Summer 1995 Edition
Dear Ultra Tec Cousin,
A newsletter? In the middle of the year? That's unusual.
Isn't this sort of breaking the newsletter 'formula" - you
usually start out with "this is the Ultra Tec 'Some Times'", and
all about if you're a new owner and you're getting the newsletter for the
first time... and all that stuff... Yes.
...and then you tell which Ultra Tec cousin is responsible for
getting you to write... Right.
...and then saying where you been travelling - like all around... Well,
yes...since the last newsletter we went to the Northwest Faceters'
Conference-I'll tell about that.
And did you miss Tucson this year? Yes.
No, I mean did you really miss Tucson? Oh yes, we really
missed it. We love Tucson--we would have moved Ultra Tec to Tucson, but we
couldn't get the crew to go--they say they love the LA Lakers...and their
And is it true some guy wrote you a letter and said how come, in the
last newsletter, you didn't even say your name was Joe Rubin...or give any
name...but somehow he figured out how to write to you? Yes... he
must've asked around. But anyhow this takes care of the name thing for
I mean is it true that you're writing this way because you're been
reading a lot of stuff by some author who sort of writes this way? Right...OK
here's a contest--name the author and win three dops.
You going to cut this out now? People aren't going to read six pages
of this stuff. Yes...OK
A VISIT TO ULTRA TEC.
In February, we had interesting visitors, Ross Whipple and his
wife Tarja, on a winter vacation to sunny California, from their
home in Finland. They actually live near the Arctic Circle - where the
year has one long day and one long night. They met and married in
California, and moved to her homeland - away from the hustle and bustle.
Ross is an enthusiastic facetor (his father, before him, was a gem
designer). He's now Ultra Tec's representative in Finland - and hopefully
he can lead the locals into a worthwhile way of whiling away the long
ON THE ROAD AGAIN.
The Northwest Faceters' Conference was in Bellevue, Washington, this year.
After years of saying we'll go "next year", we decided that this
year would be it - finally. So, in the first weekend in June,
Maxine and I flew off to Seattle.
They maintain an interesting format--really a "conference" and
not a "show". The meetings were in a conference room--long
tables, with attendees facing a podium and a viewing screen--and the
concentration was 100% on faceting. Norm Steele (of Long &
Steele faceting books fame) directed the conference with participation of
many others, notably, Martin Bliefernich and Bob Long. The
audience was free to participate, and they did. There were many chances to
visit and chat with people--renewing old friendships, and starting new
ones (we did both). A few of the 'gleanings' from the conference appear
later on in this letter.
|In particular, I was pleased to
meet face-to-face with one of my "voices on-the-phone"--our
dealer in Portland, Grover Sparkman. Did I say face-to Well Grover
towered over me, but he looked down, and I looked up. Grover is a
self-effacing guy, who won't toot his own horn - but let me tell you he
does a superlative job in editing the Columbia Williamette Guild's
newsletter "Facets". Its probably the most consistently
informative of the Guild newsletters (well worth your getting a
subscription - see the Guild info. attached to this newsletter).
It was also nice to talk to old Ultra Tec
friend Chris Herold who is now President of the Columbia Willamette
Faceter's Guild. We knew Chris when he lived in nearby San Diego. At the
conference, Chris was selling copies of the year's 12 best new faceting
designs - and outstanding designs they are. They are very modestly priced
and well worth getting (again - see the page attached to this newsletter).
THINGS I LEARNED--and THINGS I
Discussed at the Conference was the subject of COMPUTER REPRESENTATIONS
OF STONE BRIGHTNESS. Recent articles in various guild newsletters have
shown computer generated light ray tracings--representations of gem
"brightness" resulting from various combinations of pavilion and
crown facet angles. Whether or not you're someone "into"
computers, the information gained from the printouts is easy-to-grasp and useful
for all facetors.
This gives you an idea of it (if you
haven't seen them yet). A main question, of course, is whether the
computer shows the "real world". So, in a cooperative effort
(prior to the Seminar), a group of stones were faceted--all the same
except for the varied angles--to see if the computer results would be
confirmed. And, not to keep you in suspense, the real world stones were as
the computer predicted.
