Are you using the right tools for Granite Edge Profile Fabrication?
Sam, a good friend of us and a very good customer, after working several years in the Granite Industry, decided to start his own Granite Shop a couple 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:
This is a tricky question. We known for experience that may fabricators tend to create Profiles by hand, just using Cup Wheels. The tricky part consist of there are a bunch of people whom 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 yo can see the difference among both methods…
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 Granite Edge Profile Fabrication, we refer to Creating Profiles for almost any Stone Slab
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 in two Tools that have proven being 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 light weight of the aluminium body, these aluminium Cup Wheels create less stress on the Grinder than heavier steel body Diamond Cup Wheels. They are light weight 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 use Wet or Dry. Economically priced, producing Minimal Chipping of Stone, is an excellent choice.
Depending 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 different options, depending on what the Customer are requested. 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. It is 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 this, 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:
FEATURED ROUTER BITS
Hurricane Demibullnose Router Bits, Profile B, also known as Radius and Half Bullnose is a versatile tool to create professional Contour on many Stones
Hurricane Ogee Demi Bullnose Pos1, Router Bit designed to provide professional results when fabricating Stone Countertops. 6mm layer of Diamonds
Hurricane Bevel Router Bits, Profile E. Very versatile Bit. It can cut Hard Granite as cleanly as it does Soft Marble with its sharp Diamond. Wet use only
Cyclone Full Bullnose Router Bits, Shape V Diamond Profiling Tools for Stone Fabricators, Countertop Fabricators, for Granite & Marble Slab Edge Profiling
Cyclone Demi Bullnose Router Bits, Router Bits Profile B, are the top of the line of Diamax Router Bits, producing amazing results. Highly recommended
Hurricane Ogee Router Bits are Profile F. Very aggressive Profile Tools for doing Ogee Edge details on Granite and other Natural Stones. Fast removal rate
Cyclone Bevel Router Bits, Profile E Router Bit is a very aggressive Profile Tool for doing 45 degree Bevels on 30mm and 20mm Granite and other Natural Stones
Choose the right Router Bit
Smoothing Edges Surface
The last step in the Granite Edge Profile Fabrication consists of preparing the Stone Edge surface to 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 with your Granite Edge Profile Fabrication process.
Granite Edge Profile Fabrication is a very important part of the process of Fabricating a Granite Countertop, and the Profiles will let anybody to see at a glance, the quality of the Fabrication process.
That is the main reason for which you should do your best effort in this area. It is very important:
Prepare the Surface before Fabricating the Edge Profiles by using a Cup Wheel
Use a Stone Router for a more professional result. This will make your Fabrication process faster and more efficient
Smooth the Edge Profiles with a Silicon Carbide Grinding Stone in preparation for Polishing
If you haven’t subscribed to our Newsletter, and you liked this article, sign in and wait in your Inbox for the announcement of the next instalment in the series. Granite Edge Profile Fabrication was the third one.
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 your prefer and if you dare, share your best secrets tips. We are sure it will help the entire community.
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2,500 RPM and under 3 lbs. and under 3 to 4 lbs. 4 to 7 lbs. 5 to 8 Amps 7 to 9 lbs. 10 to 40 lbs. 12 to 15 Amps 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 45° Capacity 90° Capacity Abaco Amps Battery Bit Type Blade Diameter Blades Brushless Corded Cordless Cyclone Diamax Handle Impact Energy (ft. lbs.) LXT® Machines Makita Max No Load Speed No Speed Dial O. Length: 11" and over O. Length: 11" and under Overall Length Power Type Speed Speed Power Selection Speed Power Selection: 1 Star Protection Stone Switch Technology Variable Speed Vibration (M/Sq. Sec.) Weight Wheel Diameter XPT