When beginning a stone flooring restoration project, it is important to explore the condition of the work area. This allows a full understanding of the work that lies ahead and allows you to quote accordingly.
The best way to devise the correct procedure to achieve the agreed upon goal between you and your customer is to perform a test patch. It is my golden rule.
Testing a section of the stone, performed well before you are under the pressure of a contract, determines the best sequence of operations to achieve your customer’s anticipated results. It may also prevent you from performing unnecessary operations that may add value in your opinion, but that the customer does not understand. Or, it may be an opportunity to upsell your services if the customer agrees to pay extra because you educated him on the benefits of your proposal.
Testing allows you to predetermine how much time to spend on any given area, the diamond grit sequence which yields the best finishes and what buffing approach you can use to deliver the best finish using the simplest and shortest, yet most effective, sequence.
This simple trial of the diamond disks, typically done in a remote corner or dimly lit area, points to the level of finish you are capable of achieving on that particular job and ensures that the customer’s expectations are reasonable and realistic. Once performed, you will know your costs for the job and you can offer a proposal in full confidence that you can do what is needed.
The test patch also allows your customer to possibly realign his expectation to a more realistic approach and permits him to define the value that you are proposing, if different from the original intent. If you are lucky, another contractor may have also done a similar test patch and you will have something to compare your approach to; giving you a second chance to explore an alternative approach to meet different expectations. There may be a lot of differences between what your customer expects and actual possibilities. You just gave yourself another opportunity to explore options to discuss.
The test patch will also prevent the often asked request from the customer to do a little bit more work because his expectation changed, during which time you cannot demobilize the job, nor expect an agreed-upon payment. In cases where opinions differ, which is often when a defined target is not agreed upon, the test patch facilitates any conflict resolution that inevitably arises when expectations are not quantified or changed during the process. Then you are not at the mercy of someone else’s good will.
Always consider the test patch as the ultimate offer of an irrevocable standard against which you can compare and conclude the job. It’ll also allow your customer to feel good about the job you finished and confirm to him that you met his expectations. And in turn, he will feel good about paying you and likely recommend your services.
Abrasive Technology is excited to be exhibiting at the AeroDef Manufacturing show and conference from April 25th-27th in Long Beach, California. As a manufacturing company we are looking forward to the Keynote Speech " The Lure of New Materials and the Corresponding Reality of Manufacturing at Cost and Rate".
At Abrasive Technology, we take a customer specific approach to the design and manufacture of material removal tooling for both cutting and grinding operations. Whether your materials are metals, composites, ceramics and either leading edge or tried and true we strive to understand your business and process needs to provide a cutting tool and/or grinding wheel suited to you. We custom manufacture Diamond and cBN grinding wheels/tools in a variety of bonds (brazed, plated, resin, metal) including on flexible substrates for finishing operations. As well as PCD and PCNB cutting tools.
Stop by our booth 745 to meet Chad Wolfe, Joe Estrada and Brad Warnock, and allow us to start the conversation about your material removal needs, including meeting cost and rate targets.
Follow us on Twitter @AbrasiveTech, we will be live tweeting with #Aerodef
You can plan your trip around AERODEF at
Cermet has been gaining popularity as a cutting tool all over the world. Its ability to withstand heat and its superior wear resistance make it a popular choice, especially for automotive applications. However, manufacturing cermet cutting tools is an altogether different experience. Here are a few tips to make grinding cermet cutting tools easier:
1.) Be patient. Cermet can not be ground at cutting rates that match carbide, or for that matter, even pure ceramic cutting tools. Cermets typically contain high levels of titanium as a binder and this material smears and loads diamond grinding wheels very rapidly. Cutting rates for cermets vary, but are commonly 50% to 75% that of carbide.
2.) Cermet collects rapidly on the surface of the diamond grinding wheel. Plan to dress the wheel frequently, as you are cleaning, not dressing away the Cermet.
3.) As with all materials, grinding wheel speeds will vary. Typical cutting speeds for cermets should be on the slower side, around 4500 SFPM.
4.) Coolant, coolant, coolant!! Always provide as much coolant and coolant pressure to the grinding zone as possible. Flushing the grinding zone with clean water soluble coolant will make the entire process of grinding cermet much easier.
5.) When all else fails, call Abrasive Technology, we have solutions.
At Abrasive Technology, our Sales associates work with customers to determine the right superabrasive grinding wheels and tools for specific applications.
Abrasive Technology maintains industry quality certifications for the general industrial, medical, dental, electronics, oil & gas, aerospace and stone/lapidary markets. We manufacture superior diamond grinding wheels and tools for applications including grinding, sharpening, polishing and drilling.
