We have been training masons since the first masonry saw was invented in 1937 by Norton Clipper. These saws can be used for dry or wet cutting, depending on your application. Below are some helpful tips to follow for every use.
Preparing to Cut with a Masonry Saw
Be sure to always wear proper safety equipment when operating a saw; safety glasses, safety footwear, snug-fitting clothing, hearing and head protection, and respiratory equipment as applicable.
Keep the area around the saw free from debris or obstacles to ensure safe work conditions.
Prohibit the use of the saw by unauthorized or untrained personnel.
Keep the conveyor cart free of grit and debris so material does not slip or twist during cutting operations.
Hold the material firmly against the backstop of the conveyor cart or guide-a-cut, keeping fingers out of the path of the blade.
Position the saw on a firm, flat area and be sure the saw will not move in use.
Replace blade collars if they become worn to less than 4" diameter for 18" and 20" blades, or less than 3 1/2" diameter on 14" blades.
For Dry Cutting
Use a proper blade which is clearly marked for dry cutting.
Remove water curtain.
Disconnect the electric water pump.
Dry cut only in large open areas with adequate ventilation.
For Wet Cutting
Water may be supplied either by filling the water pan to within 1/2" of top, or, for a continuous flow of clean water, use a barrel. When using water from the barrel, remove water pump from pan and submerge it in water barrel. Remove the drain plug so the used water and sludge will drain from pan.
Prepare water supply.
Install water curtain on cutting head pivot bar.
Be sure the water pump is plugged into the connection on the masonry saw motor. (It will start when the main switch is turned on.)
Handle on small valve should be turned in line with the water flow. Start motor and be certain that both sides of the blade are getting an adequate flow of water.
At all times, make sure that the water level covers the screen on the bottom of the pump. Do not let sludge and dirt get deep enough in the pan to block the pump inlet.
Step Cutting and Jam Cutting with Diamond Blades
Step cutting is generally optimal for most materials, especially when using dry diamond blades. It is done by applying more pressure to the blade, making a deeper cut with each pass.
In jam cutting (aka fixed cutting), the cutting head is locked in a fixed position and the material is pushed into the blade. It works well with wet diamond blades cutting some soft materials and provides greater efficiency than merely holding the head down. To lock the head into position, tighten the lever nut at the back of the saw or lower the cutting head to desired cutting depth, depending on the model saw you are using.
Regardless of which method you choose, clamp the material securely or hold it firmly against the conveyor cart backstop while cutting. Do not force the material or bump into the blade. When nearing completion of the cut, slow down and slightly hold back the conveyor cart. Following these steps exactly is essential to ensuring you do not inadvertently cause any damage to the material or the blade itself.
These simple steps can help ensure your saw is working its hardest instead of you and that you’re getting the job done quickly and safely.