View Full Version : Sharpening the lindsay Point on a faceting machine

05-11-2008, 11:46 PM

I signed up for the license agreement and had a great education in making one of these great points.

Thank you Mr. Lindsay.

Now I had to figure out how to cut it. I did look at the power hone and was not that impressed. Even the dual angle head on sheet metal just didn’t seem right for such a precision point.

I decided to use a Lapidary Faceting machine to cut this point.

After all they cut precision angles consistently with these.
They cost (USED) less than a full blown power hone system.
They can be found on craig’s list or your local lapidary club USED at great savings and usually have all the diamond flat laps you will need.

I picked up 3 a lee, graves and a ultra tec.

The lee is older but still can cut a good point. (used for years in commercal cutting) has a good est. cheater.
The graves is accurate to .1 degree. (Good stable modern machine with a .1degree cheater, more on that later)
The Ultra tec is the most accurate of the three and is used in faceting world for competition cutting. Accurate to tenths. (Pictured) There is only one other machine this accurate a Gem Master. More on machines at some other time.

I modified a starrett pin vise to fit the ultra tec (1/4 inch shank) and used a 96 index plate. (3.75 degrees each notch).

Faceting machines have what is called a cheater to split the 3.75 degrees on a 96 index plate) (roll) some with venire scales.

I am using the patent information for the 115 degree point here.

I think it worked like a charm.

Sorry some close ups are a bit out of focus. But you get the point.:lol:

These are the top facets

This is the secondary bottom relief angle

This is the Uniform primary relief angle

http://www.airamp.com/EbayPic/lindsay foram/uniform point facet.jpg

Business end of the 115 degree

http://www.airamp.com/EbayPic/lindsay foram/115 point.jpg

Ultra tec faceting machine. Behind is a emsesco dental drill I use for setting stones I like it over a foredom since it is well articulated. The power stat is used with my foredom L motor (5000rpm) and a Magna graverII with varipac.


This is the fine roll dial also called a cheater to split the degrees of the main index gear used.


This is the loft pitch dial and is also adjustable in .1 degrees.


This is the mast of the ultra tec


Modified Starrett pin vise in dop of the utra tec


I did the major grinding on a 260 grit diamond lap, went to a 600 grit diamond, then to a 1200 diamond and finished the primary relief and face with a 3000 diamond with semi chrome no power.

The next points I will attempt will be the published ones in the patent agreement.

If all works out right (no doubt it will) I will make custom index plates for these points for the ultra tec machine.

Mr. Lindsay’s Sharpening system looks excellent for the points offered.

I will try to make the cuts for these points on the faceting machine. (new toy)

The Lindsay sharpening system would really be the way to go to sharpen these types of points while working at the bench.

The rough grinds at 260 and 600 really shapes the tool quickly and accurately on the faceting machine plus you may get to grind a gemstone or two.

Let me know what you think of the faceting machine grinder.

Mr. Linsday gave me permission to start a thread on sharpening these point on a faceting machine.

I would like to do it if there is interest.
If there is I will go step by step in grinding the points on a
Faceting machine and more.

This is just a quick FYI .but it really works great.

05-12-2008, 05:35 AM
Mike I have the same faceting machine and have used it to do just the regular points and not the Lindsay point before I got a power hone...
A thread on this would be great...
I have the power hone, Paul Hamler's and Steve's sharping system and use Steve's system at home and the power at the shop but only to preform the point, all dressing is done with Steve's system...
Great idea and great info...

Tim C
05-12-2008, 05:47 AM
Now, that's some sharpener, very cool.:drool5:
After you get good with Steve's standard grind.
If you want to try something just a little different, try out some of the grinds posted in "Stronger tip for the Lindsay Graver Grind".
The machine that you have is very capable of cutting these facets.
I put a post to you in it, to bring it up out of the basement.
Good Luck,
Tim C

05-12-2008, 08:37 AM

I have a power Hone that I use for rough angle cuts.

Then I use Steve's system to finish It is so simple and works great.

I would very muck like a step by step.

I could apply that to my system.

As a mater of fact I am going to ebay now and look for a Lapidary Faceting machine.

You just can't have to many tools.

Kenneth Crutcher

05-12-2008, 08:47 AM
Hi Tim,

Very nice point. I will try to grind this after grinding a few more of the standard Lindsay points.

