which tile saw to get

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I'm installing 12X12 ceramic tile in the basement. I've been doing the whole tiles first, but to finish the job I will need about 100 cut pieces for around the edges, doorways, floor drains, etc. I tried the scribe and snap method but that does not work well for me on these tiles. So I think I need a saw. I am leaning toward buying rather than renting since I don't think I can (or want to) do them all in one session.
I have checked around at a couple big box stores and at Harbor Freight, which has a store in my area. There seem to be two main kinds: the kind that's like a small table saw, where the blade is fixed and you move the tile; and the kind where the blade moves back and forth along rails above the work. The latter are more expensive - are they worth it? -- H
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On 10/12/2010 11:53 AM, Heathcliff wrote:

My boys and I have used the less expensive wet table saw (family tool) for many projects and it is fine. Getting ready to use it again for a small project and was offered a better one, but declined for I know this one and have had few problems.
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Heathcliff wrote:

do you want to resell it after the job, or keep it for a bunch of years and use it when you tile the rest of the house. do you ever see a need to cut bricks or stonework when you do the bbq outside?
a rail saw is usually more stable, will last longer, make a longer diagonal cut, and can cut thicker things because it's a 10" rather than 7" blade. it can be hard to find replacement 7" blades, depending upon the arbor size.
look for the 20% off coupon in the sunday paper for HF.
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On 10/12/2010 12:12 PM, chaniarts wrote:
I'm going to hijack this thread slightly.
I've got some 18" ~3/8" granite tile I need to cut for a counter top. I'm planning on renting a tile saw.
Almost everything is straight cut. But there are a few places that aren't. What cuts that?
Jeff

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Jeff Thies wrote:

You mean curved? Carbide rod blade in a hacksaw frame or on a saber saw; tile nibbler (sort of like pliers with cutting edges).
--

dadiOH
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I own a sliding table one now but I did a few jobs by renting. If you lay all your interior tiles then mark all your cuts you can usually finish insde a 4 hour rental.
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On 10/13/2010 7:44 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

Carbide then? I didn't know if this had to be diamond. Diamond jigsaw is $60+ dollars online.
I don't have to be exact as there will be either a lip or a backboard sitting on it. I do have some molding and such to cut around.

Good.
I have a friend who has done a lot of tile, I never have, and she'll be doing the tiling. She's a bit overworked at the moment as she is moving in a friend who is being foreclosed on. 3000 square feet of "stuff", plus a yard full of landscaping and outdoor furniture. Looked like an atomic crap bomb. I've been sucked in too.
Jeff
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Your Google is broken, it seems - a diamond jigsaw blade can be had for ~$10. I wouldn't want to use my Festool jigsaw cutting stone, though. Stone should be cut wet. It's easier on the stone, tool and blade/bit, not to mention your lungs.
In your situation most pros would just use their tile saw to make a bunch of straight cuts 1/4" apart, break off the tongues, and then use a side to side seeping motion with the tile against the blade to clean up the cut edge. You have to angle the stone up at the front to allow the blade to contact the stone at more of a right angle so the cut will approach square to the face of the tile.
You could also use a diamond hole saw, if you need a truer curve, and then use the tile saw to work the profile to what you want. Make a plywood jig to hold the hole saw and keep it from skating, if the hole is on the edge of the tile, use lots of water and go very slowly.
R
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On 10/13/2010 8:40 AM, RicodJour wrote:

Perfect. I'll nibble it out. I wondered about tilting for a perpendicular cut. I've never used a tile saw, and I wasn't sure she had done this. We are good to go.
I always like to know how the pros do things, because I seldom see these things done. And an amateurs concept can be so different!
Jeff

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Hoarder :-) Try to get that show to help. If you volunteer to be on camera they provide therapist and cleaning crew.
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On 10/13/2010 8:49 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

Get it athttp://mysite.verizon.net/xico

Damn. It's too late to put it all back! Can we still get the therapist?
Some stuff really is valuable. Some once was. And then the debris covers all. Sooo much. She is having a problem going from rich to poor. Not a problem I expect to ever have!
Jeff
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Care and precision. You can use a round small blade on a right angle grinder, and they do make a saber saw blade. Sometimes, you can just eat out what you want to cut out by putting it into the blade at different angles, cutting off a little at a time.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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On Tue, 12 Oct 2010 08:53:41 -0700, Heathcliff wrote:

