comparison to other stones, slate is a fairly soft stone. This type of stone is easy to work with. It is said that cutting slate is like "cutting butter". It does not require any special training but yes, you will need just little patience as thicker the slate, the more difficult it is to cut.
Slate Stone Cutting Tools
Slate stone can be cut using various cutting tools which depend on the size and thickness of the stone. The most common cutting tools are:
- Circular Saw
- Tile saw
- Wet saw etc.
The effective of these cutting tools vary depending on the blades that are used like as diamond blade, bicarbonate blades, masonry blades, fiber blades etc.
Types of Cuts in Slate Stone Cutting
One method of cutting slate stone is the dry cut method. Here you can use a diamond blade in a circular saw, or a bicarbonate blade in a jigsaw, or a hacksaw. It is to be noted that using jigsaw or hacksaw won't give a straight cut and hence this type of cut is not recommended. Also while dry cutting slate stones, there is the problem of creation of lots of dust from the stone and as a result it is necessary to use masks so as to not to inhale the dust. Because of these drawbacks, wet cut slate stone has become more popular.
This is a very convenient method of cutting slate stones. Wet cutting the stone makes a big muddy mess, but there's no airborne dust. You can use a wet saw for cutting. Here you place the slate stone on a sliding tray which moves into the spinning blade. The blade, the saw and stone are kept wet while cutting so that they do not become too hot. The cutting should be done in such an area that water can be easily pumped into the saw. Mark the cut on the slate with a pencil and place the slate on the tray. Place the blade on the marked portion and turn on the saw. The slate slowly moves towards the blade and the blade grinds through the stone. Continue until the blade has cut cleanly all the way through the slate.
Other Methods of Slate Cutting
A masonry blade in a portable circular saw will cut the stone. Diamond blades are now available for these saws that will cut any stone without needing water to protect the
blade from overheating. However, one must make sure that a good-quality dust
mask is used, since stone dust is bad for the lungs and dry cutting makes a
lot of it.
When cutting stone slabs, it is advisable to use a plywood straight-edge
with a guide attached for the saw base to run against. The saw glides on top
of the straight-edge, which stops just short of the blade. This prevents the
saw base from scratching the stone, as well as guiding the cut. Slate
doesn't take a polish well, and is too soft to hold a polish for long but it
can be sealed with various proprietary organic sealers.
For more information, you can also check our article Cutting Slate Tile- The Easy Way
: Chemical Properties
| Physical Properties
| Installing Slate Tile
| Slate Cleaning
| Slate Cutting
| Slate Sealer