Forums Beginner Questions STARTING CHECKLIST

  • STARTING CHECKLIST

    Posted by Aeristuben on November 16, 2016 at 6:40 am

    HELLO EVERYONE,

    I am wanting to start Faceting and I am at the point where I am ready to do this at my home. I have done research and talked with some local people but am interested in what the members here would have to say on what I am looking for.

    Now before I go out and spend all my $$$ on equipment I would like to hear from the masters to get the best advice, so if you were going to restart your Faceting career and sat down to make a list of what you would need as a novice what would that list consist of? I am looking for a detailed list if possible and explanation on why you chose those items. Also I am looking for what a beginner really needs to cut a handful of roughs. and then what would be good things to have.

    I am looking at buying the Facetron or UltraTec Machine. I am not looking for brand arguments, though recommendations with supporting details on why that brand is the one you would go with. I do have the means to afford higher end products but $$$$ doesn’t always mean it is the best.

    Thank You for taking the time to read this and any help you can provide. You may also email me at aeristuben@hotmail.com if you have a list already made that would be too long for here.

    Thank You,
    Andrew

    Justin Prim replied 6 years, 1 month ago 7 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • scottwkelley

    Member
    November 18, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I myself was in your shoes less than a year ago but started my research well in advance of two years. There is no doubt patience is a importance quality to have in faceting.
    I purchased a facetron and since have purchased new laps for superior polishing. Lightning laps.
    I have not taken any classes but feel I have a good idea what I am doing. Look forward to the Single Stone Competition.
    Hope this helps…I have learned my machine as you will go through the same pain without training. Anything I can do to save you time please let me know. Mrscottwkelley@gmail.com

  • scottwkelley

    Member
    November 18, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I myself was in your shoes less than a year ago but started my research well in advance of two years. There is no doubt patience is a importance quality to have in faceting.
    I purchased a facetron and since have purchased new laps for superior polishing. Lightning laps.
    I have not taken any classes but feel I have a good idea what I am doing. Look forward to the Single Stone Competition.
    Hope this helps…I have learned my machine as you will go through the same pain without training. Anything I can do to save you time please let me know. Mrscottwkelley@gmail.com

  • gemmakermz

    Member
    June 7, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    your choise of machines is good but the best would be the ultra tec by far. i’m 76 and been faceting since 1965. i’ve used just about every machine out there and demo’ed some of them. i have an ultra tec made and bought in 1974 and still using it and still accurate with 40+ yrs. if you decide to go for the big one (stone) they have a riser block you can buy, i’m using one now faceting a large quartz egg. a book of diagrams for diff cuts would help. as i tell someone i teach, once you learn to cut a standard stone with good success forget the book and make your own cuts. as for laps i would get a master plain flat lap and then go to ebay and buy your lape from china. i use to work for crystalite in 70’s. the china made laps have a lot more diamond in their laps. you want laps that the diamond is electroplated on(metal boned) not sintered or resin or other bonded, they wont hold true or last long. if you decide on an ultra tec you’ll need 8″ lap. i’ve been using 6″ on mine right now i got a very usable set of 3 disc’s 1 120 grit, 1 600 grtit, and 1200 grit and total cost with shipping was $15 unbelievable but true. if any one has trouble finding them email me and i’ll send you the item number to look up. as for polishing there is a mess of laps out there claiming to be best. i can’t help you there as i’ve been using the same method for all these yrs and thats a pure tin lap, not scored, as some do, and 50,000 diamond powder, running lap very slow and bearly dripping of water enough to make a thin mud and this polishes nerely everything.
    mike zinski gemmakermz@cs.com 509-783-9337

  • mark

    Member
    June 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Keep in touch and let us know how you do !

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    June 14, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Any of the “name brand” machines currently made in the US will do a good job for you. You will want a coarse lap for removing larger amounts of material, and a 600 grit lap for fine cutting. A cheap topper will work for coarse shaping, for a while. The 600 should be a good quality lap like these: http://www.arrowheadlapidarysupply.com/catalog/item.php?unid=4140&prodpa=0
    After fine cutting, you’ll need prepolish and polish laps. I would suggest one of the Gearloose starter kits: http://gearloose.co/shop/highest-performance-starter-kit/

    While you’re on the Gearloose site, take a look at the Product Charts. Some good information there.

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    June 14, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Mike, I respect your age (you’re only a year younger than me) and your time in the business, but a lot of things have changed in the faceting world since 1965.

  • Aeristuben

    Member
    March 7, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Hello,

    I want to say thank you all for the wonderful responses and offers of communications. Life sometimes has a funny way of interrupting plans. almost the day or two after posting this my appendix almost burst. and since then it has been one thing after another. I did however want to say thank you for your words.

    I just recently ordered everything I need to get started and hopefully soon I’ll have something to show y’all.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  • Bobdrbob

    Member
    March 12, 2018 at 3:48 am

    test

  • Justin Prim

    Member
    May 28, 2018 at 10:01 am

    If I was going to start again, here is what I would get

    Course topper Lap for Preforming (I use 400 grit)

    Adamas Sintered Lap for cutting (http://adamasfacet.com/sintered.html)

    Gearloose ZincPlus (http://gearloose.co/shop/zinc-plus-5/) Gives you two different lap options, zinc and hard tin for polishing different stuff.

    Gearloose Dominatrix http://gearloose.co/shop/dominatrix/) Gives you two more different lap material options: Batt Tin and Diamatrix composite.

    Between those two polishing laps I think you could polish anything (except quartz). Get the Batt sticks to use: 13k, 18k, 50k, 100k. (or instead get diamond powder and olive oil, I recommend 0-1 or 0-2 grit diamond powder)

    Then get Tom Herbst’s books : Amateur Gemstone Faceting 1 and 2

    With those laps and books plus your machine of choice then you only need a few more things.

    Magnification: loupe (I recommend Belomo) or visor (I used #7 magnification), your choice
    Adhesive: Gorilla Glue High Impact or Wax+Oil Lamp, your choice (I use both, depending)
    Acetone and a glass jar to clean the stone when finished
    Lap holder: I use a wooden plate stand that I got in the dollar store that perfectly holds 5 laps
    Lamp: Diffused LED is great if your machine doesn’t have a light. I have one in addition to my machine lamp. LED can change brightness and temperature and isn’t too expensive
    If you need a transfer block, Polymetric makes one of the best ones

    ALSO don’t forget, you need some STONES TO CUT 🙂

Log in to reply.