How do you cut thick slabs of slate?
September 28, 2007 6:46 AM   Subscribe

How would you cut make clean, straight cuts in 3/4 inch thick black slate?

I have large pieces of 3/4 inch black slate originally from an old pool table. I would like to cut out rectangular pieces to inset into the kitchen counter I am building (for myself). I would like to make fairly accurate straight cuts. I've tried scoring and hammering with hilarious results, next up is a circular saw with an abrasive blade but I wonder if I should even bother...
posted by geos to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Tile saw.
posted by yohko at 6:54 AM on September 28, 2007

You need a tile saw, and you need to cut the tile wet.
posted by fake at 7:09 AM on September 28, 2007

Response by poster: the longest cut would have to be about 30in; longer than the usual tile saw is built for...
posted by geos at 7:10 AM on September 28, 2007

Response by poster: I guess i was wondering whether a circular saw with the standard masonry blade could do in place of an industrial tile saw.

is it too much for the motor on a portable saw?

is the standard abrasive blade for masonry the wrong idea?

...slate is sort of like concrete.
posted by geos at 7:15 AM on September 28, 2007

Take it to a place that sells custom granite countertops, and pay them to cut it.
posted by yohko at 7:15 AM on September 28, 2007

Best answer: Or try this.
posted by yohko at 7:18 AM on September 28, 2007

Everyone mentioned a tile saw, however, the most important part is the blade. I have used diamond tipped blades in the past that work really well. They usually cut faster and cleaner. BTW, You don't have to go diamond (they are usually more expensive).

Here is a good list, just a basic google search will return plenty of options
posted by birdlips at 7:22 AM on September 28, 2007

Best answer: Slate is relatively soft. A circular saw (using a fence of course) with a masonry or diamond blade would handle it with no problem. You'd have major dust though.
posted by Neiltupper at 7:32 AM on September 28, 2007

What a great excuse to rent a concrete chainsaw, and fashion a simple rip fence from some random lumber and clamps. :)
posted by Myself at 8:04 AM on September 28, 2007

Best answer: You can use a circular saw to do this, but it might well ruin the saw, from the dust and the wear. I might buy a cheap ryobi for the task. Also since you won't be able to use water it'll make an unholy mess.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:21 AM on September 28, 2007

Find a tool lending library in your area (Home Depot rents tools, too) and get a circular saw meant for wet cutting (see this page for an example) and a friend to man the hose to keep down the dust.
posted by pmbuko at 8:24 AM on September 28, 2007

Response by poster: thanks, it seems like the circular saw + masonry blade isn't totally crazy and I wasn't thinking about the dust problem so now i'll be prepared... wait another couple of months to actually do it.
posted by geos at 8:30 AM on September 28, 2007

Harbor Freight has diamond circular saw blades for ~$8.
posted by electroboy at 11:22 AM on September 28, 2007

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