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Unread 04-30-2019, 04:32 PM   #1
Tim in Delaware
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Just got a Sigma 3B4M - need some tips, please!

I'm a DIYer - done about 6 tile rooms/showers/etc. I have about 6 more in the near future, so I splurged and bought a push-type Sigma snap cutter, based on the reviews/comments here.

I have a few questions about setting it up (since there's no real instruction manual that I've found). I've watched a number of videos, but they don't address my questions.

1) It nicely includes an American (non-metric) measuring tape. Do I peel up the metric one, or place the inch one over the metric one? I really don't want to start peeling the metric one, unless I'm going to be able to remove it cleanly.

2) How important is the height of the bar? It seems to cut reasonably well, but I'm wondering if I should be tweaking the bar height? Is there any rule of thumb?

3) I'm able to get the top surface to be a nice straight cut. However, the body of the tile below the top surface is sometimes smooth, sometimes pretty jagged. Can I improve this with technique? If so, how? (e.g., score it or bang it harder, softer? move the "snappers" to one end or to the middle when snapping?) I've made about 20 test cuts (on only one tile type), and can't seem to consistently affect it.

4) Not directly related to the Sigma, but what's the best way to smooth these jagged edges (assuming I can't avoid them)? I have a QEP rubbing stone, but are there better tools? Files? Grinder blades? Belt sander?

5) One of the videos - from a Sigma distributor - suggests flipping the handle around so you're pushing/scoring toward the measuring fence instead of away from it. Any preferences out there?

Thanks for any advice!
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Unread 04-30-2019, 06:27 PM   #2
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1. You can lay the standard right over the metric.

2. Yes you want to adjust the bar height accordingly for the thickness of your tile. There are little springs in the handle that give you constant pressure ase you are scoring the tile. Did you get the Klick Klock handle?

3.Lowering the bar should help with that, but not necessarily. Every tile is going to snap a little bit different. Practice makes better. Make sure that the bar is equal distance on both ends. Most pf the time I snap the tile about a inch or so in from the edge. try banging it a little bit harder but don't kill it. It takes some getting use to cause banging the tile seems counter intuitive. I let my friend use mine once and I was like dude what are you doing, just hit the dam thing.

4. I have a set of cheap polishing pads for granite on a variable speed grinder that works pretty good as long as there is not too much material to take off, if there is I run it though the wet saw or hit it with a different grinder with a diamond blade on it then smooth it out with the pads

5. I like the push myself but there are many folks that learned on a pull snapper so if you feel more comfortable pulling then flip it around
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Unread 05-01-2019, 01:25 PM   #3
Tim in Delaware
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Thanks Shawn!

The video doesn't suggest switching it to a pull (and I don't want to - the push seems very natural to me). They suggest turning the handle around so you are scoring/pushing towards the measuring tape/fence, instead of away from it. I guess I can try it and see; just wondering if anybody has tried it and found it better.

Also thanks Shawn for what you use to clean up edges (various pads on a grinder). Does anyone else have suggestions for what you use to clean up edges? Are some rubbing stones better than others? Are some files better than rubbing stones?
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Unread 05-01-2019, 01:54 PM   #4
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I almost completely said goodbye to hard rubbing stones for easing cut edges after a local stonecutting shop recommended diamond hand pad something like this, could even be same brand...don't know.


Drop one in my water bucket and leave one on saw. They last a long time, aren't awful price wise, and nearly a revelation after using rub stones for years. 120 grit is good for general purpose.

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Unread 05-02-2019, 08:31 AM   #5
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I'm also using a Sigma, a 3B4, the pull model. Works well, after a minor adjustment cuts are straight but, as you described, the body below the cut line varies. If it's too much I knock it off with a diamond wheel on a grinder at an angle, keeping it off the face edge of the tile.

I also have some diamond hand pads, but not the same ones that Peter mentioned. They do work pretty well to take the sharp edge off, and some of the chipping off, the top but don't expect them to clean up the rest.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.

Last edited by ss3964spd; 05-02-2019 at 08:46 AM.
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