You are not logged in.

  • Register to access all forum features  

#1

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
08 February 2020 06:09 pm

Hey to start I'm gonna say I have only cabbed one stone in my life but I'm an avid sapphire and gold prospector in central queensland. Ive just started my diploma in gemology and want to start faceting. I have a good lead on a very new halls xtra and it's under 2 years old. Do I take the risk on second hand or buy new. I want to start with the most accurate and precise faceting machine I can. Any advice? Thanks guys

#2

Wally69
Member
From: Sydney
Joined: 13 December 2013
Posts: 3,343
Member
08 February 2020 09:39 pm

Lots of variables to consider:

2yo is almost straight out of the showroom compared to most second hand machines, but like a car, it depends on the mileage and how the driver treated it

If finance is not an issue, your annual depreciation on a new machine will be far less than the registration cost of a sports car.

If you buy a good second hand machine and decide to upgrade, you may get your money back in its entirety plus enjoy the satisfaction of driving a new once once you have learnt to cut and polish properly

Regardless of old or new, tuning your machine to cut true will be a key element, the rest is knowing how to manipulate the stone.

For me, I purchased second hand and have enjoyed upgrading to different second hand machines. I am only now contemplating an upgrade to a new machine, but have enjoyed the learning journey and experiences I have had along the way.

Good tuition is more important than the machine in my book, i think I could now cut and polish a stone on a 1400’s foot powered wheel as the skill you need to learn is more about manipulating geometry, polish types and how the different hardness of a stone reacts to speed and pressure.

It all starts with that first step gemstone gemstone gemstone enjoy the journey HW gemstone gemstone gemstone gemstone gemstone

6 users like this post: Gilly47, Dihusky, goody2shoes, Bullwinkle, LoneWolf, Jaros

#3

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
09 February 2020 12:18 pm

Thanks for the all the info I'm still a bit concerned I have been looking at it a lot and the seller is on the other side of the country so I have about 30 kg of shipping on top of the price. It do e s come with a few things but I never saw any photos of laps with it and again I could get it new p plus laps bought and shipped for around the same price. There is a no return policy at the moment and wants payment by bank transfer so I have 0 protection. I've been looking at brand new digital readout machines and I can get an omni or a patriot. If I saved a bit longer I could have a new facetron digital.. I know machines don't depreciate very fast but is it worth it or do I go s something newer and fancier if I wait. Any further suggestions I have till around Monday till she won't hold it any longer. Like anything I should know or consider?

Amazing sources of info here
Thanks gemstone

#4

LoneWolf
Member
From: Gold Coast, QLD
Joined: 12 April 2016
Posts: 3,743
Member
09 February 2020 12:56 pm

If it was Me, I would not buy something sight un-seen... Too many scammers out there... It may be Genuine, and it may not be too... Always a risk...

They are very good machines tho...

LW....


Growing Old is Inevitable.... Growing Up is Optional.... Prospectors United Will Never Be Defeated

#5

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
09 February 2020 01:29 pm

So I should probably drop the idea without any kind of refund available or I've even looked at facetron and ultra tec and vj with dad and they seem to be as good as you can go. Do I save more and go new with warranty or risk the unknown second hand machine and 3ish boxes of unknown magazines and books and hope everything is there?

Last edited by Hatchetwarrior (09 February 2020 01:29 pm)

#6

Prooz
Member
From: Cairns, QLD
Joined: 04 June 2014
Posts: 205
Member
09 February 2020 02:00 pm

Do you know anyone in the town/city that it's located inn, to check it for you? I don't want to know were it is, but if it was in my location I would check it for you.

After all they are built in Cairns.

Cheers Prooz


Minelab Explorer SE. Minelab GPZ 7000 Equinox 800

#7

grubstake
Member
From: Perth, WA
Joined: 20 October 2014
Posts: 2,102
Member
09 February 2020 02:50 pm

Hatchetwarrior wrote:

So I should probably drop the idea without any kind of refund available or I've even looked at facetron and ultra tec and vj with dad and they seem to be as good as you can go. Do I save more and go new with warranty or risk the unknown second hand machine and 3ish boxes of unknown magazines and books and hope everything is there?

I'm guessing it's the machine on Gumtree in Kulnura, NSW? The seller is more than likely genuine, but won't have the expertise to be able to help with after-sales issues, as it was her late father's and she probably knows little about it. $4,500 (+ freight) is a lot to outlay for a beginner who may need some hand-holding while learning the ropes. How much is a new one, anyway?