I do think the machine is capable of grinding the tougher point but i will have to study it in your thread a bit more. Looks like great information.


05-12-2008, 08:54 AM

Ebay is great to try to find a machine or at least get a quick heads up of the types of machines out there.

It is best to to to craig's list and buy it local or your closest lapidary club.

Ebay people know what this is and get good prices on them but you can also get good deals.

Craig's list or local paper or lapidary club has machines for sale and it is usually a much better deal.

I picked up the ones I have from people getting out of faceting or Inherited it and didn't what them. Great prices and alot of books, rough, laps and accessorys. Be patient..

I missed a MDR for $50.00 at a garage sale... (one of the best machines made)


05-12-2008, 09:58 AM
This is a real 'gem' of a thread! :peace:
(Thanks! I'll be here all week!)

Seriously, while the extra precision may not matter for a lot of engraving I'll bet it makes a noticable difference when you're engraving harder materials.

Besides, it's cool! :coolgleamA:

05-12-2008, 10:18 AM

I am just setting up to do engraving. I am a beginner at this.

I used to make jewlery in Chicago to help me get though professional school (years ago).

I now have the urge to try my hand at engraving especally once seeing the Airgraver in action in the site tutors. (wow).

Tried push graving and setting (not the easy).

This site gets me inspired again...


05-12-2008, 12:03 PM
The powered gravers will get you line with an ease that's almost magical. :)

No shoving, no sliding wildly across the plate (well, not much :doh:)

Just press and the metal starts to curl.

You cut a straight line, then another.

You roll the graver from side to side as you cut to see the line flare and fade.

Roll the vise a little in great sweeping S turns and tiny, tight spirals.

That's the first while with a powered graver.

Then, having mastered the line you face the real test:
what can you do with those lines?

Be sure and post pictures! :camera:

05-18-2008, 10:03 PM

The new sharpening power hone looks great with the lindsay sharpening system. It looks like a easy way to make the templet points.

If you could put on a water/coolant drip cup and catch like a faceting machine you don't have to worry about heat at all.

You would still need a head if you want to sharpen any other points but that would bump up the price for sure.

If you could find a faceting machine cheap it would do it all.


05-19-2008, 10:02 AM
As long as you keep the speed down to about 300 RPM or less there's not a whole lot of heat build up. That's especially true if you're picking the graver up to look at it occasionally - the thermal mass is so small it cools very quickly.

05-29-2008, 11:53 PM

Many Faceting machine spin from 0-2800rpm with a 8" disk.

Coolent is water and dish washing soap. or you could use coolent. They have a cooling catch around the spinnig disk so you don't get soaked.

I use HAWG Wash used for magnetic annular drills used as a coolent for drilling large holes in structural steel. (mixed with water).

You can quickly rough and grind any graver point and polish it for the bench.

Lindsay system and the modified tougher points using the templets on the bench for touchups while working is the best once you have them ground.


05-30-2008, 07:14 AM
Well sure, if you're going to use coolant then you can run at whatever speed you want. :)

But if you run slow you won't need it.

06-13-2008, 08:17 PM
Nice tutorial, Airramp. There is always more than one way to skin a cat and you just proved it. A little ingenuity in this business goes a long way.


06-14-2008, 01:09 AM
HI Neil,

Thanks I hope this helps.

I will be getting to writing more on this subject soon.

There have been many other suggestions on Modified Linsday points that have come up in the recent weeks. (Flat Modification, stronger point modifications). Very nice stuff. All can be done on the faceting machine with a little time.

The biggest thing is to set the pin vise that is chucked with a graver blank on a 96 index plate to 0(96) this is where the point is as a starting point.

I took a machine parallel (1/4 inch thick) on the lap and kept the chuck/graver loose in the mast head and set the mast at 0 rise and the index at 24 (45 degrees) to set 0.

Tightend up the mast screw to set the chuck and the graver and went back to 96 (my 0 for 3/32 graver in the mast related to the parallel on the lap.(ceramic is flat...)

You could also use a corian lap (Much cheaper than ceramic and more durable than CD plastic on a master lap) for diamond paste, or diamond spray or diamond powder/olive oil mix).. These are all used in faceting stones. including the corian..

Glad someone is still reading this older thread..


06-14-2008, 04:27 PM

Thanks for the Info.

I will run onto one some day.


