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Cabbing equipment

Ok all you cabbers out there in cyberland. I am presently in the
market for a new cab machine (my old Highland Park combo unit is on
its last leg). I am leaning towards getting a Genie, however, I have
heard from several other lapidaries that the wheels on the Genie
don’t last very long. I cut about 150-200 stones a month from a wide
variety of materials. In your humble, but yet expert opinions, what
is your take on the Genie? Can it handle it, or will I be replacing
wheels every 2-3 months?

I have already posted this same question with the Gem & Lapidary
Newsletter and a few other place as well. I would like to get some
feedback from the people who use these machines instead of from
somebody trying to sell me one who has never cut a rock in their

Thank you in advance,
Rick Stutt

We’ve had our Genie for a about a year, and only recently we had to
replace the 1200 wheel. We’ve used it to cut opal, agate, glass
(carnival & venitian), marble, lapis, quartz – you name it. We
probably cut at least as many as you do a month. These are well-built,
no hassle machines. Easy to use, pre-balanced, easy to clean. The
Genie, in my book, is your best bet.


Rick, I have used the wheels quite extensively. They are the best on
the market, but they do not last. Estimated stones per wheel is
around 200. 600 grit and finer wheel wear out the quickest. This is
probably the best finishing system for hard to polish stones.
Undercutting is minimized by the wheel bonding and the stones are
quickly finished. If you cut agates and jaspers you will probably
be replacing wheel every couple of months.

Gerry Galarneau

Hi, if you do decide you have to go with a bonded diamond machine
like the genie you might be wise to move up to the Titan. I think you
would get much better life out of the wheels. I’ve been at this for
over 25yrs now (for a living such as it is) and I still use 8" wheels
on a poly arbor mounted upsidedown. There is such a wide range of
belts available for the 8" drum that you can do most anything with
it. I use the gold belts from crystalite alot and they last even with
hard use. About the only time I wish I had a bonded diamond wheel
machine is when I am cutting star sapphires.


Why is this machine on its last leg ? You can replace the bearings,
the shaft, and the wheels. Most are still available from the company
which bought out Highland Park. ( Diamond Pacific, I believe) Is Your
machine a 6" or 8" ? The Shaft can be purchased or fabricated by any
machinest and at a reasonable price. The Bearings are a stock item at
most larger bearing supply houses. And while You have the shaft out,
replace the v belt as well.

If you do not have the experience or equipment to do this work, find
an experienced maintaince mechanic or Millwright to do the work and
swap out work or pay them.

If You are intrested give me a reply off list and I will tell what You
need to know, as I have a Highland Park combo machine my self and I
am a retired Millwright ( 30 yr.) I enjoy Lapidary and Photography as
well as the jewelry arts. There are alternatives, though to buying a
Genie ( I have one as well)

If You are determined to get a new machine, let me know how much You
want for the remains of Your Highland Park machine and I will talk
about purchasing it from You for use as spare parts.

I am glad for the oportunity to put back into this forum just a
little of what I recieve from it.

ROBB - Retired Old Baby Boomer

imho: It depends on how well you cut. My wheels have torn up only
when I goofed and put a sharp edge into it. My first genie cost
$600, so you know I’ve been using them a fairly longish time. I love
mine, which is something I’ve heard many people say.

If you are going to cut that many stones, however, you might be
happier with a Titan (same but 8in model)

good luck (no, you can’t buy mine)

Robb, I think you hit the nail on the head about rehabbing machinery.
Our Gem and Mineral Society here in Dania Beach, FL received a
truckload of old (and I mean old) lap/facet/jewelry making equipment
last year, much of which had sat out in the FL weather for 5 or 6
years, some even partially buried in the ground. We have Highland Park,
Frantom, Graves, Raytech, …you name it we got it. Must of it are
early models that have been out of production for years. We have been
able to equip our entire shop with this “junk”. There is not one
piece we have not been able to overhaul and put back in service. It
seems that the older the piece of equipment, the better it was built.
Faceting machines had the cases completely eaten away by termites…we
built new ones. Shafts all rusty, we file and sand them down, rusted
nuts and bolts…replace them, cases all corroded, use steel wool and
brushes- then paint. Of course, we have to replace an Si wheel now and
then or put new belts on but even diamond wheels that have some rust
here and there still cut well. I say, either fix it yourself or get
someone to do it for you. If you can’t find anyone else to do it
contact the Regards from Don at The Charles Belle
Studio where simple elegance IS fine jewelry!