Or more aptly named, “Have Wet Saw, Will Cut Anything”.

Our landscape designer put into the landscape master plan a narrower walkway made with nice paver stones or cobble stones. This involves ripping out the concrete walkway from our front door to the sidewalk. After installing pavers in the back driveway, I knew that this would be a BIG project - and would require much more money than we’d like to spend. So we decided to modify the plan and narrow the walkway (from 5.5 feet wide to 4 feet) before adding edging. Narrowing the walkway seems a bit obscure, but it helps “connect” the two parts of yard into one garden.

So here’s where the wet saw comes in.

cutting the concrete
First cut

After working on many tiling projects with the wet saw, I decided it could cut anything.  I mounted the diamond coated blade onto an old circular saw. Since I don’t have an outdoor hose & spigot (I had it disconnected when we remodeled the bathrooms, and have not replaced it yet), I used a watering can to wet the concrete to be cut and to wet the saw blade. The water: 1) lubricates the blade while cutting, 2) cools the blade, 3) reduces/eliminates any fine dust created from the grinding action of the saw.

When I first started, I set the circular saw to its maximum depth of around 3 inches. Bad idea. Despite my best efforts, I could not cut the concrete with just one pass. So I reset the blade depth to about 0.5″. After every pass, I would increase the blade depth 0.5″ and deepen the cut until I reached 3″. That’s about six cuts. Then I had to make relief cuts in the concrete to make smaller chunks so I could remove the concrete more easily.

Removing the concrete was just as hard. The concrete is thicker than 3″ cut I made, so I ended up digging all the dirt and fill from under the concrete sections that I had cut, and then stomping and jumping up and down on the concrete until it broke off. I even used a small sledgehammer when I got tired of jumping.

cutting and removing the concrete
More cutting and removal of concrete

After all the concrete was removed, I needed to edge the newly cut concrete. I tried reusing the concrete curb, but it definitely “highlighted” my not so straight cut with the wet saw. You can see a lot of the gaps in the picture below.with concrete curb as edge
Concrete edging

more concrete curb
Concrete edging not looking so good

So we decided to use cobble stones as the walkway edging instead.

cobbles as edge
Cobble stone edging

If you’re wondering why the cobbles are set at different heights (the left side is set at walkway level, the right side set above walkway), it’s because our yard slopes slightly and we wanted to make level planting areas.