Forums Beginner Questions Faceting Machine Mast Flex Reply To: Faceting Machine Mast Flex



Year ago I watched Mike Watkins at Emerald Hollow Mine, Hiddenite, N.C., rapidly facet with an ancient Graves. The bearing were so loose and sloppy that I could not believe it! I was expounding the benefits of an Ohmmeter and he was countering with a demonstration of his cutting technique. For all practical purposes, he was hand faceting with the Index gear and protractor being just a rough guide. Kind of like an early unrefined Jamb Peg machine. Remember, he faceted 8 to 10 hours a day cutting stones his customers found in the sluices. He had developed exquisite hand control and twisted and forced the machine as needed. He also cut very fine gems when he had a mind to do so, probably on another brand machine at his house. His offer to cut one of the very large NC emeralds from Hiddenite was turned down. His yield was calculated to be very slightly less than what was cut but his gem would not have been a “fish eye” that now sadly is on display. Mike also won a large Las Vegas bet; he bet that he could finish is signature scissors cut in less that an hour. . . a feat he had accomplished with his sloppy Graves, many times in his shop. It is not the price of the machine, the latest gadgets, or the finest bearings that ultimately make the difference. It is the practice and skill one develops as we master the imperfection of our machines. Of course one can be diligent and correct mechanical problems as they are identified, and add an Ohmmeter and make a bio feedback machine . . .