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How to Cut Rock Into Slices

Robert Sylvus

Sliced rock sections have many uses, from tile medallions to handmade jewelry. Many rocks contain multiple minerals of various colors. Cutting a rock into slices exposes the mineral's inner colors. A wet saw equipped with a diamond-studded blade gives a sliced rock a smooth surface, and the saw's jig lets the operator cut multiple slices with the same thickness. The water used while slicing rocks lubricates the saw blade and washes the debris from the rock's cut edge.

Cutting a rock into slices reveals many colors.

Step 1

Set up a wet saw outside on a solid and level surface. Point the back of the wet saw away from any buildings or other delicate objects. The wet saw's discharge water sprays out the back of the saw and contains the rock's sediment.

Step 2

Place the wet saw's water pump in the back of the water pan. Route the pump's hose over the top of the saw and connect the hose's other end to the water fitting on the blade's housing.

Step 3

Position the wet saw's cutting tray under the blade. The tray slides along runners that connect to the saw's water pan.

Step 4

Set the wet saw's jig on the tray next to the saw blade. Adjust the jig's position on the tray until the measurement between the jig and the blade equals the desired thickness of the rock slice, using a tape measure as a jig placement guide. Lock the jig onto the tray. Usually an eye bolt on the rear of the jig grips the back of the tray.

Step 5

Fill the wet saw's water pan with water. Fill a bucket with water and place the bucket near the wet saw.

Step 6

Pull the wet saw's cutting tray toward the front of the water pan.

Step 7

Place a rock on the wet saw's cutting tray. Position the edge of the rock against the jig. If the rock does not make solid contact with the cutting tray, wedge shims between the rock and the tray.

Step 8

Turn on the wet saw. Allow the wet saw to reach full speed before continuing; this often takes up to 10 seconds. The pump should push water through the hose, spraying water against the sides of the blade.

Step 9

Grip the rock solidly. Keep your hands on top of the rock and away from the blade.

Step 10

Slide the tray toward the blade. Push the rock into the blade using gentle pressure. Do not force the stone through the blade.

Step 11

Cut through the stone. Remove the cut slice from the tray and pull the tray toward the front of the water pan. Slide the cut edge of the remaining rock against the jig. Cut the slice from the rock, using the same method used to make the first slice.

Step 12

Add water to the water pan from the bucket once the pan's water level drops below the top of the water pump. Do not run the wet saw without water in the pan.