Tile saw

kevinmoelk Posted By kevinmoelk, Dec 11, 2006 at 2:44 AM

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  1. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk
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    Nov 29, 2006
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    I'm in the process of building a hearth and went down to HD today for supplies. I first went right over to the tool rental dept. and asked the guy about a tile saw rental. Cost was $45 bucks for 24hrs. And the thing was heavy, and I have a weak back, so I decided to think about it. Went down to the tile tools section and looked at the weekend warrior models which ranged from $300 to $90 bucks.

    Then I spotted what is essentially a wet/dry tile saw that looks like a mini circular saw. Cost was $49 bucks. Comes with a diamond blade and hooks up to a standard 3/4" garden hose. It's a "workforce" brand, so surely not the best of my tools, but I also only need to cut a couple tiles. I figured for the cost and saving my back by not lugging around the rental saw it was worth the chance. Has anyone used this saw?

    Haven't used it yet, but I'll post back with my thoughts in a day or so. Just thought I'd mention it now for anyone doing any hearth work or laying tile down.

    -Kevin
     
  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg
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    I wonder how tile was installed before everbody had a wet saw. Oh! I know I have the tile cutters in my garage diamond wheel score it press down and snap it to break the tile weight about 4 lbs. I tiled most of the 100 so homes I built using this very same tile cutter. I admit even the cheapest wet saw is better but for a 4 /4 area hardly seens worth the cost. What about the manual cutter rental?
     
  3. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk
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    Nov 29, 2006
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    I didn't ask about the manual tile cutter, but I didn't see one out either. The ones Home Cheapo were renting are big, heavy, industrial models. That's okay, but with my back it would be a real pain (literally and figuratively) to maneuver that monster.

    I looked at the manual tile cutter back in the weekend warrior section, but thought I'd opt for the saw. I'll need to cut some pavers next spring anyway, and the cost differential wasn't that much. I think the manual score and snap was $20.

    Here's one for you... I also inquired into cutting the 3 1/4" hole I need for the OAK when it comes through the tile. I asked if they had a tile hole saw that size and they do not. They only carry a smaller 3/4", for plumbing I assume. Anyway, the sales guy stated that I would need to purchase a zip saw and a special bit to the tune of about $100 bucks. I then looked at the shelf and saw some blades I can use in my scroll saw. "Can't I just use a masonry bit to drill a hole, then use this to cut the hole?" I asked. The sales rep blushed, and said, "Yeah, I suppose you could."

    -Kevin
     
  4. SeanD

    SeanD
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    Dec 5, 2005
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    A few years ago I bought a Workforce tile saw for $80 from HD. Basically a little diamond blade table saw with a water tray under the blade. I've tiled 2 kitchens and 3 bathrooms with it with no problem. I certainly would want a better saw if I did this professionally, but for what I do it works fine.
    If you only have a couple tiles to cut and never plan on tiling again, consider taking them to a store that sells tile to professionals. The one I go to will cut the tile for you. $1 for a simple straight cut, $2 for a notch. They will drill a hole for $20.
     
  5. Andre B.

    Andre B.
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    Oct 25, 2006
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    I had to cut a bunch of paving blocks this summer, this is what I used. Cost about $36 dollars for the blade, the swing saw arm was just hanging on the wall waiting for a project to come along and the rest was just scraps of lumber.
    http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i208/andre_b/House%20Stuff/Beltside.jpg
    http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i208/andre_b/House%20Stuff/Bladeside.jpg

    As for the hole, have you got an old hole saw the right size?
    Set it up in a drill press with a clay dam around the where the cut will be made. Fill the area inside the dam with a water and abrasive grit mixture (bust up an old grind stone, start it up hang a little weight on the handle and let it go. Check on it now and then and mix the grit up some.
    ______________
    Andre' B.
     
  6. babalu87

    babalu87
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    Nov 23, 2005
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    How do those manual cutter work on porcelain tiles?

    I bought the workforce wet saw at Big Orange Store and have done a bathroom floor and a jacuzzi surround in porcelain tile and the ceiling in regular tile in addition to my hearthpad. The saw blade still has many jobs left in it.

    Even if you dont think you will ever use it again, buy it and sell it on e-bay when your done.

    Good luck drilling a hole in porcelain tile, I had to move the grab bar in the shower and nip the edges with the saw.
    I tried with the best bit I could buy and put the tile in a bucket of water and it made mincemeat out of the bit.
     
  7. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk
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    Nov 29, 2006
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    Just an update now that I've actually cut some tile with my little saw. This thing is great!

    I'm very impressed with the overall quality of the saw. It's got good weight, made of good materials, okay balance and even has replaceable brushes. The cord is nice and long, and so too is the water hose. The water hose connects to a standard garden hose and has a shut off/control valve at the saw. The saw also comes with a rip fence. It cuts like butter.

    Drawbacks: Well the main two objections I have are that 1) It gets your crotch pretty wet; and 2) The table on the saw only extends to one side, so it makes trimming dificult as you must cut from the opposite side or free hand with the saw blade in the air.

    Was it worth the $50 bucks I paid... definately, and overall I believe will be more versitile for other projects around the home vs. having the table type set up.

    Oh, you do have to support the tile too while cutting. Can't just let the tile fall away like you can when cutting wood. I simply used a scrap piece of wonderboard to cut over, it works great.

    -Kevin
     
  8. kd460

    kd460
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    Feb 5, 2006
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    A manual score and snap cutter will give you mixed results with porcelean tile. It depends on the surface of the tile. If it is smooth it should do OK. If it has an irregular surface than good luck. Hard to get a straight cut (break) as the scoring wheel will not come in contact with the entire surface.

    To avoid water spray all over, make a homemade "mud flap" out of a piece of vinyl, rubber, soft plastic, whatever.

    As far as drilling a hole, the more conventional masonary bits don't work well. There are bits with diamond impregnated tips and a certian masonry bit that is more like a conventionl drill bit but with the carbide tip. Seems to work prety well, but still a pain in the azz with porcelian. That stuff is etremely dense and hard. I suppose if you really are haveing a tough time, take it to a marble and stone shop that has a water jet cutter. Probably will do it for you for nothing. KD
     
  9. Corey

    Corey
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    That porcelain is some tough stuff. I put down several hundred square feet with a score-and-snap cutter, but the only useful function it could do was the scoring part. I then had to put the tile on a 1/4" dowel and step on both sides of it to make the break.

    Corey
     
  10. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk
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    Nov 29, 2006
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    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    The hole was a piece of cake. I'm working on a write up of the whole hearth buillding process coming soon with pictures, there I'll tell everyone how I cut a fairly nice 3" hole in a porcelin tile. :)

    -Kevin
     
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