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September 2012
In this issue...
V5 Faceting Machine - Intro Video Ad...
FFF5 -- Franklin Faceters Frolic 2012
Introducing.... Some Top Notch Faceting
KEYNOTE ARTICLE -...Ten Suggestions for Setting Up Workspace...
Social Networking
Introducing.... A New Representative... Doug Augspurger
Introducing.... A New Representative...Marc Oros
V5 Faceting Machine
V5 Faceting Machine - Intro Video Ad



Welcome to the latest edition of The SomeTimes Newsletter!
Back with the latest edition of the news, from the Lapidary World of Ultra Tec. We thank you for all your interesting comments and the feedback on the products we make!
FFF5 -- Franklin Faceters Frolic 2012
Joan Beckham
Joan Beckham of Beckham's Barn
At the end of July, the 5th Franklin Faceter's' Frolic took place - and some of you lucky people were able to attend.  When Roy Kersey and Will Smith came up with the idea of a "Faceters' Frolic" and organized the first one, in 2008, little did they know that five years later it would still be "rolling along".  
This year, 2012, saw the fifth in the series - so it has become an "annual".  The faceting community owes a debt of thanks to Roy and Will, for their inspiration to do it, and for the hard work it has taken to carrying it out.

Hal Hume
Hal Hume, Ultra Tec Representative from Hendersonville, NC, showing the V5 to an interested youngster

There were demonstrations of the V5 Classic Faceting machine and The Fantasy Machine

Tom Maxwell
Tom Maxwell of Beckham's Barn at the Fantasy Machine

Introducing.... Some Top Notch Faceting

Jean-Noel Soni is a professional cutter in California (Top Notch Faceting).  Jean-Noel became an Ultra Tec faceter in January of this year, when he purchased one of the first V5's, replacing his old faceting machine that he said had "kicked the bucket".  


He quickly became an Ultra Tec V5 enthusiast...and he writes, " faceting has gotten exponentially faster with the V5.  It has something to do with the short amount of time switching between angles and the rigidity of the mast. I'm no engineer but whatever it is that you guys did with the V5, it works great! ... I'm very proud to own such a wonderfully thought out piece of exacting machinery."  We thank Jean-Noel for his complimentary words... 


Please visit his web-site at



And we thank him for the interesting sequence of photos that he included in his email - taken in progress as he faceted a Zircon from Tanzania.  

Soni Zircon Collage
The work speaks for itself!


Now, Jean-Noel is another pleased "professional cutter" - but it isn't only pro's who have sent along compliments on the V5:   


Sue Critz is a hobbyist from El Paso.  Sue upgraded her V2 to the V5 configuration about 5 months ago, and here's what she had to say:  "Cutting on the V5 is wickedly easy!  I'm so glad I did the V5 upgrade.  Now I can concentrate on bringing the best out of a piece of rough rather than the process of working with the machine.  The V5 has made life easier."


John Ake, of Wyoming, has been an Ultra Tec faceting hobbyist for many years.  He writes:  " All In all, along with the DAD, the V5 design is the best upgrade that you have done...I'm very pleased...GOOD SHOW!"


Allen Peterson, of Connecticut emails:  "This V5 is fantastic and an absolute joy to work with...I am having a ball!"


V-50 Head Close-up
V5 Faceting Mast



Whatever the age of your machine THE V5 UPGRADE will make it "young again" - and will provide you with greater precision and repeatability and double-fast operation. (It's a factory installation, with a 2-day turn around). 


Click here for more details...


John Dyer 2012 See what John Dyer has been up to these days.  On John's website, click your way to "Combination and Fantasy Cut gemstones"  It will be a treat.  There are almost a hundred stones to see, ranging from under a half carat to over 90 carats.  Even on the small stones John gives vent to his artistic urge -  and the large stones give his imagination room to wander.  Here are some samples...




AND...included in the lineup is this one...we'd like to say "it speaks for itself" - we think it does - but the AGTA has seized the chance to speak for it.


The AGTA has announced:  We are excited to launch The AGTA Daily Gem; a daily showcase of beautiful gemstones and jewelry from our AGTA Members!  We kick things off with a stunning 14.00 ct. Oregon Sunstone by John Dyer. It features the Dreamscape™ cut, which enhances the very rich, rare color of this gemstone.


So, congratulations, John for this special AGTA honor!


dyer Dreamscape



Ten Suggestions for Setting Up Workspace




By Dalan Hargrave



How to do it ALL WRONG!



One of the most frequently asked questions I get is "How high should I make my faceting machine?" To answer that question I always respond by focusing on the chair first. The chair is perhaps one of the most critical pieces of equipment in any faceter's workshop. The reason is quite simple of course. You are going to spend hour after hour in that chair and it needs to fit like a glove. Once you find the perfect fit chair that gives you support for your size, you can then begin measuring the rest of the setup.


Occasionally someone will ask me how high my chair is. Unfortunately that's not much help since I am 6'9" and weigh ..... well, let's just say I need a serious Papa Bear chair. With all this in mind, I've put together a suggestion list for setting up a workspace that is both functional and comfortable. No matter whether you're a hobbyist or professional, having the proper setup can make faceting a more enjoyable experience. You might consider this a check list to see how your setup fits.


Dalan 'doing it right' in his own custom Workspace


1.    Find a suitable space you can dedicate to set up your shop. I happen to like the corner of a room so I can have shelves or storage space to the left or right of the faceting bench.


