Need suggestions on cutting shell tiles - wet saw?

wishdishSeptember 2, 2013

I bought some mosaic natural shell tiles. I'm using them on wedi board to outline a mirror, which will also be attached to the wedi. Am makeing two of them to hang above the double vanity in my master bathroom. I'm going to need to make some cuts. The tiles are sooooo thin though, even my Leponitts won't cut them. the wheels touch them but barely, and not enough to make the pressure necessary to cut. OR, maybe the tiles are just too hard, I dunno. these tiles are on mesh and I need to shave off a teensy bit along the long edge, so I can use them on edge of my mirrors. So, what tools are good options? I'm thinking a wet saw. what do y'all think?

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texaswild

If you can't score them and break them w/your breaker plier, why not leave them as is, and let them hang off the edge that teensy bit.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 8:37PM
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wishdish

Slow, I guess I could do that, but would rather not. It would probably be okay to leave the sides hang over a bit. But I have to cut pieces all along the top. They are the kind that the pieces fit together, and at the end, they have to be cut.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 10:16PM
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texaswild

Then I'd say you need a tile saw or the ring saw. Cutting small things on the saws aren't the easiest things - I've done it - cut 1/4" pieces of floor tiles - but can be done. Hope someone helps w/a solution for you. Is there a stained glass shop near you that could help?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:16AM
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wackyweeder

I have cut thin shell tiles with nail clippers. They were all shell, not shell mounted on something.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:51AM
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wackyweeder

I should clarify-Mother of Pearl not hard shell.
Do you have a dremel?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:52AM
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wishdish

I love this forum. Y'all are great to bounce ideas back and forth with me. I did read about how cutting small things on mesh can be tricky. also saw a couple articles that showed placing the small tile sheet on a larger tile and taping it all over with blue painter's tape, before cutting. home depot has rentals of small saws. full day costs same as buying one, but i can do in half day. i want to try the nail clippers, but my husband just went out of town and took them with him! Tiles are called "natural shell", but have the look of MOP, so nail clippers might work. I want to try it. i do have a dremel. my husband tried that. just would take FOREVER to cut them. and kinda hard to get a good setup. i've got to be careful to minimize waste, because these things were pretty pricey! so, for now, i'm going to measure and when hubby gets back, will try the clippers and he can help me out with the saw. i'm a little bit chicken of ending up with 9 digits! haha

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 10:21AM
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spiritcat

When cutting shells especially mother of pearl, wear a mask. The dust and fumes are dangerous. Happy cutting!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 11:36PM
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wishdish

yes, Spiritcat, thank you! I did notice after my husband cut just one teensy tile with the dremel, that masks would be in order. Very fine dust, and it smells nasty!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 5:34PM
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