Soil-pipe cutters

...like a Ridgid #276 or Reed SC49-6. What are the cutting wheels made of? How easy are they to ruin?
My brother is a school teacher and wants to get a bunch of geodes (hollow rocks) for the kids to break open. From what I've read, they are commonly cracked using a soil-pipe cutter, which start at $350. If he rents one, is he probably gonna ruin the cutters and have to buy a new chain for it when he turns it in?
Thanks, regards, Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Hmmmmmm. A soil pipe cutter wouldn't have been my first choice for cutting rock (though I haven't tried it...)
For a really low-budget operation, how about a masonry (abrasive) saw blade in a circ saw or even a chop saw?
Better, a diamond blade with water cooling to control dust.
Either way, just cut partway thru and split with chisel.
Jim
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You wont ruin the cutters on the chain. They are pretty tuff. I've used them on clay and cast iron pipe with no troubles. I have also cut clay pipe by filling it with compacted sand and using a cold chiesel and carefully going around the pipe several times till it cracks. Works like a charm in a bind.
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<< My brother is a school teacher and wants to get a bunch of geodes (hollow rocks) for the kids to break open. >>
Wouldn't a rental tile saw work pretty well for this?
Jow
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Joe Bobst wrote:

That's what I thought at first.
A saw is too slow, and it can damage the crystals inside the geode worst than cracking them open. Pipe-breakers, or homebrewed crackers built out of hydraulic shop presses seem to be what's used in most rock and gem shows.
Bob
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On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 15:53:50 -0700, zxcvbob wrote

The cutters are very tough. Hardened steel of some sort. Haven't done any soil pipe for 10 years but IIRC they're not particularly sharp - made to break cast iron & clay pipe neatly rather than cut it. I can't image the geodes would hurt them.
Tell us how it goes ... Not the sort of project you hear about every day!
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