saw-blade image by sumos from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>
An MK wet saw is used for cutting ceramic tile, quarry tile, marble and slate. They are available for rent at home remodel and tile stores. They are called wet saws because a source of water is pumped over the blade to keep it and the tile from overheating. They are used instead of traditional tile cutters for a variety of reason. They can cut tiles that are larger than a tile cutter can handle. They can make cuts on a diagonal that won’t fit in a traditional cutter. Most important, they can make cuts much smaller than you can get out of a tile cutter.
Set up the base of the saw at a convenient height and in a location where the water thrown off won’t create a problem.
Place the water pan on the base. Fill a bucket with water and put the pump in the bucket. Make sure the rubber hose is attached firmly to the pump and the saw housing. Turn the saw on and make sure water is spraying on the blade. Turn the saw off.
Place the sliding tray on the rails over the pan. This is a tray with measurements on it where you place the tile and slide it into the spinning blade. Check the height of the blade. The slot in the tray should slide under the blade without binding, but the saw should extend below the surface of the tray.
Measure and mark the tile and place it on the tray so that the size of the cut lines up with the blade. Slide it into the blade and make sure that the cut will be exactly where you want it. Pull the tray back and turn on the saw. Slide it slowly forward into the blade. Allow the blade to draw the tile into while applying slight pressure. Allow the blade to cut all the way through the edge of the tile before turning off the blade.
- Apply slight but steady pressure to the tile as the blade cuts through it. Trying to go to fast can cause the tile to break or crumble.
- Have someone at the store show you how to set it up and use it. It’s very easy, but can take a little getting used to.
- The saw uses a lot of water. Instead of putting the pump in the pan, place it in a large bucket of water. It will be easier to fill and won’t clog the pump with sediment.
- Wet saws use a lot of water. Shields around the blade try to keep most of it in the pan, but some will be thrown outside and make a mess. Set it up somewhere that can be cleaned up easily.
- If you try and push the tile, especially hard tile, into the blade it can bind up. If this happens, cut the power immediately. Unplug the saw and remove the cut from the blade.
- Take adequate care around the blade as you would with any power tool. The blade is made to grind through a hard surface and won’t cut you in the conventional sense, but it can cause burns and abrasions.
- saw-blade image by sumos from Fotolia.com