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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
February 17, 2019, 12:35:47 pm
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Trim Saw: Tile or Lapidary

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Author Topic: Trim Saw: Tile or Lapidary  (Read 556 times)
Ken S.
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« on: September 04, 2015, 04:07:36 pm »

Hello group: help

Posted my intro and now I need suggestions on a rock saw.  I read the previous posts, looked online both reading and you tube videos and I am now thinking along these lines:

I'm looking for a 4" - 6" saw with the intention of doing small work. The wife with her sledge has the job of breaking the the rocks down to trim saw size pieces.  I also would not find it and issue to cut around and split the rock. The choices seem to be as follows (this is where you guys/gals chime in and set me straight as to the other choices, or why my line of thinking is way off the mark)

Tile Saw:

1) Cheap (+)
2) LOUD (-)
3) WET (-)
4) FAST SPEED (-)

Lapidary Saw:

1) MUCHO BUCKS (-)
2) Quiet(er) (+)
3) Slow speed (+)
4) Not as Wet (+)

I may want to use the saw inside, with appropriate water protection (will fabricate a plexi-glass protector), so noise level to me is very is very important.

I have been checking E-bay and have my eyes on a used Rock Rascal with motor for about a BUCK. This seems a good entry piece and I'm thinking I'll then be able to spend a little more on a lap.

Suggestions please dunno

Thanks,

Ken
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Debbie K
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 05:29:33 pm »

Ken:

The tile saws are wet and also have the wrong kind of blade. Someone here finally explained that tile saw blades are too hard to cut hard stone; you need a softer steel to cut hard rock. That being said, I use one sometimes to cut things down. Extremely messy; I always use it outside when the weather is warm. I have a small 6" trim saw; I got lucky and got it and the complete vise for $75. I also have two grinders with 6" saws, so now I, of course, want a bigger saw.

Craigs list is sometimes a good place to look for used lapidary equipment. Use "rockhound, lapidary, rock saw, rock grinder, grinder, lap machine" as some of your searches. I've seen some really good saws for sale there.

Pay attention to what kind of trim saw you get in regards to where the arbor is in relation to the plate and what it is you're trying to do. If you like to cut odd shapes with perhaps some concave sides, one with the arbor above the plate is better as the blade overcuts the rock on the top where you can see how far the blade has actually gone. The ones with the arbor below the plate will undercut, which doesn't matter too much if you are cutting straight lines, ovals or circles.

Debbie K
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 06:00:19 pm »

Adding to what Debbie said, A saw with the arbor below the table will usually allow longer cuts, but you loose some of the height of cuts you can make.
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light house jack
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2015, 02:41:14 am »

I as well as several of my friends own the Harbor Freight 4.5 inch tile saw. Buy a good lapidary blade and it is hard to beat for the price for a neat little trim saw. Watch for their 20% off coupons for even a better deal. I have lapidary brand trim saws but this little saw for around fifty bucks is great. I suggest using Prestone RV antifreeze in it as a coolant.
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Lookout Mountain Man
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2015, 07:58:01 pm »

I as well as several of my friends own the Harbor Freight 4.5 inch tile saw...
Would you consider using one of their larger tile saws for stonecutting?  They have a 7 and 10 inch I believe.
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light house jack
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2015, 08:15:35 pm »

I have a 10" Harbor Freight on their stand on my back porch with a Barranca blade. Since seeing it, four other members of my club bought the same saw.  I can cut fist sized rocks and when I am thru using it, I spin dry the blade, spray it down with WD40 and I am done. Watch their sales and you can get 20% off often.
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Lookout Mountain Man
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2015, 08:29:31 pm »

I have a 10" Harbor Freight on their stand on my back porch with a Barranca blade. Since seeing it, four other members of my club bought the same saw.  I can cut fist sized rocks and when I am thru using it, I spin dry the blade, spray it down with WD40 and I am done. Watch their sales and you can get 20% off often.
How do you stabilize your rocks?
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RockIt2Me
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2015, 08:49:26 pm »

I have both a tile saw and a Lil Trimmer lapidary saw. use the Lil Trimmer with a super yhin lapidary blade to cut the good stuff.  I use the tile more though.  I put a lapidary blade on it.

I have used it inside during the winter by setting it up in the walk in shower-turn the saw around so the spray hits the shower wall and pull the rock towards you to cut...in fact, I always cut from the back of the saw, so I don't get wet.
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Nancie
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Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.   

 Don't take life so seriously...It's not like you're going to get out alive ;-)                                                        





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