I think I paid around $70 for mine from HD, and it works well for cuts that are parallel to the tile edge - certainly better than score/snap.
Bad points:
1) I wouldn't trust the miter "feature" at all. The workpiece holder's plastic, and gives the impression that it'd wobble quite a lot as the tile was run past the blade.
2) The fence is pretty crappy - all plastic, and it's hard to get it the exact distance I want from the blade edge as well as getting it parallel to the blade. If I were wanting to use it often I'd think about re- designing the fence with more metal components.
3) That there's no drain point - dumping the water after a job requires tipping the whole saw upside-down. It's not at all heavy, but doing that is a little messy. Before I use it next, I'll cut a hole in the side and install a metal drain fitting.
4) Filling it with water (or checking the level partway through a job) is... goofy. You have to open the metal flap to the right of the blade, but the metal flap fouls on the blade guard - so the whole guard has to be unbolted and removed first. Poor design.
You get what you pay for :-) It's OK for small, occasional jobs, and the actual cuts it makes are very good - but the drawbacks mentioned above likely don't exist on a saw that costs twice the money, and it might be worth paying the extra if you think you'll be using it often.
cheers
Jules
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Blade drift, vibration of the work, and movement in the plate or fence can screw up any cut. Marking it with chalk, pencil, or the like disappears as soon as the water hits it. It is good to score it with a hard metal device, then follow that line. I'm sure there are good ones that cut true, but you're talking in the upper regions price wise.
Steve
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On Tue, 12 Oct 2010 17:43:01 -0700, Steve B wrote:

I think if I were to try and use mine regularly, I'd at least make my own fence - probably something with a bit of threaded rod along the front and back edges that I could firmly clamp once I had it adjusted to where I wanted it (I'd replace the guides, too - on my cheap saw they're just raised plastic numbers / marks, and very hard to see - bolting on a couple of metal rulers instead would make a big difference). For the level I use it, it's not worth taking a few hours to do, though.
Know what you mean about vibration, too - I wonder about sticking on some rubber feet... cheers
Jules
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Heathcliff wrote:

I did the same thing for a bath and did it on the cheap.
Wait for it now...
An angle grinder and masonary blades.
I didn't "score," I cut all the way through.
Do it outside as it makes a lot of dust. Wear ear protection since it's louder than the hinges on the gates of Hell. And you'll need, oh, maybe 30 blades ($4.95/10 at HF).
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I rented a Felker professional tile saw for $45/day at a local tool place. There is no comparison between the Felker and one of the $75 saws at HD. It made the job so much easier.
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wrote:

30 blades? My tile guy used a diamond blade for the intricacy cuts around pieces for doorways, floor drains, bullnose corners, etc.
He didn't change a blade during the work (two weeks). 'course one blade may cost as much as 30 HF non-diamond blades.
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Not on eBay. And I'd rather use the grinder on myself than cut 100 pieces of tile with it. That's a loser's proposition...excuse me, losing proposition. :) The tub saws are the industry standard, and they're tough to beat for day in and day out use. The cheaper ones, like Qep, still work fine and will pay for themselves. You could probably get 50% of the price of the saw if you turned around and sold it when you were done.
If you're not looking to do all of the cutting at once, you could mark up a bunch and bring half or a third to the Borg and let their guy cut it for you. If you got the tile there they'll do it for free, if not, kick the guy a $20 and everybody's happy.
R
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Heathcliff wrote:

I have both. Both are 7". I prefer the bridge saw even though it won't cut as deep as the slides on the tub saw quickly get gunked up with tile slurry and the table becomes hard to slide.
Or purhaps the fixed blade type you refer to doesn't have a sliding table? If so, I like those best. Best if made from all plastic. Just be sure there is some way to hold the arbor when you have to change blades...had a PlasPlugs saw one time and there wasn't, it was impossible to change blades, junked the $150 POS. HomeDepot has numerous... http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?keyword=tile+saw&langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053
--

dadiOH
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