The better to cut flat slate

How and what to cut slate?

Posted March 3, 2013

Surely, the most widespread and popular roofing material in the territory of the former USSR is slate. It has found application everywhere. roofs, fences, garages. However, not everyone knows how to work with this material, as well as the main thing than to cut slate. We will try to give the most detailed answer about the nuances of working with this material.

For the production of slate, asbestos, Portland cement and water are used. However, foreign manufacturers, keeping up with the times, are trying to eliminate the use of asbestos, as a component harmful to the human body.

Modern slate coatings are reinforced with deep penetration primers and water-repellent paint (polymer) materials. Thus, the problem of asbestos fiber dust has been successfully eliminated.

Material advantages

The main advantage of using slate is its resistance to extremes of both high and low temperatures in various climatic zones, as well as its resistance to water resistance and resistance to aggressive UV exposure. In addition, its predominant property is excellent sound insulation of roofing and mansard structures.

Most often, the slate coating is produced in the form of rectangular sheets with a wavy surface to facilitate drainage from the roof surface. But today, for the construction and improvement of sites, flat sheets of slate cover are also produced. It is used by:

  • for installation of walls of utility rooms;
  • arrangement of fences and barriers;
  • in construction. when pouring foundations. as a permanent formwork, which serves as a waterproofing barrier, protecting the product from groundwater and blocking of the product.

Slate sheet cutting methods

we use a circular saw to cut slate

They use several methods, depending on what we cut the slate with:

  • angle grinder with stone disc,
  • diamond wheel angle grinder,
  • cutting machine,
  • jigsaw,
  • hacksaw, cutter, slate nail.
  • Let’s consider each of the sheet cutting methods in more detail.

First, you need to make the slate sheet more elastic and pliable, which will help us avoid fragility and protect our health from asbestos dust. For this we use ordinary water.

We moisten the rags with water, put them on the intended line, along which the slate will be cut, and leave for a couple of hours. The material has become softer, but you still need to be careful when pressing on it to avoid splitting. To cut wet slate, use an angle grinder, jigsaw or ordinary hacksaw.

How to properly work with slate?

learning to work with slate

Slate is a rather fragile and unsafe material if improperly organized work with it. Therefore, every builder must know how to cut slate., so that the cut of the sheet is even, so that the material does not crumble, and also so that your work does not harm your health.

As you know, slate consists of asbestos, which belongs to the class of silicates and, if inhaled, is unsafe for the human body.

In order to protect yourself and others as much as possible when working with slate sheets, strictly follow the basic rules:

  • when working, be sure to use personal protective equipment such as a respirator, gloves and goggles;
  • wet material to reduce dust;
  • sit outside so that when cutting slate, dust is blown away by the wind.

How to cut wave slate?

If your farm has an angle grinder equipped with a diamond wheel, then the question “how to cut slate” has already been resolved. Using diamond discs on an angle grinder, we make cuts in different directions and grind the edges. If we use this method in the winter, then we carry out cutting in the snow, bringing an angle grinder on top of the sheet, as a result of which the dust is not sprayed.

Another way to cut slate is using a cutting machine to which a stone disc is attached. The method is as follows: we moisten the line of the cut of the leaf, lightly sweep it with a disc, moisten it again, sweep it a little deeper with the disc and repeat this several times until the maximum deepening of the mowing line of the cut. After which the slate can be easily broken and unnecessary marriage avoided.

Cutting flat sheets

cutting flat sheets

If you are going to use flat slate in construction, then there are several methods that will help you decide what to cut flat slate.

Basically you can use an angle grinder with a stone disc. But for this you need an assistant. The scheme of work is as follows. you cut the sheet, and the assistant pours water in a thin stream into the place of the cut. This method will help you to reduce the dustiness of the environment and the tool. Since asbestos dust accumulates, dries up and, as a result, becomes difficult to remove, all contamination must be washed off after work.

The cutter will also help with cutting flat slate sheets. On the sheet, mark the line of the cut, after placing the slate on a flat, even surface. We run the cutter several times along this mowing line, deepening the cut, and carefully break the sheet along the cut mowing line.

