Aussie Lapidary Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: yakapari on December 30, 2021, 10:15:02 PM

Title: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: yakapari on December 30, 2021, 10:15:02 PM
Hi, I am hoping to buy a new faceting machine, locally in Aus, so far without any luck.

I have sent an email to Peter of Unamit, but so far no reply. A halls machine is my first choice for now.

Even browsing the internet I cant seem to find any other well known models for sale..?

Hoping somebody may be able to help me out with this.

Thank you.



Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: Ghost on December 31, 2021, 08:07:22 AM
Hi Yakapari,
Gemcuts may have a new Patriot in stock.   Made in America to a design by Laurie Hall, similar to the Hall X-Tra, but with a digital protractor.
Gumtree has a used VJ located in Canberra.
None of the above is a recommendation, just information from a search.
My own machine is a Hall X-Tra which I bought 12 years ago.
Welcome to ALF.   Hope you find what you are looking for and that you enjoy your venture into the wonderful hobby of faceting.
Cheers,   Ghost.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: Bucket on December 31, 2021, 01:05:12 PM
Welcome to to forum Yarapari, glad to hear another facetor joining. Peter may take a little while to get back to you over the holiday period. I have heard good things about the Halls and it would have been my second choice when I was purchasing. I'd give it until next week or so and give him a ring.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: Rusted on December 31, 2021, 04:06:24 PM
Welcome Yakapari.
Put a bit of info in your profile, it helps members to help you. General location really helps.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: yakapari on December 31, 2021, 07:27:57 PM
Gemcuts may have a new Patriot in stock.

Thanks for the tip, gave them a call, they are currently on a xmas break, and will be back in the New Year.

Welcome to to forum Yarapari, glad to hear another facetor joining. Peter may take a little while to get back to you over the holiday period. I have heard good things about the Halls and it would have been my second choice when I was purchasing. I'd give it until next week or so and give him a ring.

Spoke to Peter at Unamit today, such a nice fellow! I am currently down on the very long list to have the opportunity to purchase an Halls Xtra in 2022 !

Peter lamented the fact he was having some supply issues, but is still producing machines into 2022.

Welcome Yakapari.
Put a bit of info in your profile, it helps members to help you. General location really helps.

Done  ;)

I`ve been very keen to start faceting after cutting my first few stones over 10 years ago at a Gem Club.
Now I can afford my own new machine and have the time and place to pick up where I left off so long ago !

Next step is to organise a courier to deliver about 20kg of good smokey/clear quartz I have stashed at a mates place down south :)
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: Bucket on January 01, 2022, 02:28:42 PM
What part of the country are you in? As a nomadic lot, members here are travelling all the time, you may be able to organise transport for your smokey quartz!
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: RoughCreations on January 04, 2022, 11:27:24 AM
Spoke to Peter at Unamit today, such a nice fellow! I am currently down on the very long list to have the opportunity to purchase an Halls Xtra in 2022 !
Peter lamented the fact he was having some supply issues, but is still producing machines into 2022.

You might be in for rather a long wait https://outbackdictionary.com/long-wait-long-weight/ (https://outbackdictionary.com/long-wait-long-weight/), hope 2023/24 or beyond is still OK... I would be inclined to hedge your bets and see what other options for a machine you can snag in the meantime.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: FlashGP on January 14, 2022, 07:28:15 AM
Hi VJs are still being made, although they may seem pricy at about $6500.  Still cheaper than the comparable imports.



Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: RoughCreations on January 14, 2022, 10:41:36 AM
Hi VJs are still being made, although they may seem pricy at about $6500.  Still cheaper than the comparable imports.

Yes, a VJ would also be my pick if I was in the market for a new machine. Haven't ever used one, however I like the build quality of the machines, and the design concept seems sound. Some owners comment that the cutting height on a VJ takes a little getting used to, but I cut standing up myself, so no biggie.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: MakkyBrown on January 14, 2022, 02:34:46 PM
I think your Facetron with encoder is pretty good as I can't see anyway of putting an encoder on the VJ.Having some good progress building my new machine :) Just finished the major step of machining all the mountings/holes in the base plate.
MB
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: yakapari on January 14, 2022, 03:32:39 PM
You might be in for rather a long wait https://outbackdictionary.com/long-wait-long-weight/ (https://outbackdictionary.com/long-wait-long-weight/), hope 2023/24 or beyond is still OK... I would be inclined to hedge your bets and see what other options for a machine you can snag in the meantime.

Hi VJs are still being made, although they may seem pricy at about $6500.  Still cheaper than the comparable imports.

Yes, a VJ would also be my pick if I was in the market for a new machine. Haven't ever used one, however I like the build quality of the machines, and the design concept seems sound. Some owners comment that the cutting height on a VJ takes a little getting used to, but I cut standing up myself, so no biggie.

I think your Facetron with encoder is pretty good as I can't see anyway of putting an encoder on the VJ.Having some good progress building my new machine :) Just finished the major step of machining all the mountings/holes in the base plate.
MB

Thanks for your input everyone, I have now changed tack and have made a down payment on a VJ Premier, Matt at VJ has informed me of roughly a ten week lead time.
Pricey indeed, but I figure the money is well spent, a machine that will be still working when I`m gone, and future-proof, no need to upgrade machines as my skills become better.
I`m also impressed with Matts well explained YouTube tutorials regarding the VJ, such as machine alignment  - invaluable information to an owner and beginner.

