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 Post subject: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Fac-Ette users:
After having performed some routine maintenance on several of my machines, I felt it may be helpful for other Fac-Ette owners to have some insight as to what they may have to face themselves in the future. As an owner-operator there are many service items that you should not expect the factory to perform for you. In fact, there are very few things the factory may indulge you with.

In addition to maintenance items, I will include some other useful tips that may alter how you handle usage or service. And so I am hoping this guide may prove useful to you Fac-Ette users.

More to follow, with photographs.

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Roger Dery
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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:38 pm 
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Some of the concepts and tips I will suggest are just common sense. But they weren't common sense when I first started using a Fac-Ette machine. After thousands of hours on any machine, one will usually develop a sense for what's to be done.

This first item is something that Fac-Ette developed a couple of years ago, and I found it quite helpful. Some users may have a need to remove the drip pan frequently as they like to keep a clean working area. Or, one may be changing to non-water based laps and have a need to remove the pan. So Fac-Ette has made these special 'collectors' that fit under the pan and allow easier removal. Here's a pictorial that may be useful if you decide to add one of these to your machine.
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Need to remove the four screws that hold the back plate.

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Shown is the drain connector screwed on the bottom of the drip pan, which was connected to the clear plastic hose which drained into whatever you've been using. After making the addition of the ceramic collector, you will no longer need to fuss with the hose - as the collector is now connected to the hose - and you can easily pick up the drain pan and set it aside.

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The ceramic collector

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Another view of the collector showing the hold-back-ring.

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Will need to remove ring. I used tweezers to lift one end and then gently wound it up and off until it was free.

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Insert the tube section of the collector into the original opening on the protective aluminum backing plate. Re-attached the hold-back-ring. Again, I used tweezers to complete the task.

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Facing up.

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And now you can see it is cleanly connected and stable.

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Here we are looking face down on the center of the machine and can see where the water and swarf will drain. The beauty of this little $50 addition is that it has the potential to make faceting more enjoyable, and likely you will become quicker in finishing your stones as you are now eliminating another step.

I hope you found this helpful - and I will continue to add other tips regarding the usage and handling of the Fac-Ette.

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Roger Dery
Royal Oak, Michigan US
http://www.rogerdery.com


Last edited by ROGER DERY on Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Now that we have our machine 'upside-down', can have a look at a few other things. If you work with your machine on top of a table or desk, then you likely have it resting on the rubber feet that came installed from the factory. Though, if you have created a cut-out in a desk for your machine, this won't apply. But for the rest of us, it is more comfortable to work with less vibration.

The rubber lasts a long time, but they will lose their cushioning affect over time. And when they become hardened, you will notice greater vibration. They are replace-able from Fac-Ette for $26/four. But I believe they are an off-the-shelf item from tooling suppliers.

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*oh yeah, btw - there are three larger bolt/nut assemblies on the bottom of the machine. These are best left untouched by users.

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:39 pm 
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While we have the bottom open, it is wise to check the drive belt for wear, and also it's alignment. The next two photo shows some particles that have been thrown off and some residue is still attached to the paint.
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Center-right in the first photo (near the screw hole) there are some tan/whitish particles. This is residue from the drive belt.

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And here again, top-center in the photo there is a more obvious display of particles.

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The original belt is approximately 10 years old (notice the discoloration). I am replacing it with a new belt available from Fac-Ette for around $18. *Correction: the belts are less than $10. This too, is probably an off-the-shelf item, but I am not aware of a supply firm that handles this particular style.

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The belts are easy enough to remove and literally slide off the vee groove of the pulley. Once you have the new belt installed, it is wise to check the pulley alignment with a straight-edge. This way, you can ensure a good and quiet running machine.

More to come.....

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Roger Dery
Royal Oak, Michigan US
http://www.rogerdery.com


Last edited by ROGER DERY on Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Still from the bottom of the machine, looking at some other components that may, over time, need service or replacement. This next batch is more electric, or electronic, and often the parts are available in the more general type of supply firms. Here you can see the circuit board (which is specific to the machine) and the power switch in the bottom-right, and variable speed control in the top-right.

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The rheostat from the back of the machine.
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The rheostat viewed from the top of the machine. [used unit I replaced several years ago]. Inexpensive to replace and available from other makers. Helpful if you know electronics, of course.
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Power switch from the back of the machine:
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Power switch viewed from the top. This is likely a specialized on/off switch, and available from Fac-Ette for under $55.
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There is a protective seal/boot that covers the power/toggle switch. This is a very inexpensive item that you should have a couple of spares on hand all the time. It is possible to have a very small slit, that allows moisture to enter an area under the machine where moisture will be a problem. These seal/boots are available from Fac-Ette for under $10. I'm sure there are other makers for less.
Image

More to come....

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Roger Dery
Royal Oak, Michigan US
http://www.rogerdery.com


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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Great stuff Roger ... Thanks. Your demo machine looks very clean as well! :-)

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:01 pm 
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Very nice post Roger. This got me thinking maybe my sheaves are not lined up, since my machine makes a god awful whine all the time. So I had a look and everything is in perfect alignment, and the belt looks fine. I took off the belt, and ran just the motor, and the god awful whine is the same. It's so loud, my wife is threatening to throw me out of the house to cut out in the woods. Any ideas on this? This is nothing new, it's been like this since I bought the machine.

