Just helped some friends move today. In the new house is, was a slate
pool table dominating a small rec room. So now I have three pieces of
slate, ~2ft x 4ft x 3/4", although useable area is somewhat less due to
screw holes and pocket notches.
Its too soft I would think for a lapping surface, but might make a nice
tops for some small tables, or ???
Anyway, my questions are:
1) Under what temp/humidity conditions should I store it? Can it spend
the winter in the garage in the upper Mid-west? Wrap it in plastic?
Just keep it of the floor?
2) Any one have any experience working slate. Hand vs. power? Hi
speed vs. low? Carbide? Scotch pads? Wet/dry paper/emery? Any sort
Any thoughts will be appreciated.
Store it where ever you want. It has been used for shingles on roofs,
floors in nicer motels, blackboards, etc.. It is VERY soft and even
worse, delaminates. Have seen it used as a hearth on a fireplce and
it looked very nice. It will work with anything you would use on
marble. How you work it depends on the end use.
Kevin , that was NOT a stupid question. Most people never run into any
or have enough to do anything with so they don't know much about it.
First time I ran into some I asked the identical questions and felt
foolish also. But I learned.
Depends on your slate. There's a lot of variation in it. Sawn or
cleaved ? (probably sawn, if it was a table). Cleaved slate
especially, it doesn't like getting damp and then cold, as it will
start to delaminate on the surface.
Slate works quite easily, but can split if you force it. Be carful
when drilling and always use a backing board. A "tile file", carbide
abrasive on either a steel file or a piece of gridwork, is useful.
Dust is a moderate hazard.
Speaking of slate....
I've got what I estimate must be several tons of the stuff in my garage.
This is not nice finished 3/4" stuff like you might buy for making a
patio, but huge thick hunks. Most of the pieces are 3-4 inches thick!
Most have one good (i.e. flat) side. Most are irregular shapes, ranging
up to about 4 square feet.
All of this is located in my garage in the City Island section of The
Bronx, New York City. It's free for the taking. I want to keep a few
pieces for some random projects I need to finish, but if you come with a
truck and do the labor of carrying it out of my garage, you can have all
the rest for free.
I honestly have no idea what (if anything) it's worth on the open
market, but right now it's just taking up space I could put to better
I have worked with slate shingles for small table tops. It can be cut with a
ceramic tile saw. The hardness of slate varies. Some pieces are solid and
others flake away when you work them. The edge needs to be protected on the
finished piece to prevent chipping.
Roger Poplin dba email@example.com
Slate is a rock.
It was around for hundreds of millions of years at great temperatures and
pressures before it was brought to the surface, and then sat around for
millions of years near the earth's surface before it quarried. Storing it
at "surface temperture and pressure" shouldn't be a problem (as long as it
isn't saturated w/ water, which should be hard to do). The reason it was
used for a pool table bed is its dimensional stability and relative hardness
(compared ot wood, anyway), and its fissility.
It is too soft to be used as a lapping surface. The most abundant minerals
in slate are micas (Mohs hardness ~ 2-1/2 to 4), but with some minor quartz,
feldspar etc., which are quite a bit harder harder (Mohs hardness ~7).
It'll cut easily w/ a diamond blade, but I'd be leary of using a carbide
blade on it. I'd think it produce ragged edges due to the fissility.
Just my $0.02 worth.
It was a rather small table, scarcely bigger than a bumper table. Even
still, I personally would have left it, but my friends apparently have
other plans, dictated by the confines of the room.
Several responses have suggested building a new table but I don't see a
big demand for a playing surface less than 40" x 60". Given the
diminutive surface, the slate might be better served as several future
Standard pool table is 4-1/2'x9' and a snooker table is 5'x10', so can
understand your comment.
Having far too many hours of my youth bent over real slate tables with live
cushions and high quality felt on top of that slate, guess I'm a little
It is a part of my past.
S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
Hehe ... know the feeling. Spent a good part of my youth playing straight
pool to supplement my income ... practiced straight pool for hours on end on
a snooker table, using regular balls.
When the money went down, the regulation table, and the bigger pockets, were
a piece of cake ... and the coin operated bar tables looked and felt like a
That might work. It's fine for a table top as long as you don't expect
it to resist all markings. You might be able to find a local stone
yard that would make any cuts you need with a jumbo water saw for less
money than you'd pay for a blade.
What colour is this slate ?
And does it matter ?
Here in the UK, we have two sorts of slate. Green slate comes from the
lake district. It's hard, doesn't split, and is sawn to shape. Lousy
for roofing, makes good billiard tables.
Grey slate (which is sometimes purplish) comes from North Wales. It
splits easily, so is used for roofing. I've also seen it used for
water tanks (all houses used to have one in the roofspace), formed
from slabs glued together with molten lead. Surface tends to fail
(slowly) if you leave it outdoors, especially with moss on it.
What's US slate like ? Where does it come from ?
Hostoricly, US slate is from the exact same deposits as UK slate, only
they're in the North East (these slate deposits formed when Europe and
North America were together) the properties are similar.
Now adays, slate in the US comes from India :(
Remove the dead poet to e-mail, tho CC'd posts are unwelcome.
Ask me about joining the NRA.
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