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General Fabricator Tips

Useful Stone Fabrication Tips

Fabrication shops do many things. They cut, polish, shape, transport, and glue stone material. These are not the only tasks, but they are a big part of the work. They are also an important part of the work as well. In this article, we are going to discuss some general tips for fabricating stone that professionals can use for effective results. Along the way we'll explore some of the reasons why.

Tip Number One - Choose the Proper Blade

One of the most helpful tips for fabricating stone is this: use the correct blade for the type of stone you are cutting. That is not to say there is only one blade that cuts stone properly. In reality, there might be many blades that work for cutting a given material. However, there are some basic rules that apply to stone cutting. Because more than one blade will work, it might require trying multiple blades before you find one that you prefer. However, it is worth the effort. Because once you find the blade that best suites the material you are cutting, you will realize better performance.

Tip Number Two - Use A Sharp Blade

It may seem obvious, but it is a tip to keep in mind. It can be easy to forget that jsut becasue your blade started out sharp, doesn't mean that it is perpetually sharp. In a perfect fab world, every blade would stay perfectly sharp and never need sharpening. Yet, getting every blade were exactly perfectly for every type of stone is just not the reality. So be sure you have the tools necessary for opening up the diamonds on your blades as you work. A sharp blade makes a difference.

Tip Number 3 - Know And Follow The Specs for the Equipment

Knowing and following the recommended feed rates or RPM specifications for your blade will yield benefits. This tip is one that can be challenging to employ consistently. When cutting, the temptation to get every ounce of performance from a blade can be difficult to resist. However, the blade manufacturer has likely tested the blade under various circumstances and has determined the published recommended specs to be the best.

Tip Number Four - Use All Recommended PPE

Research continues to demonstrate that numerous benefits come form utilizing the proper personal protective equipment. The list of potentional syndromes and injuries that come from working while unprotected are not the topic of this article, but there are a number of them. So be sure that you use the proper protective gear for your person and your work environment.

Tip Number Five - Invest In Equipment That Lightens Your Load

This might sound like a tip that is only for fab shops that have big budgets. However, just think about what the consequences would be if your top producer was out of commission for a period of time with back problems or another injury. For this reason, invest in machines and supplies that ease the work load. For example, having the most effective material handling equipment can reduce the risk of injury. You don't have to have the most sophisticated equipment for it to be effective. Whether you choose to use stone slab lifters & booms, or one of the many vacuum lifters for stone slabs, the idea is to save your back by using machines designed to make life easier.

Tip Number Six - Regularly Inspect Your Saws

Having a maintenance checklist for your stone fabrication equipment is a great tip to keep in mind. After all, a saw that is not running is not creating income. While it might be tempting to just keep on working. Catching a potential work-stopping part failure before it occurs can save you thousands of dollars by allowing you to correct the problem; sometimes even before it starts. Why not make it a part of your routine to inspect your power equipment often and thoroughly.

Tip Number Seven - Work Patiently When Polishing & Grinding

When finishing a slab, it's esay to get ahead of yourself and try to take on too much and move too fast. Doing so can result is subpar workmanship and inferior work. When polishing or grinding work on small sections of the stone and be patient; be careful not to work too quickly. Improper use can damage the tool and/or the stone it is being used on.

Tip Number 8 - Use the Proper Amount of Pressure When Polishing

Using a heavy hand when polishing a stone slab can put a strain on the tool's motor and cause the surface of the wheel to be strained. Too much pressure while polishing is one way to shorten the life of the tool and/or damage the stone. At the very least it can result in a poor finish.

This list of stone fabrication tips is not an exhaustive list. But it does give you a sense of how your methods of working can impact your project, your tools, your health, and even the stone on which you are working. Keeping these fabrication tips in mind when you are working on a stone will help you get the best results and performance from your equipment.