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blocking / splitting large rough with angle grinder, chissel and hammer

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Author Topic: blocking / splitting large rough with angle grinder, chissel and hammer  (Read 2443 times)
deb193
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« on: August 21, 2011, 08:29:24 pm »

Several threads recently mentioned blocking large rough with angle grinder that is set up with a saw blade. Make a notch and then use a chisel.

I decided to give it a try when Harbor Freight put a 7" grinder on sale and then I also had a 20% off coupon. Unfortunately it uses 7/8" arbor holes, and all of my 7" blades are 5/8". So I had to go to Ace hardware and get a 7" MK Diamond masonry blade with 7/8" arbor.

Then I had to rig up a water supply. I clamped my hose nozzle onto a truck dolly that I pushed next to my work table (aka, a board on two saw horses in my driveway.)

Here are some pics of the 1st rock I did, an the water, and the grinder, and the notch I cut, and then the split with the chisel. (I don't have a pic of me using the grinder because nobody was here to take one for me.)








It went pretty well. The blade did not bind up in the cut, and the water was easier to manage than I feared, and the rock split with the 1st wack of the hammer/chisel.

So, I continued to notch the rock and split off pieces until I had a bunch of pieces that would fit in either my LS12 or the LS10 saw.






There is still one big chunk. I figure to slab the pieces I blocked and then come back to the big chunk if the rock proves to be worth the effort.

The blade had dulled and rounded a bit after cutting up that 1st rock, so I cut up a fire brick to expose more diamonds. It worked pretty good, so I cut a slice of brick between each rock for the rest of the day.


Then I blocked a piece of 4" thick tigereye, a large hunk of red-yellow-green jasper, a 5" cube of Rocky Butte that I had blocked using the 20" saw at the Salem club when I lived in Oregon - but it was still too big for my LS12, so I made 2 pieces.












I decided to try a really large rock before I quit, so I got a piece of Rocky Butte that was bigger than a bowling ball. It was difficult to make notches deep enough, so the chisel and hammer did not make the pieces exactly as I wanted. But, it did give me some control over breaking up this stone. I got to roughly position the pattern the way I wanted it.







I took several breaks, and was also feeding my slab saws, but I spent about 4 hours to set up and block the 5 rocks. Not a bad days effort.




The blade shows a lot of wear. It is over half used up. I think I will get a bit better at being a little more gentle, but I think about 7-8 rocks may be the limit. It is a $27 blade, so that is about $5.50 per rock. I think this compares favorably with paying a few dollars per cut on a 20" or 24" saw. I will be on the lookout for cheaper blades, but I trust MK to put enough diamonds, so I will not go too cheap or too thin.





Anyway, the method seems to work pretty good, and cheap angle grinders seem adequate. If you do this make sure your grinder is plugged into a GFI outlet because of all the water and not wanting to get electrocuted.
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asianfire
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2011, 08:35:42 pm »

Wow, ....... you certainly where busy........ and with super results too.  yes yes
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2011, 08:40:19 pm »

OMG!!!! that is so cool.
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skystone
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2011, 09:08:42 pm »

You must have been brought up in Yuma Territorial Prisson  Sure looks like you've got the making little ones out of big ones down pat. LOL
Mike
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deb193
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2011, 09:17:29 pm »

LOL. No prison. But I think I like blocking and slabbing more than any other step. ALthout I do enjoy getting rough, and composing cabs. Not so much actually making the cab - but I hope this changes as my metalsmith skills increase.

Maybe I just like getting wet. LOL.
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Roger
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2011, 09:22:05 pm »

To say I am impressed would be an understatement. Wow ingenioutity at its best. (Spelling probably not)
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Steve
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2011, 10:22:07 pm »

Wow......looks like you had a party with those tools..................great job, I'm impressed................ yes
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2011, 11:00:31 pm »

That is a great idea. Also you can take off the blade guard which we do in the granite shops, then you can but a bigger blade and if my memory serves me right we where able to put a seven inch blade on a four inch angle grinder.  After using several angle grinders I will only buy a makita 14 amp variable speed. The amps being the most important.
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 12:45:40 am »

Excellent !
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 02:32:22 pm »

I have done the same thing with a skil saw and a diamond blade.
Works great up to a certain size, after that they fracture unpredictably.

When you get into the larger stuff drilling and splitting works better and is more controllable.

Great tutorial Daniel................Tony
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 04:05:11 pm »

Water? Power tools?   EEEEEK!   omg 
Sure am glad you didn't get electrocuted!
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2011, 04:36:22 pm »

Wow Daniel, Great tutorial!!!!
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deb193
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 06:00:20 pm »

Water? Power tools?   EEEEEK!   omg 
Sure am glad you didn't get electrocuted!

Not to worry Mia. Electric tools and water get mixed all the time - and not just those tools designed for water. Like I said, a GFI outlet is strongly advised.

But when tile saws get set down into a tub or a sink to control splashing, water can get on the motor. When someone used a drill press with core drills - there you have a tool not designed for wet use being used with water. When someone used a Dremel w/o a flex shaft to drill with water - there you have it again.

When someone modifies a bench grinder, or a chop saw, to convert to wet use - same issues. Protect the motor, use a GFI.

If you use the drill and split method Tony just mentioned, and I think Woody posted about - you are using a hand drill not designed for wet use, and you have to use it with water. And of course Tony's skill saw was not designed to be used with water.

GFI, rubber soles (no bare feet), keep water off of motor, use a grinder with a plastic casing, keep on the shield, and plenty of common sense ... and you get not much potential for any electrical problem. If anyone was still worried, I guess rubber gloves could be used.

It is good to be respectful of electricity, but many folks over-react to the sterotype of electricity, and do not think through the actual physics of the situation.
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2013, 06:21:59 pm »

This is what I use and works for most of the bigger rough I buy. Gives you a 2 inch cut on both sides. Then use a chisel and sledge like above to split.

http://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Wet-Stone-Cutter-AWS-125/dp/B0040Z94AI



Works great outside with a regular garden hose. The guard comes off to make it easier to use. There is a box in the cord which I believe is a transformer so it's probably not full AC current. But I still recommend using gloves, goggles and hearing protection. Also obviously rubber soled shoes.
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lithicbeads
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2013, 06:41:45 pm »

 That was a new saw to me thanks.
   I just found a nephrite boulder of quite high quaity that is too heavy to move . I have been using a battery powered hammer drill to drill jade blocks then forcing over size round chisels into the holes to make them more likely to break . I doubt feathers and wedges would be a good match for this quality jade but the hammer drill with an sds plus bit drills surprisingly well. A heavy sledge develops the cracks and with good quality hard jade does not seem to bother the adjacent rough so it is still cuttable close to the split.
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Hexic
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« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2013, 11:13:24 pm »

Think I'm gonna swing by Harbor Freight tomorrow and pick up one of those angle grinders. I have some big chunks of Noreena here I need to cut down to size and I think finding a good slab saw is going to take a while unless I buy new. Thanks for this tutorial!
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2013, 05:36:03 pm »

Do you all remember Tony's little demo of exploding rocks, that sure opened them up yes yippie hide
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Hexic
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2013, 07:57:13 pm »

Had some fun this weekend with good results! Got the chunk of Noreena jasper broken down into sizes my lowly 8" saw can handle.
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deb193
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2013, 10:07:31 pm »

good for you!
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- Daniel

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« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2016, 09:44:27 am »

i need to get an angle grinder and do this to my Teanaway jasper (aka Teanaway jade) boulder.

Huge boulder sitting in my back yard wanting to be "NICELY" made into smaller chunks rather than a sledge hammer and ending up with awkward shaped chunks.
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