Daily Wire Tip: Adding Snapsets to Bundles

By on October 21, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip

Question:

I am trying to attach a snapset with a gemstone in it to a wire bundle that has already been wrapped together. I was wondering if I should attach the snapset first with a wire to hold to the wire bundle, or if I should put the faceted gemstone in the snapset first and then put the wire through at the bottom of the snapset to attach it this way. Thanks so much for your response.

-Casey in Wilson, Texas

Answer:

As I don’t know what you are actually making, or what shape/size snapset you are incorporating, this answer has to be a bit generalized.

Some people put the snapset under the wire they wish to attach it to, and then put the gemstone in. To me, this is a good way for the stone to pop out of the setting as the rest of the design is made, or even after, as the design is worn. Instead, the WS Faculty and I prefer to set the stone into the snapset first, and then insert a square wire (or two, depending on the shape and size of the setting) between the prongs and under the stone. Now the set stone is ready to be either used as a wrap wire or as a construction wire, and added to the piece, by attaching it to the item via the wires under the stone.

How to Use Snapsets

 

 

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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17 Comments

  1. avatar

    Robin Lutsky

    October 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I set my stone first then pull through the wires. I’ve never had a stone come out of a setting.

    • avatar

      Judy

      April 3, 2012 at 7:29 am

      Hi, I just wanted to add along with Robin, I to have pulled wire through snap set.s and not lose a stone. I love working with the snap set’s in this setting.

      • avatar

        dalecgr

        April 4, 2012 at 7:01 am

        Hi Judy and Robin, yes usually you can just thread wire through the base of a snapset, under the stone. However for those who are new to using snapsets, I think it is important to mention that this process may not always work due to the depth of a stone and what gauge wire is used to thread under it. Therefore, in my opinion it is important to lock a stone into the snapset by wrapping wire just under the girdle/prongs.

  2. avatar

    JoAnn

    October 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I haven’t had the opportunity to make anything with a snapset yet. But I would think the snapset stone should go first, and the prongs tightened and then wirewrap it, otherwise it seems that the stone might fall out easily.

  3. avatar

    Jackie Winawer

    October 27, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Providing pictures of the tips of the day would be extremely helpful, especially to those of us that have never performed some of these tasks, e.g. snapset.

    Thanks,
    Jackie

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      October 27, 2010 at 9:49 am

      Hi Jackie, when I provide a link to an item that is discussed in a question, it is because the link has photos (usually more than one) of the subject matter : )

      • avatar

        Vicki Entrekin

        October 23, 2014 at 6:05 am

        Dale, I don’t see a picture here either. I know that usually there are pictures, but in this post, I’m not seeing anything. There is a space where one would be, but nothing is there. I would have found helpful also if you could try to repost it.

        I truly enjoy learning from you. Thank you!!

  4. avatar

    Sheila

    April 3, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I purchased from you 14mm faceted amethyst square CZs.
    What can you suggest for a setting, be it a pendant or ring?
    They are beautiful and I would like to set them.
    thanks again, Sheila

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      April 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

      Hi Sheila, a 14mm stone has many different possibilities for regular wire designs! Due to the larger size, a snapset is not necessary. Try a Prong Frame pendant using 24g wire, or a Prong Ring using 22g wire.

  5. avatar

    Mynx

    April 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I have truly enjoyed (and made great use of!) many of your tips! These snapsets are easy to use, but what about the earring snapsets? I bought a beautiful pair in sterling silver and ruined on of them already by attempting to snap the stone into the setting. I used a pair of pliers to hold the setting (since I couldn’t place it flat), but ended up bending one of the prongs. Suggestions please?!

    Thanks,
    Mynx

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      April 4, 2012 at 7:19 am

      Sorry to hear that Mynx. Perhaps using rolls of tape on your fingers will work? Although I have never used snapset earring findings, it seems that holding the setting in pliers while trying to set the stone would result in the stone becoming chipped (depends on what size and shape) as you would be holding the prongs in place when they are meant to be forced open enough to push the stone in and then snap around the stone’s girdle. If the prongs on the one setting aren’t seriously damaged but just bent, use fine/thin chain nose pliers to rearrange the bent prongs and give it another shot!

      • avatar

        Mynx

        April 5, 2012 at 5:50 am

        Guess I should have said I held the snapset stud earring with pliers by the stud portion with the back of the snapset flat against the side of the pliers. I used tape to hold the stone against my finger. I suppose I am just worried I will break off the over-bent out prong. It is a buttercup snapset. Should I try to bend the prong back with the stone already in place… or before I attempt to place it in the setting? I love to use the snapsets in the ring designs from your videos!

        • avatar

          dalecgr

          April 5, 2012 at 7:44 am

          Reshape the prongs before you put the stone in.

        • avatar

          Brenda Caudill

          October 21, 2014 at 9:53 am

          This may be too late to help, but I used my Drimel drill to make very small holes in a piece of wood, deep enough to insert the post of each snapset earring post. This held the earring in place so that I could insert the stone, using Dale’s tape method. It works like magic! Love those snapsets! Brenda

  6. avatar

    Jeanne

    June 25, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I look forward to your tips and patterns every day. Thank you for using a video or pictures; they work the best for my learning! I, like Mynx, have bent the prongs while trying to insert the stone. I have tried readjusting the prongs and reinserting to no avail. They are GF and SS so I’d hate to let them go. Should I try to reshape them again… will they still make the “snap” sound?
    Jeanne

  7. avatar

    Marylou

    October 17, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I also have the problem of trying to keep a stone from falling out of a snapset. I have tightened the prongs, but it still falls out. I use the corresponding stone and and the snapset but still have the same problem. I even tried a small mm of a stone. Does anyone have any other suggestions. I love to make the birthstone rings but it has been a disaster.
    Marylou

  8. avatar

    Sandra

    June 21, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Your technique is easy. Great tutorial. Thanks

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