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Applied Diamond Tools
10666 Gateway Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63132
Direct: 314-736-6205
Toll Free: 800-980-7808
Fax: 636-489-0509
email:
sales@applieddiamondtools.com

1. Can a DIY handy person fabricate stone?
2. Is fabricating your own counter tops cost effective?
3. What tools are needed for DIY stone fabrication?
4. How do I polish a granite edge?
5. Should I attempt to remove scratches from the top of a counter top?
6. The edge looks dull. How do I bring up the shine to match the top?
7. How do I make straight cuts?
8. How do I cut sink holes?
9. How do I core drill?
10. Hello. I am new to polishing and was hoping you can help me select the correct diamond pads for my job.
11. How do I remove lippage?


1. Can a DIY handy person fabricate stone?

Yes, a reasonably skilled and motivated DIY person can fabricate counter tops, vanities or other stone projects. The best way to start is to view a DVD on stone fabrication. The DVD will give the DIY person insight into the skills and tooling needed for stone fabrication. After DVD viewing the new fabricator will feel more confident about proceeding with a stone project. Two DVDs worth viewing are “How to Fabricate Granite Countertop DIY- Edge Polishing” and “How to Fabricate Granite Countertop DIY- Undermount Sink

2. Is fabricating your own counter tops cost effective?

Yes. It is not uncommon for the DIY person to save 60% or more over traditional stone fabrication shop work.

3. What tools are needed for DIY stone fabrication?

Stone fabrication basically involves cutting, shaping, polishing, gluing and installing stone. Most basically, the fabricator will need a polisher, polishing pads, profilers, core bits and stone cutting saw with a diamond blade.  This list will grow. Please refer to DIY Fabricators' Start Kit for details of the tools needed.

4. How do I polish a granite edge?

After shaping a granite edge, it is ready to polish. Polishing is usually done either wet or dry. Wet polishing is done with water; dry polishing without water. Wet polishing will usually give an excellent polish in the least time for most stones. Dry polishing is used when water and wet polishing are not possible or feasible. Dry variable speed polishers and dry polishing pads have improved in the past years. It is now possible to get very good results polishing dry.

The three main types of stone polishers are center fed water air polishers, center fed water electric polishers and variable speed non-water grinders. The air and electric polishers are usually best for polishing. Optimal polishing speed is around 3,000 RPMs for most granite counter tops. Engineer stone polishing may best work at a lower 2000 RPMs.

The basic polishing method involves moving a spinning pad in an up and down motion over the shaped stone edge. While moving up and down, the fabricator moves the polisher left to right and back over the stone edge. The method is best picked up by watching either a DVD on stone polishing or an experienced polisher.

All stone polishing is step based. Starting with coarser grits, the stone edge is polished to a consistent finish with each grit before moving to the next grit. A sequence of grits- 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 3000 and final buff are typical for edge polishing. Skipping grits will not always result in the best finish. Buff pads come in either black or white. When buffing darker stone use black buff; lighter stone use white buff. Neutral stones may be buffed with either black or white buff.

Dry polishing will create dust. But dry polishing has a real advantage when polishing already installed interior stone work or other places where water is not feasible. Please view the DVDHow to Fabricate Granite Countertop DIY- Edge Polishing

5. Should I attempt to remove scratches from the top of a counter top?

As a rule, no. The DIY person should not attempt to remove scratches from granite or engineered stone counter tops. There are some exceptions, but more times than not, the DIY person should not attempt to surface polish a granite or engineered stone counter top. Scratch removal of this type is best done in a fabrication shop or by a skilled fabricator. However, it is not mission impossible. It takes some practice.
Prevention is always a good policy when it comes to stone surfaces. When polishing or profiling a granite edge, tape the top of the granite where polishing pads or profiler bits contact the stone. When profiling use plenty of water. A good water flow will help keep diamond grit away from stone surfaces. This will help prevent surface scratches.
For those who are thinking of adding scratch removal from granite countertops as a service to their clients, Alpha Scratch Removal Kit will work the best for removing scratches and is the best investment.

