Just got a faciting machine, time to learn

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LORD

Jay
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I was very lucky and got a surprise Gemmasta GF3 for xmas, I have always been interested in lapidary and watch a lot of YouTube vids but have no idea where to start.
Seems to have come with lots of extras and I have a lot of material to practise on, any advice would be appreciated 👍
I will probably spend the next month or 2 reading and YouTubeing to get my head around it
 
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Don't know if you've seen him or not, but I've been watching Justin K Primm videos recently. I'm certainly no lapidary but he appears to know what he's talking about. He also has a book out.
 

LORD

Jay
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Well done on the gift. Not sure if there is a gem club nearby but getting someone that knows what they are doing would be a huge benefit. Mackka
I have just moved to the yourk peninsula, South Australia and looks like there is one nearby in Moonta so I will have to get the misses to join on FB and see when they have a meet 😀👍
 

LORD

Jay
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WhatsApp Image 2022-12-30 at 18.58.32.jpg

Here she is, cleaned up in all her glory

WhatsApp Image 2022-12-30 at 19.07.37.jpg

These are the Laps that came with the machine, If anyone can assist with whats what ect that would be greatly appreciated.
Top left to right, diamond 600 grit (new), thin green steel with no info? 3rd has tim lap in texta?, last says master lap.
Bottom row, 2 larger brass topped laps? Next has last lap in texta, 4th is a clear plastic lap, final says channel disk in texta and looks to be like leather topped..
I am guessing all but the first diamond 600 grit will need diamond paste added?

Yest that my pet Lizard in the photo helping too haha
 
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Don't need no diamond paste, just throw the lizard on its back on top of any of the plates, rub it up and down a few times and BOB's your Uncle. 👍

Healthy looking Dragon.

The Gem Master looks to be in good condition, and accessories are a bonus.

 
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600 diamond is for fine cutting before moving to pre-polish sequences, so you might go 600 > 1200 or 3000, then pre-polish and final polish. Green, no idea, Tin is a polishing lap, Master is used under diamond thin laps for roughing and coarse cutting. The big brass & copper laps are pre-polish laps, these are used with diamond grits, 6k, 12k, etc. The next one is a final polish lap, plastic is 'Lucite' which is used with Cerium for final polish on Quartz stones, final ons is a ???

When you have second hand laps one of the hardest things is finding out what grit was/is on them. The only one which won't have a grit is the master as this should be a flat, true backing lap for the thin grit discs.

First off do you have a strait edge? An engineers steel ruler is ideal, take this and see of the laps are flat, look across the lap face into the light with the steel rule across the face, you don't want to see any light, laps have to be absolutely flat otherwise you'll never cut an accurate stone. If they show hollows they will need to be dressed by a good lathe operator. Laps have to be flat and parallel face to face to 0.0001" Dressing will also get rid of the previous coating so you can start fresh.

Next thing is to check the bearings on the main spindle, they should be smooth like silk, then check if the mast is a right angles to the plattern. There are several ways of doing this, easiest is using a 3B pencil. Divide the plattern into 3 equal sectors and blacken an outer section of each, then take the quill with a dop and lower it until it just mark the blackened area at 2 points, these will be approx 2 and 6 o'clock, then move the mast and check at 9 o'clock, all touch points should be equal. If not, the spindle mount needs to be re-aligned.

If all this adds up and things are accurate, you're ready to start and have a good chance of developing the skills. If the machine and laps are out of alognment you'll be forever chasing your tail.

Probably the most important book you can buy is Beginners Guide to Faceting by John Broadfoot, it's worth its weight in gold!

You may like to contact the AFG South Aus director
Carol van der Pennen - Phone 0414 040 413 Email: [email protected]
She'll be able to put you in touch with any Facetors in your area who might be able to help you get started.

Enjoy the journey
 

LORD

Jay
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Thanks for the reply Dihusky, very informative 👍

I have stripped, cleaned and inspected the machine and bearing is in great condition.
I am a machinist by trade so able to check the run out on laps and even dress them when time permits at work, thanks for the heads up

Mast checks seems straight forward, this will be my next assignment.

I noticed pads of abrasive disks came with the machine, looked like orbital sander pads to me. Are these to be attached to the master lap and how so?

When I am back from working (away) in a week or so I'll post a close up of final lap, more out of curiosity. I would guess it's for cerium being of leather appearance and my minimal knowledge of opal polishing.
 
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Couple of ways of attaching the frisbee discs:

1. You can get an adhesive backed magnetic pad which you fix to the top of the master. These work well for coarse roughing but are inaccurate for anything beyond 600.

2. This depends on the master, if it's flat and doesn't have a central recess, you can simply clamp the frisbee using the retaining bolt. Works well provided the clamp bolt has something like a nylon washer under it's facing washer. You shouldn't be putting any pressure on the frisbee so it won't move..
 

Dughug

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I have just moved to the yourk peninsula, South Australia and looks like there is one nearby in Moonta so I will have to get the misses to join on FB and see when they have a meet 😀👍
G'day Lord,
there are a few very experienced facetors based in the York's and who are members of the York Peninsula Lapidary Club as well as some that are members of the Australian Facetors Guild. The YP club is based at Moonta and their new Clubrooms are well equipped. The members are very welcoming.

Yorke Peninsula Gem and Mineral Club PO Box 534, Kadina SA 5554 Secretary: Janet Petherick, Email, [email protected]

As Hugh suggested contact the AFG in SA the State Director is Jeff Filsell (he's had the job for a couple of years and is a very active facetor and has had GEMMASTA's. Carol is no longer State Director although she has a supply of Peter Collins and John Broadfoot's book give her a ring if you want to buy a copy) Use the Email address [email protected] to contact Jeff.

I see by your photo of the GF3 there is no angle splitter (cheater) you may be able to retro fit one by contacting Brian Boyle at GEMCUTS @ Ballina NSW
 

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