Cutting and Polishing
Working the Stone
Granite is an extremely hard stone and isn't easily cut. So power tools are required, whether we are aiming to create sculpture or cut an appliance port in a granite counter top.
For the cutting of stone we use two different grinders: one with a larger blade for roughing out the shape, and one with a smaller blade for closer work and for getting debris out of corners. Both have a water-cooled saw system, which stops the blade and granite from overheating and also decreasing the debris.
Generally speaking, a nine-inch blade works well for roughing things out and a five-inch blade is better for detail work. Nine-inch blades are usually rated for a maximum of 6000 RPMs. Different saw blades are meant for different materials, so we use a blade that's meant to be used on granite or marble and is diamond impregnated.
Granite has become a popular choice for homeowners because of its durability, strength and wide range of colour choices. Granite can be scratched by the traces of quartz in the soil it comes in contact with. These minute scratches accumulate dirt over time, causing granite to lose its shine. Which is why polishing is used to bring it back to life.
To polish the granite, we use a pneumatic polisher with a center water feed, which will help keep dust down and the polisher cool. These come with heads that will accept different pads of different grits; the pads used contain diamonds which is imperative for use on granite.
When polishing the edges, a number of different polishing pad grades are used to get the desired finished, these range from a 50 – 3000 grit pad. Each pad is used one after the other until the granite has reached its ultimate shine.