07-04-2008, 12:51 AM
I am learning sharpening now, have to get through it to learn engraving....I am also trying to use my facet machine with a pin vise (though my pin vise is a little different than yours). And my pin vise with graver is not quite true so my cuts will be off a little but hoping it will work for now.
I am wondering if you would help me out by, sharing with me what your index gear numbers you used and what angle degrees you used verticly to achieve the correct facet angles ? I am also using a 96 index wheel and have currently gone so far as to tape over the original numbers of the index wheel and am placing my own .....does that make any sense ? It is hard to explain.


Tim C
07-04-2008, 05:44 AM
I would fix whatever isn't working properly with your pin vise. Accuracy is needed if you are going to be able to repeat the angles that you will learn to use.

Think about getting one of Steve's grinding systems and use the faceting machine to grind away the larger amounts of material needed, for now.

After you do that, then go over to Steve's fixture and finish the grind.

After you get an understanding the basics of how to grind your gravers, you can fix and use the faceting machine.

In short, start with something that you know will give you the correct angles for your gravers, then you will know what needs fixing on the faceting machine.

Check out some of the older posts on this forum, you will get a lot of good information that you will need from them.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them...that's what the forum is for.

Tim C

07-04-2008, 10:22 AM
Hi Ardee,

Sharpening on a faceting machine is not hard at all.

First sign up and get the patent information on grinding the Lindsay parallel point. It is a education in itself..

Steve said I could give out this information on the forum for sharpening on a faceting machine so here it goes.

I will try to explain the 115 degree lp for you you should read the patent info. and related it to this information to get a good understanding of how these are ground and some of the principals of the parallel point and its modifications.

Your pin vise should be tight in the mast. Get a pin vise and turn down the shaft in a lathe or put it in a drill press and with a fine file get it to 1/4 inch so it is a nice fit in the mast. Once close use semichrome compound to polish it and get a nice fit.

Next put it in the mast but do not tighten it. Set up a lap on the machine and a machinest parallel (1/4 inch is nice) or a precision ground lathe bit. This keeps the vise with a blank above the lap so you can set your zero and tighten the vise in the mast and get your 0 on the loft guage.

set the index at 45 degrees (on a 96 it is #24). Now you have the pin vise, blank installed in the vise and tightened on the flat of the blank and the vise tightened in the mast. Rotate to 96 or (0). Your cutting point or top is indexed to 0.

First I grind the face at 45.

Set the mast at 45 degrees loft and index at 48 (180 degrees)and grind the face. (I use 260 diamond lap with coolent, then go to 600 and then to 1200 for now).

I then grind the top of the graver (I like this as in Steves discripton).

set the loft at 10 degrees and back to 96 index.
Grind the top facet (rotate the index to 12 clicks each side which is # 12 and # 84 (45 degrees from 0 each side) as you did the face (3 laps).

You now have a graver blank with a face and the top relief's done.

For grinding the cutting primary, secondary cutting you have to do a little math. A 96 index plate is 3.75 degrees a notch. You should have a Cheater on the machine to split this. So since the gravers are different numbers of degrees it depends on your cheater to get both sides accurate for the parallel point.

In faceting stone cutters use what is called meet point faceting. it is discribed in Steves patent as to getting the facets to match up one side to the other.. Your cheeter with be very very close but it is good to rough grind one side then the other and look at it closely to see that the facets match. Write down the numbers here and your cheater setting....

Ok so now:

Set the 0 now at 48 (0pposite the 96 Your new 0 for cutting your blank cutting edge)


For a 115 secondary angle go 7 1/4 (use your cheater) to 27.5 degrees for each side. Set the loft at 2 degrees. Rough grind your point. Check to be sure it is they are even. Change laps and grind them with 600, 1200, and 3000 with semichrome. (I usually do the face and tops also polished with 3000 and semichrome.)

Now for the heel or primary angle. Put on a fine lap 3000 with semichrome, add a cd to a master lap, corian,tin, copper what have you for making the parallel point cutting edge.

Set the loft at 15 degrees and index at 8 3/4(cheater) each side to get 32.5 degrees.

Do not power up the machine. put semichrome on the lap and lightly rub back and forth and check the facet often to be sure it is parallel. if not make your corrections with the cheater (very slight changes). Larger primary angles make a graver go straight and it doen't like to turn much. Smaller primary angles (heel) is for easier turning but it is harder to make a straight line. To decrease heel just grind the face a little.

