How To Cut Marble Like a Pro
Learning how to cut marble may seem like a difficult DIY task. In fact, it is easy to do when you are using the right equipment. Knowing what equipment to use and how to use it properly will help you cut marble like a pro.
Cutting marble yourself for your project will also save you money. Most stone yards will have leftover, scrap pieces of marble that you can get for a reduced price. If you are able to find a piece large enough for your DIY project, you can bring it home a cut it down to the right size.
Use Diamond Blades and a Wet Saw To Cut Marble
Diamond blades are used to “cut” marble. Diamond blades do not really cut; they grind the material through friction. Diamond crystals, often visible at the leading edge and sides of the rim/segment, remove material by scratching out particles of hard, dense materials, or by knocking out larger particles of loosely bonded abrasive material.
During cutting operations, liberal amounts of water act as a coolant to support the cutting effectiveness and longevity of the wet blade. Water keeps the blade from overheating, protecting the saw, blade, and the marble. Additionally, using water adds to the overall safety of cutting operations by keeping the dust signature down.
How to Cut Marble, Step-by-Step
- Safety precautions must be taken when cutting marble. Always wear protective eyewear, hearing protection, and gloves before you start cutting your marble. Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry that can get tangled in moving parts. Footwear should provide sure footing and protection from debris that may be dropped. Take steps to be sure hair will not be caught in moving parts. If necessary, tie it back.
- Familiarize yourself with all engine and saw controls.
- Before you start cutting your marble, ensure that you have a good water supply and check that the water pump on the saw is working properly. Protect your marble slab by placing it on a 2-in. thick piece of rigid foam or other soft, non-abrasive material that will not scratch your marble as it moves along the saw deck.
- Mark the marble first with tape and then with a waterproof marker for your cutting guidelines. Mark your cutting line on the wide tape and direct a trickle of water onto the front of the blade.
- Place the marble on the wet saw so most of the block is supported. Take care to support the marble so that it is lying as level as possible. Placing the marble correctly helps protect your fingers from the blade.
- Following proper procedures, start your saw and then begin to make your cut.
- When cutting your marble, take your time and go slow when making your cut. Feed the marble to the saw slowly and let the blade do the work for you. Forcing the marble into the blade can cause the marble to crack. Going too fast can also result in an injury to the operator. Gentle movements will keep the marble from breaking. Slowly, push the marble between the blade and the fence until the marble has completely cleared the blade.
- After cutting your marble slab with a saw, apply dry/wet sandpaper to smooth the marble edges. You can start with an 120 grit and move upward to a 2500 grit paper. This will make the edge of your marble smooth. Do not use too coarse a grit as it may scratch the marble. Using an angle grinder can make quick work of finishing your marble edges so that they are smooth to the touch. We even rent a cordless angle grinder that will make finishing your marble an unobstructed project step!
After cutting and finishing your marble, clean up your work area and throw away marble scraps. Sweep up your work area well to remove small pieces of sharp marble on the floor. Ensure the wet saw has been wiped down and cooled properly before being put in your vehicle and returned.