How To Cut Decorative Stone

How and what to cut decorative stone

Decorative stone is often difficult to distinguish from natural stone in appearance. With regard to strength, the resistance of artificial stone to external influences sometimes even surpasses. For this reason, it is so in demand in finishing works. Many people wonder how and what to cut a decorative stone, when it is necessary to change its size or give it the required shape.

What to cut

In manufacturing enterprises, for cutting decorative stone, special stone cutting machines are used, equipped with a liquid supply for cooling. The machine cuts the stone, which is immediately cooled. The process is uncomplicated and even automated to some extent. Waterjet and laser cutting is also used. The methods indicated by the latter can give the decorative stone a very different and even unusual shape.

However, in a domestic environment, it is much more difficult to solve this problem. The following tools at hand will help: a hand circular, an angle grinder with diamond discs of different diameters, an electric tile cutter. All these devices are equipped with segmented and solid diamond discs, which, if necessary, can have different configurations. You can also cut the stone by hand with a simple metal saw. You will need to install a diamond-coated stone blade on it.

Electric tile cutters are equipped with trays for cooling the stone during operation. Such a container with liquid is placed directly under the table on which the tile cutter is installed. Such devices are divided into two types: in the first, the cutting disc is fixed motionless and in the process of operation only the working table moves, on which the stone is attached; in the second type, the disc itself moves above the cutting plane.

In some cases, a manual tile cutter will suffice, for example, if the thickness of the stone is small and the relief is not difficult. The simplest and most convenient tool is a conventional angle grinder with a large diameter diamond disc. Different discs are suitable for different types of decorative stone. Sometimes, finishing with a decorative stone of a room requires making small cuts or cuts on the plane of the material. For this purpose, you can use a regular jigsaw or a diamond wire.

Cutting process

Cutting is a simple matter, there are two main ways: the first is suitable for experienced builders, the second is for non-professionals. On the back of the stone, a fishing line is drawn along which it is planned to trim. Next, the knife marks the place where the seam will be. The angle grinder makes a deep cut along the entire seam. Then it is placed on a horizontal surface and cracked. An uneven crack appears on the front side.

Another method is recommended for people who have no special experience in cutting stones. Here, on the front side, the place of the seam should be marked. Then you need to saw the stone by hand with a saw with a special blade. You can also use a hand-held electrofusion cutter with a flexible cord.

Posted on Aug 24, 2013 By Admin With 6 Comments

How to defeat porcelain stoneware

For drilling porcelain stoneware, since K. It is very hard, use a drill with a special attachment.

Drilling porcelain stoneware is not easy; it is one of the heaviest materials to work with. To get a straight edge of the hole, always start from the front side. At the exit, the drill can chip, but in this case it will remain invisible. If the slab you are going to drill is not yet fixed to the floor or wall, a flat board or piece of fiberboard should be placed under it.

If the diameter of the intended hole is more than 6-8 mm, you must first drill it with a tool with a smaller diameter. To work with porcelain stoneware, it is better to use a hammer drill or a sufficiently powerful drill.

The drilling speed is low or medium, depending on the drill diameter. The larger the diameter, the lower the speed. It is better not to use a striker, there is a risk of splitting the plate. In some cases, especially with a large thickness of material, a striker at low speeds is used if there are no voids under the slab, but everyone does this at their own peril and risk. When drilling, use water for cooling.

The best results are obtained when using diamond tools. In practice, different drills are used: carbide tips for tiles, a nib with a diamond tip, diamond-coated tubes, diamond core bits.

Good results are obtained with Chinese-made thin-walled monolithic diamond-metal tubes, and they are also inexpensive, about 1 dollar.

The drill will wear less when drilled perpendicular to the material plane. For this, a drill or hammer drill can be mounted on a vertical stand. In this case, the drill resource is almost doubled.

It can be very difficult to start drilling with a crown on a smooth surface, it constantly tries to move to the side, scratching the surface. Therefore, to obtain a high-quality result, you can pre-make a template for holes of different diameters. The template is firmly clamped with clamps and prevents the crown from moving away from the drilling point. You can also add water here for cooling.

