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Author Topic: Newbie faceting machine owner  (Read 349 times)

JWR

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Newbie faceting machine owner
« on: October 25, 2021, 10:11:48 PM »
Hi All,

First post here!  I am a long time fossicker and prospector in Tasmania.  And I have just acquired my first faceting machine, something I have been wanting to do for years and the opportunity came up so I jumped on it.  I have never cut a stone so I am completely new to it.  I have the 'Amateur Gemstone Faceting' books by Tom Herbst and 'Cutting gemstones' by John Broadfoot & Peter Collins.  I have been reading those, and watching many videos on the subject.  I also have a friend local to me who is experienced with cutting stones and can offer help and advice.

But on to my machine, I have some unanswered questions which I need help with.

The machine I believe is a Hall MarkV - it does not have any label on it apart from a Hall manufacturing sticker but the only evidence I have that it is a MarkV is that it looks absolutely identical to the one here http://www.turbofast.com.au/astrotel/faceting.html

It came with about 30 dops, 4 index wheels and maybe a dozen various laps.  And a transfer jig.

Firstly, I would love a manual if anyone can help me out with that, I could only find one for the Mk3.

The next thing is the master lap, and how do you remove it?  Unless mine is glued to the spindle or something I would guess it is a press fit, or somehow screwed in place?  I cant simply lift it off any way, its on there very tight.

Which leads to my next question, about removing the spindle and replacing the bearings.  When I run the machine, there is a low growl coming from the spindle which sounds exactly like worn bearings to me, and I cant see any reason for that sound except worn bearings.  So I would like to disassemble it and replace them.  I haven't taken a screw driver to it yet, I really wanted to at least see a manual or hear some advice before I touch it.

Although there is absolutely no play in the master lap that I can feel or see, it runs very true so it might well just be fine as it is, I don't know.  I did run a dial indicator on it and the runout was less than half a thou, I assume that's probably pretty good for an old machine?

Apart from that, I am about ready to dive right in!  I was only missing some polishing compound, it didn't come with any so I have ordered some diamond powder.

Looking forward to hearing from anyone who can help :)

Cheers,
JWR

Faceting Frank

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Re: Newbie faceting machine owner
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2021, 09:19:04 AM »
Hi JWR and welcome to the forum.
Don’t know anything about the Hall machines. The link below has a section in it that says you can remove the spindle after removing the pulley.
https://unamit.com.au/Xtra_Manual_v1.pdf

MakkyBrown

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Re: Newbie faceting machine owner
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2021, 02:15:13 PM »
Hello JWR,
Welcome to the forum. I am not familiar with Hall machines. I know on Gemmasta's the bearing are pressed in and a retaining compound it also used. So you need to apply heat and use a press to remove the bearings. Run out is really good, it may be a case of the grease drying out in the bearings. You might be able to remove the shield off the lower bearing and put some fresh grease it it. Upper bearing could be tricky if the master lap is in the way and stuck on with retaining compound. Ideally I'd put new bearings in it. I'm down south in Blackmans Bay.

Cheers
MB
« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 02:17:00 PM by MakkyBrown »

JWR

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Re: Newbie faceting machine owner
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2021, 04:31:00 PM »
Hi guys,

I ended up calling Peter Tolputt of Unamit in Cairns where they sell current model of Hall machines.  He was incredibly helpful and had the information I needed about removing the spindle.  It was a case of remove the pulley, and it will slide out upwards with some slight force, it took a couple of light raps with a rubber mallet and then it was moving free and slid out.  The master lap appears to be a press fit on the spindle, they came out as one piece.

And as it turns out the top bearing was absolutely cactus, really rough and worn out.  The bottom one had no obvious play but I will be replacing both of them.  Peter made clear that the new bearings must be of the 'CM' designation, which are a tighter tolerance and low noise bearing for electric motors.  The local bearing place has them so I will be picking them up tomorrow.

Bucket

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Re: Newbie faceting machine owner
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2021, 09:23:23 PM »
JWR welcome to the forum, glad you got your issues sorted out by Peter at Unamit. The Halls would have been my next selection after the Facetron I got and it sounds like aftermarket service is good. If you haven't yet faceted a stone, I would suggest that joining a club in Tassie might be a good idea. Depending on where you are located there are clubs in Burnie, Devonport, Launceston, Derby and Hobart. I know that there are facetors at Burnie (me), Devonport, Derby and Hobart, not 100% about Launnie, but they are a biggish club so I would expect there to be some there. It's good to be shown or even just talk about any problems you might be having. I find faceting quite therapeutic until something goes wrong! Good luck with the Halls and the faceting.
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RoughCreations

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Re: Newbie faceting machine owner
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2021, 09:34:43 AM »
Yes, JWR, welcome to the forum. Sounds like you are on the right track with your new machine. I'm in Hobart, a Facetron owner (do like the Halls, too) and hope to also help you get any faceting problems solved as they may arise,
Cheers,
RC
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Rusted

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Re: Newbie faceting machine owner
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2021, 11:02:18 AM »
The bearing has possibly filled with water at some time due to the pan drain becoming blocked and flooding into the bearing. Good to hear you have that sorted.

JWR

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Re: Newbie faceting machine owner
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2021, 02:57:29 PM »
Hi guys,

I picked up the new bearings today, and after replacing them it sounds like a new machine.  The only noise it makes now is from the electric motor which has probably seen better days as well, I might look into replacing that too later on.

Almost ready to cut a stone, I discovered that the water tank has a leak where the tap comes out, so I will sort that out too.

I would love to get involved with a club, but for the time being I cant see myself doing it, work and a young family mean I barely attend the other clubs I am member of.  But I may organise a session with a seasoned facetor at some point to pick up some tips and advice.  I am in Hobart as well.

Hopefully I will be able to post up a pic or 2 soon of my first attempt.  Really looking forward to it.  One of the books I have on hand has a beginners tutorial for cutting your first stone, an eight sided brilliant.

 

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