colologo.gif (3865 bytes)

                              Quality Lapidary Equipment and Supplies Since 1946!






Here you can find helpful information regarding the Graves faceting machines, FAQ's, and other faceting related topics as will be posted from time to time.

Mark IV wiring diagram

smallnew.gif (926 bytes)Faceting FAQ

smallnew.gif (926 bytes)Spool Polisher FAQ

smallnew.gif (926 bytes)Gemstone Polishing Questions

smallnew.gif (926 bytes)Online faceting groups:

American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

AFMS Faceters List - Great forum for ideas and questions!

smallnew.gif (926 bytes)Diamond Blade Technical Information


The following dealers offer instructional classes or can offer specialized help to the faceter utilizing the Graves faceting machine. The inclusion of any dealer on this list does not imply endorsement of any kind by Graves Company. Please contact the individual dealer for further details.

SKITTER GEMS                                     DON COOK

205 S. 15TH ST.

NORFOLK, NE 68701                           402-371-0668



TUCSON, AZ 85710                              520-886-3518


BOX 11551

PHOENIX, AZ 85061                            602-242-8393


BOX 980

YOUNG HARRIS, GA    30582               706-379-2126



IRMO, SC 29063                                  803-781-3589

HIDDENITE GEMS                           MIKE WATKINS

P.O. BOX 276       STATE ROAD 1001

HIDDENITE, NC 28636                          828-632-3394



NASHVILLE, TN 37203                         615-383-3646


Faceting FAQ Section: We are building a FAQ based on questions submitted to our sales and tech people. It is a work in progress and we hope it helps!

Replacing Mark IV Speed Control How long do cutting laps last?
Lost set screw for dop spindle Does Graves make right and left handed machines?
Old Copper Laps ... Save? 3 Post Transfer Fixture
Lap Nut v/s Quickie Nut Mark IV Drive Belts
Keyed Dops  
Diamond Cutting How Flat is a Faceting Lap?

How  do I replace the speed control on the Mark IV faceting machine and can I do it myself?

The part number is 19-087, speed control. If you look under the machine (unplug first!) you will see a round circuit board attached to the cabinet. That is the speed control. Replacing one is a matter of removing the control knob on the front of the cabinet, it just pulls off. Next remove the nut that is behind the know, a 7/16" socket works best.

Now the control is physically removed from the cabinet. On some controls the wires simply unplug from the control, others you will have to cut the wires and splice the new control in using butt connectors.

A wiring diagram is also located on the website at

If you are not comfortable with doing the work yourself simply send the machine to us and we will do it for you. The machine would be in our shop for no more than 1-2 days and returned to you. You pay the shipping.

If you decide to return it, send to:
Graves Company
1800 N. Andrews Ave.
Pompano Beach, Fl 33069

Include a note in the box with your return address, the work you want us to do, credit card number with expiration date, and a contact telephone number. You may also give this information to us using our secure order form located on our Home Page.

I have somehow managed to lose the tiny set screw in the dop spindle for my Mark IV faceter.

The screws are a 6-32 x 1/8" flat point set screw. You can also order them at our website:

I have two solid copper laps that came with a Graves faceting machine over 30 years old.  I used the laps up to about 3 years ago.  The laps have begun to get splinter metal flakes on them.  Do you know of a way to salvage the laps?

We used to be able to re-face the copper laps years ago. We no longer do so. If you really want to restore them, the best bet is to contact a machine shop and see if they will turn them for you.

I have an Ultra Tec Faceting Machine Model V2.  Which one of your products would I purchase to replace the nut which holds the lap down to the platen?  What is the difference between the Quickie Nut and the Lap Nut?

The lap nut will work on any machine with 1/2-20 right hand thread. It will work on your machine as it has the same threads as the quickie nut and lap nut. The quickie nut simply slides onto your spindle, then with a quick turn (get it!?) you can quickly (I can't help myself!) tighten the lap down.

How long do cutting laps last?

