#1  
Old 09-30-2009, 10:49 AM
GianniFocaccia's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Diamond Blade Question

Hi All,

My 10" HF Diamond Blade went south rather quickly and it's time to purchase a 'real' blade as I prepare to cut my floor bricks. I am hesitant to drop $150 on a premium blade and would like to ask what (and how many) you all used in your builds. If I spend $50 on a blade I can by three of them for the cost of one premium blade.

Lastly, are the segmented blades any better (faster?) than continuous rim blades and is there any performance (wobbling/wider cuts) differences between the two?

Thanks in advance. Would a poll be appropriate?
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2009, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

I think this thread should be moved to the Tools, Tips and Techniques folder.

I used the $45 Dewalt blades from Lowe's. I burned through one, and am still on my second. Granted, the first two rings were all done with a brick set, so that saved some wear.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

I am still amazed at the rapid wear out problems many forum members are having with diamond blades.
My first tile saw (a 7" MK with original blade) lasted 10 yrs and several thousand sq. ft of tile. The bearings were shot when I started my oven so I purchased the HF saw and cheap $30 HF blade. I have built my oven (cut to fit each brick) and have since remodeled 2 baths and a kitchen (all porcelin or granite tile) and am STILL on the cheap $30 blade.
Not to be disrespectful....I have to question whether everyone is forcing their cuts and has their water nozzles directed onto the blade. Firebrick is not so dense that you should be using multiple blades on one build. I found the HF saw and blade cut through firebrick like a warm knife through butter.
Either I have been very lucky over the years with my diamond blades or others have issues like I have mentioned.
Any professional tile/brick/stone guys out there? I would be curious to find out how long they would expect a blade to last.

RT
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

Hey guys,

I have moved this to Tools, Tips and Techniques -- a good home for a good topic.

James
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

I haven't gotten to the brick-cutting part of my build yet (by a long shot), but I did buy the HF Chicago saw and the HF DiamondLife blade in an anticipation.

I have never cut bricks before so I have no idea what the right "technique" is.

Would someone else who knows for sure, please enlighten the rest of the class as to how to best cut bricks? What I've learned so far from FB:
  • Insure nozzles are directed properly at blade (what is proper orientation?).
  • Soak the bricks for (?) minutes/hours before cutting them.
  • Keep the water pump in a separate reservoir as opposed to the saw's factory configuration (in the tray?).
  • Unknown: how hard to push the brick through the blade.
  • Wear a good mask/respirator/goggles.
  • What else?

Keep the discussion alive. :-)

Cheers!
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

I soaked my bricks, had the HF water pump running full-throttle with an exterior water source, directed the water at the blade, cut slowly, and I still went through maybe 5 or 6+ blades (I lost count). Someone suggested that it might have been my medium-duty firebricks, but to this day I have no idea why the blades wore out so fast.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

Kebwi,
Here are a couple of wet saw pointers, in addition to those you have already picked up on.
1) Easily the safest power saw you can use (if using a solid, non segmented blade). A diamond blade won't actually cut you, its more like a burn. This is a good thing and bad.
Good because it allows you to do a lot of precise freehand nibbling when necessary and not risk cutting off a finger or worse.
Bad because you think that you can't get hurt....then the saw pulls the brick or tile right out of you hand and sends it flying. This leads to pointer number 2.
2) Always have a good grip on what you are cutting, my old 7" MK was a great little saw but really didn't have the power to pull anything through. The HF is a pretty powerfull saw. Cutting the first few bricks was an eye opener, the saw wants to suck them right through, you actually have to hold back and slow down the feed. This leads to #3, technique.
3) Practice, (buy a few 48 cent pavers and cut them up to get a feel for the saw). A firm hold and going slow are the keys to success. As I mentioned, different saws/blades will cut differently. You will develope a "feel" for your saw and know by touch and sound if you are going too fast - serious bogging of the motor, a deafening howl followed by the saw nearly stopping, and a burning smell are definitive signs you are forcing it and going too fast.
Thats about it, I cut my teeth over the years cutting thousands of sq. ft of porcelain tile (pretty hard stuff for the blade), made plenty of mistakes (mostly measuring errors) and was pretty comfortable with stepping into brick cutting. Practice really does make perfect. Once you are comfortable, you will find out that it is really cool to make precision cuts and nibble away at odd shaped cutouts or angles. A fun tool to use.

RT
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

Having just gone through the "new to cutting brick" stage of my life, I can say that the HF saw is really easy to use. Just go slow while cutting. You'll get a feel for how quickly you can feed the brick in after cutting a few. Cutting bricks in half is really easy. Just mark them up with a Sharpie or grease pen. Regular pencil wears off when the water hits it. And if you don't cut it just right, mortar can fix the mistakes...

*Edit:
I didn't soak my bricks prior to cutting. The pump put out enough. I just kept a 5 gallon bucket of clean water with a hose slowly feeding in new water as I cut so the pump wouldn't clog. Goggles are a must. I didn't wear a respirator when using the wet saw.
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

I had the occasional brick that I fed in too fast and it seized the blade. If this happens to you, turn the saw off quickly, or it'll trip the circuit breaker. Not a big deal, though. Just push the button and start it back up.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Diamond Blade Question

We all appreciate the copious input. Thanks guys.
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