You can start drilling at an angle to the plane if the template is not used: then the crown cuts into the stone with one side, and then aligns. But this method is best used on softer materials.

Likewise, you can drill holes in concrete and agglomerate stone.

Features of working with acrylic and plaster

All methods mentioned above are suitable for working with any artificial stone. However, acrylic stone has a more plastic structure and allows the use of tools of less high hardness. Drilling in acrylic stone is more like working with hardwood or aluminum.

Therefore, it can be drilled using conventional metal drills, even a feather drill for wood or a Forstner cutter will do. Large holes are drilled with a crown or tubular drill. Can be drilled dry.

Artificial stone, cast using gypsum as a binder, also does not require the use of a tool of increased hardness. Sometimes, to work with it, they use an ordinary hacksaw for metal, or even for wood, an assembly knife, an abrasive mesh or sandpaper. You can drill it with a simple drill for metal, if there are few holes. But for the cleanliness of the work, it is better to use drills or bits with carbide tipped.

Drilling can be carried out using a cordless screwdriver, choosing the drill of the required diameter.

You can easily process a hole using a hand-held wood router by changing the shape of the hole or its dimensions.

How and what can you make a hole

For material such as artificial stone, you can use the same tools as when working with concrete products. The tool used when drilling the hardest materials can be successfully used for drilling all its varieties. This is usually done by one of the following items:

  • Perforator;
  • Drill;
  • Screwdriver;
  • Angle Grinder.

An angle grinder is used for drilling using special diamond core bits, the design of which allows them to be used by screwing them onto a shaft to attach a disk. The crown is installed at right angles to the body of the angle grinder.

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Drills or crowns are selected taking into account the size of the required hole and the hardness of the material used. Typically they have a carbide tip, tipped with Pobedit, diamond-coated or diamond-tipped.

Clamps are used to secure the material. Dry and drilling with water is used to cool the cutting edge of the tool and the stone itself. In addition, the water clears the drill cuttings, leaving the edge of the drill hole smoother. Much less dust during wet drilling.

In order to drill with water at home, make a plasticine bath around the drilling site or put a rubber ring where water is added. When using a template, water can be poured directly into it by sealing the cracks with ordinary tape. Sometimes water is just added a little from a plastic bottle.

Artificial stone can sometimes have a polished surface on which it is difficult to see the mowing line marking. In this case, paper construction tape glued to its surface will help. The mowing lines are clearly visible on it, even if you draw them with a pencil.

How to drill and cut artificial stone

Artificial stone in appearance is sometimes difficult to distinguish from natural. And in terms of strength and resistance to external weathering, in some cases it can even surpass it.

Types of decorative stone: agglomerate, acrylic stone, porcelain stoneware, artificial concrete stone.

These qualities largely determine its popularity in the interior and exterior decoration of houses and apartments. It is also used when laying garden paths, equipping bathrooms, making countertops and window sills. Therefore, many home-builders are interested in how to cut such a stone, if you need to change its size or shape, how and how to drill holes, for example, for water pipes.

Artificial stone made using different technologies has different hardness. This depends on which components were used as filler and binder. All such types of stone can be divided into:

  • Agglomerate;
  • Acrylic stone;
  • Porcelain stoneware;
  • Artificial stone on a concrete base.

Punch device diagram.

Agglomerates, which include large quartz, granite, marble or limestone chips, and sometimes whole pieces of stone bound with polyester resins, can be stronger than natural samples. The acrylic stone contains a fine-grained filler (up to 70%) and acrylic resin. This distinguishes it from agglomerates, makes it plastic when heated. It can be scratched or scorched.

Products made of porcelain stoneware are superior in hardness to ceramics and glass, since their main component is highly compressed kaolin clay.

Stones made from sand and cement or Portland cement have similar properties to ordinary concrete. In some cases, manufacturers replace white cement with gypsum. Such artificial stones are less hard, can be easily processed, are cheaper, but they are relatively easily destroyed by moisture and low temperatures.

How to give the slab the right size and shape

At the enterprises, artificial stone is cut on stone-cutting machines with the supply of coolant to the cutting site; laser or water-jet cutting is also performed. The last two methods allow you to give the stone the most amazing, even curved shape.

