Oh yeah, safety. I should have mentioned the lack of a belt guard and you picked up on the other areas of concern. I do have the belt guard but it will not fit over the current drive set-up. This saw was originally the student saw at UC. It had fallen into disrepair and UC has no equipment maintenance staff so I was able to acquire it. The OEM original motor, pulleys and belt were missing having been replaced with a small motor and V belt drive. When I upgraded the motor I went with a more robust drive belt – I did not go back to the OEM drive because of cost. Anyway, I am not near the drive when operating the saw. I would love to have a Plexiglas splash shield but since I have to push the specimen it would get in the way so I just get wet. This saw never had a drive system to move the specimen as it is basically a heavy duty tile saw. The sliding table does have holes in it to attach a potential vise but I have none to attach. Cutting “flat” specimens is not too much of a problem. Irregular shapes like the stromatoporoids though can be interesting.
In your explanation you mention some polishing materials. It sounds like you are able to take a specimen from cutting directly to polishing. Is that right? What grit size are these materials?