I have a vintage Fac-Ette that could use some maintenance. Basically there three issues that should be addressed.
1. When the spindle is locked into a gear in the index wheel, there still is obvious movement. For instance, if you grasp the knurled part (not the cone at the end), it can turn a little. It should not move at all. I suspect that something in the spindle assembly is worn or needs to be tightened, but I have no clue how to correct the problem.
2. I don’t know if I was ever able to hand tighten the dops in the machine. It looks like with the GMII, the collet is a standard piece that can be replaced. Is there a know fix for this? Or is this something I take to the experts at the machine shop and say “help”?
3. Before Fac-Ette closed their doors, I sent to machine to them for some servicing. They indicated that the machine was not in alignment. But they also said they did not have whatever needed to fix the alignment. (I thought that was really amazing and was not a happy customer at that point because I had discussed the alignment option with the sales rep over the phone and they knew it was a Seattle model.) Again, is there anyone out there who can provide the procedure for adjusting the machine? From use, I know that the lap tilts front to back, if that matters.
Sorry to be 2 years late responding to this post, but I just joined USFG.
I have an original Seattle machine and had the same problem with the ‘slop’ in the index position. Before I discovered what the actual problem was, I faceted okay by keeping steady clockwise pressure on the hand piece – worked but was a hassle. The real problem is that the BRASS index plate has a round 1/2″ hole in it with a key way slot. The STEEL key is in the center shaft of the hand piece, that is the shaft that actually turns. The brass is so much softer than the steel that over time the key way slot has worn and is wider than the steel key. As a result the index plate is locked in position firmly by the arm that engages between the teeth of the plate. But the shaft can turn back and forth by the amount of wear in the key way.
The simple solution of course is a new index plate. Very nearly as easy and much cheaper is to get a center punch. Remove the index plate from the machine and lay it on a very flat, smooth, solid surface. Position the point of the center punch on the index plate, 1/32 inch from the side edge of the key way. Gently tap the center punch to create a dimple in the index plate, which will squeeze the key way closed a tiny bit. By testing the fit, you can make the dimple deeper and the key way narrower if desired. If need be, you could also do it on the other side of the key way, but I would recommend saving the other side to do it again in a few years when the key way wears some more.
There is another post now in this thread that provides a link to new collets that are available.