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September / October 2015

In this issue...



Welcome to ULTRA TEC's SomeTimes Newsletter!
Facet Forward!

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the comments, Likes and submissions to our Facebook and related social pages. 

If you haven't visited yet, please do... there are wonderful gems and cutting tips.... cut by a thriving community of many wonderful people!

Please feel free to email all your pictures to or post to our Facebook 


When a soccer player has a particularly good day and manages to score three goals, he gets special recognition - the accomplishment is called a "Hat Trick".

Well, Bill Brisebois deserves that sort of special recognition - having received  three (!) First Place gem cutting awards at the San Diego County Fair.  A faceting Hat Trick! To add another "three" into the mix, 

Bill has been faceting for only three years.  A self-taught faceter, Bill is enthusiastic about his faceting,  and he writes: "...I really appreciate the workhorse that the Ultra Tec truly is, and I am very happy with the results that I get from it....."  and, Bill also offers thanks to "...those who have contributed designs online to share with the faceting community. The winning stones (shown below) having been designs by Marco Voltolini and Arya Akhavan".


Congratulations Bill !!!






This one is happening on September 25, 26 and 27, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida . We're planning to be there -- Find out more on their FACEBOOK Page.

There will be faceting instruction, speakers, demonstrations, equipment dealers, and gem rough dealers. It is sponsored by the United States Faceters Guild, and the Tomoka Faceers Guild, in conjunction with the Jacksonville Gem and Mineral Society 27th Annual Show.


The Handle has been a feature of the Ultra Tec Mast since its beginning.  It was felt that the Handle's original design was good ergonomically - the "right way" to facet:  guide the stone with the handle and apply pressure to the stone through the handle (the Handle absorbing some of the pressure and so lightening the force applied to the stone).  It has been "the way to do it".



Over the years, there were occasional faceters who said that they preferred to hold the stone itself - and, at Tucson last year, several people mentioned it, and one said "why don't you make a Short Handle?  Fair we did it.  Easy to install - easy to replace - held in place by the existing set screw - stainless steel construction.    

We sent our prototype to faceter Mark Oros for testing. Here's what he had to say...
The Short Handle in position on Mark Oros' V5 Machine

"Being a stone-holding faceter, I find the Short Handle is more comfortable to use and allows access to the stone without hand contortion from any angle. The ability to access the stone from lower angles has improved my feel and touch, allowing controlled accuracy of cutting depth on all sizes of stones. I am also able to hook my pinky under the rocker and press the handle with my palm to disengage the segment and turn the index gear quickly and accurately. The installation of the new handle is simple and allows for me to switch easily between handles for various applications and cutters."

The Short Handle (item no. 4423.7), price $49
Available now!

PS: It will remain in stock in case you are a little short of cash right now
Report by Tom Maxwell

The eighth annual USFG-Franklin Faceters Frolic was another great event with the three day event to promote faceting and bring together faceters from all over the country.
The always popular Gem Cad classes by Robert Strickland continue to draw faceters from all levels wanting to learn and expand their knowledge of the valuable tool.
Ultra-Tec Reps Gerald Boykin and Tom Maxwell with Joan Beckham
Friday afternoon, Sue Lichtenberger held an interesting discussion on her experience in cutting her first stone for the USFG Single Stone Competition.  The SSC is an important part of the USFG and a great opportunity for faceters of all levels to improve their cutting skills.  If you haven't entered a stone in competition, be on the lookout for the 2016 competition stone designs that will be published soon.
Sue was followed by Roger Dery who introduced Sharing the Rough, a documentary of the travels of a gemstone from mine to market while exploring the challenges of an emerging mining economy in East Africa.  If you haven't seen this movie, be on the lookout for it, as it will be going into general distribution in the near future.
After the showing of Sharing the Rough, the faceters gathered for pizza and the Pretty Stone contest.  Winners of the Pretty Stone Contest were Lynn Carlson in the Natural Stone category and Chris Bayus in the Synthetic Stone category.

