Check the product’s M.S.D.S. (material safety data sheet) to determine the P.P.E. (personal protective equipment) necessary for this task. Be sure to put on your P.P.E. before beginning any grinding, honing or polishing.
Setting up your Router
There are many routers available on the market today. I recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s direction for each. The following are some tips for setting up your router for the ogee edge.
The older routers would require you to set up a straight edge guide set away from the edge of the stone by the distance from the outer edge of the base to the smallest section of the bit. Some newer routers are equipped with a bearing that fits at the bottom of the bit and rolls along a template or straight edge to achieve an accurate shape. Other machines and bits use a feeler gauge (a section without cutting abrasives) at the smallest portion of the bit to keep it from cutting in too far. That eliminates the need for a straight edge or template.
Not all portable routers will polish edges as well as shape them. Most of the newer stone routers have this feature. Not only do you get an accurate edge shape, but also you can change bits to begin the polishing process. If you are routing and polishing granite, you may need to finish up the polishing process by hand, especially with black granite. The newer routers have more power to increase the speed of routing, and better bit technology has led to greater bit life.
Using the honing and polishing bits will increase the time a piece of stone is at the routing station, but will greatly decrease the amount of time that is required to polish the edge. If you look at the concept logically, you can see that polishing any shaped edge by hand requires several passes at different angles to smooth out the edge. However, with a honing or polishing bit, you can cover all or most of these angles with a single pass (provided the bits have not lost shape).
It is important to weigh the cost of these bits against the amount of time and material saved to determine if it is cost-effective. Before purchasing a router/polisher, be sure to get feedback from existing owners and get proper training on the use and maintenance from the manufacturer’s representative or dealer.