Lapidary machine

I would like some opinions of a lapidary machine I am
considering for purchase. At a recent Gem show I looked at a 6"
All You Need from Hi Tech Diamond products. It is a small
machine with a 1/4 HP ball bearing DC with 115 VAC converter,
direct drive, 12"square and high and weighs 12 pounds with
accessories which are 4 discs, a polish pad and disc backing
plates. The price is $329. I give all this because I
haven’t any experience with a lapidary machine. I don’t intend
to do much lapidary work other than reducing the height of
stones and pearls, or doing a little polishing. Does this
machine seem appropriate for my needs at the present time? Any
discussion will be much appreciated. Susan Ronan in always
beautiful Coronado, California.

I have the same machine and have been using it for about 4 years
now. $325 seems a little high. I got mine for about $275 as a
demonstrtor at the end of a big gem show. The only thing that I
can’t do is concave curves.

Have fun!

Hi: I have one of these units and l find it does an acceptable
job. I made a holder and use it to hold stones so l can polish a
facet. I have also hand faceted on this machine and it did OK no
brilliant cut but nice anyway. look for your options to do a
better job. I recomend the machine for those who do not want the
large expense for a facetron or a genie.
Ringman John Henry

Dear Susan. High Tech machines are made for doing exactly the
kind of work you mentioned. They are dureable and last for
light duty work. They will not hold up for heavy duty
manufacturing. Many of my associates use the machines for
exactly what you said you need it for. Myself I can not use the
machine. Even heavy duty grinders do not stand up to 8-10 hour

Gerry Galarneau
Galarneau’s Gems

Dear Susan, regarding the Hi Tech, I’ve owned the 6" model since
1991 and for what I use it for I’ve been very happy with it. I
do alot of flat lapping with tourmaline, aqua, quartz etc.
crystals and also cut cabachons with it. For beginning work with
smaller material it works just fine. Depending on what you’re
cutting and polishing you might want to supplement with some
extra discs and polish compounds. I’m not sure what you get with
the package. Lapidary is fun so enjoy!

Bill Navran

   I would like some opinions of a lapidary machine I am
considering for purchase.  At a recent Gem show I looked at a
6" All You Need from Hi Tech Diamond products. 

I have one of these machines and find it very adequate for doing
the small amount of lapidary that I do. I find that using the 4
diamond disks -rough to fine grit to be all that most stones
(softer stones) need to obtain a high polish. Jan - in beautiful
South-Central Oregon.
Wonderful Gemstones set in unique handcrafted designs of silver or gold.

if all you want to do is reduce the height of stones and pearls,
why not look into the GRS power hone. You have a selection of
flat dianond wheels that do a quick job of flattening the back
of a cab, trimming an opal, etc, AND you can use it to sharpen
your gravers, shape punches, etc. if you need to polish, you
can use a ceramic lap and diamond compound, or set up a flat
lap with a leather pad for a softer ,curved surface. i do very
little lapidary work in my shop, but occasionally this little
wheel comes in VERY handy, and i don’t need to dedicate $ and
space to lapidary equipment.

did i mention that i use it to sharpen my gravers?..once you
have one of these tools, you wonder how you ever worked without

d zaruba

Susan Ronan:

About eleven years ago, I bought the 6" all-you-need. Like you,
I figured I wasn’t going to do that much. I am now a
dyed-in-the-wool rock and tool junkie. I now own many, many more
machines of various shapes and uses. The All-you-need is still
going strong and is my “work horse” and most trusted machine.
You can’t go wrong with the all-you-need. I am not affiliated
with the company in any way… just a satisfied customer.

Feel free to contact me off list if you want more specific advice and info,

Mark Williams,
Stone Broke Custom Lapidary

Susan, The All You Need is a wonderful machine. It is less
expensive than most others and every bit as useful. The company
stands very much behind their product and are always helpful. The
main difference is you are working flat rather than on a curved
wheel surface. For your stated need it works.

You will find many for and some against. As for the price Hi
Tech always has several machines set up at shows, each one loaded
in a sequence of laps that will enable a visitor to start at one
end and go onto the next ones in the order needed to completely
finish a cab. At the end of the show usually most of the demo
machines have been sold off at a very discounted price, and with
all but one lap brand new. I bought all my Hi Tech equipment in
this very manner, saving quite a bit of money. A visiting friend
just bought hers as a demo unit three weeks ago.

I am in San Diego County, she lives in the San Fernando Valley,
when she leaves here she will take my older All You Need back to
Hi Tech where it will be totally refurbished and modernized, and
sent back to me. I am certain at a very reasonable price.

This Company has extremely high ethics, I implicitly trust and
respect them. My only connection to them is as a very satisfied


Hi Susan, Don’t try to reduce the height of a pearl from the
top. The pearl will be ruined. Either cut the bottom off to lower
it or just design the piece to hold the pearl at the height you want.
Have fun. Tom Arnold

Teresa, Thanks to you and all others for the very informative
replies I have received related to the Hi Tech Lap machine.
This Orchid is a truly wonderful thing! I too am in San Diego
County and plan to get a closer look at this machine if they are
present at the next Gem Show later this month. Maybe I’ll see
you there! Regards from cool and gray Coronado…Susan.

Susan, (760) 940-9225, perhaps you would like to visit one of the
San Diego Gem and Mineral Clubs.

they have excellent workshops and classes. Teresa

Teresa, I work in Spanish Village Center in Balboa Park, home of
the S.D. Gem and Mineral Society! I don’t really want to take a
class at this point but that is a viable alternative that I
always suggest to others! If you are around there sometime, I
am in Studio #33 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Hope to
see you there! Susan.