Concrete/Concrete Cutting Vocabulary – Saw Jockey Concrete Cutting – Salt Lake City, Utah

As with any specialized field, the field of concrete/concrete cutting has some industry specific terms to describe our activities. Here are a few:

  • Core drilling – Drilling round holes in walls (e.g., for vents of wires) or slabs (e.g., for handrails) is called core drilling. The drill bits are hollow in the middle and when the cut is done, you have a nice round “core” of concrete left. Core drill bits can vary from 1″ to as big as you want (Saw Jockey currently has bits going up to 48″ in stock).
  • Cure – Concrete doesn’t dry. . . it cures. Cement particles and water interact in the curing process. Temperature and moisture greatly influence the speed and quality of the curing. The longer the process of curing the more durable the concrete becomes. An interesting note is that the curing process creates heat. Great concrete facts can be found here.
  • Flat Sawing – Flat saws are the most visible concrete cutting tools to the general public. Used when cutting flat surfaces (e.g. floors and roads), flat saws can quickly tackle many jobs. Because of their size, need to be operated in open spaces.
  • Green Sawing – Shortly after a concrete slab is poured (when the concrete is “green” = firm enough to stand on but not yet fully cured), “control joints” are cut into it to control any cracking. Green sawing can also be used to create a custom look (e.g., tiled) to the slab.
  • Hand Sawing – The name speaks for itself. These saws are held by a concrete cutting operator to accomplish the cut needed.
  • Hydraulics – While many concrete tools can be run with electric power, when we need a lot of power, we use hydraulic oil that is pumped at 2500 psi.
  • Over cuts – When you use a round blade to get through a flat surface, you need to cut beyond the boundary of the desired opening on the blade side of the wall/slab in order for the blade to reach the cut boundary on the back/under side of the wall/slab. This creates a “tick-tac-toe” look to the cut. The thicker the wall, or deeper the slab, the longer the over cut needs to be. Zero-over cuts (a.k.a. square cut corners) are possible by using a concrete chainsaw or ring saw in walls or by double cutting in walls or slabs (this involves cutting the desired perimeter of the opening and then cutting inside cuts to remove the middle and allow for the remainder to be chipped out). These tools and cuts increase the cost of the project.
  • Slurry – Water is used as a lubricant when concrete is cut. The mixture of water and the cut concrete is called “slurry.” Even when the slurry is vacuumed up, there is often a film of concrete powder that is left when it dries. This can be cleaned by using a dry broom (using a wet mop or broom will simply spread the dust).
  • Spalling – When concrete flakes from the surface or sides of a slab or wall. When concrete is removed, this can sometimes happen along the edges of the remaining concrete.
  • Starter – When removing concrete from a cut, it is often advantageous to remove a small “starter” portion before removing the remaining larger portion.
  • Tip/Flip and Break – After completing a concrete cutting job, there is always the issue of removing the concrete from the cut area and breaking it up (as well as disposal of the broken material). “Tip” is used for the removal of the concrete from a wall. “Flip” is removal from a slab.
  • Trenching – When you need an interior portion of your concrete slab removed (e.g., to move or add plumbing) it is called trenching. In open spaces, using a flat saw to trench is ideal. In cramped spaces, a hand saw is used.
  • Wall sawing – While a number of tools can be used to cut into a concrete wall (e.g., handsaws, chainsaws, ring saws) a wall saw is a saw mounted on a track on the wall to cut the desired opening. This allows for more control of the cut but is also slower (due to set up of the track) and thus will cost more.
  • Window bottom extensions – In many older homes, especially in their basements, the original windows are tiny and not up to current codes for egress (the ability to leave the basement through the opening in an emergency). To bring these windows up to current codes, the concrete below these windows is cut out to enable a larger window to be placed in. Often these are casement windows.
  • Wire sawing – Using a series of pulleys, a wire saw uses diamond wires to cut a piece of concrete by slowly contracting the wire till it goes through the form being cut.

Please contact Saw Jockey Concrete Cutting of Salt Lake City, Utah if you have questions about a concrete cutting or core drilling need. We are committed to giving our customers excellent quality work in a timely fashion at a reasonable price.

Comments (1)

  1. Thank you for explaining these terms about concrete cutting. My wife and I really want to add another window in our house, but to do it we would have to cut through concrete. We are not sure exactly what that is going entail, but now I have an idea about the vocabulary. Thanks for the info!

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