Pretty Stone Contest Winners - LYNN CARLSON AND CHRIS BAYUS
Saturday morning we wrapped things up with a very interesting discussion by master gem cutter Jerry Call covering several topics including his methods for faceting gems, maximizing rough and his experiences in mining gems in Brazil.
The Faceters Frolic is made possible by the generous support of the USFG, along with manufacturers, dealers and the help of numerous volunteers including Norm Holbert, Ken Michalik, Sue Lichtenberger and Tom Maxwell.
To see how far we have come over the years go to History of the Frolics
Submitted by,
Tom Maxwell
Vice President - USFG

Mitchiko Designer of this stone, Michiko Huyhn is a hobbyist and competition faceter. She has successfully gained the USFG rating of Grand Master.

When she retired as a Biochemist, Michiko started collecting gems. Seeing commercial stones that were not optimally cut, and being the perfectionist that she is, Michiko decided to cut stones herself (time for Ultra Tec) - and now, to the benefit of us all, she has added gem design to her interests.  

Click here for the 'Beginner Cushion' by Michiko Huyhn.




Jeff Warrington demonstrating the ULTRA TEC V5 at The 2015 Brighton Gem and Mineral Show on the UKFCG Booth

We're Pleased to reprint a review of the Fantasy Machine from Jeff Warrington, a cutter in the UK.


So without further ado..



Click for Document




New Representative....

CAITLIN NINEDORF ... Madison Wisconsin

Caitlin is a very accomplished faceter - she has obtained a Master Faceter rating from the United States Faceters' Guild.  And, Caitlin is currently the president of GIA Wisconsin Chapter - a group made up of GIA alums - it conducts periodic programs of interest for people involved in the world of gems.
Her company website is, and it explains that with her faceting Caitlin is carrying on a family tradition.  She is the grandniece of Reg Thompson - Reg, a pioneer - designer, writer, super cutter - and, of course, teacher.  Reg was an Ultra Tec cutter - going back to Ultra Tec's earliest days.  

So, if you visit Caitlin you are likely to pick up some gems of faceting information that originated from the old master Reg Thompson himself -  a very good reliable source.  Caitlin's  excellent cutting suggests that she has "gilded the lily" with experience and knowledge of her own.

We welcome Caitlin to the Ultra Tec family!                                                                                                                                                
Shown here - Morganite - Barion Cushion Cut - 10 ct.

ALSO FROM THE UK -  A Sweet Report from Mr. Sweetman
Hand putting check mark with green marker on five star rating. Steve Sweetman had never faceted before.  In January, he purchased an Ultra Tec V5 and started - mostly self taught - with bits of good advice from Ultra Tec Rep. Brad Amos.  Steve's intention was to enter a stone into the UK Faceters Guild competition (similar to the USFG Competition held in the USA) - as a learning experience.

It became a rush-rush thing, some urgent family matters having interrupting the cutting for a number of weeks - but, Steve, despite fighting the deadline, decided to submit the stone.
What happened...Steve was very pleased to learn that he had received a very good score - 93.68!!  

Steve wrote "Having never faceted before and having only received my V5 in mid January I am delighted. I am sure that the high quality and ease of use of the machine have been major factors in my apparently rapid climb up the learning curve."

The judges notes? - "This is a superbly cut stone.  A high standard of faceting has been shown in all areas, and the cutter should be well pleased with the standard he has already achieved...there is not much to comment for improvement".

 A NEW Social Opportunity -- LINKED IN

ULTRA TEC Faceting has a new presence on LINKED IN. Take a look at our page for interesting links and updates. If you are more of a TWITTER'er, we are right there too ( #@ultratec_facet ) ...

We welcome all our ULTRA TEC cousins as FANS -- your, pictures, videos, experiences, comments and suggestions are always welcome!


Don't Forget to Click on the FOLLOW button to be added to the community.


Follow Us on Linked IN!!

facebook link inage  Join Our Facebook Community -- Over 4200 'LIKES' & growing everyday! 
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ULTRA TEC Faceting has a thriving community on FACEBOOK. Take a look at our page for interesting links and updates. If you are more of a TWITTER'er, we are right there too ( #@ultratec_facet ) ...

We welcome all our ULTRA TEC cousins as FANS -- your, pictures, videos, experiences, comments and suggestions are always welcome!


Don't Forget to Click on the LIKE button to be added to the community.


V5 Faceting Machine
V5 Faceting Machine Ad

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 Newsletter. 


The Ultra Tec Lapidary Team


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fax: +1 714 542 0627

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