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silestone cutting

kingfisher4's picture

I just bought a piece of silestone and want advice on how to cut out an oval hole for a drop in sink to go in. Also, to cut it to length and width, I have a wet saw (MK 770) and a 4" grinder with a diamond blade. I suppose either of those will work but would like advice. I will also need to polish the edges and bore holes for the faucet. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

(post #102643, reply #1 of 3)

Welcome to breaktime.

Below is a much longer message then I planned on typing, so I'll cut to the chase and tell you it would be in your best interest to take this to a fabricator and have the work done for you.  That said, read below for a description of how to drill the holes and cut the sink cut out.  If you have more questions fire away I'd be happy to help out as much as I can. 
   By the way where are you located?  Someone here may know someone who can help you.

     Cutting the sink cut out and drilling the holes is not really a hard task but it doesn't sound like you have the proper tools to do it.

  To cut the oval cut out you will really need a 5" diamond wheel for your grinder, not to big of a problem to find but I'm not sure it will work in a 4" grinder as I've never tried it.  A 4" in wheel will not penetrate though the surface enough because the grinder head gets in the way, at least it does with the two 4" grinders I have.

     To cut the holes for the sink you can use the same grinder with a diamond core bit.  The bit itself will mount (Screw on) direct to your grinder, we pay around $50.00 for ours but get them directly through the supplier of our granite/quartz tops.  I've seen them off the shelf in other places for around $100.00.  a 1 1/4" core  bit should cover any of your needs.  To cut the holes we use a rubber donut that suctions itself down to the top, start the cut and score the hole, then pour water into the donut to cool the bit. 

   Go about it slow and let the tool do the work, don't force it.. I usually end up pouring water into the donut at least a few times during a whole and let the bit cool between holes.  These bits do not have pilot bits so you need a steady hand to get them started.    To start the cut hold the bit and angle and slowly let it bite into the top leveling it out as you go.  Place a bucket under the top to catch the plug and water if you are doing this in place.  It also helps to "wiggle" the bit around in the hole as you go in order to make it easy for the plug to fall out.

To cut the sink cut out, I tape off the entire top with 2" blue tape in the area of the cut out then I tape the paper template to the surface and just start cutting.  If it's a drop in it does not need to necessarily be a "pretty" cut.  Go about it in small passes a little at a time and work your way around the oval.  To cut the oval you are going to have to make a number of straight cuts then smooth it out. 

If it's a small top set up saw horses with 2x or similar under the top to hold the top and the cut out so it does not fall once you make the final relief cut.  To get an oval you will need to do the  bulk of the cutting to removal the main piece  Then back cut to your template line after it is removed. Keep in mind for a drop in it does not need to be pretty, just make sure you have enough lip on the sink to cover your cut.  Wear safety glasses and a quality respirator when you do this.  Do it outside if possible, if that is not an option have a second person with glasses and respirator there to hold a shop vac hose in back of your cut.  That will capture 90% of the dust or so.

That will get you the sink and the faucet.  For cutting it to length and width you will not be able to do that home.  Even if you could cut a straight enough line the cost of the polishing diamond pads is cost prohibitive.  I've had to polish one edge in the field and even using the proper equipment it would have looked better if it had been done in at the fabricator.

So after saying all that my real suggestion is to call a granite fabrication shop and bring your top to them, pay them to do the work and the install it yourself if you wish.  It simply isn't worth the expense of the tools or your frustration for a one off top. 


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(post #102643, reply #2 of 3)

Thanks for you info. After reading your message I will be taking to a local shop to have it done. I'm in Annapolis, MD and know a couple of places that can do it. I just like to do everything I can do myself, but this time having someone with the right tools makaes sense. Especially since I only paid 11.50 for the 2' X 3' cut off at a surplus place in Baltimore. Thanks for your help. Alan

(post #102643, reply #3 of 3)


  No problem, Like you I always try to do anything I can myself, if it wasn't for the edge polishing I'd be more inclined to say go for it.  In this case you'll be money ahead to just get it done...

I tell myself that same thing though everytime I change my own oil...

anyway, good luck and stick around.

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