The vast majority of granite cutting occurs at the quarry. Typically, workers cut large granite blocks to order into slabs or tiles for installation into homes or offices. On-site, however, further cutting and polishing of the granite may prove necessary to bring out the beauty of the stone where it's enjoyed by end users. To cut and polish the granite requires specific tool modifications that can handle the dense material without wearing out in the process. All are available at home improvement centres for sale, providing even the home user the tools to work granite.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Safety goggles
- Face mask
- Work gloves
- Skill saw
- Diamond cutting blade
- Orbital sander
- Silicon-carbide sandpaper, 100 to 220 grit
- 4-inch angle grinder
- Diamond polishing pad
- Polishing compound
Cut the granite using a skill saw equipped with a diamond-edged cutting blade. Place the granite onto a solid work surface that's unlikely to vibrate. Mark a cutting line along the granite's surface using a piece of chalk.
Place the circular saw onto the granite with the blade aligned with the marked cutting line. Turn on the blade and move the skill saw along the line, cutting through the granite. The cutting process will raise dust, so wear safety goggles and a face mask during the process for protection. Work gloves should be worn as well to protect your hands. When the cut is complete remove the saw and wipe the surface of the granite with a damp cloth to remove the dust.
Hone the edge of the granite to remove any scratches left from the cutting process using an orbital sander. Mount 100-grit sandpaper onto the base of the sander. Turn on the sander and go over the edge of the granite, using a small circular motion to grind away the scratched, uneven edge. Grind the surface of the granite until any scratches appear as little more than lines in the granite.
Switch the sandpaper on the sander to 150-grit and grind away the thin lines from the scratches until no longer noticeable.
Change the sandpaper on the sander a third time to 220-grit and go over the honed surface again, grinding the edge smooth to the touch. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove sanding residue. Once smooth the granite is ready for polishing.
Use a 4-inch angle grinder with a polishing pad for polishing the surface of the granite. Add a small circle of marble granite polish to the centre of the polishing pad, about the size of a quarter. Turn on the grinder and spread the polish across the surface of the granite until no polish remains on the pad. Repeat the process until you've covered the entire area of the granite you wish polished. Wait about five to 15 minutes for the polish on the granite to dry, creating a grey film on the stone.
Turn on the grinder and run the polishing pad over the grey dry polish, removing the polish from the stone and creating a shine on the granite's surface.
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