and will spoil your work done so far. Go back and forth till grip of channel on all baguettes is tight and diamonds are secure. Do remember to check stones are uniformly covered by channel wall.
  • You need to remove the wax by either steam or ultrasonic cleaning. After removing wax, stones might become loose. So, re-tightening is required.

Common Flaws of Baguette Channel Setting

Walls too Close or too Far Apart

If the opposite channel walls are too close then they will cover up most of the diamonds top view. If more than 15% of the stone’s length is covered, diamond will appear smaller and may get damaged while setting. If the opposite walls are too far apart then diamonds may get loose and fall.

Gaps between Baguettes and Channel Wall

If there are any visible gaps between stones and metal channel wall, then it means there is error in workmanship. Care must be taken while seat cutting and length of baguettes must be measured accurately. Any carelessness will lead to loosening of stones.

Channel Baguette Different Lengths

Baguettes set at different Length

Diamonds set at Different Height

If the diamonds to be set are of different heights then seats in the metal channel walls should be cut accordingly. If the diamonds are set at different height then it is not termed as good workmanship.

Channel Baguette Different Heights

Baguettes set at different Height

Improper Spacing between Diamonds

There should be even spacing between each diamonds in row. If there is overlapping of baguettes they don’t look good and stones will damage with daily wear and tear.

Channel Baguette Overlapping

Overlapping Baguettes

Diamond's Table and Channel Wall at not Same Level

The table of diamonds set should be in same level as top of channel wall.

Channel Baguette Improper Diamond Heights

Baguettes Table and Channel Wall not at same level

Repairing of Channel Set Baguettes

Take a good care of your channel set rings, as replacing a broken or lost baguette is a difficult task even for a skilled jeweler. Also, your ring's original setting style will determine whether it can be repaired or not.

To repair, the damaged channel edge is raised to allow a new baguette to be placed into the channel. A new seat is cut and then channel is given finishing touch to hold the replaced baguette.

Replacement is comparatively easier if the existing baguette is removed in intact manner and its exact dimensions is measured. If the stone is broken or missing, it becomes a tedious task to find the exact matching stone as per the space available. It takes series of trial and error to find the suitable stone that fits with other existing stones.

Suppose, if more repairing work is needed then the channel is open up and top of the channel is rebuilt and then overall finishing is done. If you are really lucky, then a new baguette will fit perfectly and fixed in place in the space left by old baguette.

But, all this will require a qualified jewelry expert who is skilled in channel setting to fix it.

Buyer's Checklist for Baguette Channel Setting

Baguette Channel Setting Checklist

  • A - Craftsmanship is not perfect if baguettes are set at different height. As mentioned earlier baguettes to be set should be of same overall height.
  • B - Each baguette is set securely and there is no movement in set baguettes.
  • C - There should not be any visible gaps between baguettes. Stones must be evenly placed without any overlapping.
  • D - You should also check side view of the ring before buying, and ensure baguettes seat justify with proportion of diamond.
  • E - Channel wall is securely holding the diamond. Diamond should not be loose. If so, you can ask the jeweler to tighten the setting before buying.
  • F - The width of the metal channel holding the baguettes should be uniform, smooth and dent or scratch free. Metal rims should be wide enough to hold the baguettes properly without covering most of the crown area of baguettes.
  • G - As a guideline, you can check that only 10% to 15% of the baguettes total length is covered by the metal channel. The top of the table of baguettes should be at same level as top of the channel wall.
  • H - Corners of baguettes are delicate and they might get damaged while setting. So check for it, if any stone is damaged, ask the jeweler to replace it.

Return from Baguette Channel Setting to Channel Setting page

Return from Baguette Channel Setting to Diamond Jewelry Homepage



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