DIY Faceting Machine

Updated April 17, 2017

Using a faceting machine is simple, but sculpting your gem to the ideal shape requires a certain amount of expertise. Three elements should be considered when using your faceting machine, including angle, height and index. The height is a term that refers to the depth of a facet cut. This maintains consistent rows, even depth and identical-sized cuts. The slant or plane of the process is based on the angle of the facet machine. Index shapes the gemstone, carving the outline of your gem. Understanding these elements will assist you in operating the facet machine.

Melt the dop wax with a lighter and apply it to the dop stick. Insert the gemstone in the wax when it is still soft. Let the wax harden around the gem so that it sticks in place.

Set the height of the faceting machine based on where you feel the most comfortable by turning the knob on the side and lifting the machine. Secure the knob when you reach the desired height.

Turn a knob to adjust the quill on the faceting machine to give you the angle that you feel most comfortable at.

Arrange the trigger grip to the numbered notch that provides you with the trigger wheel with the best maneuverability when cutting the gem.

Grab the dop stick and gently touch the gem to the facet machine. Closely monitor the cutting process.

Remove the grinding wheel by lifting it from the top. Place a lapping wheel onto the facet machine to polish the gem.


Cover your mast height adjustment knob with anything that is soft or padded. This will avoid chipping if your gem rubs against it. Pour drops of water on the grinding wheel to keep the gem cool.


Removing the gemstone from the wheel frequently will increase the likelihood of you dropping it. Doing this could also alter your ability to accurately form the stone.

Things You'll Need

  • Dop wax
  • Dop stick
  • Gemstones
  • Polishing discs
  • Lighter
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About the Author

Phillip Woolgar has been a reporter since 2008 in communities throughout western Canada. His work has appeared in Canadian national publications such as the "Globe and Mail" and the "Vancouver Sun." In 2009, he received second-place recognition in the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association's Excellence in Arts and Culture writing category. Woolgar graduated from the Langara College Journalism Diploma program in 2008.