I can now safely say that I’m very pleased with the new quill, and that it improves my cutting considerably. This now makes my Omni faceting machine almost worth keeping.
I cut a small Afghan Blue Tourmaline this time, using a modified version of Jeff Graham’s Aqua Cisir design. It’s meant for a 2:1 ratio which my tourmaline was close but not exactly. The design is forgiving enough that this was not a serious issue.
As you can see from the photos below, the meets are pretty darned good. Much better than I’d been able to achieve previously on the stock Omni quill, and with much less cheating. I think I only had to cheat less than 1/4 of a division on the cheater at the polish stage – unheard of as i was using a full turn or more of the cheater using the stock quill.
I should point out that my results are cumulative of aligning the rest of the machine first, and now this quill is what seems to have pushed the Omni into an acceptable accuracy. However I have the following advice to anyone who owns an Omni:
- Align your mast asap. This will reduce the alignment problems that come from the mast being off-vertical.
- Tighen the Swing Arm to the point where it is difficult to move. This will reduce the amount of flex in the swing arm caused by compressibility of the plastic disks used as bearings.
- When cutting put a pencil mark on the Swing Arm to remind you of the position it was in. This is important because every time you move the Swing Arm you are changing the alignment of the stone to the lap due to all the accumulated inaccuracies in the Omni’s construction.
For those that are interested.
I have just installed the new collet quill designed for the OMNIe faceting machine, After reading Jeff G’s and Charlie M’s post on the USFG site I must admit, I don’t care it I did void my warranty by installing the quill. After all the problems I have had with my machine, formally a OMNIe, now called a Shooting Star, I don’t really give a rip if my OMNIe warranty is voided. I have become my own warranty system.
That said, Now for the important stuff, as I said I have installed the collet quill on my machine and found the installation to be very straight forward. The light bulb and freezer trick is more than sufficient to allow for a good solid shrink fit of the quill into the bearing of the machine’s yoke. Buy simple following Allen’s installation instructions the job was completed in about 45 minutes start to finish.
The first step after installation of the quill I did was to check the run out of the new quill verses the original quill. To my satisfaction I was unable to measure any run out of in the new quill as opposed to the .0075 run out of the original quill, very satisfying results, makes it worth the effort. My digital indicator is accurate to .0005 inch.
I found that the amount of torque required to hold the dop in the new quill did not require bending the index pawl pin as the post by JG indicated. Slightly more than finger tight is adequate, you can simply hold the quill with one hand and tighten the collet with the little wrench that comes with the quill. As for destroying the backlash of the bearings, I don’t know for sure but I didn’t know that ball bearings could be adjusted, I thought they were factory made to a tolerance. But at any rate, the bearing function very well without any adjusting after the quill is installed.
As for being a improvement from the old quill, that is a no brainer. To have a quill that is aligned correctly and have one that functions as a quill should is worth the voiding of the factory warranty, which was worth what in the case of these machines? I am very happy I made the choice to install the quill, one less problem to worry about.
Hi all I ahve just gotten my machine back from alignment. Now its worse than when I sent it. I can not get any level cuts at all. This was my third time returning my machine. Charlie is a nice man to talk to on the phone, but he does not want to admit the machine has problems. I have a few pics of my returned machine with a new problem that i can not get around. I will send them to the site to be posted. I am not a mechine repair person nor do i want to be. I want to learn to cut gems. I plan to sell my machine and purchase a GemMaster 2. If I am to spend all my time and money I should at lest be able to cut, not sending my machine back. The first time was for the overflow bearing problem. The rest were for a problem of never getting an even cut and needing the cheater on every facet with mast height changes for each facet.
PS. I hope to send the pics soon. Aslo Charlie sent me the Guage and a new splash pan. The new pan is a new problem. He did increase the size of the drain. At least we got some change.