Next up some lap and glue research and purchase ! (really do not want to go back to wax like I originally learnt to use  ;D)
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: RoughCreations on January 15, 2022, 10:37:40 AM
I think your Facetron with encoder is pretty good as I can't see anyway of putting an encoder on the VJ.Having some good progress building my new machine :) Just finished the major step of machining all the mountings/holes in the base plate.
MB

Yeah, I am very happy with my Facetron/encoder combination. Certainly not looking at a new machine, even though it might have sounded like it, lol.
The VJ Premier seems to come with a 'digital readout' - does this imply that an optical encoder is already present out of the box?

Good to hear the new machine is coming along well, it will be a real beast when you finish.

RC
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: MakkyBrown on January 15, 2022, 03:11:12 PM
I don't think the VJ uses an optical encoder.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: FlashGP on January 16, 2022, 11:39:10 PM
Hi

I adjusted my dial indicator the other day so it reads 3 on the little dial (3 revolutions of the dial or 150/10000") and it seems to be working more reliably.

when new from Facetron it was on either 2 or 3 but this was adjusted when Andrew aligned the plattern. and replace the motor because a bearing had gone.

Anyway, I have mounted a cheap USB microscope on my Facetron. It clamps to the faceting head using a bracket I made. What I Have noticed is that the dial indicator gauge hardly moves from zero as the meetpoints move those final microns into place. You can't see the distance it is too small, it is the allignment of the facet boundaries that tell when a meet is in or out.

My conclusion is that I am not sure if an encoder will be of any use now I have a microscope.
Happy Faceting
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: scratchie on January 17, 2022, 11:00:47 AM
I have had a VJ for some years. I find setting the angle on the digital readout allows me to return to the angle accurately when necessary . By adjusting the angle a small amount I can make "heel and toe " adjustments to individual facets at the prepolish stage and  come back to that facet  when polishing,
Flash's microscope is an excellent method of making meet points accurate. Any other sort of measuring device such as an encoder will NOT  give the results that can be obtained with either a microscope or good lighting and a good 10x loupe.
Good luck - I think you've made a good decision
John
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: RoughCreations on January 17, 2022, 04:46:55 PM
Quote
I adjusted my dial indicator the other day so it reads 3 on the little dial (3 revolutions of the dial or 150/10000") and it seems to be working more reliably.
I was never very happy with the interface between the indicator dial and Facetron handpiece/quill mechanism on my machine. The encoder now circumvents this problem.

Quote
Anyway, I have mounted a cheap USB microscope on my Facetron.
I like the microscope modification and will do similar with my machine at some stage.

Quote
My conclusion is that I am not sure if an encoder will be of any use now I have a microscope.
The encoder really comes into its own when the aim is to cut an early tier of facets to the same depth, to which later tiers are met by eye (or microscope).
RC
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: MakkyBrown on January 17, 2022, 05:05:34 PM
Quote
The encoder really comes into its own when the aim is to cut an early tier of facets to the same depth, to which later tiers are met by eye (or microscope).
If your machine is consistent and the dop is straight you can cut all tier to depth after setting the depth on the first facet in the tier. I often set the depth fractionally short of the meet on later tiers just to be sure i don't over cut.MB


Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: yakapari on January 22, 2022, 03:04:17 PM
So now comes the time to purchase some Laps for the VJ !

From memory when I was last learning to facet I used 180,600 and 1200 grit laps and polished with a tin lap using Linde A.
As I will be faceting with quartz for quite sometime before my skills become better, and I become familiar with the VJ, with a bit of research (and current availability) I have decided on the following laps for a quartz setup only:

1 x 260 crystalite standard / preforming
1 x 600 crystalite standard / cutting in facets
1 x 1200 crystalite standard / pre-polish
1 x Creamway Lap / final polish

Not a cheap kit, am I on the right track?  Advice and comments are greatly appreciated!



Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: Pro-oz on January 22, 2022, 07:37:32 PM
I use 360, 600 and cut and pre-polish with 1200 on copper, polish every thing with 60,000 on a tin lap. Works for me.

Cheers, Pro-oz.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: yakapari on January 23, 2022, 09:31:44 AM
polish every thing with 60,000 on a tin lap. Works for me.

Cheers, Pro-oz.

Thanks Pro oz, that is an option if I were to have problems with a Creamway.

I would prefer to learn and experiment polishing with diamond powder at a later point, (hence why the creamway is on my list) without becoming overwhelmed with learning to use the machine and basic faceting at home. Maybe that is the wrong approach and I should just dive into the deep end.

There is such a myriad of info on the net for beginners, mostly outdated as well. I did not know toppers were a thing!
I would love to introduce myself at my local Gem Club, but sadly its closed due to covid.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: RoughCreations on January 24, 2022, 09:33:25 AM

I would prefer to learn and experiment polishing with diamond powder at a later point, (hence why the creamway is on my list) without becoming overwhelmed with learning to use the machine and basic faceting at home. Maybe that is the wrong approach and I should just dive into the deep end.


