Cutting a pre-finished granite slab


Hi all,
I have searced Google and not found a sufficient discussion. I am building an outdoor BBQ Island. I'd like to use a pre-finished granite slab (bullnosed on 3 sides with a backsplash). I will need to make two rectangular cutouts for the grill and the two burner unit. All cuts will be straight and there are trim flanges that will overlap the edges.
The total of all cuts is less than 12 feet and I was wondering if I could use a hand held wet tile saw for the cuts? I plan to do the cutting after the slab has been placed on the island to eliminate handling after the cuts.
Any thoughts?
Thanks!
Borax Johnson
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I have personally seen a cutout for a cooktop made in a 2cm thick grantite countertop with a hand held tool. So, yes, it is possible.
You'll need somethone/something to catch the piece of slab you're removing -- it will not be light!
I wouldn't want to do this myself. It took quite a while and made a lot of noise and dust. And this job was done by someone who spends 50 hours/week working granite. I'm sure he knew and applied quite a few tricks.
Personally, I'd get a pro to do the job. Around here at least, there are plently of guys who would do something like this on the side for not very many bucks.
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snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote in wrote:

Or support it with a underlayment while you're cutting it. Like a piece of rigid foam insulation backed by a sheet of plywood or particleboard.

yes,they have the equipment and knowhow,and can do it easier and cheaper.(especially if you F-up the workpiece,trying it yourself!)
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Jim Yanik
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Just two:
It is doable.
I watched as my installers took a big Skil worm drive saw and cut out for my sink and countertop stove. One guy cutting S-L-O-W-L-Y and the other keeping the blade wet with a squeeze bottle of water. No big problems, although, I think particular attention needs to be paid to the part cut out so that it does not drop and crack the rest. Use lots of masking tape to keep scuffing to a minimum.
Second, I think you may end up with some surface marks on the granite, but if you have a lip on the drop in, the lip may cover it. If you mask off a good area, you may come up with NO scuff marks.
Buy a good blade, and start with a new one. This is a spendy job, and no need to blow an expensive piece of hardgoods for a cheap blade.
I think the most important things are: slow travel, keeping the blade wet to cut down on heat and dust, making an accurate layout, supporting the drop, and using good masking.
Steve
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Thanks for the replies so far. It does appear doable and it looks like one option for a blade is the Felker GD-10 blade (available in 7" size) for dry applications on granite. I agree that a squeeze bottle of water would be a good idea for lubrication, dust control and heat removal.
I had originally intended to do the cutting in place from the top side (to minimize potentially cracking the slab, but now I am wondering how to finish the cuts in the corners (so I don't "overcut" the top in order to completely cut the bottom). I am thinking that perhaps a diamond blade is available for a sawzall or jigsaw, as I will only be cutting in the corners a short distance and at a reduced thickness.
Hmm.
That's why I appreciate all of the comments here.
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<snip>

You can find SawZall blades with tungsten carbide edges at amazon.com. While not as hard as diamond, for the limited corner cuts they should do just fine. HTH
Joe
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How about drilling holes at each corner? Then cut your straight lines to the holes.

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The job is too small for most businesses. The firm that did my countertop do not insist on supplying the granite although I did end up buying through them -- they got a better price than I could get.
The individual who installed my stuff does moonlight and might well handle a job like that. He's in San Jose. Email me (address in sig is valid) and I'll send you his name and tel no if interested and that's local for you.
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wrote:

Moonlighters are amazing. I had a guy come and put in three small bathrooms (well, two small and one medium) of travertine tile. Excellent work, and $300 cash.
Steve
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Were you planning on grooving out the bottom of the slab on the corners of your cut and epoxying in the reinforcements yourself?
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