Are you using the right tools for Granite Edge Profile Fabrication?
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 allowing Sam 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. We have already covered the Handling of Slab Stones and the Cutting Process. Sam asked us, when his business was just starting, the following:
Would it be the same for Granite Edge Profile Fabrication do it by hand than with a Stone Router?[/box_section]
This is a tricky question. We know from experience that many fabricators tend to create Profiles by hand, just using Cup Wheels. The tricky part consist of there is a bunch of people who can do magic with their hands. However, the honest answer is, that by using a Stone Router, results are going to look more professional. Let’s dissect the whole Granite Edge Profile Fabrication process, so you can see the difference between both methods…
For now, let’s focus on Granite Edge Profile Fabrication…
Preparing the Stone
The first step for Granite Edge Profile Fabrication is Grinding and Shaping the Stone being worked in order to prepare it for the actual Fabrication of the Profile.
In this primary phase, a Cup Wheel is used for Stock Removal, in preparation for the Edge Creation. There are many choices here, but let’s focus on two tools that have proven to be real battle-horses.
The first Tool is the Hurricane Turbo Cup Wheels, made with a Turbo style Diamond Cup Wheel Pattern to remove stock Faster and to be more aggressive in Grinding and Shaping the Stone. Because of the lightweight of the aluminum body, these aluminum Cup Wheels create less stress on the Grinder than heavier steel body Diamond Cup Wheels. They are lightweight and perfectly balanced.
The second Tool which we would recommend -a very popular choice among our Customers- is the Cyclone Turbo Cup Wheel, with Coarse Grit for heavy, quick Stock Removal; Medium Grit for final Shaping, and Fine Grit for soft material or for getting close to layout lines without fear of chipping the edge. They are 6mm thick. It can be used Wet or Dry. Economically priced, producing Minimal Chipping of Stone, is an excellent choice.
Depending on if you are going to use a Stone Router, as described in the next section, or continue to Granite Edge Profile Fabrication manually, you will have to put more or less emphasis on this stage.
Fabricating Edge Profiles
As soon as you finish preparing the Stone with the Cup Wheels, is time to start creating the Edges.
For Granite Edge Profile Fabrication, there are many options, depending on the desired finished look. The most popular Profile Edges are:
- Bullnose: Full Bullnose, Half Bullnose, Demi Bullnose
- Ogee: Ogee, Ogee Bullnose, Flat Ogee
- Cove: Cove, Cove Bullnose
- Triple Pencil
These different Profiles vary a lot in complexity, and although some Fabricators create them by hand, the most logical solution is to use a Stone Router. It will not only make the job easier, but will render a more professional result. In here, we found a jewel, the Milwaukee Granite Stone Router, an incredible solution, not only by effectiveness and capacity but priced very lower than its closest competitors. We wrote an article describing its perks. Sam got one of these, and he is very happy with the results.
Whether you are going to use a Stone Router or not for Granite Edge Profile Fabrication, you will need Router Bits for Fabricating the Profiles. There are many different options, depending on the Profile you need to build. For the Granite Edge Profile Fabrication process, here are the most popular ones:
Smoothing Edges Surface
The last step in the Granite Edge Profile Fabrication consists of preparing the Stone Edge surface for the Polishing process.
Applying the Diamond Router Bits for Fabricating the Edge Profiles produces a rough finish, mainly because of the devastating force of the Bits.
Hence, it is mandatory to Smooth it in order the make the Polishing easier.
This is accomplished by applying to the Profile, what is known as “Stones”, what are really Silicon Carbide Grinding Stones. They come in different Grits, and after applying them in order by Grit:
- 46G or Grit 46
- 60G or Grit 60
- 120G or Grit 120
the surface should be ready to be Polished. There are also Sand Paper products for Smoothing Marble and other Stones in the Silicon Carbide Category. We are sure all of them will positively contribute to your Granite Edge Profile Fabrication process.
I hope you enjoyed this article about Granite Edge Profile Fabrication. Now, it is time to read your comments. We invite you to express your opinions and let us know what practices you use for Granite Edge Profile Fabrication, which tools do you prefer and if you dare, share your best secrets tips. We are sure it will help the entire community.