At home, the choice is not so great. You can solve this problem with a hand-held circular or plunge-cut circular saw, choosing a blade that matches the material being cut. An electric tile cutter will do just as well.

Electric tile cutters are equipped with a small bathtub of coolant located under his work table. According to the principle of operation, such tile cutters are of two types. In one case, the disk is stationary, and its working table with a stone fixed on it moves. In the other, the disc, together with the drive, moves along the guides above the cutting plane.

All these devices work with diamond blades of various configurations, solid and segmented.

If the relief and thickness of the stone tile allows, it can also be cut with a manual tile cutter.

But the most versatile tool for cutting stone is considered to be an angle grinder with a diamond disc. It is advisable to choose a disc with a large diameter. Different discs are available for different materials.

For cutting cuts in stone, they sometimes use a jigsaw, a diamond string. There are also special stone blades for ordinary metal hacksaws.

How to do

  • The first step is to make a mold. To do this, find a suitable piece of chipboard or plywood. Take a thick oilcloth and cut it to the size of the base.
  • Remove the covers from the cable channels and attach the boxes around the perimeter of a piece of chipboard with screws, thus pressing the oilcloth.
  • Cut the trunking covers into pieces that will fit the tiles. Install them in place, and then cut the boxes along them. Later, a spatula will be inserted into these slots to separate the bricks.
  • Stir the plaster of paris with water in a cut plastic bottle until it becomes a sour cream and add fiberglass for strength. Instead, you can tousle a polypropylene bag and just cut threads from the canvas.
  • Pour the plaster mixture into the mold and distribute it evenly. Tap the edges lightly to avoid voids. When the casting dries a little, stir it with a plastic trowel to give the texture of the stone.
  • Divide the still uncured plaster into tiles. To do this, insert a long spatula into the frame slots and press down. Use a dish sponge to blot the casting to form a porous structure.
  • Remove the frame on either side and remove the tiles one at a time. Gently pick them up with a spatula and, if necessary, cut along the joints with a knife.
  • Next, the finished stones are primed and painted. Then they are attached to the walls using tile glue.

How to do

  • If the siding panel is long, cut it in two for convenience.
  • Prepare a plaster mix at the rate of 0.6 l of water, 1 g of fiberglass and 100 g of PVA glue per 1 kg of gypsum. First dissolve the glue in cold water, add fiber and stir well. Add gypsum gradually and bring the composition to a homogeneous mass.
  • Turn the panel over and pour the mixture into the mold cavities. Tap the edges of the die for better filling. Smooth the casting with a spatula, removing excess plaster from the edges between the tiles.
  • Wait until the blanks are completely dry. Keep the shape suspended and, bending slightly, release the edges of the tiles, and then remove them completely.
  • With a spatula, cut a thin crust along the contour of the tiles. Before the next pouring, rinse the mold with water and clean it from the remains of gypsum.
  • Next, the stones are primed on both sides and placed on the wall with tile adhesive. If you are satisfied with the white color, it is enough to cover the surface with a transparent varnish. If desired, the tiles can be painted.

How to do

  • Decide on the size of the tiles. A standard brick has a side surface of 250 × 65 mm, but it is not necessary to tie to it: the dimensions can be arbitrary.
  • Using a level and a pencil, mark the size of future tiles on the EPSS sheet.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the material into pieces along the line. This can be done both by level (if you need to get perfectly smooth edges), or simply by hand (if you want more naturalness).
  • Cut the pieces into thick pieces to form two thin tiles each. The expanded polystyrene is quite dense, so it is convenient to use a knife with teeth and cut through the pieces in several passes.
  • With the blade at an angle, chamfer along the contour of the tiles. Trim the resulting halves, cutting off all unnecessary from them. Or, conversely, give the surface a rougher look.
  • The finished elements are fastened with a smooth surface to the wall close to each other or with a gap simulating a masonry seam. Then, if necessary, primed and painted.
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How to make decorative plaster brick in siding

An easy way to get quality castings without the hassle of making a mold. The basement siding panel is used as a matrix for the tiles; the pattern can be selected at your discretion. The tiles are easily detached from the vinyl, the elements are thin and very high quality.

