Uses for a Diamond Wire Rail Saw

Bluegrass patented rail saws at Gross ReservoirDiamond wire saws have been around for some time. These tools were initially used to cut through stone in quarries and later modified for other building and demolition purposes.

However, there is another type of saw that has proven vital to the completion of complex projects: the diamond wire rail saw. A diamond wire rail saw is a rail saw that uses a diamond wire to cut through a variety of surfaces. These are customized and versatile tools that deliver the most accurate concrete and metal cutting available. 

A rail saw is a series of metal beams, or rails, assembled to fit a particular structure. Rather than using a standard diamond wire saw to approach a job, rail saws are a superior means of deploying diamond wire within a rail framework to cut concrete structures. The wire is moved across a surface using wheels, pulleys, and hydraulic motors. The saw operates by rotating the diamond wire to penetrate the concrete.

There is a distinct difference between a diamond wire saw and a diamond wire rail saw. A diamond wire saw is a free-form saw that has diamond-embedded beads on a cable strung around a structure for cutting. Many people refer to these as “rope saws” due to their appearance. The diamond wire rail saw was designed and patented by Bluegrass Bit. No other company has created or uses diamond wire in a rail saw that functions in this manner. 

Advantages of Using a Diamond Wire Rail Saw

Bluegrass Bit invented the diamond wire rail saw, patented it, and is the only company building and using it. Because it’s our creation, we have the ability to modify it, reconfiguring the dimensions to meet the client’s needs and the job specifications.

Partnering with Bluegrass for your precision demolition needs means you will be working with a company using superior equipment. Your job will be done safely, precisely and on schedule, using a diamond wire saw customized for the job.

Rather than drilling core holes, we can drop the rail saw onto a concrete block and push the wire using hydraulic motors and wheels to create the desired cut. By eliminating that step, a diamond wire rail saw saves significant time and money. 

Uses for Diamond Wire Rail Saws

Diamond wire rail saws are excellent for projects requiring underwater cuts. They’re frequently used in heavy civil projects, cutting items like underwater bridge piles and concrete sills.

Rail saws are also used on offshore projects. While we have other saws able to handle some of these projects, we also customize rail saws when a job is large or complex enough to require one. 

We work with private companies, contracting firms, and government agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. We decommission structures as diverse as military vessels, bridges, and nuclear reactor heads. Our saws are also used to segment blocks for removal on structures undergoing modification, such as locks and dams, stadiums and foundations.

Projects Using a Diamond Wire Rail Saw

Two recent examples of projects Bluegrass successfully completed using diamond wire rail saws:

Blount Island Sill Removal

Located in Blount Island, FL, this US Marine Corp Support Facility needed to remove an underwater concrete sill that was impeding the ability of resupply vessels to fully access the location. 

Bluegrass Bit was awarded this project by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to remove concrete blocks located 50 feet underwater. The blocks were 426 feet long, 32 feet wide, and 15 feet tall. The diamond wire rail saw was custom-built for this job. 

Divers operated at 50-foot plus depths with minimum visibility. The job consisted of 27 vertical cuts and 28 horizontal cuts, with cut times averaging anywhere from 12-15 hours. The average size of a cut block was 32.5′ W x 15′ L x 10′ H. 

After simulating the job on land with the customized saw, our team successfully completed the project on-site, on schedule, and without breaking a single diamond wire.

Gross Reservoir Dam Expansion

Bluegrass Bit was contracted to assist with Denver Water’s Gross Reservoir Dam Expansion project in Boulder County, CO. In Project Phase I, the task was to remove the dam’s ogee crest, which measured 160′ L x 28′ W x 13′ H. 

This was another project taking place in extreme conditions; rather than operating underwater, this job location was high on the dam’s face. Multiple saws ran simultaneously to cut cement blocks weighing up to 60,0000 lbs. for removal. 

Our customized diamond wire rail saws were used to make precise vertical and horizontal cuts.  We also used traditional diamond wire saws after drilling core access holes.  This enabled us to accelerate cutting times and create a pattern allowing the installation of the rods needed for the safe removal of the cut blocks.

Using our patented rail saws combined with the expertise of our technicians, we were able to cut through over 20,000 SF of concrete at a rate of roughly 20 SF/hr with no safety incidents. 

Contact Bluegrass Bit for Your Precision Demolition Needs

If you have a unique or precision demolition project, learn more about how Bluegrass Bit can help. Since 1979, our team of experienced engineers and demolition experts has been serving clients’ needs in a broad spectrum of industries.

Not only are we the pioneers of many precision demolition techniques, we are also the only company offering our customers the option of accomplishing their goals by using diamond wire rail saws. Our solutions cut through the most challenging structures items in the harshest conditions with proven success, saving you time and money. Contact us today to learn about our services.

