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Electric wet saw

Electric Wet Saw (for cutting stone)

If you want to cut some stone into rods before using your hammer and hardie then the next step up is to use a wet saw. There are plenty out there on the market but you have to bear a few things in mind when making your choice.
You need a suitable outside area to work in as these are all dirty and noisy and throw out a lot of water. Ear defenders and eye protection are a must and if you work in an enclosed area you should think about wearing a dust mask, if you do it needs to be FFP3 rated as this is for marble dust.

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1. basically you have a small water tank that is inside the machine. The diamond coated blade has half of it showing on top whilst the bottom half runs through the water. 
The water cools the blade. This is because these don't so much cut as wear a groove through the marble. The friction heats up the blade and if it gets too hot then it will warp, hence the water tank. 
What one to get? The main thing is the power, cutting marble is hard work, the more power you have the easier it is. The power for these is expressed in watts. My main one is 900 watts and this is quite under powered for the job it does. For home use go for something which is at least 750 watts, below that and there is a good chance you'll just burn the motor out. 
The one on the right is 450 watts and is no use except for small ceramic tiles. 
The one on the left is 500 watts and not much better. 
The clear plastic form over the blade is your splash guard, it helps but prepare to get wet!
 
 63519_10152138405534729_1797362376_n Something you can do if you don't have a hammer and hardie but want to use the riven (rough) surface of the marble. Just break some tiles with a hammer and then cut them on the saw so you get a machine edge to put onto your baseboard. This only works though if you can get a fairly 'straight' broken edge, which you can see is on the left of the tile. 
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This image shows cutting some rods. The guide is set to 10mm, (the guard is normally set lower than here to stop spashing) and you just push the tile through. Three things to note;


1. Allow the blade to do the cutting, don't push hard against it to go faster otherwise you are just pushing against the motor and you will burn out.
2. The blade just wears a groove through the marble so it's not like a wood blade, it won't cut your fingers even if you lay them right over it.
3. Blade quality makes a difference to the speed of cutting but you have to experiment as the can be quite expensive.


How do you know when the blade needs changing? It's down to the speed, once it slows down appreciably then it is most probably time to change the blade.

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  If you use your saw a lot then you need to watch out for this. There is a sludge that collects in the water reservoir and normally with an ordinary tilers work it doesn't build up too much. If you're cutting the amount you need for mosaic work then you need to watch how much is there. 
It can build up enough (as you can see from the state of the saw) that you will suddenly get what you think is a water spray in the air. This is dry marble dust and is very nasty stuff for your lungs. 
Always check your water reservoir for this build up and if in doubt wear a mask (in the EU you need one rated 'P3')