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Cutting Granite Counters
Old 08-29-2019, 11:25 AM   #1
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Cutting Granite Counters

Actually Silestone. Here is my plan- I welcome comments.
I have to enlarge an existing cut-out for a new range install. Definitely has to be wider (2 cuts), but may also need to be deeper (3rd cut). I am going to use an angle grinder with a diamond blade. I am doing this as a dry cut, as there are no GFCI outlets nearby. As I cut, my wife will hold a vacuum hose near the rear of the blade to catch as much dust as possible. We are going to put up plastic in order to contain as much dust as possible also. We will have P100 masks on and eye goggles. I will do a shallow cut first as it will act as a guide for the complete cut. Cuts will be marked on painter's tape to protect from chips, etc. Fortunately, the rangetop has lips (overhang) so I do not have to be pretty or perfect in my cuts.
What have I forgotten?
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:52 AM   #2
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I have no experience with Silestone.

Google found these. Perhaps there's a helpful tip or two here....

https://www.hunker.com/13402834/how-...ne-countertops

https://www.thesawguy.com/how-to-cut-silestone/

http://www.nssurfaces.com/wp-content...gMachinery.pdf

Good luck.


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Old 08-29-2019, 12:01 PM   #3
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The first two I have watched and studied. The manual, I have not seen. Thank you.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:05 PM   #4
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You can always make a portable GFCI with an electrical box and an extension cord. I'd go wet, my granite cutters did and have your wife on it with the wet shop vac.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:10 PM   #5
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You can always make a portable GFCI with an electrical box and an extension cord. I'd go wet, my granite cutters did and have your wife on it with the wet shop vac.
Yes, there are plug in GFCI adapters that just plug into an existing outlet. https://www.amazon.com/TRC-14650006-...gateway&sr=8-4
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:11 PM   #6
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OK, that may be a game changer. I did not know that they exist! Thanks guys (girls).
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:13 PM   #7
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OK, that may be a game changer. I did not know that they exist! Thanks guys (girls).
You probably want GFCI outlets in a kitchen anyway. Relatively easy to replace an existing outlet.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:24 PM   #8
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I would just gut and reno the entire kitchen.
We did that because the microwave handle broke.
Hire professionals.
Blow that dough. ( https://www.financialsamurai.com/the...-is-overblown/ )
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:28 PM   #9
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You probably want GFCI outlets in a kitchen anyway. Relatively easy to replace an existing outlet.
Alternatively, you can get a GFCI breaker and all the outlets on that circuit will be protected. That can be accomplished also by finding the 1st outlet in the circuit and wiring the rest in series with the GFCI outlet. If that 1st outlet is behind a refrigerator, it makes access difficult Usually there is more than 1 circuit in a kitchen requiring more than 1 GFCI if that is your desire.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:34 PM   #10
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I would just gut and reno the entire kitchen.
We did that because the microwave handle broke.
Hire professionals.
Blow that dough. ( https://www.financialsamurai.com/the...-is-overblown/ )
Hehe, microwave handle eh? Haha!

We did it because one of the wall cabinets (full of dishes) fell off the wall with a mighty crash not 5 feet from where my wife was standing.

Seventeen grand for the kitchen redo was cheap compared to what hospital time costs -
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:11 PM   #11
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erkevin,

Another thought. Is it possible to take the countertop to a professional shop and have them do the cuts? If so, a quick call would get you an idea of the price.

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Old 08-29-2019, 01:15 PM   #12
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The counters are expoxied-in and weigh a ton. I could have a pro come in and do it, but I kind of want the challenge. Yes, the house does need to upgrade to GFCI. For now, Home Depot has a portable GFCI that will get me through the weekend (I am on a timetable). I am going to do it wet to save on the dust (as well as good respirators)
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:25 PM   #13
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Be careful vacuuming up close to the grinder. If you suck up sparks or red hot material they can lodge in the vac filter and catch the filter on fire.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:32 PM   #14
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One problem with cutting stone, particularly near the surface, is that the heat of cutting causes differential expansion in the stone and results in chips popping off on each side of the cut. (Yes, I know this from experience. )

I know nothing about "fake" stone countertop material but I would personally be very afraid of making a dry cut. If I was brave enough to attempt the cut at all I would use lots of water and go very slowly, stopping immediately if I saw any steam. A call to the manufacturer for advice might also be worthwhile.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:56 PM   #15
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Was on the phone with an ex-neighbor mason a few days ago - he builds amazing things and makes many of his specialized tools. Currently replacing/rebuilding 100+ YO granite stairs for an Eastern Oregon courthouse and was telling me about having to do fluting and corbels on the rock and the tools he created - and more importantly for you, mentioned that the diamond blades went away too quickly and that he is using Remington Carbide blades to good effect. This material on various blades:
https://disstontools.com/product/7-r...-blade-coarse/

Edit: when I've seen the mason cutting granite slabs or concrete slabs with a circular saw he made multiple shallow passes rater than trying to run a through-cut. Probably helps with the heating issue, but I'm not a mason and just report what I've seen.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:57 PM   #16
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The guys that did mine used a water system they lashed up themselves. Very low flow and they held it by hand, wasn't attached to the tool
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:29 PM   #17
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I had to do the same thing with my granite. The stove was just a little wider than the hole provided. I had the granite guys come in to work on my sink anyway, and they did the cut.

It's not rocket science to use a good quality grinder with a good brand of diamond blade. I use them all the time when cutting porcelain tiles when rehabbing bathrooms.

All the methods you've noted are solid. You have it down pat.

Forget about the GFCI circuit. In a kitchen, the chances are that the first socket in the circuit is already a GFCI unit. Unless working close to water, it's not an issue.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:01 PM   #18
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I'd hire pro for something like that.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:16 PM   #19
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Seems like it would be cheaper to replace the nearest outlet with GFCI instead of buying a GFCI extension cord, or better yet, the first outlet on the circuit so that all downstream outlets are protected. Then again, you can use the cord for other purposes.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:17 PM   #20
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I would splurge on a wet saw such as the Dewalt DWC860W 4-3/8-Inch Wet/Dry Masonry Saw ($179 on Amazon with a diamond blade). I would also get a GFCI extension cord/adapter. Maybe cost you $200 total, and then use a wet-dry vac to keep it somewhat tidy. I would not cut dry.

Here's one tip from the www:

How to Cut Silestone Countertops
  1. Attach a 4 1/2-inch diamond cutting wheel to the arbor of a 4 1/2-inch angle grinder. ...
  2. Fill a 1-gallon plastic container. ...
  3. Cover the area you need to cut with masking tape. ...
  4. Pour water on the marked pencil line. ...
  5. Move along the cut -- cutting the line 1/32 to 1/16 inch deep with each pass.
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