Forums Faceting Machines Graves XL Faceting machine

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    April 5, 2016 at 3:48 am

    I use it. In fact, I have two. What do you want to know?

  • andyshendricks

    Member
    April 5, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Easy to use? Accurate? Quiet? vibrate? How long have you used them?

    Thank you.

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    April 6, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I think most machines are easy to use (mechanically, the operator still has to have some skill). The 5XL is quiet – the only sound you hear is the stone on the lap. No vibration, unless you have an out of balance lap. Accurate – the digital head is accurate to within 0.03 degrees, and more important, repeatable within 0.02 degrees, according to the manufacturer’s specs. In practice, I find it repeatable to better than that over a short time span, as when comparing depth of cut on different facets.

    I first bought a Mark 4 in (I think) 2004, because it was what I could (barely) afford. I upgraded to one of the first Gearloose-designed digital heads (don’t remember what year) and have been happy since. I’ve had the second machine for about a year.

  • andyshendricks

    Member
    April 6, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks Alan. I will buy one this year!

    Andy

  • pierreleroux

    Member
    April 7, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Hi guys,
    I’m also interested in buying a mast for a 5XL, to fit to an old Mk IV base, reason being I live in Malawi, and shipping and imports are pretty expensive and difficult to arrange. My question is: I believe Graves has been experiencing difficulties lately – How easy /necessary is it to have back-up on these machines? Has anyone had a bad experience with a 5XL, and if so, how was the service? Was it fixed?
    Regards

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    April 7, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    When I bought my first 5XL head, it was just the head and mast, and was not perfectly aligned with the platen (0.003″ tilt for an 8″ lap). A couple of years later I sent it to Graves for alignment. Alignment is free if you let them install the head, so it only cost me shipping. This is the only service I’ve ever needed, and it was turned around in a day, not counting shipping time.

    However, this was some years ago, and Graves has had some problems since, including moving the business to another site, though I understand the situation is improving.

    • Tom Mitchell

      Administrator
      April 19, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Alan,

      Isn’t every Mark 4 a left handed machine, with the mast on the left and isn’t every Mark 5 a right handed machine? If so how does it work to get the Mark 5 digital assembly for a Mark 4 machine?

      Tom

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    April 19, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Nope, the 5XL is available in both left-mast and right-mast models. They also come in both US and 220V/50Hz models. As a righty, I prefer the left mast. Personally, I think the “right hand, left hand” nomenclature is misleading, making right-handed folks think they need a right-mast machine.

    Getting ready to head north, and looking forward to seeing you at Franklin.

  • Jon Rolfe

    Member
    April 20, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Graves bought the rights to the XS3 design some time around 2007. The XS3 was always offered in both handed versions, and Graves continued the practice. It was just a matter of flipping one view in AutoCAD, so there was never a reason not to do so. I found about 20% of the Market wanted the Left hand” version, which correlates to roughly the same percentage of Lefties in the population. The odd part is that many buy a machine that is opposite their “handedness”, but that proportion did not change.

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    April 20, 2016 at 2:45 am

    The odd part is that many buy a machine that is opposite their “handedness”, but that proportion did not change.

    Why is that odd? It works better. I find a “right-handed” machine quite awkward. I suspect that’s why the original Graves machines only came in a left-mast version. (faceting machines don’t have hands 🙂 )

  • Sjscat

    Member
    September 23, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I am looking to purchase a faceting machine. The Graves 5XL and Facetron look like the most likely machines for me. I have never faceted but Ibhave been a lapidary for over 30 years.

    Can anyone give me a compelling reason why it is logical to spend twice as much on the Facetron? I will pay for quality ic there is a reason to do so.

    Thanks,
    Sid

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