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I bought a few samples today, various pieces of tile from Lowe's. I am going to mount a couple of different bits into my router and see if I can successfully route patterns, letters, and such into floor tiles. Always experimenting ... :nerd:
 

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I hope you haven't tried that yet. Carbide will shatter on ceramic and porcelain and throw chunks at very high speed and possibly throw chunks of the floor tiles too. Those materials usually require a diamond cutter and water coolant and may require a much slower speed depending on the cutter. (Think about a tile cutting saw as an example)
 
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What Charles said.

I have worked with a lot of tile over the years . If you want to get artistic get one of these:
Revolution XT Ring Saw from Gemini Saw Co.

I have one of these as well as the smaller glass saw, the Taurus 3
Its a great saw but a little pricey

If you want to try routing tile make yourself a nice urn first as you will probably need it.
 

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I expected to use a slow router. Mine is variable speed, and with an external router speed controller, I can really slow it down. The tile could be in a pan, under water to help wash away chips. The bit would be a diamond tip bit used for etching glass.

Thank you for the advice though. I will certainly be careful!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What Charles said.

I have worked with a lot of tile over the years . If you want to get artistic get one of these:
Revolution XT Ring Saw from Gemini Saw Co.

I have one of these as well as the smaller glass saw, the Taurus 3
Its a great saw but a little pricey

If you want to try routing tile make yourself a nice urn first as you will probably need it.
I am not looking to cut through the tile. I only want to etch the surface. Think "tombstones."

I may experiment with a mini-sandblaster, using the CNC table to guide a narrow stream of sand to etch the tile.

What about using an engraving pen and barely touching the surface? Would that chip away the surface and leave the rest of the tile intact, or would it break the tile into pieces? I guess I'll find out!
 

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I bought a few samples today, various pieces of tile from Lowe's. I am going to mount a couple of different bits into my router and see if I can successfully route patterns, letters, and such into floor tiles. Always experimenting ... :nerd:
that's a not such a good plan...
please make sure your medical ins is paid up....
 
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Possibly hydroflouric will, it's used to etch glass. The fumes from glass are toxic. Many people who etch glass use sand blasting instead.

If you try etching with a machine and bit wear googles and a face shield. There may be a possibility of stresses in the surface from vibration or uneven heating that could cause chips to fly from the surface. Should you happen to hit a resonant frequency the whole tile could explode.
 
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I am not looking to cut through the tile. I only want to etch the surface. Think "tombstones."

I may experiment with a mini-sandblaster, using the CNC table to guide a narrow stream of sand to etch the tile.

What about using an engraving pen and barely touching the surface? Would that chip away the surface and leave the rest of the tile intact, or would it break the tile into pieces? I guess I'll find out!
water and an an electric router...
another ''not such a good plan''...
second the need for a urn...

you may get to where you want to go w/ glass etching cream....
goggle is your friend...
 

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I have owned a very successful ceramic business in the past. Many times in the past, I have began businesses and gotten them up-and-running profitably and smoothly and then sell the business. These businesses are usually sold to employees or customers that were "Doubting Thomases" prior to my "sticking my neck out". The info you have been provided by fellow members is spot-on.
Here are a few math formulas:
Carbide + glass = bad, Carbide + ceramic = terrible, Electricity + water = deadly, Electricity + cloudy water = EXTRA DEADLY.
All of these, as you see; add up to poor choices.
A good choice (if the resources are available) is to mold the impressions into said ceramic tiles. Make some extras, because breakage is a high reality when dealing with ceramics.

Good luck,
Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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I do granite floor tiles, ceramic tiles should be the same. I use my diamond drag bit for engraving. The router is turned off, only used to hold the bit while it is engraving. There is very little dust created since the bit is basically scratching the surface. I do spray just a spritz or two of water on the surface for lubrication. Not enough dust to worry about. If your going to try with a router cutting into them, good luck, a laser would be better.
 

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I have read all the sensible, informative replies and I wouldn't try this with my router; too much can go wrong.

I did relief with my cnc that turned out okay but there was a learning curve and a few failed attempts.
Heed all the good advice; watch the speed and the dust problem.

I would recommend a CNC to do it.

Just be REALLY, REALLY careful if you try.
 

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You can use diamond without water, they just don't last as long and generate a crap ton more heat. I have a diamond blade on a circular saw that has never seen water, it's a cheapo HF blade that I bought because I didn't know if it would work well enough. It's still cutting as good as new after a bunch of cuts on tile and concrete landscape blocks. It can be done, the question is how long will it take? If you start heating the tile you best give it a break to cool off. It may not be feasible on a time basis but if you can find the right bits it will work. What are you planning on doing for sealer?

Whatever you do use all applicable PPE including a respirator and some heavy leather gloves. When that ceramic breaks the little shards are flat moving and no telling where they are going.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
CNC laser
I have been looking for a good, powerful laser that I can attach to my carriage and gantry. I don't see the need to buy an independent laser engraving machine, when I already have software that can create cut paths, and a CNC machine that is accurate enough to accomplish my goals.

I have not been able to find a company that will sell me a laser and any associated paraphernalia, without selling me the whole machine with proprietary software.

Can you suggest a source for a good laser that I can buy, independent of an entire system?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
All of this was just a thought. I am now looking into sandblasting options for tile, glass and rock, etc.

AGAIN, companies want to sell me the entire system, but I already have a CNC machine that can cut mat material, and create the designs. I am currently looking at the SCM stuff. Interesting website, but I have nothing to compare it to, so I don't know if it is reasonable, or obscenely priced for what you get.
 

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I operated an SCM beam saw in a cabinet factory. Beautiful machine. They told me it was worth $105,000. I don't think they make junk.
 
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