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Posted in response to Re: Re: Newbie question about saw lubricants from Dirk on October 28, 2012 at 23:31:31:

Re: Re: Re: Newbie question about saw lubricants

Hi Dirk,

Consider that both agate and flint are varieties of microcrystalline quartz. It is normal for quartz and agate to spark when being 'cut' on a saw or ground on diamond abrasive wheels or laps. The sparking is particularly visible inside clear quartz crystals when being trimmed. If you cut quartz in a darkened room you might be amazed at the light show.

I have a 60 grit lap that I use for preforming large faceted stones that can really throw both sparks and chips when I am roughing out quartz on it. I don't normally wear safety glasses when I am faceting, but I do while using that particular lap.

I do most of my trimming on 4" and 6" saws using thin blades running at 3400 rpm. These thin blades are designed to be run at 3400 rpm as opposed to the more standard 1700 rpm and need the higher speed to help them maintain "stiffness" while cutting. I prefer the thin blades for trimming because of their minimum kerf. However, they are also much easier to dork up than standard thickness blades, so it helps to have a little experience using a trim saw before using thin blades.

The first questions that come to mind regarding the short blade life you have experienced using a cheap blade on your HP combo unit is what size blade are you running and what kind(s) of cutting are you doing with it? Are you using the saw to only trim out cabochons from normal thickness slabs, or are you also using the saw to cut slabs from rough rock? If you are using the saw to cut slabs, then you may really need to be running oil in it, regardless of the quality of blades you are using.

Assuming you are running a 10" blade in your E10, you probably have close to 4" of blade exposed above the saw table. Inexperienced users may assume that means the saw can be used to slab agate rough up to 4" thick. That's just not going to happen with a 10", regardless of the blade and coolant you're using, at least not for very long...

What blade did you initially try? I assume it was a plated type blade? On what basis are you assessing it is no longer serviceable? Is it bent or dished? Or is it just not cutting anymore? If it is not otherwise dorked and has just slowed or stopped cutting, have you tried dressing it?

There are dressing sticks made for the purpose, but I like cutting old silicon carbide grinding wheels for dressing diamond saw blades. If you don't have an old grinding wheel handy, you might also try dressing by cutting a refractory type brick. The effect of dressing is to remove metal that has become "smeared" over the diamond particles on the cutting surface. Of course, once the diamond has been worn off a plated blade, dressing won't help restore it. If you haven't already, try looking at the blade edge using a 10x loupe to see what's going on with it.

Let us know in more detail about the type(s) of cutting you want to do with your saw (what materials, maximum thickness, how frequently, and so forth) and we'll try to recommend what will hopefully be a more serviceable blade for you.

From Bob Keller - October 29, 2012 at 01:16:28

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