4 Types of Precision Demolition and the Advantage of Each Method


Dynamite or a crane with a wrecking ball can undoubtedly knock down a structure quickly, but for many projects, a more precise approach is necessary. With those destructive methods, you may not have a lot of choice about what gets destroyed, and there are many other downsides. 

Precision demolition allows more control over taking a structure apart, decommissioning a property, or making changes to a structure. Here is what you need to know about precision demolition as well as five different types of precision demolition methods and the advantages of each one. 

What Is Precision Demolition?

Precision demolition is also referred to as “controlled demolition.” Instead of blowing something up or knocking it down, it involves a more calculated approach to deconstruction. This can protect the integrity of the rest of the structure if only certain parts need to be removed or altered.

It can also save money because this type of demolition can produce less waste than traditional methods. Finally, precision demolition is a safer and more environmentally friendly approach to the deconstruction or alteration of a structure. 

4 Types of Precision Demolition and the Advantages of Each

Depending on the size and scope of the project, different types of precision demolition methods may be used. Here are five different types of precision demolition methods and the advantages of each.

Diamond Wire Sawing

Diamond wire sawing is a core component of Bluegrass Bit’s precision demolition services. We can configure and deploy these versatile saws to cut a variety of materials in some of the most extreme environments, excelling at underwater cutting. 

We custom build and test our diamond wire saws in-house, allowing us to deliver the most precise concrete and metal cutting services possible. The diamond beads along the wire do most of the work, creating friction that cuts through hard materials. 

Diamond wire saws are so versatile that they can be used to depths of up to 5,000+ feet. They are also a cost-effective solution compared to many other demotion methods. 

Bluegrass Bit recently used diamond wire sawing in support of Denver’s Gross Reservoir Expansion project. We removed the dam’s ogee crest in Project Phase 1 by sawing through the dam’s 28’ width.

Metal Cutting

Cutting through metal takes the right tools and expertise. Bluegrass Bit uses its specialized cutting tools and methods combined with industry-leading experts to offer precision metal cutting services. We cut through a variety of metals, such as exotic steel, stainless, inconel, zinc, and carbon-based alloys.

We make precise cuts in any environment, including those that require no sparks. Some of the jobs we tackle include cutting objects in nuclear reactors, airplane wings, ship rudders, compressor foundations, pipelines, steel turbine shafts, underwater conductors, and more. 

The main benefits of our tools and methods are their safety and precision. We can use air- or water-cooled cutting systems to avoid contamination or dangerous sparks. Many of our methods will also avoid excess vibration and reduce noise. 

We used our metal-cutting resources on a project for the Port of Los Angeles. The project required underwater cutting of metal berths before they could be removed by crane. We used a custom-built saw to complete the job at up to 28’ below the waterline safely and on schedule.

Core Drilling

Core Drilling is a precision demolition method used to achieve precise cuts in various demolition and repurposing projects. Bluegrass Bit can drill cores at depths up to 50’+ and any angle, with core diameters of up to 42”.

One of the main advantages of core drilling is the trueness of the cut. A core drill creates a perfectly round hole in a concrete structure with minimal disturbance. This hole can be used to access the structure for repairs or utilities. It is also used to feed in a diamond wire for saw cutting operations. 

Bluegrass Bit used core drilling as part of its Brunswick Nuclear Plant project, where we drilled a 42” diameter hole through the three-foot thick condensate pit.

Concrete Shaving

Concrete shaving is another precision demolition process that involves removing a layer from the concrete surface. This is often necessary to remove contamination in nuclear, waste, and other facilities constructed from concrete. 

Concrete shaving works by reducing the volume of concrete material on a wall, ceiling, or floor by shaving them to a predetermined depth. The contaminated materials are then carefully removed from the area, leaving it contamination free. The obvious advantage of this technique is that it allows facilities to remove contamination without a complete demolition and rebuild. 

Bluegrass Bit used concrete shaving during the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant decommission project. The initial phase required decontamination of all surfaces, which involved concrete shaving to .5” depths. 

When Precision Demolition Is Used

Precision demolition is a process that has come a long way over the past several decades. Bluegrass Bit uses its advanced equipment and technologies to assist clients in offshore, nuclear, heavy equipment, heavy metals, and heavy civil industries. Our methods work hundreds of feet in the air and in sub sea applications.   

Contact Bluegrass Bit for Your Demolition Project

If you need a precision demolition project completed, contact us to find out how we can help. Bluegrass Bit is a global expert in precision demolition and decommissioning services. Founded in 1979, our company has received worldwide recognition for its pioneering use of diamond wire sawing as a non-explosive technique and method for cutting concrete and metal underwater. 

Headquartered in Alabama, we also have offices in Louisiana, Texas, Wyoming and Florida.  We support every one of our jobs with a highly skilled team of engineers, mechanics, project managers, machinists, and administrative staff. Contact us today to learn more about our services.