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Basic trim saw/ tile saw?

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Author Topic: Basic trim saw/ tile saw?  (Read 1139 times)
daveaphotodude
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« on: August 01, 2013, 10:08:09 am »

Ok I am just getting stuff together to start learning lapidary,I have a cab machine / grinder so is there a consensus on the best low budget trim saw or do I go for a tile saw and which will hold up for a few years,doing agate,tiger eye,turquoise ,bathroom ceramic...? dunno
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deb193
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 10:14:18 am »

the 1st question is will you only trim slabs, or will you also want to make small slabbetts form 1.5" rocks
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- Daniel

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daveaphotodude
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 11:44:15 am »

both and maybe larger.
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bilquest
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 12:02:04 pm »

I own several saws, and if I were in your shoes I would probably try to scrounge a 10" lapidary saw from Craigslist/Ebay. This would provide you with an over-qualified trim saw along with a formidable slab saw (small slabs). Consider it a two-fer.

Here's the problem with the tile saw... it runs too fast (3600+ rpm vs. 1725). Also, finding a blade that doesn't glaze every two seconds is difficult. However, if money is the issue, you could snag a small HF tile saw to make pre-forms. That would get you up and running.
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deb193
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 12:50:26 pm »

my 3400rpm tile saw and HotDog MK 225 blade do fine. minimal chipping, no glazing. but I also have 10" trim saw and a 10" slab saw.

BUT it is hard for 1 saw to do it all. It sounds like you expect too much if you want to go above 1.5" with a basic 6" trim or 7" tile saw.

They do make vises for 6" and 8" trim saws, which implies slabbetts. But, in my opinion they are considerably slower even if the cut slab is often smoother. Hand held with a tile saw does permit rolling to get upto 2.7" rock. You cannot roll in a vise. So if "larger than 1.5" is important, then tile saw.

you can get a $50 tile saw and a $30 hot dog blade. It will be best outdoors, since it sprays a lot.

The 6" and 8" trim saws with vises can be used indoors if the fill level is kept just right. You might pick one up used for $100 to $150, and then get a $35 MK 303c blade.

For a bit more you can get a used 10" slab/trim saw. It really is a two-fer. For a few years this was my only saw. You can run with oil or water, and it may also have a gravity (or motor) feed, and the vise will generally have a nice cross-feed. You can find these used for $400-$450, sometimes a cheaper bargain comes along.

So factor indoor/outdoor, budget, ratio of trimming vs slabbing, and get a new tile saw or used lapidary. But, over time, get more than one saw.
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- Daniel

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daveaphotodude
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 01:36:01 pm »

Thank you both Bill and Deb I am trying to get the money up so I can watch out for a decent trim /slab I really want to get the best outta the buck so I wont get in tooo much hurry
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deb193
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 03:09:54 pm »

you can see what sold on ebay recently. price varies with model, feed, motor incl, ... and then shipping is a factor. but these sold for between $350 and $450.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=10%22%20slab%20saw&rt=nc&_pppn=r1&LH_AllListings=on&LH_ItemCondition=4&LH_Sold=1&LH_Complete=1

... but if you accept that a 7" tile saw can be useful to have in addition to a slab/trim saw, you can start with a tile saw and good blade for about $90. I put mine in a used washtub from the mission store. This lets me work indoors, but still use lots of water.



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lithicbeads
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 07:39:28 pm »

 I use the cheap green blades on my tile saw. I think johnsgems sells them and I get an incredible amount of cutting out of them . Tonight I used a blade with thousands of cuts already on it ( 8 inch blade) and I broke down two fist sized Montana agates into preforms as well as about twenty 3 inch cuts on jade cobbles with no dressing or loss of cutting action . With the cheaper blades you will get a dud occasionally which can only handle a few hundred cuts across cobbles but much more often I get dynamite blades that cut many dozens of jade cobbles and cut up hundreds of pendant preforms from them as well.
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deb193
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 09:06:24 pm »

most 7" tile saws cannot take an 8" blade w/o modification. if you find one with the extra depth that would be a good option
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 09:53:04 pm »


I'll say it one more time.  Don't waste your money/time on a tile saw unless you are cutting tile.  Save your money until you can buy a slab saw.  Or a 10" trim saw that you can also slab with.

jmho
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-Gary

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deb193
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2013, 10:12:18 pm »

LOL. I'll say it one more time. I have a 10" trim, a 10" slab, a 12" slab, a 14" slab, a c-40 band saw - and I still use my tile saw.
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lithicbeads
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 06:32:20 am »

I've got piles of saws , the 10 inch tile is the most fun and productive for me.
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 07:35:04 am »

LOL. I'll say it one more time. I have a 10" trim, a 10" slab, a 12" slab, a 14" slab, a c-40 band saw - and I still use my tile saw.

Okay, two more times....lolol

I understand we have to use what we can.   I am just sayin if you can wait and save, a lapidary saw is going to work better for you, all things considered.  I also know that when you attach "Lapidary" to it the price jumps dramatically.
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-Gary

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Bentiron
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 05:32:45 pm »

I also know that when you attach "Lapidary" to it the price jumps dramatically.................................Ain't that the truth! Same with any tool that has "jewelry" attached to it. Find the tool you want in a jewelry catalog or online then head to the flea market or hardware store and get the same tool cheaper by up to 20% or more. Buy used and shine it up yourself.
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daveaphotodude
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2013, 12:33:03 pm »

 hide
Ok new question?? If I build my own saw what would be the optimal size arbor for available blades?
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2013, 03:39:25 pm »


What size saw/blade ?  As the size goes up so does the arbor.....like in groups 1-6 is 1/2", 7-10 is 5/8", 12-18 is 3/4" or something on this order.  I might me a little off but this is just a general idea.  (Tongue in cheek) (off the wall) (I don't know what i'm talking about)

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-Gary

Of all the things I've lost..I miss my mind the most.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.
wyrock
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2013, 06:00:31 pm »

I have a 5/8" arbor and use a 10" blade on my home made trim saw/polisher. I have a 1/4 horse motor spinning it. I cut all the small rocks on it and use my 12" slab saw for the big stuff. But, it is no problem to cut fist sized rock on the trim saw. I use a swamp cooler pump floating in a bucket for water and a return line from saw tub to the bucket. It has cut hundreds of rocks with no problems.
Jim
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sealdaddy
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2013, 09:38:47 am »

hide
Ok new question?? If I build my own saw what would be the optimal size arbor for available blades?

5/8"  ...they will include adapters if blades have larger holes
These are Excellent long lasting blades, friend.
http://www.jsgemslapidary.com/8in-MEAN-GREEN-BLADE/
http://www.jsgemslapidary.com/10in-MEAN-GREEN-BLADE/
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2013, 11:24:34 am »


I would probably build a larger saw and go with a 3/4" arbor.  I have a friend with an 18" but it is just not big enough for some of my larger rocks.  The extra 3" with a 24 " blade would make a big difference.  I would also find the price break (if there was one).
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-Gary

Of all the things I've lost..I miss my mind the most.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.


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