If you really want to attempt scratch removal, here are a few tips: Preferably you need to use the 3" dry polishing pads. Depending on the condition of the area you want to polish (depth of the scratch), you choose the pad to start with, either100, 200, 400 or even 800 grit. The trick is to choose a higher grit to start with first. If the higher grit is not making improvements then switch to a lower grit. Until you choose the pad that can remove the scratch, you will then work back to higher grit. Each step you will need to enlarge or feather out about 1 inch to try to blend into the granite. Otherwise you will see a larger circle on the granite. You can choose to stop at 1500 grit, 3000 or buff pad depending on how the rest of the top look like. You do not want to over polish either.

For the 3" dry diamond polishing pads, I would recommend our 3" ADT dry pads.

http://www.toolocity.com/3adtdrydiamondpolishingpads.aspx

6. The edge looks dull. How do I bring up the shine to match the top?
A basic answer is polishing the edge with a diamond buff pad attached to semi rigid backer pad. Whether using a wet or dry pad, spray a little water on the edge to be polished. Buff edge with standard up/down, side to side motion at a slower -2000 to 3000 RPM speed. Polish edge until stone gets warm and water evaporates. After water evaporates, spray more water on if needed. Check the edge polish and repeat until the edge polish matches surface polish. 
Alpha ceramica buff pads are by far the best diamond buff pad on the market.
 

7. How do I make straight cuts?

Straight cuts are easiest to make with a Skil type “stone cutter” saw and a straight blade. A guide rail or other straight edge –say a length of 2X4 - clamped to the slab will help keep the Skil saw on a straight course. Position the base of the saw against a straight edge and push saw forward.

Straight cuts can be made with a straight blade on a grinder, but it is more difficult to control a grinder and keep the cuts straight on longer cuts.

Guide rails are available to help make straight cuts with stone cutters.

8. How do I cut sink holes?  

Most sink holes are cut with a curved –“contour” type blade. The contour blade allows the fabricator to cut a round –radius- hole in stone. The two types of cutters most commonly used for sink hole cutting include a grinder and a Skil type “stone cutter” saw. The Skil type saw must have an arbor designed to accept a contour blade. Cutting sink holes with a grinder and contour blade is a tried and true method.  However, many people will find a Skil saw /contour blade combination the best way to cut sink holes.

The first step in cutting any sink hole is to trace out a sink template. Most sinks will come with a template. Position your template and outline the sink hole with a China marker or typewriter whiteout stick. Because sink hole cutting is preferably done wet, these waterproof tracing methods are best. All sink hole cutting should be step cut. The first cut that outlines the sink is the most critical. This first cut should be no more ½ inch deep. Make the second cut deeper. The final third cut will complete the sink hole. Prepare to support the sink hole cutout when it drops.

 After cutting out the sink, the inside cut edge of the sink hole will have a distinct curve. This curve should be ground out with diamond drum wheel, a circular grinding stone or a vacuum brazed drum wheel/profiler. The sink hole edge should be ground to a straight inside edge that has no curve in it. After the inside edge been ground straight up and down, the fabricator can begin to pad polish the sink hole.

Because of the tight radius of the hole, a backer pad of 3 inch is best. To this 3 inch backer pad attach a 3 inch or 4 inch pad. The 4 inch pad on a 3 inch backer pad gives the polisher extra pad flexibility. This flexibility will make a difference on the finished edge. Polishing the sink includes going through a sequence of pads similar to edge polishing. A common pad sequence is 50,100,200, 400, 800, 1,500, 3000, buff. 

If budget allows, you have a choice to use the diamond polishing drums to polish radius for the undermount sink. There are basically two types of diamond polishing drums: wet diamond polishing drums and dry diamond polishing drums. To have the entire set of tools necessary for cutting and polishing undermount sink, please refer to our Sinkwork Kit for Cut & Polish Granite Undermount Sink.

Please view “How to Fabricate Granite Countertop DIY- Undermount Sink

9. How do I core drill?

Core drilling stone material is a common and basic stone fabrication technique. It is also easy to perfect. The main points for proper stone core drilling is a correct core bit for the material, a method for positioning the core bit, and whether to use water nor not. Note. Core drilling removes a “core” from the material being drilled. Non core drilling does not leave a core. 

For most core bit drilling on granite, and engineered stone, a standard dry core bit like the Applied Diamond Tools' Monster Dry Diamond Core bit will do an excellent job. Dry core bits can be used both dry and wet. Wet bits should be used wet. When water is not practical, say on an already installed counter top, use the Monster dry core bit. Using core bits wet have advantages. Because water cools the bit, the fabricator can drill multiple cores in succession without having to allow the core bit to cool down.  Water may also prolong core bit life.

