cutting paving slabs

We (me and father-in-law) need to cut a few paving slabs (3 of them).
These are 1960s concrete paving slabs 2ftx3ft. FIL has done a lot
of building work, but he has not used many power tools. He wants to
do it by drilling a series of holes and then breaking the slab along
that line of holes. I am not too keen on this because the edge of the
slab will be fairtly visible and i don't think it will look nice. Also
we have exactly the right number of slabs and don't want to risk
breaking one in the wrong place. We'd rather not bring in new ones as
they won't match the nice 'patina' of the 1960s originals. (sounds
daft I know but...)
I know you can cut slabs with a diamond cutting disk on a machine
which I could hire or even buy. I am pretty handy but do not have
much experience of powered cutting other than a hand held circular
saw. Would it be safe for me to attempt this or are such machines
dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced but enthusiatic?
Perhaps could pay a builder to come and do the cuts.
Thanks for any comments anyone cares to make,
Robert
Reply to
RobertL
Its easy enough for a novice (i.e. me) the usual safety precautions apply, especially with regard to your toes :) Also cut the slabs somewhere that wont matter if the disk goes through the slab and into the surface underneath... the grass or an old pallet is ideal.
Reply to
gerry
Reasonable. The drilling holes idea is not going to be a good one.
You can rent such machines. They are safe enough. Make sure that the slabs are properly supported on the ground and make sure you have correct spec eye protection - rental place will advise on this.
It's worth getting a couple of new slabs on which to practice.
or someone who lays drives and paths etc. For this small quantity, that might be the economic choice.
Reply to
Andy Hall
================================== Even a small 115mm / 4 1/2" angle grinder will do a few cuts if you're worried about the weight of a 9" cutter. The technique is to cut as deeply as you can on one side and then break along the cut line as if breaking a wall tile. An angle grinder with a diamond disk used with a light touch is perfectly safe provided that you use adequate eye protection and work on a solid base.
If you will be discarding the offcuts do a few practice cuts on the waste areas before you work on the final cuts.
Cic.
Reply to
Cicero
Hi Robert
I brought my self a cheap 4.5" angle grinder from B&Q at first I tried the standard abrasive discs which did not work well at all. The diamond disc is the way to go I brought the cheapest one I could find and it is still going strong.
Cut the slabs on the ground as Gerry recomends. The Angle grinder is fairly easy to control but can jump if it is twisted in the cut so I used a strong pair of shoes and keped my feet at the oppisite direction the angle grinder would jump in if I twisted the blade in the cut.
Straight cuts are easy but curves are a little more difficult.
Good luck Tom
Reply to
thomsewe
I've used the standard discs in a small grinder. One disc per slab if you're lucky but, if you're only doing a couple....
Reply to
Stuart Noble
Old slabs are quite soft compared to new ones, so they cut easily with a masonry cutting disc. For just 3 cuts, firstly ask if anyone local will cut them, if not, buy a cheap 115mm grinder, and 3 masonry discs - easily available for £25.
You only need to go halfway through the slab,then put a piece of 2x1" wood under the cut, and give it a sharp tap, and it should break cleanly along the cut. Alan.
Reply to
A.Lee
On 1 Oct,
The cost of a diamond disk these days makes it not worth considering alternatives, It's so much easier with a diamond disc.
Reply to
<me9
Some independent hire shops will cut them for you at a small charge. They invariable have the big radial arm slab cutters hanging around the yard. Don't bother with the big chains like Speedy, Brandon, HSS etc, find the little shop.
Grab YP & ring around.
Reply to
The Medway Handyman
Thank you all for this very useful advice. I will be cutting only straight lines. i'll report back with my experiences.
best wishes,
Robert
Reply to
RobertL
Before I rush off and buy/rent a grinder I wanted to check the group's view on doing this job with an ordinary circular saw. I only need to do straight cuts and Ithink you can get masonry blades (diamond) for a circular saw. I already own a good circular saw with a 6" blade (IIRC). Would this be a possible way to go or is it really better to use an angle grinder?
Thanks you,
Robert
Reply to
RobertL
Grinders usually run at x2.5 the speed of a circular saw and probably handle the dust better. There has to be a reason grinders are the norm
Reply to
Stuart Noble
Argos have got a grinder for =A310, not worth risking your circular saw for.
Try keeping the dust away from the motor air intake slots on the grinder, a windy day might help.
cheers, Pete.
Reply to
Pete C

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