Re: Cutting slabs
Slicing small rocks of about 1 to 1.25 inches thick does wear the blade faster, does require you to push slow, and results also depends a lot on the quality of the blade.
An inexpensive notched rim blade will take forever to slice a rock. A pro-slicer or gorilla blade can tear through the rock, but these blades are fairly thin (to conserve material) and will often flex and bind while cutting thicker than 1/4 inch. If you can find a pro-slicer or gorilla closet to .032 inches thick, get that one.
An Mk-225 Hot Dog blade would be thick and aggressive, but does not come in 6" size, You can get the Mk-303P, which would perform well, but it costs $$$. Hate to wear those out prematurely cutting anything but top grade rock. The MK-1000 is cheaper, but will not last as long. The MK-99 is more for soft tile, but for the price ($12-$19) it may be a good deal to cut a small batch of rocks.
You can change out either the drive or driven pulley to overdrive the blade when slicing rock. The traditional 1725 RPM speed is an artifact of 60Hz electricity and blade manufacturing standards 35 years ago. Newer stainless steel sintered diamond blades can go upto much higher RPM.
Since you have to lubricate a deeper cut and much more of the side of the blade is in contact with the rock, it is advisable to overfill the water tank. It will spray a lot and you will get wet, but the diamonds will not melt out of the steel and the cutting edge will last a lot longer. Alond these same lines, a blade where the edge thickness is wider than the core will create a wider cut that has less friction/heat - but you have to be extra steady in hand feeding to avoid going crooked in that slightly wider cut.
From Daniel - May 20, 2010 at 20:15:07