How to make decorative drywall brick

The most popular alternative to expensive gypsum tiles. The manufacturing process is simple but rather tedious, especially in large areas. The budget is minimal, since the cost is equal to the price of drywall, and even trimmings are used. Due to the ease of processing with such tiles, if desired, you can give any shape and texture.

What is needed

  • Drywall of any thickness;
  • Sharp knife;
  • Level;
  • Pencil.

Hand sawing

Sawing soft stones is done with a regular carpenter’s saw in the same way as sawing a tree. However, soft stones have different strengths. some are harder, others are softer. The harder the stone, the smaller the saw teeth should be for cutting and vice versa. For sawing small stones, no larger than a matchbox, amateur stone cutters often use jigsaws and saws for wood or metal.

The advantage of manual cutting of stone over mechanical cutting is that the working stone "feels" well. This completely eliminates the troubles associated with sticking (jamming) the saw, as a result of which breakage of the tool or the material being cut occurs.

Hand cutting can be used in small volumes and only for soft stones, the hardness of which does not exceed 3 on the Mohs scale. For stones of medium hardness and hardness, it is advisable to use a diamond cutting disc.

Natural stone cutting technology

Natural stone is cut in two ways, depending on the hardness of the material. If this figure does not exceed 3 on the Mohs scale, you can saw the natural decorative stone by hand using a saw or jigsaw. Special machines are used to cut hard natural stones.

Cutting on the machine

The size of the stone to be cut is determined by the diameter of the circle. The choice of the latter depends on the power of the used electric motor in the first place. Among amateur stonecutters, the most widespread are saws with an outer diameter of 160 and 200 mm, which are just the golden mean: they work satisfactorily with engines of relatively low power and at the same time allow cutting large enough stones.

Let’s say you are using a stone cutting machine with a 100 mm diameter diamond blade. Before you start cutting natural decorative stone, you need to check if the saw is touching the edges of the cutout in the worktable. To do this, turn the disc manually a few turns. When the saw touches the edges of the slot, the characteristic sound of metal grinding on metal will be heard. In addition, the touch of the saw is clearly visible to the eye. If this happens, detach the stage and readjust its placement.

After checking, you can turn on the machine and open the tap for water supply to the saw. If the liquid is heavily splashed and not all gets into the collection container, the splash should be correctly installed or by reducing the amount of water.

How To Cut Decorative Stone

Now you can start cutting directly. The stone is taken with both hands and, holding it tightly, is fed along the work table to the saw. The pressing force and cutting speed (feed rate) in each case is determined by the individual characteristics of the stone itself. It is impossible to give a general recipe here, since the "feeling" of a stone comes only as a result of practical work. With very strong pressure on the stone, the load on the engine increases, which can even stop due to strong braking. In addition, under excessive loads, strong sparking of the stone is observed at the point of contact with the saw, which leads to overheating of the blade, especially if there is insufficient supply of coolant. Finally, excessive pressure is also undesirable because, although it speeds up the cutting process, it wears out the diamond layer of the saw much more and shortens its service life. Therefore, a slight pressure of the stone to the saw is most rational, even though it lengthens the cutting operation and increases energy consumption.

It is very important to properly adjust the water supply to the saw when cutting. The success of sawing largely depends on this. At a high flow rate, water will spray heavily and spread over the worktable, interfering with sawing. An abundance of water dust creates a danger of moisture penetration into the electric motor, especially if it is insufficiently sealed. This can lead to abnormal operation of the motor and even damage to it. But even worse is the lack of liquid, the stone begins to spark, dust appears from under it, in such a situation the saw can be firmly "grabbed".

Saw jamming is also possible under other circumstances, for example, when individual grains of hard minerals are chipped out of the cut zone. In this case, which can be safely called emergency, safety protective devices will work if they are correctly configured, or the engine, humming harshly, will stop. In both cases, the machine must be turned off as soon as possible. When thin disks are jammed, part of the diamond layer may be detached from the steel circle. Working with such a saw, of course, is no longer possible.

During cutting, it is necessary to constantly monitor the water level in the supply tank, preventing it from completely flowing out, otherwise the troubles just mentioned will not be long in coming.

