How to Dress a Diamond Wheel

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How to Dress a Diamond Wheel

A diamond wheel is a steel disk not unlike a saw blade minus the jagged teeth. In fact, the edge of a diamond wheel or blade is smooth. What causes the wheel to cut are fine particles of diamond fragments that are embedded on the surface of the diamond wheel. To be accurate, diamond wheels don't actually cut, they grind. During the grinding process the diamond fragments can get clogged with some of the material being ground away, such as fine vitrified clay when cutting tile for an installation. This will cause the diamond wheel to become dull. If the face of the diamond fragments aren't constantly being ground down themselves, they lose their sharp abrasive qualities. Dressing or resurfacing a diamond wheel makes its diamond fragments sharp again.

Things You'll Need

  • Radial arm saw with a diamond wheel
  • Dressing bar
  • Black permanent marker
  • Safety glasses
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Instructions

    • 1

      Dress a diamond wheel mounted in a radial arm saw by laying the dressing bar flat on the bed of the saw braced against the fence. The fence of the saw is a wood or metal lip that whatever is being sawed is braced against to lock it firmly in place as the saw cuts through it. A dressing bar is usually made out of aluminum oxide formed into a bar under great pressure. Aluminum oxide is a hard, abrasive material.

    • 2

      Press the trigger on the radial arm saw to get the diamond wheel spinning. Slowly pull the radial arm saw along its track and saw right through the dressing bar so both sides of the diamond wheel come in contact with it.

    • 3

      Draw an arrow on the side of the diamond wheel with a marker after dressing it for the first time. The arrow will always indicate how to remount the diamond wheel on the saw so it's spinning in the same direction every time. After the first dressing, every subsequent dressing has to have the wheel spinning in the same direction as the very first time. Dress the wheel in both directions and it'll be ruined.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dress the wheel as little or as much as you think is necessary. Some people dress the wheel prior to every cut they make. Others dress the wheel when they sense its growing dull.

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References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

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