I'm thinking of buying a cabochon machine. Can you give me some
advice on what to buy? I'm looking at the Diamond Pacific Genie
and Pixie. What do you think of them? And are there are brands out
there I should be looking at?
As primarily a lapidary, I would suggest you go find a rock club and
play with their machines first and do a few classes. Not only will
you have a chance to try several different types but you can learn
from people who have a preference for each, and the pros/cons of
each. I use a Covington 8" Combo unit and I have modified it by
adding an extra sanding drum. I have used several different types
none of which were the models you are looking at. My reason for
selecting the Covington unit was flexibility, I can get both drum and
flat lap usage from the same machine, not that you wouldn't from the
machines you are looking at, but even with the additional room
provided by the Covington, I still get my knuckles into the thing on
I like the 8" wheels, but not the expense when it is time for
replacement of the drums. I also like the pan drains on the Covington
over the water reuse used by the Diamond Pacific units. Since I have
changed to diamond, cross contamination may no longer be an issue
that carbide was. I changed to diamond on the grinding wheels just
because it lasted so much better and I no longer have to dress the
wheels, I have just recently changed from carbide to diamond on the
sanding belts and don't have enough usage on them to make a
recommendation yet. The only thing I have noticed so far was the
smell on first use, it went a way in a day or so, but I was
surprised by it none the less, it smelled like electrical fire to me.
I notice you didn't mention the Diamond Pacific Titan, if it was due
to size, then the Covington is probably not for you, both are large
machines but the Covington is less expensive even upgrading to
Anyhow, that is my two cents on machines.
There is a lot I didn't say in this, but if you want greater detail
you can email me off line and I would be glad to share what I have
learned on the issue of working stones.