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Unread 02-25-2005, 05:14 PM   #3
John Bridge
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Rosanky, Texas
Posts: 68,336
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Sharpen Your Diamond Saw Blade

Our friend Andy Lundberg seems to get a lot of questions concering the sharpening of wet saw blades, so he has put together this little article explaining the whys and hows. Andy's forum username is Andy L.

Tips for sharpening tile blades.

A tile blade does not really cut, it grinds. It grinds because there are many faceted diamonds exposed on the surface of the diamond blade grinding away at the material. The idea is that, as the diamonds slowly become “dull” or their facets become rounded and therefore don’t grind well, the material surrounding the diamond also wears away and lets the dull diamond fall out and a new diamond that is lurking below it will become “exposed” and start to cut in its place.

If you have a good match between blade and material this will happen as it should and your diamond blade will stay sharp and cut well. If, however you are cutting a very hard material with a blade that is not suited for that purpose your blade may become dull and need sharpening. A dull blade is one where most of the exposed diamonds no longer have sharp faceted surfaces, but have become rounded off. Instead of grinding away the material they kind of “roll over” it, almost like the worlds hardest ball bearings. This is not good, as anyone who has experienced it can attest. BUT there is a way around this, the blade can be sharpened.

To sharpen a blade the metal powder, or matrix , surrounding the dull diamond has to be worn away so that the dull diamond can fall out and a new sharp diamond can be exposed. This is not so hard to do. The trick is to get a pretty abrasive material, like a soft brick, or concrete block or even a grinding stone made to sharpen blades, (if you want to spend that extra money). Then cut the water back to maybe half way if you have it all the way open. This insures that you’ll have a nice pasty, abrasive slurry when you cut. The more abrasive this slurry the quicker to sharpen the blade. Now remember, to sharpen the blade you are going to wear away this dull layer of diamonds. If you could wear away a layer of diamonds in just a few cuts you wouldn’t be very happy with your diamond manufacturer because blades would wear out so fast, so be patient. It’s not possible to say how many cuts it will take. This depends on how dull the blades is to start with, how abrasive the material you cut is, how much water you use and how “hard” the blade is. (This means how hard the powder surrounding the diamonds is and that effects how quickly it can be worn away). BUT, if your are patient the blade will sharpen, guaranteed. And it will be as good or better than new when you are done. If you ontinue cutting a material that is too hard for the blade, ie, is not abrasive enough to wear away the powder around the diamonds, it will eventually get dull again, but, you know what to do then, don’t you? If you are constantly sharpening your blade, you need to get another, softer bonded blade to cut that hard material. If you are only cutting a limited amount of the hard stuff then maybe its worth it to you just to sharpen as needed.

At any rate, the good thing about diamond blades is , when you sharpen them they perform like new again, and you can sharpen them as much as you like till they are worn out. I hope this helps you and keeps some potentially good blades from being discarded just because they are dull.

Happy cutting!

Andy Lundberg, Product Manager
Felker and Target Saws
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