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Advice on cutting EDM graphite plates

TorchHypnosis

New member
We are stepping up our manufacturing process by using a higher (more heat/wear resistant) grade of graphite, and about to purchase directly from the manufacturer (Toyo Tanso). This means we will be ordering our stock in 1" x 39" x 24" plates. I'm trying to make 1" strips. I'm told a diamond wheel tile wet saw will hog through this material easily, and catch the vast majority of the dust. What I am thinking is that I cut the 1" x 39" x 24" down the middle long ways to make two 1" x 39" x 12" slabs, then start making my 1" cuts. The only other option I can see is a band saw, but I really like the idea of the wet saw catching the dust. ANY input or advice on this subject is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

JZ.

Member
We are stepping up our manufacturing process by using a higher (more heat/wear resistant) grade of graphite, and about to purchase directly from the manufacturer (Toyo Tanso). This means we will be ordering our stock in 1" x 39" x 24" plates. I'm trying to make 1" strips. I'm told a diamond wheel tile wet saw will hog through this material easily, and catch the vast majority of the dust. What I am thinking is that I cut the 1" x 39" x 24" down the middle long ways to make two 1" x 39" x 12" slabs, then start making my 1" cuts. The only other option I can see is a band saw, but I really like the idea of the wet saw catching the dust. ANY input or advice on this subject is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

If I had to cut big plates of graphite like that, I would be thinking about getting them cut on a waterjet if possible. It would make quick work out of that.
 

White Lightning

New member
Dont over complicate this.We have used a wood bandsaw with a torit dust collector plumbed in for over 30 years with no problem.

Our sheets are usually 12x24 from 1 in to 4 in thick. Regular fine pitch blades work great. You may need a table extension to help support the longer sheets.

Definitely stay away from water or coolant.

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TorchHypnosis

New member
Dont over complicate this.We have used a wood bandsaw with a torit dust collector plumbed in for over 30 years with no problem.

Our sheets are usually 12x24 from 1 in to 4 in thick. Regular fine pitch blades work great. You may need a table extension to help support the longer sheets.

Definitely stay away from water or coolant.

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Thank you for your response, White Lightning. I understand why I should stay away from coolant, but may I ask what the problem is with water? Do you think a diamond wheel will not work in this application? I just want to understand your reasoning. Thanks again for your response, much appreciated!
 

DavidScott

Active member
The diamond saws for stone would cut this like warm butter, especially if you got a blade for marble. Depending on how much you cut you could find a thin kerf blade and make some custom stabilizers that would just allow you your full depth cut. Whether you go with a rolling table or bridge depends on your length of cut. Stick with 10" blades. How big are the pieces you end up with? What are your tolerances?

Just more info but there are bandsaw blades with diamond grit "teeth" for stone that may be an interesting option. They may be able to cut dry with the right blade speed. Sure it would be expensive but it may never wear out. Biggest reason for the band saw would be thinner kerf to save on material waste.
 

White Lightning

New member
We tried the diamond bandsaw blades and they cracked well before the life expectancy. Just use a normal fine pitch blade. Cheap and they last months.

As far as water I feel the mess created is not worth the gains. Graphite is porous and will absorb the water also.

The vacuum does a great job of reducing the dust to a minimum. We have our saw in it's own room to further reduce the mess. I would hate to guess how many cubic in. of graphite we have cut. Some jobs consume 6 or more sheets.

Good luck!!
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TorchHypnosis

New member
The diamond saws for stone would cut this like warm butter, especially if you got a blade for marble. Depending on how much you cut you could find a thin kerf blade and make some custom stabilizers that would just allow you your full depth cut. Whether you go with a rolling table or bridge depends on your length of cut. Stick with 10" blades. How big are the pieces you end up with? What are your tolerances?

Just more info but there are bandsaw blades with diamond grit "teeth" for stone that may be an interesting option. They may be able to cut dry with the right blade speed. Sure it would be expensive but it may never wear out. Biggest reason for the band saw would be thinner kerf to save on material waste.

Thanks for your response, David. I have not decided on a saw yet, so I do not know what size 1" plates I will be starting with will be. I am cutting 1" strips from the 1" plate, so I end up with a strip 1" x 1" x x". The tolerances are +.0625/-0. Then I cut 2-1/2" blocks from the strips, leaving me with a block roughly 1" x 1" x 2-1/2". I then machine the blocks. The initial cut can be very rough because the block will be machined later.
 

White Lightning

New member
Like I said we tried a diamond toothed bandsaw blade and it failed shortly after getting it. It was cracked in several locations. I believe that the coating made the blade to stiff and created stress. Maybe on a large bandsaw they would be fine but not the smaller one we have.

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TorchHypnosis

New member
Like I said we tried a diamond toothed bandsaw blade and it failed shortly after getting it. It was cracked in several locations. I believe that the coating made the blade to stiff and created stress. Maybe on a large bandsaw they would be fine but not the smaller one we have.

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I was thinking about using a tile saw with a diamond wheel...did you think I meant diamond bandsaw? When we finally do go the bandsaw route (which certainly is the industry standard) I will steer clear of the diamond coatings. My material is only 1" thick so I doubt a diamond coating would be necessary.
 

White Lightning

New member
Let us know how it works out. Maybe for the long cuts it a good way to go. We saw shanks out after the are machined to mount. Lots of different sizes from .625x.375 to 12 in square. Minimum thickness of. 750 up to 5 In thick.

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TorchHypnosis

New member
Let us know how it works out. Maybe for the long cuts it a good way to go. We saw shanks out after the are machined to mount. Lots of different sizes from .625x.375 to 12 in square. Minimum thickness of. 750 up to 5 In thick.

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I will for sure. It might be a bit though, the graphite I mill needs to stand up against an oxidized flame (4,000 Fahrenheit), so I am still sourcing material. Currently testing Toyo Tanso material, 8 micron grain size. Loosely off the subject, anyone know who the manufacturer of AR-12 graphite is? It's less dense, but 8.9 micron grain size.
 

White Lightning

New member
Ohio Carbon definitely distributes the AR-12, but I did not think the made it. Are they a manufacturer?
I'm sorry I thought you were looking for a source. I've never needed the manufacture but i would like to know. We've seen a shortage of graphite at times over the last year. We use AR-14, POCO- C3, and POCO- 4 for our finer details and I believe AR-8 or equilivent for the majority of our standard application.

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