the omnifaceter.net Website
The omnifaceter.net site was created to assist other Omni Faceting Machine owners with what appears to be consistent quality and manufacturing problems.
I have cut gemstones – both cabochons and faceted stones – for over 30 years. I used to have an old MDR 102 faceting machine (circa 1980) which I finally decided to retire for a new machine. After trying out a Facetron and inspecting a Facette Gem Master II, I read the review of the Omni at Faceters.com and decided to buy one.
My Omni-e Faceting Machine Purchase Problems
I received my Omni-e from Faceters.com in May 2007. Immediately upon receiving the Omni, I noticed that it was incredibly difficult – almost impossible – to move the faceting head to adjust the angle. After some email and phone conversations with both the well-known owner of Faceters.com and the owner of Jersey Instruments insinuating that I was doing something wrong or over-tightening the machine, I ended up sending the faceting head back to Jersey Instruments to have it repaired. I received no explanation of what the problem was other than “There was a galling of the encoder shaft as it penetrates the cover cap.”
Once I got it back I finally was able use the Omni and facet a simple SRB. On trying to cut and polish the table I noted that the 45 degree angle dop was not aligned correctly. It was out by about 10 degrees, forcing me to use the index wheel and cheater to get it in the proper position. I eventually had to send the 45 degree angle back to get it adjusted – which took more than 3 weeks from the time I shipped it to the time I got the fixed angle dop back.
The Realization My Omni-e Was Badly Aligned
After the initial honeymoon period wore off, I realized there were problems with my Omni. I struggled with alignment problems for several months, not being able to consistently get my facets and tiers to line up. This was especially apparent when trying to cut rectangular stones and step cuts.
I finally realized that depending on where the swing arm was, the angle of the stone to the lap changed! Testing showed me that the quill was not traveling in a straight line across the lap but in a slight vertical arc. This meant that my mast was not true to the swing arm or the swing arm was not true to the base.
I also realized that the platen was not aligned to the quill, so moving the quill back and forth across the lap meant the stone was hitting the outer edge of the lap but not at the center.
And then putting a dial indicator on the machine, I recorded at vertical runout on the platen of about 1.5 thousands of an inch. Not much but annoying. In retrospect this amount of platen hop was heavenly.
My Jersey Instruments Factory Service Experience
After sending the owner of Jersey Instruments an email explaining my problem, he phoned me back and had me ship the whole Omni back to him for servicing.
When I got it back, I was told that due to “evidence that at some point in this machines past, the spindle bearings were flooded” I was being charged for the work done – US$235 for new spindle bearings, unspecified “upgrades” (I asked what the “upgrades” were but never did get a response), recalibration, cleaning and shipping.
When I got to use the Omni, I found that that the alignment problems were worse and the platen hop increased from 1.5 thousandths of an inch to over 7 thousandths of an inch!
After this experience and a continuingly distasteful email exchange with the well-known owner of Faceters.com, I decided to tackle the problems on my own. This site is the fruit of that.
I Hope This Helps Other Omni Faceting Machine Owners
I hope that these photos and information will assist other Omni owners in diagnosing and addressing their issues. And I hope it will make other would-be Omni Faceting Machine purchasers to think twice before putting their hard-earned money out for one of these machines.
PS – I have no financial interest in or personal connection to any faceting machine manufacturers or retailers as of the time of this writing.
June 11, 2008
(updated November 10, 2008)