10 Quick Tips for Stone Cutting
One of the most important aspects of any stone fabricator is how well they can cut and finish stones. Knowing how to properly cut and finish a stone will ensure that you are able to produce workable pieces that your customer will be happy with.
When cutting stone there a few tips and tricks stone fabricators have worked out over years to ensure they get the best cut possible. With new stone cutter technology consistently improving the stone fabrication industry, allowing cutting speeds faster than we ever imagined possible, these top 10 tips have stood firm in the test of time.
Table of Contents
- 1 – Use the right blade for the right material.
- 2 – Do not go above the recommended RPM or Feed Rate.
- 3 - Make sure you are cutting with a sharp blade
- 4 – Using a rubber bed.
- 5 – Are you protecting your health?
- 6 – Use an ample amount of water
- 7 – Watch your back
- 8 – Tighten those Flanges
- 9 – When it comes to blade storage, don’t get caught laying down on the job.
- 10 – Don’t get carried away – Start Slow.
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- Further reading on the Stonegate Tooling Blog:
1 – Use the right blade for the right material.
It may sound simple, but one of the most common causes of damage to a blade is due to using the incorrect blade for the material. When it comes to selecting the right blade here is a simple key.
When cutting a harder stone ie. DEKTON
Use a blade with a softer bond.
When cutting softer stone ie. Quartz
Use a blade with a softer bond.
The bond will determine how quickly the new diamonds are exposed, so for stones that are harder to cut you will need to ensure your blade is keeping up. A blade that doesn’t keep up with your requirements will cause an uneven cut, chipping or even destruction of the slab. We look at this on more detail in our Diamond Blades: The Science Behind The Technology blog.
2 – Do not go above the recommended RPM or Feed Rate.
It may be tempting to push your blade or stone cutter to the max, but do not be tempted to go above the recommended levels. These blades have gone through extensive testing by the manufacturer and the supplier before they have reached your workshop. The recommendations have come from a team of experts who have broken the blade for you so that you don’t have too.
3 - Make sure you are cutting with a sharp blade
Again, it sounds simple, but it’s amazing how many people don’t have a sharpening block as a part of their toolkit. Exposed diamonds are the part of your blade responsible for the cutting and a sharpening block will simple wear away the bond to expose new ones. To read about this in more details check out of blog on, Diamond Tool Sharpening Blocks: The Hidden Essential In Your Workshop
4 – Using a rubber bed.
Ideally, you want your surface to be as stable and unyielding as possible. When cutting ultra-compact surfaces like DEKTON, one of the best ways to achieve this is by using a rubber bed underneath it instead of our more traditional hardwood or plastic ones. Rubber will absorb some movement during the process helping you cut things faster with less risk for sudden movements that could break off pieces from your slab if not careful!
5 – Are you protecting your health?
With a huge range of research around health and safety in the workplace, you are running out of excuses to not protect yourself. RCS found in stone dust can lead to silicosis, cancer and COPD, so you need to ensure to protect yourself and your workers with masks. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome can affect those working with power tools often and then there is the risk of injury caused by accidents in the workplace. At Stonegate, we offered a wide range of budget and premium PPE to protect you and your team. You can read more about protecting your health in our blogs Understanding The Dangers Of Stone Dust and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome: You Could Be Fined Up To £400,000 For Ignoring The Risks.
6 – Use an ample amount of water
When cutting with water, less is never more. Be sure to aim an ample amount of water towards the cutting during the cutting process. This will ensure to keep you blade cool, which avoids warping and also helps prevent chips, allowing for a neater cut.
7 – Watch your back
This is not a threat, but a genuine concern. We don’t know if you have noticed but stone is heavy! You may be ok lifting some yourself now but after a while, this will take its toll. It is important to invest in the correct stone lifting and stone handling equipment now, rather than play the price later with a bad back resulting in the inability to work.
8 – Tighten those Flanges
Whereas it may seem time-saving at the time to loosely tighten the flange before you start cutting, but it will cost you more time in the long run when you have to wait until the next day for your new blade to arrive. A loose flange can damage or distort the bore, so heed our advice and take the time to tighten that flange.
9 – When it comes to blade storage, don’t get caught laying down on the job.
It may surprise you to learn but laying your blade flat (horizontally) is actually one of the worst ways to store it as it can cause warping. The best way to store your blade is vertically (on its edge). In the Stonegate warehouse, all our blades are stored vertically as not only is the better for the blade, but it also saves space!
10 – Don’t get carried away – Start Slow.
The best things come to those who wait and the best cuts come to those that start slow. Turn your blade speed down as you begin the cut and then speed up as you progress. This will help to give a better edge on the lead in and help to avoid chipping too.
So those are our top ten tips, do you have any pearls of wisdom you have picked up on the job? Share them with your fellow fabricators and post in the comments below.
Stonegate Precision Tooling, the UK's most trusted supplier...
Here at Stonegate Precision Tooling, we've had the privilege of working with stone fabricators across both the UK and worldwide in providing them with the most innovative tooling and consumables for stone. Our work with stone fabricators has given us the first-hand expertise our customers need when choosing a key supplier to provide them with the essentials to keep them in business.
Through aiming for 100% customer satisfaction we exceed in honesty, loyalty and integrity whilst ensuring that our high-quality, performance products are available whenever our customers need them - 98% of our customers receive their orders on the next day; on time, in full. We work hard with all our customers to provide a service that ensures our customers experience value in all that we do and it's this commitment that has enabled Stonegate to become the UK's most trusted provider of specialist products and knowledge to stone fabricators.
Further reading on the Stonegate Tooling Blog:
- REACH Regulations - What You Need To Know: Better understand the new REACH Regulations and what your responsibilities when it comes to compliance are!
- Safely Moving Stone In Your Workshop: Learn how to better lift and handle stone to avoid the risk of injury to your team.
- Understanding The Dangers Of Stone Dust: Silica dust is an everyday risk for stone fabricators but its dangers simply can't be underestimated, read more from Stonegate.
- Stonegate, The UK's Most Trusted Provider Of Specialist Tooling To Stone Fabricators: Discover how Stonegate supports your business with our commitment to being the very best.
- How Our Next-Day Stone Tools Stock Keeps You In Business: Read how our unbeatable supply is essential to keep your business running and what we do to constantly ensure you have the products you need.
- Stonegate, The Exclusive Worldwide Distributor For Status Diamond Tooling!: We're thrilled to provide the world's most innovative CNC tools from leading brand, Status Diamond Tooling.
- Stone Slab Protection Film: Exploring SlabWrap©: Explore more from our range of stone slab protection products to make your business more efficient and profitable.