One of the prime reasons you may want to cut granite countertops by hand is if you have small granite blocks that were left behind by the contractor, and you would like to use them in other applications such as making stools or other surfaces.
There are plenty of tools you can use to do the cutting. The most common one is the wide-bladed chisel. When cutting the countertops, you need to consider plenty of factors that include:
You need to be safe when cutting the countertops. To do it:
- Ensure that your hand is out of the way, so you don’t hurt yourself.
- Roll up your sleeves and tie your hair back, so it doesn’t hurt you.
- It’s wise you wear safety goggles and a dust mask. This keeps granite from getting into your eyes and silica dust from entering your lungs.
- You should wear ear protection.
Set up the work area
The work area should be sturdy such that it can effectively hold the granite in place. To have an easy time cleaning once you are done, cut the granite outdoors. If cutting the granite indoors, lay drop cloths on the floor to cover the areas of interest. It’s also wise you have a shop-type vacuum in the area to help you with the cleaning.
Mark the area you want to cut.
Measure the desired length and width you want to cut on the granite then place three strips of painter’s tape on the area you are looking to cut. You should note that you don’t have to be precise when placing the tape as the purpose of the tape is to protect the surface and reduce the risk of chipping.
Before you begin cutting, double-check the measurements, and ensure they are correct. Remember to add an extra 1/6 of an inch for the chisel and saw blade width and mark the measurements with a pencil.
Once you are sure that the measurements are correct, position the granite section directly in front so that it’s visible. You should then put on your safety goggles and position the carbide-tipped point chisel directly in the top edge of the marked line.
The line should be at one of the edges of the granite section. Hold the grip of the chisel with the point resting against the granite, and using your other hand, gently tap the head with a mallet.
Chisel a groove
At one corner, chisel a groove at least ½ inch in depth. You should then chisel marks directly along the straight line you drew across the granite section. When making marks, ensure they are in a perfect line. Continue until you have chiseled at least six inches along the line from the end of the countertop.
Insert a blade into the groove
After completing making grooves, place the chisel and mallet aside and insert the blade of your handsaw into the groove. Cut the granite with a sawing motion until you successfully cut the entire section.
To cut down on dust accumulation, wet the blade as desired, then continue cutting until you cut the entire line of granite.
Polish the countertop
If the cut end of the granite slab or countertop will be facing a wall or another object, you should polish it. To smoothen it, fit an angle grinder with a diamond grinding wheel, then smooth and shape the edges to your liking.
Tips when cutting granite with hand
To avoid injury, avoid wearing gloves, especially when using a saw. This is because groves will weaken your grip on the saw.
When cutting or polishing the countertop, ensure you use the right blade. As a rule of thumb, use blades designed to cut natural stone. In addition to the wrong blade putting you at the risk of getting hurt, you can also damage the saw or blade.
This is what you need to know when you are cutting a granite slab with your hands. The process is risky, so if you aren’t ready for it, hire granite contractors Raleigh to help you out. The good thing is that the contractors will come with specialized tools, so they will get the work done fast.