Cutting Granite Slabs

Cutting Granite Slabs: Tools Review

Are you Cutting your Granite Slabs the best way?

Sam, a good friend of ours and a very good customer, after working several years in the Granite Industry, decided to start his own Granite Shop a couple of years ago. We have been guiding Sam, through our experience in the Granite Fabrication Industry, to make his business more profitable, and thus being able to expand it.

We decided to share some of the guidance we provided him through a series of articles, covering the whole Fabrication process, from the Templating to Installation. In our prior installment, the Handling of Slab Stones was discussed.  Sam asked us, when his business was just starting, the following:

I am aware using a Bridge Saw is imperative for the business, but as I am starting, I cannot afford one just right now. Is it okay if I Cut my pieces by hand?[/box_section]

This was not the first time he heard such a question. I don’t want to get ahead, but the short answer is: you can do it by hand, but as soon as your workload grows is it going to prove difficult. You can have your Slabs Cut by another company (of course it will cut a slice of profit), but the truth is, that getting a Bridge Saw could be more affordable than what Sam thought. Keep reading and discover why…

When we say “Granite”, we do for the sake of simplicity. Really, unless explicitly said, we refer to Stones in general, like Marble, Porcelain, or any other Natural Stone or Engineered Stone. So, when we say Cutting Granite Slabs, we refer to Cutting almost any Stone Slab

For now, let’s focus on Cutting Granite Slabs

Before going into Cutting a Slab, it is very important to check it against small cracks, as if we proceed to Cut it when a crack is present, we are running into the risk of the whole Slabs breaking. So, it is highly recommended to inspect the Slab very carefully.

Repairing Cracks in the Slabs…

In case we find a crack, it needs to be repaired before Cutting. There is a Glue that works wonderfully for this purpose…

If there is a Crack or a missing chunk in the Slab, you can easily repair it using the Satellite City NCF Glue. If you get the Repair Kit, you will have three bottles (Green, Red, Yellow) and a Spray which functions as an Accelerator.

The Red Bottle, named Super Liquit, as it names implies is very liquid and can be used to Seal small Cracks. The Yellow bottle, or Super T, is a more dense glue, which might be used to to Seal more deeper holes. The Green bottle, or Special T, has a viscosity similar to honey, and should be used to fill bigger gaps or missing chunks.

Once the Glue has been applied, the Spray (Aerosol Accelerator) must be applied. Once dry, you can remove the remaining applying vertically a Razor Blade.

Using this kind of Glue is a lifesaver in many cases, where a small crack coul ruin everything. If you take proper caution, you will never lose a Slab again due to a Crack on it. Always double check it before Cutting Granite Slabs.

You need to be careful when applying the Aerosol Accelerator. There is no problem with Dark Stones, but in some Lighter or Clear Stones, it can turn the Stone Green. If you are not sure, try it in a remnant. In case the Stone goes green, you cal always save it using Tenax TeBlossom Green Stain Removal Kit.

Marking your Slab for Cutting…

Once you are verified your Slab is crack-less, marking it for Cut is the next step.

In some cases, mainly when the design is complex, a Template is created. Other times, just marking the Slab is enough for Cutting out the pieces for buiding the final pieces. For Marking the Slab, there are two products we can recommend:

  • Staedler non-Permanent Pencils, the most popular choice among our customers. Available in White, Yellow, Red, and Black Colors, these pencils are ideal for cutting using Bridge Saw Machines, as they are non-permanent and still will mark your Slabs. No drying up needed. Can be removed using a Razor Blade after Cutting Granite Slabs.
  • Met-al Squeezing Paint Markers, used more for marking the Template borders in the Slab. It comes in White, Yellow, and Red colors. These markers are ideal for Wet or Slippery surfaces, with vibrant colors to guide the Cutter. It is recommended to test it on your Slab before using it, because in some rare occasions it might stain the Stone. Once the Cut is done, you can remove the marks using a Razor Blade.
Even though the specification of these markers say it can be removed with Acetone or other Solvent, you need to be careful with the porous surfaces, as it can penetrate it, damaging the Stone. That’s why it is highly recommended to remove the remnants of the marks using a Razor Blade after Cutting Granite Slabs

Once you have marked your Slab, there is time for the actual Cutting of the Slab.

Cutting Granite Slabs…

The most common method to Cut a Slab for producing the pieces needed for the Fabrication is by using a Bridge Saw. However, as we see in a moment, this is not always the case (many fabricators cut Granite Slabs without using a Bridge Saw).

For Cutting Granite Slabs using a Bridge Saw, there are two Blades we recommend. We have been selling them for a long period, and tboth have proven to be excellent choices:

  • Cyclone High Speed Silent Core, being a Diamax product, comes with a solid backup. A 26mm Blade, with Cyclone High Speed layered technology, which provides 20%-40% more life than other competitive blades. This Blade Sets the Standard for Diamond Bridge Saw Blades. Designed to Cut Granite and other Hard Stones.
  • Stone Plus Granite Saw Blades, are another excellent choice. Designed to be used to Wet Cutting. Length of blade life depends on the type of material being sawn and the technology of the blade used. The Stone Plus Granite Bridge Saw Blades are super quiet and very durable.

Sam when the other route, and he built his own Cutting Table, by using a Reinforced Concrete Top a little bigger than a regular Slab, set at the same height than a Working Table height (or can use any Fabrication Table to set it up).

If you are going this route, you will need a Saw for Cutting the Slabs. For this purpose, we have the MK Rail Saw MK-1590, whose Rails have replaceable slip-on pads to protect the material surface from scratches, are expandable and can cut 3-3/4″ thick material. This Rail Saw is able to do Bevel Cuts, 45 or 50 degrees. It has a Tilting head for precise 45º miter cuts up to 2-1/4″ deep. Even though is not the most recommended way to Cutting Granite Slabs, it might work if your workload is low.

In Summary...

Cutting Granite Slabs is a very sensitive process, which should be managed very careful. The quality of the Finished pieces are very attached to it.

When you are going to Cut your Slabs, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration, as:

  • Check carefully there are no Cracks in the Slab. If you find one, repair it first. Repeat until the whole Slab is Crack-less

  • Properly Mark your Slab, double check measures. Mark with appropiated media, and be careful when Cleaning the surface of the Slab

  • Choose carefully the Blade you are going to use in the Bridge Saw

  • If you are not using a Bridge Saw yet, consider urgent acquiring one. Cutting Granite Slabs will not be the same after you make that investment in your business

I hope you enjoyed this article about Cutting Granite Slabs. Now, it is time to read your comments. We invite you to express your opinions and let us know what practices you use when Cutting Granite Slabs, which tools do you prefer, and if you dare, share your best secrets tips. We are sure it will help the entire community.

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