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 email@example.com 509-783-9337