I have some big slates rescued from a demolition project in my yard.
They are about 3' by 4' and about an inch thick. I'd like to re-
purpose them but I need them smaller than that size. If I could break
that large slate into 4 smaller ones, I'd be thrilled.
How hard is this? What tools would I need? And how would I go about
slate isn't that hard. you could score the with a 4" diamond blade in a side
grinder, place a 1" dowel on the ground, and drop the score on the dowel.
clean up the broken edge with the side the blade.
you could cut all the way through the slate with the blade. it will just
take you a bit longer.
wear breathing protection (not a dust mask, but a real air mask rated for
i can just see him balancing a 3x4' slab on a tile saw. furthermore, the
widest cut he'll get is about 1' off the side; it can't cut the middle of a
3' span unless it's a hand held tile saw. makita makes one of those iirc.
I was thinking of one of the cheapo saws, not the better ones with the
sliding table, which would indeed be hard to use with a big slab like
that. The small ones have a stationary table and nothing on either side
of the blade to obstruct the cut, so you can cut down the middle of a
All in all, maybe easier to just score and break as others have suggested.
That's fceukd it. Having grown up in N Wales and worked with "finished"
blocks of slate as a youngster, I know it's fragile stuff. If the OP wants
four nice blocks of slate as a result of his endeavours then this must be
addressed using a flat bed saw. You might get away with a disc cutter
provided that the slate was soundly mounted to do the job.
If used for roofing, an edge needn't be too square. Use a pointed rock
hammer or hammer and chisel, and knock divots about every 2 inches
along your desired cut line. Knock 'em pretty deep, about 1/2 inch,
and it'll break off fairly cleanly. Clean up the resultant edge by
hangin the slab over a ridgid surface and knapping away. If a square
edge is desired, use a big wet saw or a diamond bladed cut-off saw. Tom
I'll suggest an approach different from the others you have
(I am in the Northeast US and have learned that bluestone of
quality is now quite difficult to obtain. It used to be
readily available, and quite cheap. That's no longer true.)
So, this may be way off target, but...
Unless you already know with certainty, I would suggest that
you check on the value of the pieces you have.
They may have significant value precisely because they are
If so, describe what you have to a stone worker, and you
may be able to trade the pieces you have for new ones, cut
All the best,
If I were to try it, and I havnt, I would score a 1/4" line with a
grinder, position a 2x4 or 1" Piece of wood under the score line on
grass, lift the slab and drop, and hope for a clean break. then do the
I like the suggestions here - I think I'll have my brother come over.
He and I can hold the tile saw upside down by its legs. My wife can
hold the hose to keep the saw blade wet.
Thanks for both the serious and humorous suggestions.
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