Looking at stones in the dark? The stones
were laid out in a segmented tray--corresponding to the computer print
out. It wasn't easy, except in the extreme cases, to see the differences -
moving the position of the lamp helped some, but it was still difficult.
Bob Long watched our fiddling with the lamp, and said "you need to
look at them in the dark!" He not only had us take the tray away from
under the lamp, but had us set the tray around in back of the showcase, in
its shadow, in a very subdued light condition. I'm not going to ask you to
"guess what?", since I've telegraphed the answer, but that's
right, the variations in brightness, and the exact pattern of brightness,
were very apparent--in the dark. Try it (I just did, again - looking at a
group of stones, in a dresser drawer, in a dimly lit room--and again
confirmed what Bob had taught us).
So, these computer programs are "real world" helpful in
determining angles. Those who like to play with computers, can now be
confident in the results. And, for those who aren't computer buffs (or,
who have time for faceting, but not for computing too), brightness
patterns will (hopefully) become part of the design instruction (hint to
you computer gem designers).
The positioning of corner girdle facets in Cut-Corner Rectangle Designs
- "emerald cuts" - and their variants was also discussed at the
Northwest Seminar. The discussion centred on the need to measure the
position of those facets, for the same reasons that the length and width
of the stone are measured. Norm Steele said that future design diagrams
would provide those dimensions (in the form of a ratio to the stone's
width). He acknowledged that performing a measurement of corner positions
is a problem, since, on
|rectangular shapes (except for
square shapes), the corners are parallel but not in a straight line--and
so using a caliper to measure corner-to-corner accurately is most
difficult - and, with a long stone, it becomes impossible.
Well, that's not a problem for you. With your Ultra Tec's calibrated mast
you can control that dimension in the first place--which leads me right
into the following:
ABOUT YOUR ULTRA TEC...Using the CALIBRATED MAST.
A main advantage of the calibrated mast is that it allows you to control
(when you wish) the size of the stone you are cutting. Since the
calibrated mast allows you to know the distance from the surface of the
lap to the stone, you can cut a precisely calibrated stone (without
sneaking up on it, and "measuring it in"). Think about it--if
you know the height reading that represents the surface of your lap, it's
a matter of setting the height position of your dop above that lap surface
by 1/2 the diameter of the stone you want to obtain. So, initially, you
need to know the height reading of the lap surface (unfortunately
different for each lap since the thickness varies, but fortunately, easy
to determine). Here's a routine to do it:
|1. Dop a piece of material (you
can do this with a stone on which you are working, or you can do it as a
special little project - using, say, a piece of glass). Insert the dop
into the Spindle and lock it in.
2. Set the Angle Dial at 90°. At O and 48 (on a 96 Index Gear--or, at 180°
on whatever Index Gear you're using), grind two opposite flat surfaces.
Grind to the stop, using the same height setting on both sides. Write down
that height setting.
3. With a Millimeter Caliper measure the stone over the flats that you
just cut. Write down that measurement--divide it in half - add that
half-reading to the height setting (of step 2) - that's the height
position of the lap.
|Having determined the height
reading of the lap surface, you can cut an exact sized stone by setting
the height position of your dop above that lap surface by 1/2 the diameter
of the stone you want to obtain. For example:
Example 1: Say that using the above three steps, you determined that the
surface of your lap corresponds to 14.64 cm. You want to cut a round
girdle 12 mm (1.2 cm) in diameter. You would set the position of the dop 6
mm (.6 cm), (that's half of the 12 mm diameter that you want), above the
lap surface--setting the Mast position to 14.04 cm. (the arithmetic: 14.64
cm - .6 cm = 14.04)
Example-2: If you want a rectangular cut, 25 mm (2.5 cm) X 14 mm (1.4 cm).
For the length, set the dopped stone 12.5 mm (1.25 cm - half the 2.5 cm)
above the lap surface, that is, at 13.39 cm. For the width, set the stone
7mm (.7 cm--half the 1.4 cm) above the lap surface, that is, at 13.94 cm.