Boy is this a tough question! Generally we estimate that laps for hobby use will last 2-4 years. Depends on MANY, MANY things though! The biggest issue we get from customers is when their coarse lap or wheel just doesn't cut like it used to. It is an abrasive and abrasives by their very nature wear away as they work. We recommend that you acquire the coarsest lap you can afford to do the rough work. Our Topcutter line is excellent for this and priced far below a standard faceting lap.

Does Graves manufacturer right and left handed machines?

The left hand location of the mast is not a factor in its use. The machine's controls are designed such that
anyone can use it, regardless of age, sex, religion, national origin, or whether they are right or left handed! Other machines rely on a left hand or right hand mast because of their design.

I recently bought a used Graves transfer fixture. I have the model with a centering device. Can you tell me how to use it?

The center post of the 3 post transfer fixture allows you to align the offset shapes more accurately. Offset shapes being marquise, tourmaline cuts, and high ratio ovals. Simply use the 3rd post as a touch gauge and rotate the dop the make sure your stone is centered. You will use it mainly when transfering to a VEE dop.

I have a blue Mark IV faceting machine with serial # ****.  Which drive belt do I need?

You need Item No. 19-201. The best rule of thumb is if your Mark IV has a blue housing it was manufactured before 1979, thus requiring the longer/thicker belt. Machines with a white housing all use Item No. 19-202. These may be ordered on our Spare Parts page.

Can the Graves faceting machine cut diamonds?

Diamond cutting is a whole other world in the field of gemcutting. We have known people who have modified the Graves faceting machines to cut diamonds but we do not recommend or support such endeavors.

How Flat is a Faceting Lap?

The faceting lap is supposed to be flat and parallel to a tolerance of +/- .001". There is no such thing as an absolutely flat faceting lap. To get the best performance, make sure your master machine plate is absolutely clean, the bottom of the facet lap is clean and free of nicks and scratches, as well as checking for any nicks or scratches on the machine disc.

Keyed Dops

Graves does not use a permanent key in their dops. The reasoning being that a keyed dop limits how you orient the stone for the best cutting. The flat and cone dops have a 1/16" hole on the centerline for folks who may want to remove the stone before completion then go back to the same spot. To do this, use the brass pin that came with the machine. Insert it into the dop's hole then into the spindle notch.

The Graves Deluxe Transfer Fixture enables you to use this feature to transfer from one dop to another. You would start cutting using the above procedure. When transferring, you would insert the brass pin into both dops (an extra is supplied with the fixture). The fixture has a flat machined into it that is centered so that with the pin resting on this flat, your transfer will be oriented to the dop's pinhole.

The transferring method described in the manual is by far the most accurate way to transfer a stone. More accurate than any keyed system. Even with a permanent key system you have to tweak the cheater to get the alignment perfect after the transfer. 



Spool Polisher FAQ

How do I clean my spool polisher to ensure it hasn't been contaminated?

Sand it with some fine sandpaper while it is running, then wipe it down with some denatured alcohol. Should as good as new.

Gemstone Polishing Questions

Polishing a cab in the setting ...

When polishing any stone that has become abraded it is necessary to remove all the old remaining polish from the entire stone.  Otherwise, the surface will always show a difference in polish usually indicated by a line between the two.  Having said that, tourmaline will polish very well with diamond at the 50k level or Linde A on a soft leather wheel.  Chrome Oxide on soft leather will also give a good polish but is messy to work with.  \

My recommendation would be to remove all the polish by smoothing with 1200 diamond, pre-polish with 3000 diamond (use soft leather for both) and proceed to final polish with one of the above. All can be done with a flex-shaft if necessary.  It can also be done even if the stone is set without damaging the setting if one is very careful but would be best to remove first.


Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1998, 2009 Graves Company   1800 North Andrews Avenue   Pompano Beach   FL   33069   USA
Toll Free Ordering Only (800) 327-9103   International (954) 960-0300   FAX (954) 960-0301
Last modified: March 17, 2014