Where it is, there it is.

#8

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
09 February 2020 04:07 pm

I looked around and they are 3400ish new you can get one directly from cairns. It has a small amount of unknown stone some cut some rough apparently everything that came with it. Some magazines and books and a lot of facet diagrams and 20 discs a couple of metal and rest plastic from what I've seen. It seems decent if I can get shipping at a decent rate. What do you think is fair? I'm not try to rip anyone or be ripped. Only problems I have is knowing it is doing everything right once set up the asking price plus the freight and not being able to inspect it also im getting close to a new facetron or something digital at least. Should I even try negotiate or give it in? Other people want it too she says. Cheers guys I'm glad I joined this forum. I have an overwhelming response of don't touch it so far which is good advice.

#9

Prooz
Member
From: Cairns, QLD
Joined: 04 June 2014
Posts: 205
Member
09 February 2020 04:30 pm

If going new a new Hall that is, the last time I spoke to Peter at Unamit there was a 12 month wait, that was before Christmas. If it is the one in Kulnura NSW there is a lot with it, but still a lot of money, and site unseen.
If I was going to spend that sought of money I would want to see it, and maybe offer $4000.

Good luck.


Minelab Explorer SE. Minelab GPZ 7000 Equinox 800

1 user likes this post: grubstake

#10

Bullwinkle
Member
Joined: 05 March 2017
Posts: 103
Member
09 February 2020 04:35 pm

I just ordered a Halls Extra new for $3520 inc freight. Comes with dops, transfer jig & few other bits & pieces. I'll still have to buy laps etc. Which will be an initial outlay of around $400. So all up it's cost me about $4K to set up for cutting.

There is a wait of about 5 months on manufacture, but Peter, the bloke who makes them, has just put on an extra bloke so this should reduce the wait time. This doesn't worry me as I'll be outback hopefully finding some stones to cut. I also like the idea of supporting an Aussie business.

Last edited by Bullwinkle (09 February 2020 04:36 pm)

3 users like this post: LoneWolf, Gilly47, Oldgreg

#11

grubstake
Member
From: Perth, WA
Joined: 20 October 2014
Posts: 2,102
Member
09 February 2020 05:46 pm

Hatchetwarrior wrote:

I looked around and they are 3400ish new you can get one directly from cairns. It has a small amount of unknown stone some cut some rough apparently everything that came with it. Some magazines and books and a lot of facet diagrams and 20 discs a couple of metal and rest plastic from what I've seen. It seems decent if I can get shipping at a decent rate. What do you think is fair? I'm not try to rip anyone or be ripped. Only problems I have is knowing it is doing everything right once set up the asking price plus the freight and not being able to inspect it also im getting close to a new facetron or something digital at least. Should I even try negotiate or give it in? Other people want it too she says. Cheers guys I'm glad I joined this forum. I have an overwhelming response of don't touch it so far which is good advice.

Other people may well want it, but the question is: how much are they willing to pay? Maybe these machines are like hen's teeth and hold their value indefinitely? Personally, I have no idea, although I see there's an older, less complete package on Gumtree for $3,500, that's been listed since December:
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/atherto … 1235763261


Where it is, there it is.

#12

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
09 February 2020 06:43 pm

Thanks I mean both are amazing deals but at the moment I have to weigh up new vs old and how much can break in shipping plus how to package it safely for interstate transporting cause I'm currently in mount morgan central queensland. Way too far to drive to either listings. I'll keep you up to date

1 user likes this post: grubstake

#13

Dihusky
Member
From: Gold Coast, QLD
Joined: 16 June 2017
Posts: 924
Member
09 February 2020 07:24 pm

grubstake wrote:

Other people may well want it, but the question is: how much are they willing to pay? Maybe these machines are like hen's teeth and hold their value indefinitely? Personally, I have no idea, although I see there's an older, less complete package on Gumtree for $3,500, that's been listed since December:
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/atherto … 1235763261

That,s a Hall Mk5, good solid machine but too much money, should be around $1k less than that at $2.5k.

A Hall Xtra for $4,500 is way over the top, probably working on the principal that when you order a new one it will take anything from 9-12 months to arrive.