Hi, I do a lot of quartz, particularly the bigger stones. I have a Creamway, however I find that I rarely use it. It is much slower than cerium oxide on a Darkside Lap (my preference), and the finish I obtain with the cerium/Darkside combination with quartz is spot-on.
RC
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: yakapari on January 24, 2022, 02:27:43 PM
Hi RoughCreations, a Darkside lap would of been on my list if I could have found one in stock anywhere in Aus!

Today I may have bought the last 6" Creamway lap I could find online anywhere.
I decided to go down a different path and purchased a master lap, metallic add on, and 360, 600, 1200 plain back toppers.
-
So thats the laps sorted now, I figure the toppers should suffice until I develop my skills further, then later look at crystalite laps or similar, and learn polishing in more traditional ways with diamond grits/pastes and copper laps.

(Thanks for super quick dispatch Leah!)







Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: RoughCreations on January 25, 2022, 12:08:26 PM
Hi RoughCreations, a Darkside lap would of been on my list if I could have found one in stock anywhere in Aus!

That wrecks that idea I guess. Another option is to use a perspex disk with cerium oxide, you could make one yourself pretty easily, Bunnings sell thick perspex pieces. The Creamway lap may be to your liking, particularly with smaller quartz stones.

Quote
Today I may have bought the last 6" Creamway lap I could find online anywhere.
I decided to go down a different path and purchased a master lap, metallic add on, and 360, 600, 1200 plain back toppers.
-
So thats the laps sorted now, I figure the toppers should suffice until I develop my skills further, then later look at crystalite laps or similar, and learn polishing in more traditional ways with diamond grits/pastes and copper laps.

(Thanks for super quick dispatch Leah!)

Keep us all in the loop when you get started!
RC
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: yakapari on January 25, 2022, 01:48:51 PM
Quote
Another option is to use a perspex disk with cerium oxide, you could make one yourself pretty easily, Bunnings sell thick perspex pieces.

Now that could be a great rainy day project!

Quote
Keep us all in the loop when you get started!
RC

Sure! Maybe I will post some unboxing pics of the VJ  Droo
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: Aussie Sapphire on January 25, 2022, 01:54:46 PM
Hi RoughCreations, a Darkside lap would of been on my list if I could have found one in stock anywhere in Aus!
Today I may have bought the last 6" Creamway lap I could find online anywhere.
(Thanks for super quick dispatch Leah!)

Have Darksides on the way - we get regular Gearloose orders so if there is something missing online that you want, just let me know and I will add it to next order.  We were cleaned out of most things over xmas/January so have a restock order in transit now.

cheers
Leah
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: Ghost on January 26, 2022, 07:59:56 AM
Darkside with cerium for quartz is good, then when you move to harder material you can also use the Darkside with Diamond powder thus needing only 1 polishing lap.
I use copper with 3000 diamond for prepolish.
Cheers,   Ghost.
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: MakkyBrown on January 26, 2022, 08:51:46 AM
Quote
Another option is to use a perspex disk with cerium oxide, you could make one yourself pretty easily, Bunnings sell thick perspex pieces.

Now that could be a great rainy day project!

Quote
Keep us all in the loop when you get started!
RC

Sure! Maybe I will post some unboxing pics of the VJ  Droo
If making yourself you want to get extruded acylic/perspex not cast, it maybe worth getting it from a plastics supplier. Many have laser cutters aswell, so you could make a simple cad file and get them to cut a few.
Some of the cast acylic/perspex I have has really poor thickness tolerance/variation(like +/- 0.5mm for 6mm sheet), extruded sheet is a lot better with some products better than others. Worth asking for a spec sheet regarding the product you are buying.

CheersMB
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: MakkyBrown on February 01, 2022, 09:34:12 AM
There is a Hall Extra for sale, Gladstone QLD. Ad say little. $2300 if anyone is interested.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/4671991472918778/?ref=search&referral_code=marketplace_search&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A8db78c77-8a2c-4514-8a08-1ace09e08f78
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: yakapari on June 23, 2022, 04:02:24 PM
I received my VJ, well worth the wait, thanks everyone who helped  ;D

(https://i.imgur.com/sNxscrx.jpg)
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: RoughCreations on June 23, 2022, 06:17:37 PM
Looking good!
Please post some reviews and/or experiences you have with your new machine.
RC
Title: Re: Wishing to purchase a new faceting machine
Post by: mehoose on July 28, 2022, 09:17:52 AM
Just putting my 5cents worth in re what RC mentioned about the perspex polishing lap. At the club in town, that's what was used for quartz and topaz. I'm seriously trying to remember when my DD cut a synth Spinel if she used the same lap as well.
Anyway, cerium on perspex(with a few scored cuts from a blade, maybe 3 or 4, running from the hole to outer edge) works seriously well on quartz and Topaz so absolutely have one on stand by.

Maybe it's a Tasmanian thing but it works.

Congrats on your purchase. How is it going for you?
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