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Purchasing used faceting machine advice


#1

I have the opportunity to purchase an older model variable speed
Sapphire Faceting Machine with three diamond disks and a few assorted
supplies for $300.00. It has hardly any hours on it and I think the
price seems good. I really want to do some cabachons and doubt I’ll
be interested much in faceting. Does anyone have good advice or
suggestions on the purchase of this machine and using it for cabbing?
Thanks.

Fr. Alexis Duncan


#2

Hi Alexis

I use my faceting machine for small cabs like opals, star stones and
small problematic stones that and like it better in many cases than
the standard cabbing wheels.

If you are planning to cut larger cabs in agates/jaspers I don’t
recommend a faceting machine. It wears the laps out fast and is
much slower going. If you plan on making intarsias thats another
story, a faceting machine is just what you NEED to do these. Also
faceted top cabochons or even faceted beads the faceting machine is
a must to produce quality, precision stones. My preference is
Lapis cabs cut with faceted tops.

I don’t use and haven’t used the Sapphire brand machine so can’t
offer much on that as far as dependablity/repeatability and parts or
anything like that. But it sounds like it might be a great deal at
that price! Other than a motor or platen bearing there is little
to go wrong with them. The biggest problem is keeping them perfectly
adjusted, most important for faceting not so much with cabbing. The
biggest problem I’ve seen is where people try to adjust the quill
and/or mast and get the adjustments so far out it gets real hard
even for a seasoned person to get it corrected. This would be my
biggest concern on buying a used machine.

I use Ultra Tec and have had very little trouble with it and have
never had to have it sent in for any repairs or buy any repair parts
and have had it longer than I care to remember.

Hope that helps some.

Steve
http://topgems.homestead.com


#3

It will come in very handy when you decide to do cabs which need to
be symetrically perfict whether they are round, oval, square,
ractangular, hexagonal, etc. Once the slab is attached to the metal
dop stick it becomes extremely easy to cut somes symetrically
whatever the pattern outline. It will become a great aid. You dont
see many hexagonal cabs available and they are striking


#4
I have the opportunity to purchase an older model variable speed
Sapphire Faceting Machine with three diamond disks and a few
assorted supplies for $300.00. It has hardly any hours on it and I
think the price seems good. I really want to do some cabachons and
doubt I'll be interested much in faceting. 

If I were you, I’d save the $ & use it as the start of a nest egg
for a Genie or Titan cabbing machine from Diamond Pacific.

While the flat laps used in faceting can be used for cabbing, the
technique for using a fat lap is different from that used with a
wheel. In my estimation, making cabs on a flat lap is more tedious &
harder on the arms/wrists. The odds are that the 3 diamond laps
aren’t sufficient for cabbing. The grit sizes may also be wrong for
efficient cutting of cabs.

If you are interested in intarsia, the faceting may be used to
advantage.

I’m a faceter & cut a few cabs & my comments are from practical
experience. Usual disclaimer about Diamond Pacific, just a satisfied
customer.

Dave


#5

Dave,

The Sapphire was the first machine I faceted on many many years ago.
It was a nice little machine for its day but it also had many
quirks. The head is not made of durable material and there were
bearing problems as well. Nonetheless, it worked.

My opinion? If you want to buy it for historical purposes and maybe
put it in a museum, fine. There are very few working models around
these days, kind of like the American faceter though I think there
may be more of them, but don’t plan on doing much cabbing on it. The
motor and drive just won’t take much punishment. I agree with Dave
that it would be better to go for one of the better vertical cabbers
which will allow much more versitility.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2