At Abrasive Technology, we manufacture superior diamond grinding wheels and tools to meet the most demanding applications. Our customers don't compromise on quality, and neither do we.
Working together, Abrasive Technology and Aggressive Grinding Service developed a diamond grinding wheel that increased productivity by nearly 50%.
At Abrasive Technology, our product and application experts collaborate with you to optimize your process and determine the best solutions for your specific goals.
When you work with Abrasive Technology for your superabrasive grinding wheels and tools, one person has all the information you'll need - your Customer Service associate. Our experienced team of professionals provides the information you need in the method you prefer to ensure the best solutions for your specific job.
Our patented VFlex® technology consistently produces uniform resin bond diamond and cBN wheels up to 12" wide in one piece (and sizes up to 24" in diameter). The computer-controlled compression molding system produces a consistent, identical wheel each time one is made. The VFlex® process also increases wheel density and virtually eliminates deviation in hardness throughout the entire abrasive section for predictable wheel performance.
Diamond handpads come in a variety of shapes, but the rectangular 2 1/4” x 4” format is by far the most popular version since it fits so easily in the palm of the hand. The handpad consists of a diamond section (small islands of diamonds on a flexible layer that permit a certain amount of flexibility) glued onto a foam support. The diamond islands are available in two basic forms:
- Electroplated: grits range from coarse grit sizes such as #30 to fine sizes such as #1200. The most popular grit sizes for marble being #70, #220, and #400.
- Resin bond: grit ranging in size from #600 through #3500.
Resin bond products have no scratching ability of their own other than the diamond itself. The resin base only holds the diamonds in place, making them ideal for polishing applications. The diamonds produce successively finer scratch patterns until the patterns become so small that to the human eye, the surface appears polished. As every fabricator knows, nothing is more frustrating than to finish a job and then notice scratches still present on the surface. Resin bonds are generally less “aggressive” than electroplated metal bonds. They are more forgiving and therefore do not leave large, undesirable scratches.
For a typical job that calls for polishing a rough cut granite edge, try this procedure: in succession, use the electroplated #70, #120, #220, and #400 grits followed by the resin bond #600, #800, #1800, and #3500 sizes. This sequence will produce a glossy finish on almost any stone. Note that when working with marble or granite, an additional buffing sequence will bring out the full gloss of the stone.
For special applications, very fine grit diamond hand pads (8000 and smaller) or very coarse grit pads are available. For grits finer than #400, the most economical encapsulation method is resin bond because, as I mentioned above, they’re more forgiving than electroplated metal bond.
Important Considerations for Custom Handpads
Manufacturers can deliver a custom solution for every stone-cutting preference and need. When diamond handpads are tailored for each aspect of a job, manufacturers pay close attention to these important considerations:
- Rigidity – important to maintain a flat, mirror like surface on products such as counter or table tops. Hand pads used for these surfaces are generally made with foam handles and offer the best characteristics of an all-around tool.
- Flexibility – key to those who polish rounded surfaces such as bullnoses or ogee shapes. Diamond handpad material is available from manufacturers and can be cut into strips of any size. These strips can be fastened with hook-and-loop backing to specially shaped forms which mirror the shape of the finished edge.
- Ruggedness - essential for heavy-material removal, such as tile edging and sizing, or even rough work on hard stones. Although still foam-mounted, custom handpads can be made on very rigid substrates with much larger diamond islands, allowing them to withstand the greater pressure.
Water is Essential to Diamond Hand Pads
For a better finish and to extend the life of the handpad, be sure to use water while polishing. Although some work can be done dry, water offers important benefits. For example, because resin bond diamond handpads are particularly intolerant of heat, water is an essential accompaniment. The water not only rinses away the cuttings (dirty water) from the stone’s surface, it also cools the diamonds and prevents the resin base from overheating.
The Power of Orbital Pads
Any time hand pads are the best tool for the job, orbital pads are the only power alternative to consider. Orbital pads are mechanically powered, and therefore offer relief from excessive arm muscle fatigue. The power tool to which they are attached should have a “jitterbug” or vibratory type of motion. This is important because if more work is done with one grit versus another (because the arm gets tired), the finished stone will not display an even degree of reflectivity and could translate to poor workmanship. Orbital pads are larger than hand pads and are available in the same grit sizes. They are also available in a wide variety of dimensions to match the power tools being used.
Don’t Work Too Hard
There’s no question a shop can experience solid benefits from the proper use of diamond hand pads. The fabricator should be able to profit by:
- Saving time
- Achieving consistent finishes
- Increasing productivity
- Reducing costs
The single most important thing to remember when using diamond hand pads - let the diamonds do the work. In other words, don’t treat a diamond hand pad like one made of silicon carbide. Forcing the hand pad to work harder than necessary will only decrease its useful life.