Art Kavan’s Facetron Installation

by Art Kavan, Old Pueblo Lapidary Club

Here is a brief summery of my experience with the ohm meter & dial indicator, plus a few pictures to give an idea of how I implemented them on my Facetron.

From the explanation of how well the ohm meter was supposed to perform I thought that it would save a lot of time and cutting all the way through pre-polish. So I was determined to give it my best effort and I believed in the theory. I spent about three months working with it and evaluating it. I bought a large dialed ohm meter from radio shack for 50.00 dollars, had a machinist fabricate the parts to my specifications, and install them on my Facetron and then went at it.

The first thing I learned was to get the proper sensitivity adjusted, too sensitive is as bad as not sensitive enough. In my case the X1K scale worked very smooth and satisfactory. I used crystallite steel laps as the regulars were to jumpy on the needle to have adequate control.

There is no way you are going to obtain a competition polish with this method so only the cutters eye will work for this phase. All in all it does work. The process is so cumbersome that I can cut a stone a lot faster with just the needle that came with the Facetron. The one thing that I do like about the ohm meter is it works very well for cutting girdles on the Facetron, other than that I don’t use it.

I cut strictly for competition and this is not something I recommend for the novice or competition cutter. If you like gadgets and want the latest and not so greatest have at it. This is just my opinion and for others it may work well with other machines. In the pictures below you can see my set up with the dial indicator. I tried three different indicators a .001 a .0005 and a .0001. After conferring with other dial indicators users and through my own experience I settled on the .0001 as the most practical.

Now it is true if you come off the geared side of the Facetron it works similar to the needle and you don’t have to go through the readjustment process every time you change to a different row of facets as I do with this set up, but my set up is positive and if you come off the gears why use an indicator in the first place as it is no better than the needle?

Anyway, after all the time and money if you came into my shop today and watch me cut a competition stone you will see my Facetron set up just as Mr. Jarvey sent it to me. It all boils down to how well the cutter interprets what he sees and understands how to get from point A to B.

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