After cutting the stone, the machine must be turned off by removing the plug from the socket, drain water and sludge from the supply and receiving tanks, rinse and thoroughly wipe all parts of the machine dry.

It should be remembered that the higher the hardness of the stone, the faster the diamond layer wears out. For example, at the Yekaterinburg plant "Ural Gems" one diamond saw when cutting hard rock. jasper having hardness. is enough on average for only one working shift, while when cutting marble (hardness 4) it lasts more than a month with daily work.

In addition to the technology described above, stone cutting is also possible with strips. straight blades, like hacksaw blades. The strips are made of steel with a diamond cutting part. Strip machines are used to simultaneously cut a stone into several plates. A frame with parallel strips is lowered onto the stone block. The crank mechanism gives it reciprocating movements. The cutting field is sprayed with a liquid that cools, lubricates and carries away the cuttings.

Safety engineering

Any work on stone-working machines is associated with high humidity, the hands of the master are always wet, so there is a very real possibility of electric shock. To exclude electrical injuries when working on a machine with an electric drive, it is necessary to strictly and strictly follow the safety rules. There can be no exceptions to them for anyone and under no circumstances.

First of all, it is imperative to comply with all safety requirements in the operation of the device on the basis of which you will make your machine. They are usually found in the factory instructions for using this device.

Before sawing natural or any other stones, study the following safety requirements:

  • It is strictly forbidden to work with the machine in the bathroom or toilet rooms due to the presence of high humidity in them, as well as in rooms with an earthen or metal conductive grounded floor;
  • The pallet with the machine must be placed on a flat, stable, dry non-conductive base;
  • Take all the necessary measures to completely exclude, while working on the machine, the touch of the worker to conductive objects that are usually grounded (gas, water and sewer pipes, heating radiators, bathtubs, water taps, etc.);
  • The worker must be on a dry rubber mat;
  • It is possible to disassemble or clean the machine only when the plug is removed from the socket;
  • Wear a rubberized apron, goggles and rubber gloves (better than medical ones).
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Remember that the more carefully and more carefully you handle the electrical equipment that you use, the more guarantees you will avoid trouble from electric current, which, as you know, does not like careless and inattentive attitude towards itself.

Physical properties of decorative stone

Four types of artificial stone are used in interior design:

  • Cement based;
  • From gypsum as the main component;
  • Porcelain stoneware;
  • Acrylic stone.

Decorative stone on cement and gypsum bases have an uncomplicated manufacturing process. It is not difficult to organize it in a construction site or a small artisan workshop. It boils down to mixing the prepared components, mixing the mixture with water and pouring it into molds, followed by drying. By introducing the appropriate dyes, the required shades of the material are obtained. Decorative cement stone is moisture resistant, durable and not afraid of moisture.

A continuation of the listed advantages is a relative disadvantage. the specific gravity is close to the corresponding parameter of natural finishing materials. It is used for external work: finishing the walls of the house with stone, laying paths, in small architectural forms and sculptures. Decorative gypsum stone has a lower weight compared to cement, it is easier to install on the walls of the house, but does not have high strength and moisture resistance. Indoor use.

Porcelain stoneware and acrylic stone are materials whose production is possible only in a large enterprise. The implementation of the appropriate technological processes requires complex expensive equipment, qualified personnel, a large stock of initial components and, as a consequence, a well-functioning system of sales of finished products. For the consumer, this is a positive moment in the relatively guaranteed quality of products. Large-scale production is forced to strictly control the compliance of its products with GOST and TU.

Porcelain stoneware, although it does not contain a grain of natural granite, has properties that are very similar to it. It is made from a homogenized, i.E., a homogeneous mixture, white-burning clay, chamotte (kaolin), sand, flux. feldspars, pegmatids and water. The material is formed and takes the required shape by semi-dry pressing followed by firing. Firing temperature 1200-1300 ° C. Mainly used where natural stone would be appropriate.