2.    Get an office chair that fits your size. Raise the chair so that your knees are bent as close to 90 degrees as possible. Find one that gives you back support and arm rest if you prefer. While sitting in your properly adjusted chair you can now begin measuring and organizing the rest of your setup.


3.    Adjusting the height of your faceting machine is the second most critical measurement of all. Most people I know have grabbed any old desk or table first and then tried to fit everything else around it. Remember this is only a suggestion. While sitting in your chair, try to imagine slightly nodding your head forward to comfortably inspect a stone mounted in your machine of choice. Measure the height of that stone down to the floor. Next measure your machine with the quill in your inspection position.   (from the stone down to the work surface the machine sits on.) By subtracting that from the first measurement you took down to the floor, you now have the height your work surface needs to be.


4.    Now you can begin looking for a suitable piece of furniture  for your faceting machine. You might consider building your faceting machine into a desk or counter top or even building a custom fit desk. You can always add support blocks or extend or shorten legs if necessary to achieve the proper height.


5.    Proper lighting can have a huge impact on the whole process. I recommend having an overhead light to light the whole area and a movable flex or arm type of light for inspecting facets as you go. A florescent fixture is adequate to light the general area but not for inspection. Inspection lights are highly subjective to the user. I prefer a single 40 or 60 watt soft white light bulb. Knowing how to use it is subject for another discussion.


6.    While sitting in your chair with your machine situated at the proper height you're ready to start accessorizing. I suggest you start with lap storage. The word here is "convenience group". You'll be changing laps frequently and you want them close, easy to get to and protected. It's best to locate this area out of the splash zone to minimize contamination. As a rule, in a cabinet or on shelves I keep the coarse grit laps lower than sanding and those lower than polishing. This helps fight contamination since particles fall down not up.


 7.    Continue accessorizing with a dedicated dop station. This is where I prefer a corner with a shelf mounted at the proper height for you, to use for dopping stones and dop storage. This should be a secure location where things won't get disturbed if you use glue dopping methods or where you can store dopped stones waiting to be cut. Some place where the cat can't knock them over. Ask me how I know that.


8.    Now let's think about chemical storage. Many of the chemicals used in faceting can be dangerous to children and even adults who use them. Having a secure cabinet or drawer is a must. For spray bottles with diamond, cerium, denatured alcohol and so on, you will want to keep them close at hand for use, however, they should go back in storage for safe keeping when not in use.


9.    To finish accessorizing you might want a drawer for tweezers, gages and various other hand tools you will use while faceting.


10.  Additional equipment you will use includes a trim saw. This is one piece of equipment I don't mind being located some distance from the faceting machine since it tends to make a mess wherever it is.


Again, these are only suggestions for those who don't know where to start with a setup. The most important thing is to take the time to make your work area fit you. It will be time well spent.



Dalan at FFF3 


For more details on Dalan's Gem Cutting Activities, please visit



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Introducing.... New Representative...

Doug Augspurger
Doug in his nicely organized workshop

 We Welcome Doug Augspurger 



 ... Orlando, Florida 












Doug's father, Willard, was a very active faceter in the 1980's.  He'd call into Ultra Tec about every other Friday, late in the day, brimming - burning - with ideas.  It was winding-down-the-week fun.   When Doug called, sounding like his Dad, it was like a "voice out of the past".


Doug writes: "My first recollection with rocks and gemstones was in the mid 70's when my father became fascinated with tumbling rocks and later, cutting cabochons.  That eventually led to the purchase of a faceting machine, and bright shiny faceted stones which set the scene for the future. Dad became quite the faceter over the next few years, ultimately turning his hobby into a great activity for his retirement. Unfortunately, Dad's retirement was short-lived, due to a paralyzing stroke in 1989, and he was never able to facet another stone. I kept his equipment and in 1998 cut my very first stone on Dad's machine, an Ultra Tec V2. It was a bittersweet moment for me, knowing that I had accomplished this task on Dad's machine, as if I had somehow connected with him, and that he was vicariously living out his dream through me. I still remember the look on his face as I showed him my very first stone, and even with his impaired speech, he was able to say "Great Job!" Now, almost 14 years and a few hundred stones later, I still love the excitement and beauty of each stone as it progresses into a final work of art. " 


Introducing.... New Representative...

Marc Oros
Marc Oros

 We Welcome Marc Oros 



 ... Trumansburg, New York 




Mark Oros, is a new Ultra Tec Representative in Trumansburg, NY - right near Ithaca, and Cornell University.  Mark is a now-retired University researcher who worked on development of computer networking protocols.  For his "retirement", he started a lapidary studio, "Hashnu Stones",  that creates and offers artistic lapidary works using stones and gems in new and unconventional treatments.

Now, joining with Mark in Hashnu Stones, is professional gem faceter Michael Rizzo, together bringing an expanded focus to their operation - fine Classic faceting and Fantasy faceting - a direction that is "right for them", fitting into their artistic leanings.  Michael and Mark are eager to explore new and expanded directions - "innovative creations" were Mark's words -for faceted gems and Fantasy-carved gems.




Once again, thank you as always for your interest in ULTRA TEC and our products. We'll be in touch again soon with the next Sometimes Bulletin. 



Bye for now!


The Ultra Tec Team


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fax: +1 714 542 0627

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