Using a Saw Guide to Cut Inlays in Stone or Concrete
When was the last time you actually volunteered to set an inlay in a perfectly good countertop? I would venture to say that it was some crafty designer or bored housewife that pulled some strings to get you to say yes to the job. Cutting joints and inlays into stone, concrete slabs or countertops can be very time consuming, with one bad cut you can waste a lot of time on repairs or even be forced to remake the whole piece. Setting a precise layout line for your cut and preparing the surface can take more time then the actual cutting, especially if you are using a wet saw. If your surface is porous it will absorb any dyes you use to mark the line. Tape can leave glue stuck to the surface and you’re in the clean up business.
Pharoah manufactures waterproof guides that you cut to fit your saw or router. Unlike a Rail saw or Track saw these guides are made to work with your equipment. The guides are made of ridged 1/4″ thick plastic, allowing you to get very deep penetration out of your saw or router.
Once you’ve cut the guide it is a very precise layout line for your saw blade or router bit. Your saw rides on top of the guide. There is no need to mark up the slab for a layout line. Wherever you lay the guide, you see exactly where your blade will cut. Your saw never touches the work surface so there’s no surface scratching and the guide actually helps prevent any surface lifting by trapping the cut under the guide.
Low profile spring clamps or screw clamps can be used to hold the guides in place. Pharoah guides can be washed up with soap and water after the job is done. The only maintenance you’ll need to provide is protecting them from your buddy’s who’ll want to test them out.
I was told once that these types of guides were used in the movie industry back in the 1930’s to make cuts on the back drops of large stage sets. They were called “Scooter Boards” because they would scoot them down their cut line. With all the money you save from buying and tuning up a Track Saw you might be able to get yourself a couple of guy’s to hold your guide for you, who needs clamps?
See a demonstration video using the guides, made right here in the USA from recycled materials.