Anyone work with granite?

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Forum topic by xeddog posted 05-23-2017 04:08 PM 1417 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View xeddog's profile


271 posts in 3619 days

05-23-2017 04:08 PM

I can get a nice 28×48 piece of counter granite for free. I think I will probably get it because if nothing else I can use it for a table top of some sort, or some other piece that doesn’t require any machining. But I was also thinking that it would make a very nice router table top. But to do that, it would obviously require some machining.

Everything I have read, which isn’t really a whole lot yet, says that carbide tooling is required (or diamond), but also a lot of water for cooling, dust removal, lubrication, etc. That wouldn’t do very well with my routers now would it? So is there a way that I could effectively machine granite with conventional woodworking tools, or at least some “inexpensive” way to machine it?



12 replies so far

View bruc101's profile


1378 posts in 4153 days

#1 posted 05-23-2017 04:13 PM

If it needs any machining the best thing would be to carry it to a shop that machines Granite and let them do it for you.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View builtinbkyn's profile


3001 posts in 1552 days

#2 posted 05-23-2017 04:22 PM

Drilling/core drilling it is pretty easy and straight forward. Anything else and you’ll need special equipment which probably isn’t practical. Well you can also cut it to size and shape it with a grinder and also polish the edges with a grinder, but it’s a lot of work. Most places now use water jet cutters for most of that work.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View BobAnderton's profile


309 posts in 3402 days

#3 posted 05-23-2017 11:17 PM

I’ve had good experiences cutting straight lines with an angle grinder and a diamond wheel (we’re talking Harbor Freight quality here) with water flowing over the surface.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View BurlyBob's profile


6932 posts in 2877 days

#4 posted 05-23-2017 11:25 PM

I’ve used a diamond saw blade to trim scrap pieces. The ends aren’t pretty but good enough for sharpening irons and chisels. I’m thinking that polishing the edges might require a pro.

View xeddog's profile


271 posts in 3619 days

#5 posted 05-24-2017 03:48 PM

Thanks everyone. This is pretty much what I was expecting but I had to ask. I do have access to a die grinder/diamond wheel, but what I was thinking about is the cutout for the router plate. That would require a lot of precision and I couldn’t think of any way other than taking it somewhere and have a professional do it. That would probably cost more than what it’s worth.


View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1203 days

#6 posted 05-25-2017 04:06 PM

For this small piece you do not need water cooling. I 4” grinder with a diamond wheel is all you need to cut it.
Now if you want a nice bevels, bullnose etc you would need bits that run into hundreds.

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1513 days

#7 posted 05-25-2017 04:10 PM

I had the same idea, but i quickly learned that my granite would be better used in the shop. Having a dead flat and dead square table comes in handy and the scary sharp sandpaper method gets used more.

View BurlyBob's profile


6932 posts in 2877 days

#8 posted 05-25-2017 07:13 PM

One thing I did when I cut my pieces was put the good side down to avoid a lot of chipping. I rounded the edges with a palm sander and 60. The pieces are used for sharpening so I don’t need anything real pretty.

View Kelly's profile


2640 posts in 3556 days

#9 posted 05-25-2017 08:18 PM

I play with sink cut-outs and other good deals on granite from time to time. The cut outs are free and if squared up make great indoor and outdoor furniture, though the sun will beat the hell out of some resins used to fill voids in some.

If the piece isn’t too big, I use my tile saw to cut it. For larger pieces, I use a circular saw and a cheap diamond blade.

When doing round shapes and such, I use a VARIABLE speed grinder. A variable speed grinder is a great investment in so many ways. Without it, you cannot slow the grinder down enough to do polishing or grinding on granite.

As noted, use water to cool the blade. I just made and adapter to feed a hose between 1/8” to 1/4” inner diameter. A valve allows me to regulate the water flow.

To make round cuts, I just use painters tape to do the rough design, draw on the exact lines on that, and just start going around and round, until the waste falls away (watch your toes and knees).

Using a variable speed angle grinder, you can polish the cut edges. You MUST work your way through grits: 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000, 1500, 3000.

If you chose to polish edges, go with the wet disks. They last MUCH longer [if used with water].

You can buy diamond router bits for the grinder, but they MUST be ran slower than the average single speed grinder. The bits start out about seventy and go up. My most expensive one ran about $250.00

You can buy stones for rough grinding the edges to avoid burning up 50 and 100 grit pads. The stones only run around ten bucks and I’ve used them to bull nose edges, before polishing.

If the granite is going to be used only indoors, you can cover rough edges with epoxy and it will make even mountain like rough edges look polished.

Lots of free granite out there – go have fun, and use eye, ear and lung protection!

A couple planter stands:

View Kelly's profile


2640 posts in 3556 days

#10 posted 05-25-2017 08:21 PM

P.S.: I made cut outs in my granite tile I used for back splash to allow me to install outlets though the tile. Just tape off where you want to cut and mark your lines, cut until you hit the line and stop, then do it again from the back.

View xeddog's profile


271 posts in 3619 days

#11 posted 05-26-2017 03:25 PM

I am not too concerned with CUTTING it since it is a good size for a router table as it is. My current table is actually about 25×49. What seems like the hard part is milling the recess for the router plate. That is a cutout, and then a rabbet around the perimeter. The through part I could probably do with a diamond wheel on a die grinder, and then somehow get the corners cut. Then a recess for the plate . . . well . . . ????

View Kelly's profile


2640 posts in 3556 days

#12 posted 05-26-2017 03:57 PM

The rough in could be done with an angle grinder and a quick jig to hold the depth. The corners would be the tough part. I’d, probably, switch to a Dremel and a diamond bit or two [or three, or four…] with plenty of cooling water.

An alternative to the Dremel would be like my Trend router. It can double as a variable speed die grinder.

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