Position the hole to be cut with a template like the Sure-Guide system. A clamped piece of plywood with a properly sized hole can also serve as a template. Attach the core bit to a grinder or polisher; position the core bit in the template, and tip the already spinning core bit into the stone.  After the tilted core bit has started in the hole, tip the core bit upright to a position perpendicular to the stone. Gently rock the core bit until it bores through the stone. Please consult our DVD demonstration for coring drilling on granite.

Core drilling material like marble, ceramic or porcelain tile or glass slabs require a different type of core bit. The Monster Brazed Diamond core bits are excellent for core drilling marble, ceramic tile, glass and other like material. These brazed core bits are sized from 5mm (1/8 inch) to 4 inches in diameter. The methods are the same. For core drilling porcelain tile, the fabricator may wish to position the tile on a bed of sand. The sand seems to aid in drilling and reduce tile breakage.  Also, if you do not mind a little chipping, Monster dry diamond core bits are very efficient and long lasting for drilling porcelain tiles. All core bits may require dressing with a dressing stone to maintain like new coring ability. Simply core into a dressing stone to reset the core bit.  A “True Blue” type dressing stone is a good choice for dressing brazed core bits.

Below is comparison of holes drilled with our Monster Dry diamond core bit (metal bonded) v.s. holes drilled with vacuum brazed diamond core bit for marble and porcelain.


10. Hello. I am new to polishing and was hoping you can help me select the correct 4" polishing pad set for granite countertops using the Makita PW5001C polisher. I would like to make some small plant stands out of a scrap piece of dark colored granite from the sink cutout which I would like to wet polish outside, but I also need to polish out a scuffed (like scotchbrite) spot on an installed countertop dry without water. I'd like something that will last. Can you make a recommendation please? Regards.

A: To polish the plant stands I would recommend first one of these diamond hand profilers to give you a uniform or good looking edge profile.

You will then need to use the wet diamond polishing pads to polish the edges from 50 grit all the way up to 3000 grit and buff if necessary. Remember to dry the surface after polish each grit to examine the result. from 50 grit to 400 grit you will easily see the results since the edge will look white. Polish more on those areas that are inconsistent.

If you do not think an edge profiler is necessary, you can use our saucer wheel to shape or smooth out the edge before polishing.

To dry polish the surface is more difficult. Preferably you need to use the 3" dry polishing pads. Depending on the condition of the area you want to polish, you choose the pad to start with, either 200, 400 or even 800 grit. The trick is to choose a higher grit to start with first. If the higher grit is not making improvements then switch to a lower grit. Until you choose the pad that can remove the scratch, you will then work back to higher grit. Each step you will need to enlarge or feather out about 1 inch to try to blend into the granite. Otherwise you will see a larger circle on the granite. You can choose to stop at 1500 grit, 3000 or buff pad depending on how the rest of the top look like. You do not want to over polish either.

11. I live in Orlando, Fl and have been setting tile and stone for years.  Currently I’m setting my house in 18” travertine marble and it is very smooth but in a couple areas I have ‘lippage’ and would like to smooth it out.  Could you guide me to the proper sanding discs both say 5” to full buffer sized pads and some idea of the grits needed to accomplish the task.  I also have a shower I am almost finished with done in the same honed travertine marble which I will use the 5” discs on. 

A: Tools you will need is a variable speed grinder or polisher to use the diamond polishing pads.

You will need to decide if you want to polish dry or wet, then choose either dry diamond polishing pads or wet diamond polishing pads. For dry polishing, I would recommend our ADT dry diamond polishing pads and for wet polishing, the JX Shine wet diamond polishing pads.

You will need the 50 grit pad to remove the lippage. If 50 grit pad will not do the work, you will need more aggressive diamond such as an electroplated diamond pad 60 grit, or vacuum brazed diamond polishing pad 60 grit. Continue to hone marble/travertine with 100 grit and 200 grit pads. 400 grit pad is in the middle between honing and polishing. Starting from 800 grit pad you will be polishing.

All our diamond polishing pads will need a back holder.



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