Now, if the design is a cut-corner type (as almost all are), and if the
diagram includes information about the measurement over the corners (as
we've been promised future designs will), you can calculate the height
position for those corners: The corner-to-corner measurement information
is given as a ratio, for example, D/W=1.643 (that is, D [the corner to
corner measurement] divided by W [the width measurement] equals 1.643 -
or, one step simpler, D = W X 1.643). So, going back to our example, where
we had a width of 14 mm, D = 14mm X 1.643, D = 23mm. Dividing that 23 mm
in half, we get 11.5 mm (or, 1.15 cm), and so the height setting for the
corner cut is 13.5 cm (the arithmetic: 14.65 cm [the lap surface height]
minus 1.15 cm [the corner measurement we figured out).
You mathematical swiftys have already figured out that since we are
looking for 1/2D for setting purposes, we could have used the .7 cm
half-width measurement that we figured out previously, giving: 1/2D = .7 X
1.643, 1/2D = 1.15 cm.
OK! Why this translating of mm's to "cm's" when stones
are always described in "mm's"? Because the Scale is
calibrated in cm's.
So, why not calibrate the scale in mm's? Good idea.
Here's another good idea reverse the scale, so that zero is at the
bottom - we'd be adding for a bigger stone, instead of subtracting. Well,
that's right too.
Well? Well, give me chance--I'll do it--soon--I've only been
at this 20 years ..."So soon old, so late shmart. "
Where'd you get that saying? I've always known it.
Keep in mind, once a particular lap's position is identified in this
process, it's always that position (on your machine), so if
you make note of it, this routine needs to be done just once. (Also, if
you're in the mood to do other laps, recording their positions, you don't
have to do any more grinding. Leave that original dop (material with the
two flats) in place, in the spindle--set on the new lap--determine the
stop position on the new lap (very easy with a Dial Indicator
Attachment or a Down Indicator Light), and then do the arithmetic. Easy.
When I returned from the conference, I looked over the "Best of the
Best" Design selection--a "Checkerboard Barion Pavilion" by
Sid Word. I saw that he had included the corner-to-width ratio in
his instruction (he had also included the computer generated brightness
printout - so those weren't just "promises"). And so, that's the
diagram I chose to include with this newsletter. It'll give you some
practice (and it's a super design).
Start of a short commercial:
We've seen the price of millimeter calipers zoom up--something out of our
control and worsened by the U.S. dollar's drop of about 15% relative to
Swiss money (that's where the calipers are made). But I can yell very loud
(particularly on the phone) and I got a special deal that we can pass
along. So....special sale: until Nov. 10th (and while the limited
quantity lasts - maximum of 1 per customer), Millimeter Calipers are $22.
BLAME THE COMPUTER
The poor computer got blamed for slipping a decimal point (do you believe
that? I don't.) and we are overstocked on Cerium Oxide Ultra Laps (good
for Quartz materials). So, a sale: until Nov. 10th (and while the
limited quantity lasts) Cerium Oxide Ultra Laps, normally $16 for 10, are
$19 for 20.
End of short commercial.
Bringing up this subject was the publication, in the March Lapidary
Journal, of a nice seven-fold design, the "Seventh Veil", by
Jerry Capps. He specified using a 120 Index Gear, that being
"...nearly divisible by seven".
Odd-numbered designs, like 3-sided and 5-sided stones, are popular - they
produce a lot of scintillation. Well, so do 7-sided and 11-sided designs,
and, about 5 years ago, in response to requests, we introduced a 77 Index
Gear. That gets both seven and the eleven-fold designs. Not all facetors,
and in particular not all new facetors, are aware of the 77 Index Gear -
so this is to alert you. It exists, and it's on the price list, but buried
in with that other stuff.
In several newsletters, we printed special designs for the 77 Index Gear,
and, if you purchase a 77 Index Gear, we'll send along copies of those
designs, to get you started (and, it's not a giant task to convert an
8-sider to a 7-sider).
