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November 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 


A Visit to Grandpa!
In the last SomeTimes, we told you about Steve Sweetman, in the UK - about how Steve, a beginning faceter, had gotten an outstanding score and judge's review on his first stone, in the UK faceting competition.

Well, Steve is enthusiastic about it, and has even launched into designing...see his first one below...the "Marvel Star" (named after Marvel Farm, where Steve lives) - cut in CZ.

Steve's whole family is enthusiastic about his faceting - including his grandchildren.  Here's a picture of Steve with his granddaughter Freya, aged 7, having a first-time faceting lesson with grandpa.


The Ultra Tec Fantasy Machine makes the difference in my gemstone designs. 
By Mark Oros


The Ultra Tec Fantasy Machine makes the difference in my gemstone designs.
When I first started cutting stones, a friend several decades my junior said to me, "Design something different. We do not want to wear our grandmother's gemstones."  I took this comment to heart but never the less, found myself cutting classic designs.  Although I could provide precision cutting, superior polishes, and higher grade material, I still found myself competing on price with the majority of jewelers and collectors that bought gemstones in my area. It became clear to me that I had to innovate my designs in order to turn my hobby faceting into a viable business.  After several false starts, it occurred to me that the only way to create something original was to create a process that was original.  If I did something differently, then my results would be more likely to be different. This worked for a while, and I started catch the interest of custom bench jewelers and customers that needed to express their individuality.  However, I wanted to to take it a step further.  

It was then that I started to realize that there was a gemstone renaissance occurring in the industry.  Gemstone carvers were using non-intended tools, new tools, and a combination of tools to create completely unique gemstone designs. This new use of tools created a combination of techniques that allowed the gemstone artist to be no longer limited to traditional methods and freed the boundaries of their imagination.  I studied their work and began to unravel the way they were accomplishing their sophisticated techniques and avant garde designs.  It was from this realm of gemstone pioneers that I realized that I needed to forge my own style and unique designs.  I felt a pull to the past and the classic gemstone design, but at the same time my imagination wondered about trying new tools and techniques.  

This was when I purchased the Ultra Tec Fantasy Machine and started to add embellishments and variations on classic designs.  Although the Fantasy Machine has far more capability then I use today, it has changed my process of cutting gemstones and has enabled me to create designs and products that are very desirable to my clients.  I marvel at today's gemstone artists and the extreme treatment and technique that they apply to their gemstone creations all the while I continue to innovate my designs with the wonderfully versatile Ultra Tec Fantasy Machine.  

For me, it is not how much time I use on the Fantasy Machine to create gemstone, but how I use it - where I put a series of small concave cuts, a single slice, a dimple or a rounded edge.   These simple embellishments go a long way in taking a gemstone several generations forward.

By Mark Oros
(607) 379-2751
Chief Editor United States Faceting Guild

The 1st FLORIDA FACETERS FROLIC -- A Great Start! 



The First Florida Faceters Frolic happened on September 25-27, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.  

From Organizer, Tom Mitchell


Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you!  Thank you!! Thank you!!!  I can't begin to thank you enough for your vendor, speaker and instructor participation in the first ever Florida Faceters Frolic.    All in all, I feel that it was a success and I hope you all did well.
In future years the event would most likely be in a smaller venue so that the vendors are not so spread out.   If you have any comments or feedback I would love to hear it.  Again, thank you so much for your participation.   
Tom Mitchell
Tomoka Faceters Guild, President


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.

More on Fantasy Faceting
So I am starting to get used to the Ultra Tec Fantasy machine, all is running well and I have to thank Larry Mattos of Ashton Gems in the US for his designs, anyone thinking of fantasy cutting, will find his web site of interest, he cuts and sells fantasy cut stones but in addition he has a large number of fantasy faceting diagrams with full instructions and advice on how to cut these stones.

They are not Gem Cad files but .pdf and are downloadable F O C. this cut that I have just completed is one of his and I thank him for it.
So to begin, first mistake I made was not to set up the mast to the centre of the cutter, not a disaster but not to be recommended, the stone is an oval I had, from an Estate sale, a 20 x 15 oval well faceted very pale natural Citrine which I cut to a round first of all.

All of the pavilion facets were well cut so it was just a case of transferring the V5 mast to the fantasy machine and forgetting to align the mast and motor.
For those who did not read my last article here is a pic of the machine.

M =V5 mast 
A=motor to reciprocate cutting table     
B=cutter motor     C= reciprocating table      d=copper cutting tool        e=to adjust forward and back of A,B,C &d    and f=dial gauge to be able to return to a previous point when adjusting e.

Whilst it is important to centre the dop and cutter, failing to do so gave me a few problems later and I needed to adjust the cutting angles to overcome this and learn by my mistakes. I locked the quill to the mast, allowing me to inspect the cut as it progressed.

The table was offset by 40deg and for the pavilion there were 2 rows of concave cuts.

I now do not use any of the cutter shields (or use a sponge to rub against the cutter) as supplied with the machine but cut using 1200 diamond powder, mixed with H1 food safe grease from New Tec lubes in the UK. So here is the 8mm copper mandrel as supplied by Ultra Tec, the cutter is rotating clockwise to cut into the stone and the cutter is reciprocating which is clearly shown on the pic by the trace it leaves on the cutter. ( to take the picture both motors were turned off )

This gives an overall view of the machine and the position of the table.
Now the second row of concave cuts, if the cutter dries I apply a little olive oil which seems to lubricate the cutter nicely.


This shows all the concave facets un-polished --  with the original polished facets over-cut with the concave facets. I polished all of the concave cuts with cerium oxide and water on an 8mm Matrix mandrel. transferred the stone and cut the crown concave facets, using the original table. As you can see the concave facets are deeply cut and the culet is very sharp.

Here is the pavilion and crown, fully faceted and polished. and below is the stone showing the pale yellow colour

There are other fantasy cut stones (for sale) on my website 

If any one wishes to ask any questions, my email address is

My next attempt at a fantasy cut will be using not only the concave mandrels but the slicing cutter and a ball cutter to give a new dimension to the stones.


Jeff Warrington in Bognor Regis

 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!


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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.


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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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