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But the easiest way is to use such an improvised tool as a slate nail and hammer. Only with the help of the construction of a slate nail, the sheet will be cut without damage and chips. To do this, on the marked mowing line of the cut with a slate nail and a hammer, we punch holes, put a block under the line of the cut and break a sheet of slate. In this case, you need to remember that the more holes, the smoother the cut.

Choosing a convenient and effective method of cutting slate, you can once again emphasize the practicality and ease of use of this roofing material in the modern construction of cozy houses and summer cottages.

How to organize slate cutting

Slate is characterized by sufficient brittleness, which is why very small asbestos fibers and particles are formed during the breaking or sawing of sheets. As you know, asbestos is one of the harmful substances that provoke the occurrence of cancer. So that cutting the material is not accompanied by its destruction, with the appearance of asbestos dust, you need to know what the slate is cut with and use protective equipment.

Requirement for cutting slate sheets:

  • Mandatory use of personal protective equipment. For the respiratory system, this is a respirator, for the eyes. special glasses, for the skin. gloves and thick clothing. In addition, a lot of noise is generated during the operation of the cut-off electric tool: ear muffs will help from it.
  • In order to reduce the amount of dust generated by an order of magnitude and make the slate not so fragile, the cut section is moistened with water before cutting. To do this, you can use wet rags or direct watering of the cut mowing line during operation.
  • When working outdoors, it is important to find such a place that the resulting asbestos dust is blown away by the wind to the side of the operator.
  • If the procedure is carried out indoors, there should be no one in it except workers. All doors must be tightly closed, taking measures to further seal them.

Cutting slate. how to cut flat slate?

Cutting flat slate is fastest with an angle grinder and stone disc. If you need to cut on a hard surface that is highly undesirable to damage, place a wooden strip under the slate sheet, not far from the place where the cut will take place. However, this option will help you out when you need to cut close to the edge. If you need to cut the sheet in the middle, then it is best to put the slate on a flat surface that will not be scared to damage, for example, on the ground.

It is best to work with an assistant. while one person is cutting, the second will constantly wet the cutting site with a thin stream of water from a hose or bottle. If there is no assistant, then try to bring a hose to the place of the cut, so that the water spreads along the plane of the slate in the place where you will cut. In this way, you can avoid spraying asbestos dust, which will flow to the ground in the form of dirt. Rinse off residues from tools and surfaces, as the dirt will harden as it dries. Using the same angle grinder and diamond wheel, you can not only cut, but also grind the edges of the slate. Cutting slate with an angle grinder is a very noisy undertaking, so earmuffs shouldn’t be in the way.

How else can you cut slate from power tools? Indeed, an angle grinder is not the only solution to the problem, a jigsaw or even a hacksaw with a fine tooth will do. However, in this case, get ready for a long marathon. these tools are suitable only for small amounts of work. To make it easier to cut with a jigsaw, and even more so with a hacksaw, put a wet rag over the cutting site and let it stand for at least a couple of hours. Just do not get carried away. remember that the sheets from moisture will become not only elastic, but also more fragile, so you should not press too much. When working with a jigsaw, set a reduced spindle speed.

Alternative options

  • Sometimes there are tips to saw the slate with a hacksaw for wood or metal. So if you value your tool, then I do not recommend you to do this. precisely, you can cut the ondulin like this, and on the asbestos-cement slate the canvas will “sit down” very quickly;
  • There is an option to use a jigsaw for cutting sheets. The option is working, but in this case you need to stock up on replaceable blades for a jigsaw, since they will deteriorate very quickly.

A hacksaw and a jigsaw cut ondulin well, but quickly sit on asbestos-cement sheets.

How can you cut slate from power tools

In addition to the angle grinder, a cutting machine equipped with a stone cutting disc can be used to cut slate. The preparatory procedure here is the same as in the case of an angle grinder: the sheet is first marked and then moistened. When working with a cut-off machine, it is important not to allow any shifts by running the disc exactly along the markings. It is usually not possible to cut the slate in one approach, therefore, after wetting the incision with water, the procedure is repeated again, due to which the incision deepens. As a rule, in order to comfortably break the slate, 3-4 such approaches are required.

For sawing wet slate, you can use a regular jigsaw, equipping it with fine-toothed blades. In this case, the spindle is set to the low gear mode. When using this tool, it is important to be very careful to avoid any pressure on the slate, otherwise it will crumble. The use of a jigsaw is justified only in the case of small volumes of such work.