In appearance, acrylic stone is closer to marble, sometimes, in accordance with the design decision, to malachite. The composition includes mineral fillers. ground waste from the production of marble or granite, dyes and acrylic resins. After mixing the components, two technological methods are possible: extrusion or casting. The first way is more productive. The second. historically it was mastered earlier. is simpler in the composition of the equipment and allows you to get a product of almost any shape, and not just molding.

Acrylic stone is often used in kitchen equipment for countertops. an example of extrusion, and in bathrooms. for bathtubs. this is already casting.

Technology and instructions for cutting stone

Since decorative stone can be cut with two types of tools, each of them will have its own technology. At the same time, the beginning and the end of the processes are the same, so let’s combine them into one instruction:

  • Before starting work on cutting a stone, you should make sure that the safety requirements are met.
  • Carefully mark the cutting line.
  • Clamp the workpiece securely. Make sure that the cut off part of the stone, separated from the main massif, does not pose a threat to the worker and others.
  • Cut the workpiece according to the markings.
  • If you have to cut a closed contour with a jigsaw, for example, an opening for a sink in a kitchen countertop, you should first drill a hole inside the contour with a diameter larger than the width of the file.
  • Unfasten the workpiece.
  • After finishing work, clean the workplace.

How and how to properly cut decorative stone

Decorative stone is understood as materials of artificial origin, repeating the appearance and, in part, the properties of natural stones: granite, marble, tuff, sandstone, etc. Modern development of technologies allows not only to imitate any natural finishing material, but also to ensure its good workability.

It is important for a finisher on an object to know how to cut a decorative stone, how to drill it, how to assemble a solid object from separate parts. Solving these problems requires familiarity with the properties of such materials.

  • Physical properties of decorative stone
  • Stone Cutting Tools
  • Technology and instructions for cutting stone
  • Helpful advice from professionals

Stone Cutting Tools

According to the degree of hardness, decorative stones can be divided into two groups: harder. porcelain stoneware and cement-based stone, and less hard. acrylic stone and gypsum stone. To cut them in the conditions of finishing work at a construction site, two types of tools are used.

A decorative stone of high hardness is cut with a fast rotating disc mounted on an angle grinder, colloquially referred to as an "angle grinder". There are two types of discs: abrasive, reinforced inside with a fine mesh mesh and metal with a diamond coating. Diamond discs are significantly superior in resistance to abrasive discs. Allows you to work faster and do not change the disk longer. They cost significantly more.

Plaster and acrylic imitation of decorative stones is noticeably softer. Therefore, they can be cut with a fine-toothed saw. The saw blade can be installed in a hacksaw for metal. A more productive tool is an electric jigsaw. The file in it must also have a fine tooth, which ensures the removal of a thin layer of material in one pass. Small thickness of the removed layer, reduces the load on the cutting tool, increases the cleanliness of the cut and makes the work more productive.

You can also cut these stones with an angle grinder, but the gypsum is very dusty. In addition, since the "stone" made of gypsum is fragile, it can be broken, like glass, by first holding a deep risk in the right place. In this case, homemade cutters with a sharp hook-shaped end are used as a tool. The question "What to cut?" allows multiple answers. The answer to it is given by the finisher at a specific workplace, based on the prevailing conditions and personal experience.

Helpful advice from professionals

There are unwritten rules of good and safe work in cutting decorative stone. Here are some of them:

  • You should work in tight clothing that protects from small particles of material flying out from under the tool, eyes should be protected by glasses, long hair should be hidden under a headdress, closed shoes on your feet;
  • Cutting stone is a dusty process, so a respirator should be used;
  • When cutting flat stones, it is more convenient to use not an angle grinder, but a special machine for cutting tiles with a diamond disc;
  • Dust when cutting, significantly reduces the use of water, which moistens the processed stone and the cutting disc;
  • The cutting path should be marked with a thin line, cut so that the marking line remains on the used part of the stone;
  • Of the grinders of three standard sizes: small, medium and large, it is preferable for an employee who does not have sufficient experience to choose a small one. This is easier and, accordingly, safer to work;
  • When working with an angle grinder, it is recommended to hold the tool in such a way that if the cutting disc breaks, the debris does not cause injury;
  • When working, hold the tool tightly, but not rigidly, as a caught bird is held: "so as not to strangle, but also not to let fly away".