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Advice on cabochon machine


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?


I have had a Diamond Pacific Pixie for many years, I think that the
setup is great. I wish that I had purchased one with larger wheel,
than the Pixie. I know that they make one that you can set up with
bigger [6"] wheels and that would be an advantage to me. I also have
a couple other setups by other companies, but for long lasting power,
I choose Diamond Pacific.

Good Luck


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.


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? 

Good machines. I’ve had a Pixie for years. It has the advantage of
being small, but of course the wheels are smaller, too. It depends
on your use. If it’s occasional, the Pixie is good. If you’re in
production, the Genie or the Titan will do more work and the wheels
will last longer.

There are a number of good manufacturers. Graves has a new model
which looks good, but I haven’t seen one in action.

Another that comes to mind is Covington.

You definitely want a machine with six wheels and provision for a
polishing pad. Both the Diamond Pacific and the Graves meet that
criteria. I don’t have a Covington catalogue.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ

I would suggest that you start out with a machine that has 8" wheels
much easier to learn on. I have been at it for over 30 years and
would also recommend taking classes from someone will save you a lot
of time knowing some of the shortcuts etc.

My main machine is a highland park don’t know if it is still

Dwaine Ferguson

Hello Lee

Firstly, you’re not looking for a cabochon machine; you’re looking
for a lapidary machine to cut cabs.

There is such a thing as a cabochon machine that is semi-automated
for production cut cabs.

Before you buy anything try to find a lapidary club and get some
info. It will save you lots of grief.


We have a Genie and are very happy with it. Michele feels it is a
good middle ground between the Pixie, which is a good hobbyist
machine and the Titan which uses 8 inch wheels and id a big brute of
a machine. LOL

We were fortunate in as much Michele had a chance to try out the
larger machine and found she liked it for some operations but overall
preferred the curvature of the 6 inch wheel. (LOL I’m sure that a lot
of that is only a question of one is most comfortable with the one
that you use all the time.)

That being said we have a 8 inch 4 wheel Beaver arbor with 8 inch
wheels on it. That unit is used mainly for polishing it has a 50,000
and a 100,000 wheel on one side with 2 expando rubber drums with
leather belts on the other.


Where can you buy a semi automatic cabochon machine?


Where can you buy a semi automatic cabochon machine? 

Google! I saw a machine in Tucson several years ago, but didn’t pay
particular attention since I do mainly one offs in stone. Sorry I
couldn’t be more helpful.


I have noticed lately some interest in cutting stone and lapidary
machines. This will explain some basics on cabbing and equipment etc.

These sites will show just a few of the different models on the
market, Graves also makes some etc. I would suggest a thorough web
search and book mark the sites. But this will give an idea.

The very fist things I would also do is visit these sites.

This you may wish to join, and ask questions on the list, you will
get a variety of opinions, and who knows, a perfectly good used
machine for sale could shake loose.

This is how to find a club in your area. In joining one, you may
also find a place where can go and cut stone, silversmith etc. all
without needing equipment. Most will have some connection to a class,
a few, not many, also teach faceting. Moreover a best place to get
good used equipment, when available is from club members and rock

Lastly I will repeat a bit of advice, that is, shop around. I will
use this as only an example. You may think that prices would not vary
too much of some piece of equipment, this is hardly the case. This is
for a Prestolite torch. (If ever buying a torch also make sure you
get the model with all the tips for that torch also. Sometimes they
will have a model that comes with one only; you will need the others,
unless you are just going to use lead solder or some such.)

Now I do not know about you but I do not consider $131 as exactly


Here is one site,, and, there is a 3rd, but I can’t
find it.


I remember reading an old magazine article, an owner of a mine got
hold of a used German cabochon machine, it would produce, I think it
said, up to 20 20-something by what ever cabs in 1 1/2 minutes.
(Final polish is by tumbler.) This was all I could find; it wasn’t

I wanted to find something not made in India, as two links were, the
first is in “Rolls-Royce class.”

Highland Park, now defunct made a semi automatic cabochon machine.
You may wish to try this also, it is by snail mail only. (Not
everything is on the web, nor can you always find a company address
listed on the web, I did find this. I am sure there are many others
out there. Some libraries have manufacturer’s catalogs of products,
that is the hard way to do it, but complete.)

Maxant Industries
P.O. Box 454, Dept. CDT
Ayer, MA 01432
(508) 772-057

Lapidary equipment and supplies - saws (4" to 16"), grinders,
sanders, polishers, automatic cabochon maker, others.


If you are looking for an automatic or semi-automatic cabbing
machine you might want to contact Bill Ritter of Cutting Edge
Solutions in California. No commercial connection, a good guy and
friend. He’s in Los Angeles.

His web site is

Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada