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December 10, 2018, 10:00:02 pm
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Hey yall ! Im looking for advice on a faceting machine...

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Author Topic: Hey yall ! Im looking for advice on a faceting machine...  (Read 727 times)
ejfree
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« on: April 01, 2014, 03:28:41 pm »

I have been hanging around and recently became a member on here. I am looking to buy my first faceting machine and am very interested in an Ultra Tech. I have heard great reviews and also like the hard mechanical stop feature at the angle mark which might help me screw up fewer stones as a beginner. I would like to buy a good used one. Can anyone let me know a good place to find one or know of anyone with one for sale ?

I realize buying used comes with risk so I am kinda shy of ebay and the like. I would want it to come from a reliable seller if I do go used. Unfortunately I do have a budget.

Thank you very much guys !  help
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dickb
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2014, 03:45:52 pm »

I like the Ultra Tec as well. You need to get one as new as possible. I think that Inch divisions on the mechine are better than metric. I also like the dial indicator on the quill to help get the match points right. I was going to get one and Ebay seem to have the best deals if you can find one that is from someone getting out of the business. I am going to point you to Matt Mattson's utube video's. Should answer some questions for you. Expect to pay big bucks it's not a cheap hobby to try.



Dickb
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Elegance in Jewelry
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Bentiron
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 06:34:52 pm »

That's a nice video, now if I should live long enough to make decent cabs, I can move on to knapping and faceting. Thanks!
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Eu_citzen
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 03:30:35 am »

Get the best you can afford.
Often you can call and ask UT if the machine has been serviced lately and such. (serial number is needed for reference)
At least that's what I've been told. If it has been in for service, then its likely in a ok shape.

Also see if they seller has cut any stones lately on the machine.
If he has, then I'd GUESS its ok and does cut.

I personally use a raytech shaw but can't really recommend it.

Regarding where to find a used UT, that I don't know. Haven't seen any the last 2-3 months.
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GoodEarth
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 01:31:17 pm »

I ran across a nice looking used faceting machine yesterday. The "Taylor" by Norris lapidary. It's complete, set up and works. I don't know anything about faceting machines, so I can't tell you much more, or if it's even a good deal. I'd bet the guy would take $400 for the complete set up with motor, multiple disks etc.

PM me for details.
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ejfree
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2014, 12:22:07 pm »

Thanks for the advice everyone ! You guys have just reinforced what I was thinking about going cheap and used. Seems like if I dont spend the money on a good one I will be buying another one after a short period of time. Me and my brother are going to pool our money and go in on one together and are prepared to spend anywhere from $2500-$5000. I just dont want to deal with the headache of having a faulty machine or one that will give me issues. Seems like UltraTec or Facetron have my interest at the moment and I am debating between the two.

My brother is an engineer for a leading military company so his skills on computer CAD designs are rediculous. He has been now making gem designs and we are both wanting to start cutting. I return home from Afghanistan in a week and am bringing a bunch of Tourms as well as some large select facet rough Aquas in anticipation of getting the machine.
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dickb
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 01:05:50 pm »

Before you buy anything, think about who your going to sell the faceted stones to.

I would send back as much as you possibly can as well, great idea. Just remember that you are competing with the rest of the cutters that are in Asia and India. I few hours on Ebay will give you some idea of what you can sell the finished stones for. Don't forget that they pay little to nothing for labor over there.

JMHO

Dickb
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ejfree
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 02:15:40 pm »

Before you buy anything, think about who your going to sell the faceted stones to.

I would send back as much as you possibly can as well, great idea. Just remember that you are competing with the rest of the cutters that are in Asia and India. I few hours on Ebay will give you some idea of what you can sell the finished stones for. Don't forget that they pay little to nothing for labor over there.

JMHO

Dickb

absolutely...these are some of the unfortunate aspects of the global market. I am only planning on sending enough home to get started only a handful of stones for now. I have found some cheap stones over here but so far the only stones I have made money on are the Aqua and of course the AAA lapiz. Many of the Aquas have great clarity but very pale color, they are sold by the gram. I recently bought a good rough crystal that should produce a clear 30/ct finished piece.
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Eu_citzen
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 03:35:36 pm »

Faceting is an art, a better machine makes it easier, perhaps less frustrating. But not necessarily a better cut.
I choose the hard way and got a machine with quirks but can cut a decent stone on it.

I'd recommend starting with proven designs for sake of ease and viewing pleasure. ura
Preferably easy ones with few facets or not so intricate patterns. There's plenty to learn - start easy.
Garnets are a good idea to practice with, by the way. Easy to work and look good when cut!


If you choose to compete with the Asian cutters - that's up to you. (Of course, if this is to be a hobby this shouldn't matter!)
I personally see myself as cutting in a whole different league. They aren't even competition in my eyes.


The proofs in the pudding - I have had to clean up the mess the Asian cutters made. Example is the kunzite below, which I re-cut from a commercially cut stone. Top left is a 'before' picture.



When you come home I can recommend you to visit a mineral show to get an idea on pricing. Ebay isn't exactly a prime choice for reference to pricing. Look for those that cut themselves at the shows instead and view their pricing.

Hope this gives some more food for thought.
The difference in look can be astonishing.
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Hummingbirdstones
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 09:39:21 pm »

I also suggest you join the USFG (United States Faceting Guild) Yahoo group.  Great bunch of folks who will answer answer questions.  Also a great place to put some feelers out and see if anyone has a machine they're thinking about selling.  There recently was a gentleman who was retiring from faceting because his health was getting to bad.  He sold his whole set up.  One good thing about finding a machine on that group is that all the people are faceters and take meticulous care of their machines.

I also know of a Fac-ette machine here in AZ that has everything, including a whole mess of laps and includes a cabinet that the machine resides in.  It's one of the members of our local club's dad's machine that has been sitting around for a long time and he wants it gone.  The downside to this is that Fac-ette stopped manufacturing and supporting those machines late last year, so replacement parts, etc. have to be sourced from elsewhere.  Not sure what he wants for it, but I'm guessing it's between $2,000-$3,000, all inclusive. You would have to have it shipped, though, and that would be expensive.  Faceting machines and laps are heavy as all get out!

I also suggest you look at the Polymetric machines.  Nice machines, solidly built and Zane Hoffman is an excellent person to deal with.
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Robin

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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2014, 11:48:35 am »

I second Robin's comments about Facette.  For a long time it was considered the "Cadillac" choice but the company suddenly went out of business.  I understand some parts are still available but unless you can make any replacement parts yourself I'd be cautious.  Continuing manufacturer support is very important IMO.

I began with the same machine used by E.U. Citizen, the Raytech-Shaw.  I got an outlandish bargain on a very "straight" machine and I absolutely love the handpiece and platform design, based on diamond-cutting equipment.  Competition-level stones can be cut on those machines and many people swear by them but they have a number of drawbacks, again IMO.  One is that they're limited to 6-inch laps.  Another is the difficulty of repeating exact settings.  Also, the platform's a bit flimsy and misaligns quite easily.

Were I buying a new machine now I think I'd carefully check out the Graves 5XL.  It's based on a design by "Gearloose" Jonathan Rolfe, who makes the Batt Lap products shttp://www.gravescompany.com/mark_5xl.htm or stick with the manufacturers already mentioned: Polymetric, Ultra-Tech and Facetron.  They're all quality products and the choice would depend on your budget and personal preferences. 
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Kingsolomon
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2014, 07:42:07 am »

Faceting is an art, a better machine makes it easier, perhaps less frustrating. But not necessarily a better cut.
I choose the hard way and got a machine with quirks but can cut a decent stone on it.

I'd recommend starting with proven designs for sake of ease and viewing pleasure. ura
Preferably easy ones with few facets or not so intricate patterns. There's plenty to learn - start easy.
Garnets are a good idea to practice with, by the way. Easy to work and look good when cut!


If you choose to compete with the Asian cutters - that's up to you. (Of course, if this is to be a hobby this shouldn't matter!)
I personally see myself as cutting in a whole different league. They aren't even competition in my eyes.
I like your response .. As someone getting into this , I like to see something positive rather than the " Asia does it cheaper" like you said , proof is in the pudding...


The proofs in the pudding - I have had to clean up the mess the Asian cutters made. Example is the kunzite below, which I re-cut from a commercially cut stone. Top left is a 'before' picture.



When you come home I can recommend you to visit a mineral show to get an idea on pricing. Ebay isn't exactly a prime choice for reference to pricing. Look for those that cut themselves at the shows instead and view their pricing.

Hope this gives some more food for thought.
The difference in look can be astonishing.


Just the answer for thought I've been having on competitor issues I've been looking for... As someone coming from an industry flooded with poor quality from there , was hoping I wasn't falling into a similar trap ( As in getting into faceting) Quality work stands on its own , it will never be price wise . But people just seem to forget you get what you pay for...
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Eu_citzen
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2014, 04:19:00 am »

KS, of yes, you hear that a lot.

The thing is, I just don't think they know better. In some cases they just don't have the customer base for such products either.

It's a big trend in Sweden, "cheaper is better". (I suppose not only in Sweden)
Most of the time the buyers, i.e. the average Swede doesn't know better either.
No one takes the time to inform them why a custom cut stone is a better choice.

I've noticed a positive feedback when I've informed people that I have more expensive products because I'm not happy with a bowl of rice a day. They also know what they are getting, I have a reputation to loose. Many big retailers don't care.
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