Thanks for asking, R&D. My interest is in cutting sharpening stones. The composition of these stones varies from mud or clay based to ceramic based to various natural stones with varying levels and grit sizes of abrasives in the stones, typically aluminum oxide or various forms of silicon carbide, with stone sizes typically 8 x 3 inches but going as large as say 8 x 4 x 3 inches or even 12 x 6 x 1 inches.
These stones can be quite expensive. Cheaper ones might be $10-25 each whereas some of the stones that are say 8 x 3 x 3/4 inches might cost about $650. There are other even more exotic stones that go considerably higher in price. Some stones only 1/2 inch thick need to be cut into 5mm thick slices.
So the blade thickness is a substantial consideration in terms of yield after cutting. The material that is lost due to blade thickness will determine the profitability of doing this.
Where I can compromise is feed rates. I'm not in a hurry to cut up a pile of these stones, so I can bring the material through the saw slowly which I'm hoping will minimize warpage. But obviously warpage will cause a wider cut and more material loss making a thinner blade counterproductive.
So in instances where I don't need deeper cuts, a thin blade like the Raimondi T3 seems good up to the depth where it becomes thicker in the middle - where this hybrid design seems the best of both worlds - thin kerf and reduced warpage.
Some of my cuts will involve going through 3+ inches of material and cutting off 5mm thick slices, sometimes with stones only 10 mm thick. I'm building some jigs to help do this as I'm not interested in working with pieces where my fingertips are mm away from the blade. I'm feeling comfortable about doing this but using the stock blade that comes with the saw - well I should be able to do better.
It doesn't seem that glass blades have a thinner kerf than some of the thinner blades for cutting stone - like the MK225 or hotdog blade, although some may have a higher grit density with a finer grade of diamonds impregnated into the matrix which does seem desirable. Ultimately I may have to be concerned a bit more with the interplay of the matrix with the abrasive content of what I'm cutting, but so far this doesn't seem to be a problem. It may with some stones eg 24 grit silicon carbide stones, but not with other stones that are primarily ultrafine grit aluminum oxides in a magnesia based substrate. A lot of the stones I'll be cutting will be using a ceramic based substrate, so it looks like porcelain cutting blades would be appropriate.
I'll also be cutting some glass, but the float glass that I'm cutting isn't real critical in terms of needing thin kerfs and so forth. I could get a specific blade for this but it doesn't seem necessary. If I've got this wrong, I'd like to know. But this is a separate issue than my primary focus of cutting stone with minimal losses.
I'd love to be able to cut tempered glass, but from what I know so far, including my and other's attempts to do this, it seems doomed to failure. If anyone knows how to cut tempered glass without it shattering, I'd certainly like to know.
So you guys are the obvious experts on using blades with diamond saws - you have real world experience. You are also familiar with the brands available and how they perform. If you say warpage is going to be a problem with all brands of blades below a certain kerf size, that's what I want to know. Specifically at what thinness will I hit a problem with warpage for the types of material I'm cuttng. I'm interested in your best guesses, since the material I'm cutting is a bit different but similar enough to what you guys cut all the time.
Now I came across this company, ukam blades. Their specs mention a really thin blade at 0.040 inches or 1 mm for a 10 inch blade with 7mm of diamond material on the blade. They are on their website at http://www.ukam.com/diamond_tile_blades.htm
. I don't know if these guys make something people here have used. It may be of use to you, but if you have comments on what they seem to be offering, I'd like to know.
If there's other brands or companies to consider that I'm not aware of pleaase let me know. It seems MK has some lapidary blades available so if anyone has used them I'd like to know how it worked out. I'll probably need to go to a lapidary blog for this, but it's worth a shot asking here. I think a problem I may come across with lapidary saws and blades is a requirement to use something other than water to cut with - cutting oils, etc. That's a deal killer for me, since the stones I cut absolutely can't have contact with anything other than plain water.
I know I'm one odd duck of a stone cutter here, so I appreciate your patience in working with me to give me a bit of insight and sharing some knowledge. Hopefully I can return the favor.