You should have a perfect lindsay point in 115. Sound complex but if you are use to using a faceting machine this is very easy to make any angle you want with any releaf you want.

Now you have the sequence here are two more.

tops are the same.

120 is

secondary 7 clicks - 1/4 (cheater) @ 2 degrees loft for 25.2
primary is 8 clicks no cheater @ 15 degrees loft for 30

90 is:

secondary is 11 clicks -1/2 (cheater) @ 2 degrees loft for 39.2
Primary is 12 clicks no cheater @ 15 degrees loft for 45.


Once you get the hang of it you can make your own index plates for the grinds you use with a mill and a index and deviding table if you have one..

Of course Steves Sharpening system is the easiest. I am just a tool freak and love this kind of stuff.

Hope this helps you.

Mike (airamp)

07-08-2008, 05:27 PM
Thanks Mike,it helps alot. I wound-up putting tape over the index gear numbers and writing on the tape (new numbers according to the GRS's sharpening tool's index head).I don't have the tools to make a index gear. I
am going to study your method as I am sure it is more accurate. Thanks so very much.


07-08-2008, 08:48 PM
Hi Ardee,

Did you sigh up for the patent information on steve Airgraver.com site??

It has the numbers listed. A faceting machine can get to 1/10th of a degree so it really is the most accurate method of grinding.

the Lindsay sharpening system is the quickest once your gravers are roughed in.
Toms power hone is a great addition to the sharpening system is by far the easiest method for the points offered.

I like to really learn something the hard way first (makes you appreciate the simplicity and you will be able to make the most complex grinds and understand what you are trying to accomplish with them).

also look at Tim C. Grinding a stronger linsday point Thread on the forum.

both are very very helpfull in studying how gravers are ground and angles required I found.

There are a few other grinds on the forum but they are a little hard to find.

There is a grind for a linsay flat, modified flat, the patent information has details dubbing for a harder point, and more..

I had to spend a few (actually many) hours studying and writing down numbers and guess some of the odd graver points (maybe not the right word) and do the math based on examples given.

It is a art unto itself and a basic stepping stone in the learning curve.

Watching some of the masters in this contest and there posts is truly amazing.

If you need more help please ask no problem..

Mike (airamp)

Tim C
07-09-2008, 05:24 AM
It's Tim C, not Tom C, but that's OK I've been called worse.
Tim C

07-09-2008, 08:29 AM
Sorry Tim

02-22-2009, 11:08 AM
This is great info and thanks Mike (Doc) for the info...
I think you said you were a dentist, my brother is also and my sister is a hynigestis and lives in Germany contracts to civil service contractor, been there 15yrs and said as long as she can work tax free she may never come home, she loves it...
No crime and everything is so clean no old cars on the road...
If you get the oppunity to come to FL call or email...
shop 352.343.4535
love to show you the shop

02-22-2009, 05:59 PM

Thanks for the invite. If I get to Fla. I will look you up. Would enjoy seeing your shop.:cheers2[1]:

If you get out to Az look me up.

No I have been a chriopractor for 29 years. Years ago I worked at the University of Connecticut School of Dentistry and helped the pathologist with his Electron Microscope but that is the closest i got to being a dentist..:willy_nilly[1]:


Master Sculptor
10-20-2012, 10:27 PM
Hi Ardee,

Sharpening on a faceting machine is not hard at all.

First sign up and get the patent information on grinding the Lindsay parallel point. It is a education in itself..

Steve said I could give out this information on the forum for sharpening on a faceting machine so here it goes.

Mike (airamp)

My area of interest is jewelry and thought I caught a break on making my first graver to practice with, But allas, unfortunately my home made faceting system uses elbow grease not electricity and doesn't have a cheater, but as you can see it's enough to teach myself faceting :whoo[1]: 3rd world corrution doesn't allow delivery of mail order shipments including usps, fedex, or UPS :frusty: Just wanted to say :thankyou[1]: To Steve and to everyone here for making it possible for me to learn from such talented individuals :cheers2[1]:

08-09-2015, 03:12 PM
Thank you for this info, I just bought a faceter machine to sharpen engravers and thought I would have to wing it. This makes it so much better. (Got a screaming deal on it to)