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Thread: Cutting granite

  1. #1

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    Cutting granite

    FWIW
    Weights for flattening prints can be anything---pizza stone, big thick books(Black's Law Dictionary has been a favorite for years,) steel plates, cast iron skillets, you name it. As long as it's flat and heavy (the heavier the better) and won't emboss the print I figure it's probably good to go.

    Mr. Gittings mentioned using a granite cut out from a counter top, so I thought I'd explore that route.
    On the local Craig's List I found a source for scraps of granite counter tops for free (!) so I came home with a large, smooth 28" x 19" rectangular piece in the trunk, which I thought I'd get cut in half to make a print "sandwich" in between mat boards and release paper. None of the local shops were interested in making the cut, hence this DIY post.

    So I got my diamond tile saw out of the garage to try it out. I'd cut Travertine with it when I did some tile work years ago. Maybe it would work on granite?

    The biggest issue was this is a large and heavy and thick piece---not a thin 4"x4" porcelain or Travertine tile.

    I placed the saw on a wooden picnic table and built up a platform level with the saw's cutting table using scrap wood and whatever else was handy. With a Carpenter's square and a China marker I marked a straight line where I wanted my cut, raised the blade guard as high as it could go to clear the thick granite and routed the power cord where it wouldn't get wet from the saw.
    I put on $3 face shield from Harbor Freight (my old face shield was toast) and...and...

    it worked!

    I now have two 14"x19" granite slabs to play with.

    I get a big kick out of small victories.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2

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    Re: Cutting granite

    Congrats!

    Spending Summers in New Hampshire - The Granite State - I'm frequently amused by the uses to which people put the local "produce".

    I was always taught to keep my lathe as clean as possible, and absolutely avoid exposing the work area to any abrasives. There's a man nearby who uses a very large lathe to turn granite architectural pieces. Granite dust flies everywhere!

    Charley

  3. #3
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting granite

    Cut mine with my tile saw which I bought for cutting 18 square tiles diagonally, it's got a big table so I just set the sink cutout on the saw and made my cuts. In a pinch I'd use my 4 1/2" right angle grinder with a diamond blade. My girlfriend would hold the nozzle of the shopvac right behind the blade so we dust out the neighbors to much. We'd be outside of course hopefully with a breeze and wearing dust masks. I actually ended up with limestone which work well too.

    Got me thinking now, maybe I need another piece so I can sandwich the prints.
    Roger

  4. #4
    hacker extraordinaire
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    Re: Cutting granite

    For those without granite at hand, I make these types of things with quik-crete and a rubbermaid tub. Very easy to do and a 50lb bag is only $3. I also made a bigger slab for my record player to sit on.
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

  5. #5

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    Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin USA
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    Re: Cutting granite

    There is a place in my town that sells custom made granite countertops, so I'll need to explore them as a source for these sink cut-outs. But, to date, I've used a large scrap of that very thick particle board that cabinet makers use to make counter tops with laminated surface as a flat and stable surface to put 3-4 gallon jugs of cleaning detergent on top of. The prints to be flattened, or cooled & dried & maintained flat after dry mounting, are placed in a sandwich of mounting board and interleaving sheets with the particle board and the jugs (as ballast) on top. Four gallon jugs of liquid weigh about 30 pounds, so the prints come out well flattened after a couple of days in this 'sandwich.' However, two granite slabs will probably be even more consistently flat and hard than my scrap of particle board, and the stone will provide it's own ballast. ...
    ... JMOwens (Racine, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  6. #6
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting granite

    Quote Originally Posted by c.d.ewen View Post
    Spending Summers in New Hampshire - The Granite State - I'm frequently amused by the uses to which people put the local "produce".
    Yes, it's fascinating. I live in Travertine (Limestone, etc) country, Winona, Minnesota. We have a large quarry that's been cutting it for a couple generations. Half the town has Travertine somewhere in its build, and at one time the sidewalks were Travertine. Two friends of mine were cutters and finishers there.

    I still like granite better.

  7. #7
    Do or do not. There is no try.
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    Re: Cutting granite

    How thick are those 14x19 pieces, and how much do they weigh?

  8. #8

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    Re: Cutting granite

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Goldstein View Post
    How thick are those 14x19 pieces, and how much do they weigh?
    They're 8/10ths of an inch thick and heavier than anything else I've ever used.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9
    Do or do not. There is no try.
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    Re: Cutting granite

    Close to 21 pounds if I've done my math right and the interwebs aren't lying about the average density of granite.

    Did you put handles on those things, or chamfer the edges to make them easier to pick up?

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting granite

    A book press is still better than gravity things.
    .

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