Cutting Slate

Cutting Slate

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 4:30 pm

Anyone ever cut slate with a saw?

It seems every year I find something new to try, and I guess it should have been no surprise that just about a mile from me, a place I thought was a gravel pit ended up being an old Slate Quarry. Last year when I bulldozed my forest making it into a field I found a plethora of slate...some 4 feet by 4 feet and 10 inches thick. That is a big slab. I saved out some bigger slabs, but today I went specifically looking for slate and I found a pile of it, enough for me to do some projects around the house.

The first task was reducing them to a size big enough to handle. With an old chisel and a hammer I figured I would find out if splitting slate was as easy as it looked, and what I heard it was.


Now I know it is scary to think Mr. No Smoke out there in the back forty, beating away on rocks with a wide chisel in his hands...and it probably is, especially now since he drives a van, and all creepy guys have vans...but splitting slate is actually addictive. But here is the problem. With naturally occurring slate, splitting it is often hard because it is not cleanly cut, or put another way, no flat surface to rest my chisel upon. I looked at Harbor Freight and they sell a ton of diamond blades for reasonable prices (if I find out it works, I'll gladly invest in a better cutting wheel), but what to get?

Continuous diamond on the rim?
Serrated rim?

The variety is fairly extensive. I was just curious if others have cut slate with a saw and what they used. I did an extensive internet search and there is nothing conclusive. I would like to be able to cut something about 1-1/2 inches thick, either wet or dry, using my worm drive skilsaw, but what do I get for a blade?
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Re: Cutting Slate

PostBy: Freddy On: Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 6:05 pm

I use a diamond blade in my skill saw to cut pavement, cement blocks & the like. I'm sure it would cut slate. I wear a breathing mask do it dry. A 7 or 7 1/4" blade is only $15 or $20.
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Re: Cutting Slate

PostBy: Dennis On: Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 6:14 pm

most multi purpuse diamond blades should work.dry cut a line,then use water on the cut,the blade will last longer and you won't be hacking up dust buggers
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Re: Cutting Slate

PostBy: Den034071 On: Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 6:14 pm

Mason here ditto what fred said .If you have more cutting projects get a wet saw set up .Either way get a commercial quality face respirator . jack
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer, 3095

Re: Cutting Slate

PostBy: Rigar On: Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 6:39 pm

if ur just looking to chunk it up- a serated diamond blade should be fine...if its a finished edge I would try a continuos rim diamond blade
..Ive cut alot of stone...but very little slate.
if I remember need to really keep the 'chatter' down on slate when you cut it.
for what its worth....the little bit of slate I did cut was quite thin....maybe an inch...
good luck
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Re: Cutting Slate

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 7:06 pm

Well that certainly makes sense; with woodworking more teeth per inch equates to a smoother cut so I guess it would be the same with continuous rim versus segmented rim blades. I am just toying around to see how this works out. I am thinking maybe a slate floor in my foyer for starters then maybe a slate sink. I think it would be cool to have one and be able to say..."and we cut our own stone too."
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
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Re: Cutting Slate

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 7:27 pm

Those segmented blades are good for rough cutting, but, YES the continuous are for the finished product--then again, it depends what you're looking for finished product wise.
freetown fred
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Re: Cutting Slate

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 11:02 pm

possible to rent a industrial wet tile/stone cutter with a diamond tip blade? Not diamond coated, actual diamond tips. i'm in bluestone country here, and a heavy duty wet diamond tip blade is only way to cut stone. Water cools blade, and lubes stone, and washes cut stone out of cut. cutting the stone yourself and mamaking a pattern before hand, then cutting out is best way to go, lasts forever, and a one of a kind foyer.

Something lke this
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