Forums Beginner Questions Checking Ultra Tec Calibration/Adding Dial Indicator Attachment

11 replies, 5 voices Last updated by hray 4 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • #6572

    hray
    Participant
    @hray

    Hello! I am new to faceting and have a few questions I was hoping someone could help me with. I have a very old Ultra Tec V2 (Mark II) machine. It appears to be in good condition, but I am not sure how to tell if is calibrated correctly. Is there a way to check the calibration, short of sending the mast to Ultra Tec? I cut the pavilion facets of a citrine by listening since I don’t have a depth of cut dial indicator attachment. The points didn’t meet very well at the culet and I am not sure if this was due to my inexperience or something with the machine (my laps are also very old and worn). I would like to get a dial indicator attachment to add to my machine, but am little afraid to invest if my machine has deeper issues. Also, I talked to Ultratech and they mentioned they sell a digital angle dial kit too. It is quite a bit more expensive ($925 instead of $344), but it sounds like it comes with a complimentary calibration valued at $200. Does anyone have thoughts on if it is worth adding a dial indicator, and if so is the digital angle dial worth the extra expense?

    #6574

    Frankwood
    Participant
    @Frankwood

    You don’t need a depth indicator to cut a stone such as a standard brilliant.
    You cut the 96, 48, 24, 72 indexes to a point. If they are deep enough then cut the 12, 36, 60 and 72. As long as all these facets form a point they are all the exactly the same depth. That applies with every round stone.

    #6575

    davidechols
    Participant
    @davidechols

    The Ultra-tec is such a solid machine i doubt it needs any repairs unless it was totally abused. Some cutting houses use it for many years and I suspect they do get abused but still put out stones that sell. If and when in the future you decide to compete may want to check and align the machine. There are many articles on this site on how to do it in the archives but I would first learn the basics. Do not forget that faceting is supposed to be fun.

    I agree with what Frank said above as well.

    #6579

    hray
    Participant
    @hray

    @Frankwood and @davidechols, thank you for the advice! If you are cutting without a dial indicator, do you listen to determine when your facets are the right depth, or just check a lot to see if the points are meeting? It sounds like maybe for the time being at least, my money might be better spent getting a set of quality laps than investing in a dial indicator.

    #6582

    davidechols
    Participant
    @davidechols

    With an Ultra-tec hard stop machine you listen to the sound of the cutting with light pressure. All hard stop machines work by hearing the sound of cutting. When you reach the correct depth the sound of cutting will change, skip skip skip instead of a steady cutting. With practice you can cut a tier without looking at the stone with pretty decent meets.

    #6587

    hray
    Participant
    @hray

    Thanks David, I will keep trying this method. It probably just takes some time to get used to what to listen for. Maybe once I have the new laps things will go better too. I really appreciate all your advice, and am glad I didn’t rush out and by a dial indicator!

    #6588

    davidechols
    Participant
    @davidechols

    In my post I said to listen for skip, skip and a better terminology would be tic, tic, tic.

    #6591

    hray
    Participant
    @hray

    Good to know. Thanks!

    #6594

    scottwkelley
    Participant
    @scottwkelley

    First facet. I will cut to a pre determined depth, 220. Bring in all all facets, get my meets even at 220. After that I move to the 1200 and pre polish those facets, mains of the pavilion, I do the same for the girdle on the crown ( depending on how much material there is). Here again all meets in, after that to the cerium topper, done. Eye clean at least and fix for perfection. Polishing is an art, but it does help to set up for that perfection, all the prep work to get there has to be perfect at best.
    Trust your machine, trust your eye. Learn your laps, the highs and the lows when turning.For even girdles make sure everything is flat to each other. I used a piece of glass in transfer to get an idea and asses my machine and laps. They are all a little different.
    There are a lot of articles, my fav is https://usfacetersguild.org/thoughts-on-polishing-with-diamond/

    Good luck and have fun, making sized pairs and full sets.

    #6599

    hray
    Participant
    @hray

    Hi Scott, Thank you for sharing your method! I’ll be sure to checkout the polishing article.

    #6600

    duncanmiller
    Participant
    @DuncanMiller

    It is a necessary faceting skill to be able to check the alignment of your machine. On this forum, go to Library, Article Archive, Machines, Faceting Machine Alignment, and follow Paul Head’s authoritative article precisely. You will then either have aligned your machine, or know that there is something wrong with it that needs specialist attention.

    #6624

    hray
    Participant
    @hray

    Thank you @DuncanMiller. Somehow I missed your post earlier, but this is exactly what I was hoping to find. I will check out the article you recommended and give it a try!

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