When using the die grinder for T-31 anchors, you may want to consider using some of the flat plate attachments that are available. They will prevent you from going too deep into the stone. Most stone tool suppliers have these tools, which are known as sink anchoring tools.
Routers are very important tools in the stone shop. Even if you have a line polisher and/or CNC machine, you will still need a hand-held router.
The choices of routers are endless — our training center currently has eight different models. They can run from just less than $2,000 to more than $6,000 each.
Routers are available in electric and hydraulic versions, although the most popular ones on the market are the electric models. However, electric routers are broken down into three types: 110-volt single-phase, 220-volt single-phase and three-phase routers.
What's the difference? I consider the 110-volt routers to be light duty. If you are using the router all day, you will want one that is a little more heavy duty. In this case I would opt for the 220-volt or the three-phase types.
Routers also are available in single-speed, dual-speed and variable-speed. How you use the router will determine what speed you need. If you only use the router for position one or two bits, then the single-speed router is all you'll need. The dual-speed routers give you two settings: high for cutting and low for polishing. If you use router bits all the way through to polishing, then you'll need the variable-speed version. The dual-speed routers will also work for all the bits, but I prefer the variable to give you greater options.
Routers will ride on the stone on little wheels or an aqua plane. The aqua plane uses water to float the router so it is not touching the stone surface. I prefer the aqua plane types. If you do use the wheel types, be sure the stone is clean and the wheels roll freely. You may want to put a piece of Plexiglas on the stone to prevent the router from scratching the surface.
When working the router, always move in a right to left motion. You'll cut fast and get a smoother cut and the profile won't wave.
Never adjust the height of a router when it is not running. This can bind the belts on many routers causing them to break. Always turn the motor on before adjusting.