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How to cut ceramic tile with a scroll saw

Scroll saws chiefly take the role of etching designs into wood but you may cut other things, such as ceramic, using the right blade for the job. Ceramic tiles, much like glass, break up into small bits when they experience an overwhelming amount of grinding force. To cut a tile up, you must choose a blade that has no teeth but still grinds out on the tile enough to cut through it. This kind of blade, known as a grit-edge blade, has many useful applications in cutting sheet metal and tile into just about any shape you want.

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  1. Trace out the path you want to take with your scroll saw on your tile with a permanent marker. This guides you when the process begins.

  2. Install a tungsten carbide grit-edge blade on your scroll saw with the device unplugged. Do not operate on the device while it's plugged in, even if you don't turn the device on. You may accidentally turn it on, causing you injury.

  3. Plug your scroll saw into a power outlet and turn it on.

  4. Lay your tile on the scroll saw's working surface and align the beginning of the area you marked with the moving blade.

  5. Push your tile gently into the scroll saw blade until you have completed the cutting process. Keep as much of the tile as possible on the working surface of your scroll saw. This prevents pieces of tile from falling and breaking.

  6. Warning

    Keep your hands about 2 inches in each direction from the saw's blade, if not further. Even toothless blades have a powerful cutting power that may cause you serious injury if not handled with extreme care. Never force a tile into the saw blade, no matter how slowly it seems to cut your tile. Allow it to operate in its own time. Two things can happen when you force the tile into the blade: your saw's motor experiences a heat build-up that wears it down or your blade gets overwhelmed by stress and wears out rapidly.

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Things You'll Need

  • Scroll saw
  • Tungsten carbide grit-edge scroll saw blade
  • Permanent marker
  • Ceramic tile

About the Author

Mikhail Polenin has been working with computers since 1997. His experience also expands to astrophysics, masonry, electricity and general appliance repair. He's written about various different subjects regarding astrophysics and electrical circuits for various online publications. Polenin attended the New World School of the Arts and the University of Florida.

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