Everyone has seen a chic apartment with a fresh renovation in a modern style at least once in their life. Have you noticed what material the owners often used to impress their guests? Marble, of course. Marble bathtubs, sinks and tables are all the epitome of beauty and luxury. In our article, we will talk about the cutting of this difficult material.
Marble is usually used in the interiors of apartments and houses and allows you to give them pomp and luxury. In exterior decoration, this stone is almost not used, which is associated with the peculiarities of the climate. Thanks to the modern high-tech equipment for cutting marble, unique fireplaces and table tops, columns, luxury staircases are created. To decorate a room, apartment or house with this material, you need to know its main features – it is high strength and a wide range of colors.
The stone is available in the form of tiles of all possible sizes, which will last more than a year, even in a room with a high level of humidity, for example, in the bathroom. In addition, marble is resistant to temperature changes and does not crack – thanks to this, it can be used to decorate the fireplace. However, the coating can change color with prolonged exposure to water.
Cutting stone is dealt with by professionals, it is quite difficult to do this at home.
The mechanical method of cutting involves sawing, shearing or destroying parts of the working surface of the marble. Shearing is used in cases where it is necessary to achieve natural stone images in the interior. This method uses rope, disk and strip cuts.
Rope sawing implies a wider range of opportunities to work with almost all types of stone, not limited by the peculiarities of their structure. Rope sawing can be used in three ways: using abrasives, using reinforced washers, using rope-diamond method. Abrasive sawing is the most popular, as it does not take much time, while featuring a fairly high cutting accuracy.
Physical-mechanical methods involve the use of electricity or gas torches. This is usually common in the manufacture of marble monuments, because of the importance of detail, as well as precision performance. Within this group of methods, hydro-abrasive and diamond marble cutting have earned a good reputation.
Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of water jet cutting are the following:
- smooth edges and cutting accuracy;
- practicality and convenience;
- the minimum amount of waste;
- the absence of negative temperature effects on the marble;
- safety of use;
- convenience in working with artistic cutting.
There are also disadvantages:
- high cost of the work performed;
- lack of efficiency – slow impact on the material;
- the limited functionality of the tools designed for water jet cutting.
Advantages of machining with diamond discs:
- high cutting accuracy;
- rapidity of work;
- relative quietness;
- does not cause significant harm, no splintering of the stone;
- spraying can be applied both to the entire surface, and to its individual parts.
Disadvantages of diamond processing:
- cutting only in a straight line;
- the need to rework the sawing line;
- the impossibility of processing the enameled structure of marble – it leads to cracks.
What do you cut with?
Typically, saws, machine tools, and other industrial and semi-industrial equipment are used in domestic cutting. Each of these types of tools can be powered by electricity, diesel, or through manual operation. Handheld saws are the most preferred among craftsmen sawing at home – this is due to their affordable price. They are more practical compared to professional machines and industrial tools, because they do not require as much physical labor to perform a small amount of work.
Electric saws are more productive, but less powerful than the same gasoline versions of the tool. Among the existing machines for marble cutting, there are both manual equipment and stationary. The first variants are quite mobile and convenient for home use, and stationary ones are represented by a complex mechanism – engine, frame and transmission, the active element. Professional ones are characterized by high strength and durability.
Each model of marble cutting equipment has a special disc, which is the edge, and a metal body. The edge has a diamond coating that affects cutting quality and performance. The rotational speed of the disk and, accordingly, the cutting speed is determined by the type of equipment, as well as the power. The higher the number of rotations (speed), the more friction and the faster the marble is cut.
The most suitable for home cutting (processing walls, floors and sinks) will be a compact saw. For production work, on the contrary, it is better to give preference to the bridge or multi-blade. Acceptable will be a one-time rent of a cutting machine, which is equipped with a water cooling function and a diamond wheel. Without cooling, you can not use the machine, otherwise you can severely damage the stone.
Do not work without personal protective equipment – special glasses, gloves and headphones. In addition, it is necessary to prepare additional tools – sandpaper, diamond discs of different sizes, coolant, sharpening wheel, scoop and brush for cleaning. When preparing the diamond disc, it is necessary to check the flow of coolant to prevent overheating of the equipment – the water should be directed directly to the rotating disc.
The cutting line is marked with tape or a special marker, after which the marble is mounted in the cutting mechanism with the cooled wheel. It is the correct and exact placement of the material that ensures the safety of the craftsman’s work. It is necessary to feed the tile slowly to avoid overloading the machine. It is not necessary to direct the marble to the disk too quickly, otherwise it is possible of its complete destruction or injury to the master. The tile is carefully led forward until it is completely cut with the disk.
The resulting surface is smoothed with a diamond wheel with a small diameter or a sharpening stone. The integrity of the material depends directly on the smoothness and accuracy of the operator’s movements. The work ends with the use of sandpaper – you can use both dry and slightly moistened paper. It is recommended to start with 120-th paper, gradually changing types up to 2500-th.
At the end the waste on all sides of the marble is cleaned, and the cooling water is removed. It is better for beginners to practice on rough shards beforehand, and then use the finish material. Particular attention should be paid to safety, including the grounding of electrical appliances. A more complex technique – sawing marble with the use of a locksmith’s hacksaw, combined with a wire, which has a diamond coating. The difficulty of execution, in comparison with the use of conventional electric devices, is to organize the coolant supply independently and skillfully enough.
Among the most common mistakes are the following:
- Choosing a cheap diamond blade, which can negatively affect accuracy and quality of the result, as well as ruin the material. Some diamond discs are not suitable for fine work on marble, but are designed for working on concrete. A lot of chipping and hard knitting are just a few of the consequences that unsuitable discs can lead to.
- It is necessary not to saw the stone all the way through, but to leave a “comb”. Then you should turn the workpiece over and saw from the top side of the same place. This way you can avoid surface chips.
- Overheating of the equipment. To avoid this mistake, it is necessary to make the cut at the supply of coolant, which will also prevent the marble surface from turning black. Cooling water is recommended for solid and segmented diamond blades. Turbos and laser-welded segmented discs do not require additional cooling.
- At the stage of buying equipment, you need to make the right choice between high performance and precision marble sawing. Otherwise, you can choose completely unsuitable discs – solid discs are required for precision work, segmented – for urgent, but they do not perform the work of high quality, with many chips.
- Difficult cuts must be performed in a stepped manner and gently break up by hand where the wheel could not reach. After that, it is necessary to process and grind.