Cutting Beach Pebbles

africanApril 20, 2009

I have a good supply of various colored beach pebbles of all sizes. I want to cut through then with a diamond blade, to make discs, but because most of them are egg shaped, they are very difficult (and dangerous) to clamp effectively. Any ideas?

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Are you using a wetsaw? I'm thinking that you could make an adjustable box like jig that would rest on the tray and cradle the rock, then use a chunk of wood as a press to hold it down while you slide the saw. If using a dry blade on a hand held saw, it would be difficult to stabilize the rocks without the help of a partner

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:25AM
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Are these smooth tumbled rocks (pebbles) or beach glass?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:16AM
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They are egg shaped natural stones. Mainly quartzite, hard shale and felspar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Indirect Method

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 5:08PM
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Thanks for the advice nicethyme, my mind was running along the lines of the box too - but not so sure about just pressing down with piece of wood. I've tried that kind of thing already , but with smallish oval pebbles about the size of a goose eg and smaller, it's damn dangerous, as these things slip around like mad. Clamping is difficult as you seem only seem to to pick up two points at a time and then it pivots and slips.
I thought of epoxying one end (sacrificial) to a square wooden block and then clamping the block and pebble together onto the cutting bench, so that it can't rotate or pivot, but I don't know if the epoxy glue would be strong enough. If it came loose, the saw would throw it out like a bullet.

What do you think?

Cape Town

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 5:30PM
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I had some success with the epoxy - but it is rather messy and time consuming, so I'm still looking for a better method - any further suggestions.

Cape Town

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:45PM
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First wrap the pebble completely with adhesive tape, to prevent shards flying, then use the same tape to splice a short piece of wood to either side of the pebble to make a sandwich. Then hold the entire sandwich firmly in a vice or clamp. You can then safely make a cut with diamond disk at least a centimetre or more deep. Then place your pebble sandwich onto a solid concrete base, propped between two bricks to hold the sandwich with the new cut uppermost. Put the cutting edge of a bolster (Bricklayers flat chisel) into to the cut you made and making sure that the chisel is held vertical, give it a very sharp tap. Be sure to wear safety glasses.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:15PM
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WOW! Thanks for the info Toby!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:43AM
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(either before or after the cuts)!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 12:36PM
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