How To Cut Concrete Block & Paver With a Circular Saw
Buildings are generally constructed with concrete masonry units which are rectangular blocks of standard size. Due to their variety of appearances, concrete blocks are among the most versatile building products.
They can also be used as pavers. Under several circumstances, you may have to come across cutting the concrete elements for fitting or aesthetic purposes. There are several techniques in place to cut them like cutting them using a circular saw or hammer and chisel.
In this article, we will discuss how to cut concrete blocks and pavers using a circular saw.
How To Cut Concrete Block
Measuring: It is essential to cut concrete blocks precisely if you are going to build a patio or wall with them. With a tape measure, determine how long the concrete block will fit in the space. concrete blocks generally have a uniform size, so it’s not necessary to measure the width. In terms of size and shape, the most common size of concrete blocks is 8 x 8 x 16 inches (20 x 20 x 41 cm).
Marking: Measure the concrete block and mark it with white chalk. You’ll cut the block at the spot you marked with chalk. When the concrete block needs to fit into a space that is 8 inches (20 cm) long, measure 8 inches (20 cm) from the end and mark it with chalk. If you’d like to be more precise, hold the straight edge of the ruler across the block at the mark. Make a line crossing the block along the ruler’s edge.
Using masonry blade: Using the circular saw, insert the masonry blade. Cutting through concrete blocks is possible with this kind of blade. A plastic sheath covering the currently installed blade can be lifted up with a spring-loaded latch. Remove the retaining bolt at the centre of the circular blade with a 3⁄4 in (1.9 cm) wrench. Once the bolt is removed, lift the blade out of its housing and replace it with the masonry blade. Using the wrench, screw the bolt back into place over the blade’s centre. Afterward, snap back the blade cover into place. The hardware store sells masonry blades (or circular saws) if you don’t have one. It may be cheaper to rent one instead of buying a circular saw if you’re going to use it only for this one job.
Use safety equipment: Before you begin cutting the block, put on safety equipment. Concrete dust will be generated by cutting concrete blocks with a circular saw. When splitting or cutting concrete blocks, wear a mask with ventilation to protect your lungs. The dust that this creates can damage your lungs if inhaled. Make sure you wear sound-blocking earmuffs or ear plugs while using the loud saw, as well as wearing protective glasses to avoid being hit with annoying pieces of concrete block.
Align the blade: Align the blade with the chalk mark on the concrete block. Use your dominant hand to align the saw as you hold the concrete block in place with your non-dominant hand. When viewing the circular saw from above, you’ll notice an obvious notch with the blade indicating where the blade will make contact with the metal surface. Ensure that this line is aligned with the chalk mark that you made earlier. It’s essential that you make sure you keep checking the saw as you’re cutting.
Start cutting: Take one sweep at a time, cutting smoothly and accurately. You can start the blade spinning by releasing the trigger inside the handguard of the saw. Push the saw forward to cut through the block when it’s at full speed. Cutting will allow more metal to contact the concrete block due to the protective covering being pushed back. Cutting through the block usually takes one cut. Likewise, if the concrete block is still not quite cut, finish bisecting it with an additional two or three cuts. Once you’ve cut through the block, turn off the saw. Keep your fingers out of the way of the saw if you use one hand to stabilize the block while you cut! The circular saw could easily slice a finger off.
Wiping the surface: Wet a rag and wipe the concrete block clean. You’ll see fine dust on the block after you’re done cutting. Using water, wet a rag and wring it out. You can clean the concrete block halves by running the rag lightly over them. After this, you are ready to start installing the block in your project. You can also clean off the saw before putting it away if it is covered in dust.
How To Cut Concrete Paver
Wear protective gear: When cutting pavers with a power saw, wear a dust mask along with protective goggles and gloves. Additionally, you should wear ear protection because the cutting process is quite loud.
Mark the cutting line: Mark a pencil mark on the front and the back of the paver with the measurement of the space you need to fill in your layout. Do not mark the sides.
Using diamond blade: You can cut pavers with your power saw using diamond masonry blades. Choosing a blade that is designated for cutting stone will ensure a smooth, even cut since natural stone is much harder than brick or concrete. The blade won’t cut through pavers if it isn’t labeled for stone.
Cutting process: Saw the paver 11.2 inches deep, and place it on a flat surface, such as the ground, a sturdy board on top of sawhorses. Along the front and back of the paver, saw along the marked line. The result will be a deep score line both on the front and the back of the paver. There is no need to cut the sides as well. Make sure you follow the safety instructions that came with the saw. Be cautious when handling power saws to avoid injury.
Cutting the second paver of the same size: With the scored line and the end of the brick hanging over the edge of the step or another paver, position the paver. Tap firmly with your hammer or mallet the overhanging end of the paver while holding it with one hand. You can then set the paver in your layout after the paver breaks cleanly.
The cutting process of concrete paver and blocks using the saw machine is almost the same. However, the major difference is the type of blade. Pavers are usually hard materials. They need more sharp blades.
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