My wife had an Xtra for a while and hated it, but she does wear bi-focals which make the Xtra very hard to work with.

Suggest you find a club and learn a bit first, plus get to work some different machines, but if there is nothing local, the Mk5 is probably a better buy provided you can negotiate the price down. The laps with it are not worth much and the polishing lap needs re-machining. Factor in new spindle bearings as well, they are only around $10 each, plus time to install, motor bearing might be needed as well.

You'll also need 2 pre-polish laps, copper on aluminum backing, around $60 I think, one for 3k and one for 8k. machine looks clean, if you go for it just make sure they remove the mast if if bent the machine is cactus without getting a new one made. The Mk5 would have to be somewhere between 10 -20 yrs old, at least three models were made after the Mk5, the 2000, the 2000 with extended protractor and the Xtra, my 2000 extended is 2010 vintage.

2 users like this post: grubstake, LoneWolf

#14

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
10 February 2020 08:12 am

Thanks for all the information so far . I'm starting to look at new machines so I have no gamble in the purchase. And I want some digital readout too I've seen some as far as depth of cut monitors alongside highly modded machines with from,angle and depth for less than what I have looked at. I know a machine can be a lifetime investment and I'm not on the hunt for rough right now I'm back where I can speck for gold. I do have a nearby club I joined but they aren't very active.

The idea is to learn to cut a good stone precisely and then move onto sapphire rough. I know sapphire is a quite hard stone on the mohs scale so I'm looking to learn on something softer to make the most of my laps cause those fucked up can be expensive. I tried to talk to the lady about if she was flexible on 4.5k and she said outright no.

I was considering learning with a master lap and toppers before I go nuts on metal and ceramic gear. Is that a better way to start and learn rather than wreck stone and resurfacing metal?

#15

Prooz
Member
From: Cairns, QLD
Joined: 04 June 2014
Posts: 205
Member
10 February 2020 09:00 am

4.5k, I'm a beginner as well. That's a big outlay for a beginner. I was lucky and found a old Hall machine 12 months ago at a give away price and having fun with it.


Minelab Explorer SE. Minelab GPZ 7000 Equinox 800

#16

Dihusky
Member
From: Gold Coast, QLD
Joined: 16 June 2017
Posts: 924
Member
10 February 2020 10:36 pm

Hatchetwarrior wrote:

Thanks for all the information so far . I'm starting to look at new machines so I have no gamble in the purchase. And I want some digital readout too I've seen some as far as depth of cut monitors alongside highly modded machines with from,angle and depth for less than what I have looked at. I know a machine can be a lifetime investment and I'm not on the hunt for rough right now I'm back where I can speck for gold. I do have a nearby club I joined but they aren't very active.

The idea is to learn to cut a good stone precisely and then move onto sapphire rough. I know sapphire is a quite hard stone on the mohs scale so I'm looking to learn on something softer to make the most of my laps cause those fucked up can be expensive. I tried to talk to the lady about if she was flexible on 4.5k and she said outright no.

I was considering learning with a master lap and toppers before I go nuts on metal and ceramic gear. Is that a better way to start and learn rather than wreck stone and resurfacing metal?

When you start to develop as a gem cutter, your best 'tools' for cutting an accurate gem is feel and your eyes, they will produce a better stone than any digital gizmo. My machine has a dial gauge, it is only a gauge nothing more.

Accuracy comes from observing the facets via a good magnifier, all the top cutters use Belomo 10X loupes. It's all about observation not digitisation.

Most of us use a master with toppers up to 1200, then the pre-polish takes over and refines the alignments, these wear and will always need re-dressing to keep them flat. It's easier to re-dress regularly than let them hollow out and have them re-machined.

#17

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
10 February 2020 10:37 pm

So I've decided to work on my Gaa diploma further and save a bit more for a new digital VJ premier. They seem to be one of the more highly recommended machines that has digital readouts. I can buy some literature and learn about it while I wait for completion of the machine and finish up rounding up the cash. Anyone know where to start with silver/gold casting and refining advice I'll find what I can but if you do know please tell me? I can buy my info now buy a couple of tools and start making castings for my already cur stone. Thanks guys.

