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Author Topic: What blades for a cutting beginner  (Read 1004 times)

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AgateMan713

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What blades for a cutting beginner
« on: September 08, 2017, 09:19:35 PM »

Couple years back i bought an older lortone 6"trim saw combination polishing wheels and i was wondering what would be a good blade for a beginner. I bought a 5 pack of cheaper blades from china and they would bend some when i was cutting. Sadly i have no slab saw so the trim saw is my go to. Cheaper and good for a beginner is what im looking for, any advice and tips are appreciated.
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peruano

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 05:06:14 AM »

I feel for you. Having to hand feed material that might be a bit big for the size of the blade is a trauma for both you and the blade.  First as you know, cheaper and gooder don't necessarily come in the same package. But the good news is small 6" blades don't have to cost big bucks and they do last a long time if treated right. My general advice is to buy from a real lapidary source, not an unknown web vender or even tourist rock shop unless you know the brand of blade you are and want to buy.  You can take the advice of jsgems or the cigarbox lapidary folks, or even kingsley north.  They don't gain anything if they sell you garbage. 
Pay attention to kerf (width of cutting edge) and the blade core widths.  You don't want a thin blade unless you are cutting valuable material.  I have one 8" blade that is my primary trim saw and does some hand cutting too, and its been on the machine for several years so blades do last.  Good luck in your purchases.  Someone may suggest their favorite blade by brand, but reading and learning about blade characteristics will serve you well as you accumulate equipment. 
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2017, 01:36:36 PM »

Hi there. Still do a lot of freehand slicing on a 6" saw here to get the orientation I want, or just to salvage something from an odd-shaped piece.

Favorite blade is MK/BD 303, .032" thick, but do use a .050" if worried about binding and trashing a thinner one. These blades do last a long time, and will cut right down to where there's practically no rim left at all. Worth the price... .

If you buy a couple of .032"s and a .050" to combine the shipping you'll be set. But - if you ever cut small expensive rough you'll want something thinner than the .032".

AgateMan713

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2017, 03:13:29 PM »

I plan on cutting things like jasper if i can find and id it lol also agates and maybe a thunder egg or two.
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jerrysg

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 06:20:55 PM »

First I would not concentrate on the "beginner" label.  You have experienced what cheap does. Go for the quality, you may pay more in the beginning but will pay less because quality lasts and your results will show it.

I agree on the MK 303 as the go-to blade. It's what I have on my trim saws and my 10" Raytech slab saw. It's also what our lapidary club uses on all saws.  They bought 2 new 6" trim saws that came with cheap Chinese blades but we replaced them with 303 as soon as they wore out.  Amazon has them in multiple sizes (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mk+303) and blade thicknesses. In the 6" they have 0.014", 0.020" and 0.032".  Go with the thicker one for routine work.

There is a vise that fits your Loretone combo machine that will help in cutting slabs. The part number is 071-091. Email or call them with the part number and they will give you the price. It's very reasonable.

Good luck,

Jerry

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edgarscale

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 06:23:57 PM »

i've got the same lortone.  we are twins....... :blob1:
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AgateMan713

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 07:08:36 PM »

I have the slab vise it works ok. Sometimes i think the vise is part of the issue as well as me needing to learn to go slower
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AgateMan713

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 07:34:29 PM »

I think mines an older model but we are triplets :DRUNKS:
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jerrysg

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 08:38:32 PM »

I have the slab vise it works ok. Sometimes i think the vise is part of the issue as well as me needing to learn to go slower

Going slower + a good quality blade will solve a lot of problems.

Jerry

PS I  talked to Loretone about matching paint to touch up the machine. The saw table was totally rusted and unusable. They can't supply it because current machines are powder coated.  Rustoleum Harbor Blue is a close match. But to avoid rocks removing the paint as I used the saw, covered the table with 1/16" UHMW polyethylene from Grainger Supply. $12 for a square foot.
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2017, 07:43:13 AM »

Going slower + a good quality blade will solve a lot of problems.

Good advice - let the tool do the work... .

AgateMan713

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2017, 01:59:38 PM »

I have the slab vise it works ok. Sometimes i think the vise is part of the issue as well as me needing to learn to go slower

Going slower + a good quality blade will solve a lot of problems.

Jerry

PS I  talked to Loretone about matching paint to touch up the machine. The saw table was totally rusted and unusable. They can't supply it because current machines are powder coated.  Rustoleum Harbor Blue is a close match. But to avoid rocks removing the paint as I used the saw, covered the table with 1/16" UHMW polyethylene from Grainger Supply. $12 for a square foot.

Thats a good idea with the poly. I think i should probably take the deck and sand everything down then see if i can get some poly. Part od my issue with the vise is the shaft it runs on sometimes will cause the vise to stick so i end up pushing harder and sending everything out of alignment.
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jerrysg

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 08:55:21 PM »

To clean the rust and old paint off of the saw table. I bought a gallon of cheap vinegar and put it and the saw table in a 5 gallon bucket with water to cover. Left it for a couple of days and then used a wire brush in my drill to finish the job.  2 coats of Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer and 2 coats of Rustoleum Harbor Blue.
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edgarscale

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Re: What blades for a cutting beginner
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2017, 03:17:53 PM »

good advise of the clean-up/painting.  i'm going to do the same with mine..
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