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How harmful is asbestos-cement slate

Many have heard that asbestos, respectively, and asbestos-cement slate is harmful, but almost no one knows what. So, it is not slate that is harmful, but getting on the mucous membrane, to be precise, inhalation of asbestos dust. Small particles can provoke tumors.

What is the harm from asbestos dust.

If you put on a good respirator and goggles, and even water the cut with water, then the risk of getting such dust on the mucous membrane is negligible. And the inflated hysteria about the harm of asbestos as such is just one of the ways of unfair competition and nothing more. Indeed, even in the manufacture of money, asbestos is used.

Elementary dust collector for angle grinder collects up to 70% of dust.

Three ways of cutting

Asbestos-based roofing sheets have been in use for over half a century. At the moment, there is a wave and flat slate. Specifically in the roofing business, the wave option is more popular.

But for flat sheets, the scope of application is much wider, in addition to the roof, walls are sheathed with them, fences are made of them and even used as sides for beds in the country. But wherever this material is mounted, cutting is needed everywhere.

Arrangement of beds with straight or wave slate is a fairly common practice.

It is quite possible to cut asbestos-cement slate with your own hands. I can assure you that the methods presented above work, the only difference is in the quality of the cut edge. If you have any questions, write in the comments, I will try to help.

Slate is still considered the most popular roofing material.

punch

The above methods work, of course, well, but what to do if only a hammer and slate nails are at hand from the tool? It turns out that there is also a way out of this situation:

How to CUT SLATE. How to cut slates Thick or Thin DIY or Trade

  • Simply lay the sheet on the ground and mark the cutting line on it;
  • Then take a nail and punch a row of holes along the mowing line. You only need to beat at the bottom of the wave, the one that rests on the ground;
  • Now turn the sheet over and hit the mowing line with a row of holes, again at the bottom of the wave;
  • As a result, along the mowing line of the cut, you get an even row of holes with a step of about 5. 7 mm. You only need to rest the sheet on some even edge and break it off along the mowing line of the cut.

It is impossible to achieve an even edge of the sheet with a punch.

How can you cut slate from power tools

In addition to the angle grinder, a cutting machine equipped with a stone cutting disc can be used to cut slate. The preparatory procedure here is the same as in the case of an angle grinder: the sheet is first marked and then moistened. When working with a cut-off machine, it is important not to allow any shifts by running the disc exactly along the markings. It is usually not possible to cut the slate in one approach, therefore, after wetting the incision with water, the procedure is repeated again, due to which the incision deepens. As a rule, in order to comfortably break the slate, 3-4 such approaches are required.

For sawing wet slate, you can use a regular jigsaw, equipping it with fine-toothed blades. In this case, the spindle is set to the low gear mode. When using this tool, it is important to be very careful to avoid any pressure on the slate, otherwise it will crumble. The use of a jigsaw is justified only in the case of small volumes of such work.

How to cut slate with an angle grinder. which disc is cut

This procedure can be performed using two types of slate discs:

Disc for stone. In this case, no significant effort is required. It is important to organize a constant supply of water in a thin stream to the point of contact between the angle grinder and slate. In this way, the disc is cooled and dust is prevented. The easiest way to do this is to have a helper with a garden hose or cut up plastic bottle next to it. When working alone, the water hose is secured in a convenient position for watering. Using an angle grinder and stone disc, it is best to cut along the slate wave. For convenience, before starting work, the sheet is marked out and laid on a flat surface. If the cut is made near the edge of the sheet, a wide board is installed under it.

If it is necessary to cut in the direction transverse to the waves, the procedure is divided into two stages. First, an incision is made on the convex ridges. Then, turning the slate over, the procedure is repeated: it turns out that the ridges that were below are on top. If done correctly, the sheet neatly splits in two. At the end of the work, the tool should be thoroughly wiped from dust, especially its working part. The fact is that if the asbestos-cement layers become fossilized, it will be very difficult to remove them from the surface of the disc for an angle grinder on slate. Use a soft dry cloth for cleaning.