#18

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
10 February 2020 10:42 pm

I replied while you were posting I'm using the best accuracy tools I can so I can be sure that while learning I can try the by ear method with the right amount of time invested I'm sure it will be worth it. I'll treat it well and then if there is some big development I can look into it then but this is a lifetime buy for me. I'm 30 odd now with 15 years of old school learning about fossicking and practising where there is something to be found. My finds are financing the machine so it's a bit of a win win as long as gold price stays up I have more than enough I figure.

#19

Bullwinkle
Member
Joined: 05 March 2017
Posts: 103
Member
11 February 2020 01:41 pm

According to an ad the last Facet Talk Magazine, produced by the Australian Facetors Guild, you can buy a brand new Halls Xtra, with the dops, transfer jig etc for $3300. I assume that you would need to be a member of AFG to get this price.

#20

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
11 February 2020 04:56 pm

I'd pay the price but I decided to go digital apparently someone paidv4k for the lot. I'm so glad it wasn't me! Could of been that or close had I not asked around.

#21

Bullwinkle
Member
Joined: 05 March 2017
Posts: 103
Member
11 February 2020 05:45 pm

Awesome! You won't look back.

#22

SneakyCuttlefish
Member
Joined: 24 June 2014
Posts: 316
Member
13 February 2020 07:20 pm

I tried to buy a Halls for my first machine. 14 months wait and a check in call every few months. Got a bit annoyed towards the end with being told "2 weeks" every time. So I stopped calling. Never got a call to say it was done, never received the machine. The guy who makes them is only an hour from me.

Tried to buy a Gemmasta after that. Was told 7 month wait, if I'm lucky. (heard that story before)

So I went and bought a Facetron. Landed on my doorstep in 8 weeks. Good machine. Sent the head back for a general check up and recalibrate a while ago. Only took a few weeks round trip and the service and communication from the maker was excellent.

I sincerly would have preffered to buy aussie made but oh well.

#23

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
14 February 2020 11:44 am

Well I am looking for something that is worth the purchase, meets my requirements and is available within 6 months or so of order. As far as I have pspoken to anyone who cuts that is experienced with more than one machine only one person said a VJ wasn't a good investment. The turnaround on them meets how long is a reasonable wait is and the pricing is good for the quality and digital instrumentation. Haven't seen a used machine anywhere online or through asking around people that might know someone who will let their setup go for much under new pricing. I'm glad I did more research and asked around. Hopefully I dont fall into an infinite wait time when I do order something new. Or there is a proper value deal up for grabs. Laps are expensive but buying a broken machine as working then having to get parts or repairs done would exceed the price new f9r o m what I have been able to ascertain.

#24

Dihusky
Member
From: Gold Coast, QLD
Joined: 16 June 2017
Posts: 924
Member
14 February 2020 11:28 pm

I've used Imahashi, Gemmasta GF3 & 4, Hall Xtra, Hall 2000 and VJ, the Imahashi copy from SriLanka the Sterling is also an excellent and accurate machine for not a lot of money. The 2 I'm not fond of are the Xtra and the VJ, the Xtra because its small and I find the protractor is hard to see and tricky to repeat angles accurately. The VJ has unique ergonomics which I found very difficult to work with even having cut a dozen stones on it, my wife is using it now but also finding it tricky having spent a long time on mast machines but she is persevering. The VJ is in my opinion a love or hate machine.

For fast commercial cuts I'd go back to an Imahashi or a Sterling any day, but for demanding designer cuts and gem recuts/repairs the Hall 2000 extended is very hard to beat. I'd buy a second one in a flash, but they are rare.

If you asked me what machine I would but if wanting a new machine it would be the Polymetric Scintillator 88 seconded by the Ultra Tek, the Scintillator uses 'off the shelf' parts whereas the Ultra Tek has to be factory parts. Both are recognised as being top shelf machines.

Try and find a way where you can try some different machines before you buy. Look for local groups on the AFG website as they have members everywhere around Aus and they will offer you wisdom which comes from many years of cutting.

1 user likes this post: grubstake

#25

Hatchetwarrior
Member
Joined: 08 February 2020
Posts: 11
Member
15 February 2020 06:50 am

I was compelled towards an Australian purchase that being a VJ you are the only the sec9nd to fault it. I have done alot of research so far and I'm accepting of any input I can get. Are you saying a VJ is a bad option for precise and repeatable quality cutting because of the curvature of the VJ compared to a traditional straight mast machine.


Contact Us - Privacy Policy - Terms Of Service

View Desktop Site

Top