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:24 pm 
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I second precisions post my machine is quite noisy when running.

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:48 pm 
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stevorocks wrote:
Great stuff Roger ... Thanks. Your demo machine looks very clean as well! :-)
Well, actually, photos are from my latest acquisition a few months ago. It was built about 10 years ago and was in pristine condition. Whoever owned this machine really never put it through its paces. Only two dops were ever used, and the rest are in their original, unopened packaging. Was a great find.

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Precision Gem wrote:
Very nice post Roger. This got me thinking maybe my sheaves are not lined up, since my machine makes a god awful whine all the time. So I had a look and everything is in perfect alignment, and the belt looks fine. I took off the belt, and ran just the motor, and the god awful whine is the same. It's so loud, my wife is threatening to throw me out of the house to cut out in the woods. Any ideas on this? This is nothing new, it's been like this since I bought the machine.
Hi Gene, on my first (Fac-Ette) machine, it made way too much noise (in my opinion). So I called the factory, shared with them my problem, and held the receiver next to the machine so they could hear it - just as I was.

Since it was within my warranty period, we agreed that I should send it in for them to analyze. It came back operating with significantly lower decibels. Unfortunately, I do not recall if they ever shared with me how they were able to correct it.

I would contact them and see if there is something that can be done.

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Last edited by ROGER DERY on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Thanks Roger! I've got some work cut out for me. It's an excellent overview and I'm going to tidy my machines when we get home next week.

Cheers,

Lisa

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Lisa Elser wrote:
Thanks Roger! I've got some work cut out for me. It's an excellent overview and I'm going to tidy my machines when we get home next week.

Hey Lisa, am not finished posting yet - there's still more to come. There's at least another 1/2 dozen tooling things worth mentioning. That is in addition to a couple of minor adjustment we can make ourselves. I should be back at it tomorrow as I have more time.

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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:31 am 
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took off the belt, and ran just the motor, and the god awful whine is the same. It's so loud, my wife is threatening to throw me out of the house to cut out in the woods. Any ideas on this? This is nothing new, it's been like this since I bought the machine.Hi Gene, on my first machine, it made way too much noise (in my opinion). So I called the factory, shared with them my problem, and held the receiver next to the machine so they could hear it - just as I was.


That's an off-the-shelf SCR bridge controller. The whine and hum are the result of the chopped AC being proportionally rectified to respond to different load and speed demands. The motor acts like a loudspeaker. There are a few ways to significantly reduce it, but never completely. I use a similar controller in my bases.
A filtered Variac supply is completely silent but does not offer load regulation, and uses big heavy components, and is circa 1940.


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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:04 am 
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I'm sure you'all have been keeping your machines properly lubricated. I do not know if 3-in-ONE light machine oil is the best, or most appropriate lubricant, but it has served me well. And there are several places where you would want to use it on a regular basis. (yes, I know, the cap is on - this is just to demonstrate). I clean the top and bottom tracks and then place a little lube. Then, run the quill back and forth on the rails a bit. Having it dripping with extra oil does not serve any purpose, so then I usually wipe the excess off with paper towel.
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I also lubricate where the mast slides back and forth on the jib, again, wiping off any excess.
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I spin the top-cap of the mast off and lube the threads, then spin it up and down a few times to distribute the lube freely along the total thread line. If your machine is fairly new, you may find it a little work (think resistance here) to spin the mast up and down. After a period of use, (say.... 400 to 500 stones), it will gradually ease up and you can move up and down the mast rapidly. If I am changing lap thickness and raising or dropping 10 to 12 mm, this process is very quick once the machine is broken in.
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After a period of use, and possibly before then, it is likely that the 'tightness' of the mast may not be optimum. Sometimes you may notice the depth of cut may not be as exact as you expect. There is a user adjustment for this, and it is possible that you may never need to perform this function.

The sleeve that encloses the mast has two 'pin' openings that assist with this adjustment. ***Only to be performed if the cap/top has sideways movement***
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In the openings, place any type of pin-like metal tool. In the photo I am using two well-used 1/8-inch drill bits. But any 1/8-inch tool will work. Not too worry, they will not fall through as there is a stop.
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Then, grab a tool that has some girth such as a screwdriver as shown below and place it between the pin/tools. Then, while holding back the mast with the other hand, very gently, and very slightly tighten (clockwise) just a tiny amount. It will not take much for the movement to do its desired action. And remember, this only to be performed if the cap/top of the mast has sideways motion.
Image
More to follow.....

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Roger Dery
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 Post subject: Re: suggested maintenance concepts for Fac-Ette users
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:50 am 
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Here's a view of the motor installed with pulley attached. As you can see, the majority of its size is not very visible, and is bolted into its holder.
Image

The motor itself may be an off-the-shelf and could be available from US or CA suppliers. But they are available from Fac-Ette at $150 for domestic, and $175 for foreign makes. If you plan to use your machine for a long time, or perhaps you intend to make your living from it, may be wise to have a spare motor.
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In addition to the motor, I also keep a spare pair of motor brushes on hand. $20 for the pair. Shown in the photo is the small opening where the brush would be installed. *bottom right near screwdriver: spare brush.
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I'm no electronics guy, but this is a relatively easy fix.
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Another view - and this is less complicated than it looks.
Image

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Roger Dery
Royal Oak, Michigan US
http://www.rogerdery.com


Last edited by ROGER DERY on Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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