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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2006-12-11, 3:11pm
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mandyjw mandyjw is offline
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Default This faceting machine, good idea? Faceting smaller beads?

http://arrowsprings.com/html/saws_an...equipment.html

I want the machine at the top. I'd love to cut and facet my beads but I'm worried that it wouldn't work well for me as I tend to make smaller beads than most people. Are smaller beads harder to facet? Also don't faceted beads tend to crack and break a lot? It seems like it would put a lot of stress on the glass.

And is this machine powerful enough if I'm not going to be asking it to do too much or should I spend the money for a more powerful machine?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 2006-12-11, 3:32pm
misfit misfit is offline
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okay, a 6 inch lap is going to need to be replaced much more frequently than an 8 inch, or larger. Diamond laps are exspensive and can be stripped very easily. point one.

Point two, it doesn't say if its a light use product like the "all in one" it is modled on. If it is then it won't stand up to a great deal of use. Point 2

It does not say what arbor size it takes for the laps- you can buy inexspensive ($40-$60) diamond laps- but if this is a strange sized arbor will they fit??? point three

small beads will need to be dopped in order to facet them. I also don't see an armiture for faceting on this machine. are you thinking of just putting some flat sides on them or are you thinking of true faceting? Point four.

http://www.gravescompany.com/flatlaps.htm check the crystal master 6- which is profesional quality, which also is less cash- and will do what faceting you will be able to do on the one you refrenced. The saw while it sounds nice is not really useful unless you want to cut your beads in half. you'll not be able to reliable trim off evenly by hand which makes it unnessessary. Point six.

edit to add: for faceting glass, you do not need diamond disks.
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  #3  
Old 2006-12-11, 6:12pm
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So if I buy the machine that comes with wheels made for cutting stone, it won't work any better than the diamond blads? I'm now looking at the machine on the bottom of the page from arrow springs. It comes with the diamond wheels and is a lot cheaper if purchased from a couple other companies, but it comes with different wheels. Is that extra money worth it? Its a big difference.
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  #4  
Old 2006-12-11, 6:54pm
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I have the all-in-wonder and it is ok for light use only. If all you want to do is grind and polish, you don't need the saw and regular grinder that are part of the all-in-wonder. You would be better off just buying the flat lap part of the swap top - and again, it's for light use. It would be fine for occasional faceting and polishing of beads
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  #5  
Old 2006-12-11, 7:50pm
misfit misfit is offline
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the all you need is not heavy duty. You do want a flat lap for cutting simple facets into beads- but silicone carbide laps will do the trick. you don't need diamond. I make mine out of good wet dry silicone carbide paper backed with a metal lap.

if you go to:
http://www.gravescompany.com/flatlaps.htm and look at the crystal master 6- its a proffesional quality machine that you don't need worry about the motor on. Its $275.00. You'll want to buy a mounting lap, then you can use silicone carbide for every thing except the final polish, which I'd sugest a fine diamond powder on a leather lap. The silicone carbide is a bit slowwer than diamond, but is a bout 1/50th the cost at most, and will last about the same length of time if you buy the good stuff. later if you choose you can decide to buy a set of diamond laps if you want- but first learn not to strip a lap on silicone carbide. Its really upsetting for a n00b to lapping when a set of diamond laps die the first use because the diamond gets stripped off.

You don't need the rest of the gear to do simple facets, and if you want to facet complex shapes like bi-cones and rondells- none of these set ups are going to do it for you.

edit to add: if you're going to buy one, do yourself a favor at least buy a machine that has a motor that will last the life of the machine. The motor is the important bit on these things- not how small and decorative they've made it. you need enough power and drive to actually last you long enough to pay for its self and hopefully then some...
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Last edited by misfit; 2006-12-11 at 7:58pm.
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  #6  
Old 2006-12-12, 6:58am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandyjw View Post
Are smaller beads harder to facet? Also don't faceted beads tend to crack and break a lot? It seems like it would put a lot of stress on the glass.
Well, yes, small beads will be harder to hold to the disk without also faceting your fingernails. You might be able to dream up a system to hold them, like embedding them in a wad of Silly Putty or something similar. (Beware of fouling the disks, however, with gunk from your "holding" agent.) To get started with faceting, I would suggest that you begin practicing on large beads.

In our experience, if properly annealed and without any internal stresses, beads don't crack or break during faceting. We faceted about fifty or sixty random beads when we were practicing for the demo we did at the quarterly meeting a few weeks ago. Plus all the demo beads at the meeting itself. None of them cracked. Tough little suckers!

The principal tip I'd offer for successful faceting is --> don't rush. Work the bead on each disk a sufficient amount of time to **eliminate** all the scratches from the disk before. If you rush, you end up with a flawed final polish and you have to practically start all over again. Slow and methodical! Slow and methodical!

Jan
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  #7  
Old 2006-12-12, 7:03am
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Well, it's not a faceting machine. It's a grinder. It won't allow you to accurately facet glass (or anything else). To facet, you need a faceting mast/machine. Those start at around $1500. The good ones are usually in the $2000 range.

That machine will allow you to cut flat surfaces or windows into your glass, but you won't be able to do facets like, say, the work that Andrew Brown does.

Having said that, yes, that machine will work, but you get what you pay for. I prefer the Glastar machines myself. But, I am in the process of building my own lapidary machine. I got the plans from www.hisglassworks.com. Once it's done, I'll let everyone know what I think of it.
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  #8  
Old 2006-12-12, 2:27pm
misfit misfit is offline
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actually most native cut stones from India are still cut on simple flat laps, and before the modern facet machine, all faceted stones were cut on a flat lap. I certainly wouldn't wish to do so, and presicion results are impossible, but one can certainly do impresise facting on any flat lap. so she should be able to learn to do fully faceted with miss matched angles on a flat lap, if that is truely her desire.
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