Diamond wheel. Using an angle grinder with a diamond wheel, you can cut slate in any direction. For greater efficiency, it is pre-wetted, increasing the elasticity and pliability of the material. In addition, it will significantly reduce the amount of dust generated. If the cutting is carried out in winter, then the slate sheets can simply be laid on top of the snow: in this case, most of the asbestos dust will simply be absorbed into the snow cover.

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In addition to cutting in any direction, the diamond angle grinder can also grind the edges of the slate sheet. This improves the resistance of the material to climatic influences. It is also convenient to cut the corners of the sheets with a diamond wheel if they do not move by half during laying.

How to cut slate. an overview of tools and cutting methods

Flat and corrugated slate sheets are widely used as roofing materials. During their installation, there is a need for cutting, which is a rather specific operation.

Mechanical tools

If slate cutting is carried out indoors, or a suitable power tool for work is not available, classic techniques come to the rescue than cutting slate.

In this case, the wetted sheet can be cut in the following ways:

  • Hand hacksaw. For this, a tool with replaceable blades and fine teeth is suitable. You should stock up on several such canvases in advance, since in the course of work they quickly become dull and clogged with asbestos dust. When cutting, it is recommended to avoid pressure, otherwise the fragile material may break.
  • Manual cutter. In this case, it will be necessary to deepen the incision several times along the applied markings. Between approaches it is necessary to wet the line of the notch. When the cutter is 2/3 deeper than the plate thickness, it can be broken. To do this, a wooden plank is placed under the slate, just along the mowing line of the notch: after pressing the edges of the sheet, it will easily split into two parts.
  • Hammer and roofing nail. For this, the line is carefully pierced with a nail in many places. It is advisable to make as many of these holes as possible. this will only contribute to the quality of the fault. When making holes in the direction longitudinal to the wave, the slate is turned so that this wave passes below. After applying a series of holes, a wooden block or rail is placed under them: by pressing on the edges of the sheet, they break it. To facilitate this procedure, it is allowed to tap the break line with a hammer.

To implement this method, you will need special slate nails. They are distinguished from ordinary ones by the presence of a special shape of the rod and a soft head, which allows avoiding splitting of sheets during driving. To speed up the process of equipping the slate with a series of holes, roofing nails are stuffed into the block. This kind of comb is usually used for constant work with slate sheets.

How to organize slate cutting

Slate is characterized by sufficient brittleness, which is why very small asbestos fibers and particles are formed during the breaking or sawing of sheets. As you know, asbestos is one of the harmful substances that provoke the occurrence of cancer. So that cutting the material is not accompanied by its destruction, with the appearance of asbestos dust, you need to know what the slate is cut with and use protective equipment.

Requirement for cutting slate sheets:

  • Mandatory use of personal protective equipment. For the respiratory system, this is a respirator, for the eyes. special glasses, for the skin. gloves and thick clothing. In addition, a lot of noise is generated during the operation of the cut-off electric tool: ear muffs will help from it.
  • In order to reduce the amount of dust generated by an order of magnitude and make the slate not so fragile, the cut section is moistened with water before cutting. To do this, you can use wet rags or direct watering of the cut mowing line during operation.
  • When working outdoors, it is important to find such a place that the resulting asbestos dust is blown away by the wind to the side of the operator.
  • If the procedure is carried out indoors, there should be no one in it except workers. All doors must be tightly closed, taking measures to further seal them.

Cutting flat slate at home

To separate flat slate sheets, any method of cutting corrugated slate can be adopted. However, it is most convenient to cut smooth slate with an angle grinder with a disc over a stone. For the procedure, a flat surface is selected on which the material is laid. it can be a simple wooden flooring, or a dense soil area. The main thing is that the bottom base is not expensive, as it will be damaged during cutting. When cutting near the edge of the slate, it is advisable to put a wooden strip of the required length under it. Before cutting flat slate at home, you need to organize the supply of water to the work site to reduce the amount of asbestos dust

Regardless of which disc the slate is cut with, it is important to avoid haste and be as careful as possible. Any careless movement can lead to splitting of the sheets, which, as you know, cannot be glued. If such work is carried out for the first time, it is imperative to read the recommendations on how to saw off the slate. If possible, it is better to practice on an unnecessary old piece of material first.

better, flat, slate