Dear Jim, Jamb peg facet machines are still widely prevalent
throughout the world. They are, indeed, low tech., but , used by a
skilled cutter can do just as good a job as our so-called high tech.
machines. Moreover, a skilled jamb peg cutter can cut circles around
the high tech cutters…it can be a much faster method. In my
view a skilled jamb peg cutter is truly an artist because he does
not use a diagram and has no metric guides. He must know which hole
to “jamb his peg into” and this skill comes only with years of
experience and skill. A modern cutter, on the other hand, might be
compared to a paint by the numbers artist. If you follow the cutting
diagram and use the right settings on the index head aboiut the only
way you can screw up is to under or over cut the facet. I guess the
analogy might be LOW TECH/ HIGH SKILL, HIGH TECH/LOW SKILL. This is
not to say that it does not take skill to use a modern faceting
machine; simply that it takes MORE skill to get a good product from
a jamb peg machine.
When it comes to comparing levels of technology, we mustn’t forget
that in most all technologies there is a strong element of forced
obsolescence involved. Very often the gizmo that we have been using
is supplanted with one that does not do anything better than the old
one. One example is the microwave oven; an oven with a wind up timer
does a perfectly good job, but we have come to accept that an
electronic controls component is indispensable…nonsense! In
other cases a so-called " new and improved " gizmo is the same
device as the old , but has an altered appearance…one that is
more stylish. So what do you do ? You throw away the perfectly
functional old gizmo and buy a new one that has a better image with
the same function.
Simplicity has its virtues…you’ll find that out the first time
that your automobile computer crashes !
Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.