On an accompanying page is a list of Guilds and a list of their
newsletters. I urge you to join a guild that you might be near, and in any
event treat yourself to a newsletter or two - they contain excellent
faceting information. They are issued regularly, so they can be counted
upon to keep you up-to-date (whereas this newsletter can be counted upon
not to - so it sort of evens things out for you).
If you're a member of a Guild that is missing from the list, get in touch
with us at Ultra Tec - we want to keep this as an ongoing current listing.
Also, if you belong to any smaller faceting group ("club" or
whatever), and you would like to be included on the list, write and tell
us about it.
The good news is that the Ultra Tec factory has been busy, busy...the
other side of that coin is that it's a lot of work, work. It's a
"high class problem", as they say. It sure beats the low class
New voice on the phone: Candyce Will (right-"Candy"). Be nice to
her - she's just learning this faceting stuff
Several people asked if we ever got our (stolen) car back (and using the
political rule of thumb, - that means two thousand people are interested).
The answer is yes we did - undamaged--with a thousand extra miles on the
odometer (a round trip to San Francisco?)--and that's the car we're
Designs anyone? Faceting ideas? If we're going to be pumping out
newsletters at this dizzying pace, we need input from you. You won't go
unrewarded-you'll have the good feeling that you've shared with others,
and, the undying fame of your name in the newsletter--in bold print(!)
suitable for framing).
So this is a mid-year newsletter, and you're going to do another one -
this year? Just watch me.
Best regards -- from me and the Ultra Tec gang.
Here is a list of Guilds. Join one, if you are near enough--and in any
event, subscribe to a newsletter (they are very informative--and there's
always a design or two, or three).
Columbia-Willamette Faceter's Guild
Faceters' Guild of Southern California
Faceters' Guild of Northern California
Midwest Faceters Guild
North York Faceters Guild
Intermountain Faceters Guild
Australian Faceters Guild
New Mexico Faceters Guild
WERE YOU MISSED ON THIS LISTING?--PLEASE CONTACT US, AND WE'LL ADD YOUR
GROUP TO THE LIST.
Contact the Columbia-Willamette Guild and ask about their design
publications. They are very inexpensive (for example, $3 for the year's
"12 Best")--they are available not just for this year, but for a
number of preceding years as well. They're very nicely done - they are a
This was selected as "Best of the Best" at the Northwest
Faceters Conference. It's by Sid Word, who is popular (for himself and for
his designing) and prolific (you can get a collection of 42! of Sid Words
designs from the Guild).
|THE SOME TIMES DESIGNS
This design was printed previously, for the conference of course, and in
the July issue of "Facets", the newsletter of the
Columbia-Willamette Guild. We usually try to have a design that hasn't
been in print (at least not so recently), but this design was perfect to
illustrate some of the things talked about in this newsletter--the
brightness diagram on the upper left, and the callout for the corner
dimension "D", given as a ratio to the width--as D/W=1.249. The
cut is square, so this is a case where you can easily confirm the D
dimension with a millimeter caliper.
Table Brt 89
Avg Brt 84
Spot+Amb, Trans 0.6
07.073 Checkerboard Barion Pavilion
Reference: WORD, Sid: FACETS, Mar 90, p3
96 Index L/W=1.000
76+8 facets H/W=0.840
S/W=0.736 D/W=1.249 Rl=1.77
PREFORM CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS
Cut to TCP
Cut to TCP. Meet PF1
Fix stone size
Level false girdle
Alternate preform is to cut G1 to give size, then cut G2 to give
D Is diagonal, W is the width.
PAVILION CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS
Girdle facet from preform
Girdle facet from preform
Just reach line P2-P3
Cut to PCP
CROWN CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS
Fix girdle width
07-17-31-41-55-65-79-89 Meet A-B-G1-G2
03-21-27-45-51-69-75-93 Meet A-C (make
06-18-30-42-54-66-78-90 Meet E-C-D
Designs anyone? I do have one or two in reserve, but I'd sure welcome a
To remind you, we offer undying fame - a mention in the Some Times.
Newsworthy items? Do you have a club or guild that you'd like to give some
Do you have a faceting tip? Whatever - don't be shy. We'll rush them into
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