Forums Faceting Machines Graves XL Faceting machine

11 replies, 6 voices Last updated by Sjscat 3 years, 12 months ago
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #2497

    andyshendricks
    Participant
    @andyshendricks

    Has any one used the Graves XL? Any comments?

    #2505

    Alan Balmer
    Keymaster
    @alanbalmer

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

    #2510

    andyshendricks
    Participant
    @andyshendricks

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

    Thank you.

    #2511

    Alan Balmer
    Keymaster
    @alanbalmer

    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.

    #2513

    andyshendricks
    Participant
    @andyshendricks

    Thanks Alan. I will buy one this year!

    Andy

    #2514

    pierreleroux
    Participant
    @pierreleroux

    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

    #2519

    Alan Balmer
    Keymaster
    @alanbalmer

    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.

    #2549

    Tom Mitchell
    Keymaster
    @tommitchell

    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

    #2550

    Alan Balmer
    Keymaster
    @alanbalmer

    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.

    #2553

    Jon Rolfe
    Participant
    @jonathan lrolfe

    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.

    #2554

    Alan Balmer
    Keymaster
    @alanbalmer

    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 🙂 )

    #2826

    Sjscat
    Participant
    @Sjscat

    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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