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 Post subject: New to this... first faceting machine?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:17 pm
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Hey all -

Wife and I have decided to get into faceting. Wish I did when I lived in Tucson, but I’m in Phoenix now, so it won’t be a terrible drive to pick up rough if the gem show ever happens again...

Anyway, trying not to break the bank too hard going overboard with equipment before I figure out if this is something we’re really going to stick with, so I’ve narrowed my search down to three candidates. Being that you all have significantly more experience than me, I’m curious if you can tell me what some of the pitfalls might be...

1. Lightly used MDR 102 off of Craigslist— everything is apparently in working order, and the seller seems motivated. Comes with a bunch of extras for about $350. Problem is, since it’s used I don’t necessarily know what I’m looking for when I show up

2. Sterling hand mast from Sterling - a whole setup would run me $1300 as I understand it, but I’d also have to get Laos and dops with it. The hand mast seems really nice - something about being able to pick up and examine the gem as I’m cutting seems nice. I haven’t seen anything “bad” about Sterling online - but that’s what I’m looking for, if it’s a “buyer beware” situation. I’m also not thrilled about patiently waiting for it to show up for like 2 months.

3. Fable hand unit from AliBaba - looks like AliBaba has fable units for $400... but while I can find good reviews of Sterling online, I can’t find anyone talking about fables. Are they junk?

Thanks for your help!


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 Post subject: Re: New to this... first faceting machine?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:01 pm 
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Of those choices I would go with the MDR if it is complete and in good shape, second choice for me is the Sterling.


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 Post subject: Re: New to this... first faceting machine?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:29 pm 
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Wound up locking down the guy on the MDR! I head out to pick it up from him on Sunday!


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 Post subject: Re: New to this... first faceting machine?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:40 pm 
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azrugger wrote:
Wound up locking down the guy on the MDR! I head out to pick it up from him on Sunday!



Congratulations! lets us know when you need help.


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 Post subject: Re: New to this... first faceting machine?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:17 pm
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814 miles under my belt yesterday. Had to drive from Phoenix to LA and back, but I'm all set up! A friendly user on reddit has provided me with a method to determine if it's properly aligned - I'll be doing that soon. Came with Laps (a course, a fine, a polishing, and a support lap) two dopping jigs, a table attachment, about 30 dops, a guide for the MDR, the lamp, water buckets, desk, and a bunch of practice rough (he included quartz and small corundum) all for $400. Assuming everything is aligned properly, I feel like I got a smoking deal!

As far as what my next steps are with regards to equipment.... I'd like to put a new index gear on it, because this one is 64, and it seems like most designs are written against 96 indices... but since MDR is no longer around, how do I find an index gear that fits?

Also, "someday" I'd like to find a way to install a digital protractor... but maybe my better bet is to just use this until I'm ready to upgrade to my second faceting machine, and worry about digital at that point. I'm not sure how easily that would translate.

My final question is this -- as far as dopping goes, I see a lot of youtubers use superglue rather than dopping wax - and then remove the gem using acetone. This seems way less labor intensive than using wax. Is there something I'm missing here regarding Superglue/2 part epoxy/Wax for dopping? Other than preference? I suppose wax would be much faster.

I'll post a picture of the whole setup later, unfortunately the only image I have on this pc is >800px wide.


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