How to Saw a Slate Without an Angle Grinder

To successfully cope with the installation of flat or wavy slate sheets, it is important to know how to cut the slate and what precautions should be taken to protect your health.

how to cut a slate without an angle grinder

Organization of work when cutting slate

Slate is a rather fragile material, and when it is broken or sawed into the air, the smallest particles and fibers of asbestos, which are extremely harmful to health, get into the air. In order to avoid the destruction of sheets not along the cut line, as well as to protect themselves from the negative effects of asbestos dust, the technology of work should be strictly observed and protective equipment should be used.

In the course of cutting slate sheets:

  • it is required to protect respiratory organs with a respirator, eyes with construction glasses, skin with gloves and tight clothing. The operation of power tools (angle grinder, detachable machine, jigsaw, etc.) is accompanied by loud noise, so it is recommended to use protective headphones;
  • to reduce dust emission and reduce the fragility of slate, you can pre-moisten the cut with water with wet rags, or water the contact point of the power tool with sheet material during cutting;
  • in the open air, it is recommended to find a comfortable working position on the leeward side, so that the wind blows to the side that is released when sawing asbestos dust;
  • when working in a room, everyone who is not directly involved in work should be removed from it, the door should be tightly closed and care should be taken to prevent asbestos dust from entering neighboring rooms.

Further we will consider how to cut slate for a roof: wavy and flat asbestos-cement sheets give in to various tools.

Slate cutting angle grinder with stone disc

Using an angle grinder (angle grinder) equipped with a stone disc, you can effortlessly saw a sheet of wave slate. The work technology requires the use of water, which must be supplied in a thin stream to the place of cut. this will simultaneously cool the working part of the tool and prevent the appearance of harmful asbestos dust.

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To supply water, you need an assistant who will hold the hose or water the incision with water from an ordinary plastic bottle. In this case, the dust will not fly away, but will drain to the ground with water. If there is no assistant, then you can fix the hose with water at hand so that it flows on the cut.

It is convenient to cut sheets of roofing material along the wave with an angle machine (hereinafter referred to as UGShM) with a stone disc. First you need to mark the place of the cut, put the sheet on a flat plot of land so that the cut falls on the lower wave, or on wide boards so that the cut is located near the edge of one of them.

If you have to cut the sheet across the wave, the operation is carried out in two steps: at the first stage, convex ridges are cut along the planned line, at the second stage, the sheet is turned over and the convex ridges that previously remained below are cut. With this method, the slate is cut through and it itself splits into two parts.

At the end of the work, immediately clean and dry the tool, paying special attention to its working part. Particles of asbestos cement, adhering and hardened, are very difficult to remove later.

Video: How to Saw a Slate Without an Angle Grinder


Use for cutting angle grinder with diamond wheel

Having at its disposal UGShM with a diamond wheel, it is possible to cut slate sheets both along and across the waves. It is preliminarily required to wet the material well by laying very wet rags along the cut line and leaving them there for about three hours. Wet slate becomes more elastic, supple, less dusty.

it is convenient to cut slate sheets in the winter, laying them on snow, with an angle grinder equipped with a diamond wheel. Since the working part of the tool is in contact with the material from above, the main part of asbestos dust will settle on the snow and will not fly apart.

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UGShM with a diamond wheel will help to cope with the cutting of sheets in any direction, and will also allow to polish their edges, making the material more resistant to destruction under the influence of atmospheric influences. Using a diamond wheel, it is also convenient to cut the corners of the sheets if they are planned to be mounted without shifting half the width.

Before embarking on an independent work, it is recommended to watch a thematic video on how to properly cut a slate sheet with a diamond wheel power tool.

The use of other power tools for cutting slate

To accurately cut the slate sheet, it is enough to have at its disposal a cutting machine on which a stone cutting disc is mounted. Having drawn the line of the future cut, it is necessary to wet the material well. Then it is required to draw the disc exactly along the intended line, without pressure, to make a shallow incision. The resulting incision is moistened (wetted with water from a plastic bottle, but it is better to put wet rags for a while), after which it should again be drawn along the cut line with the working part of the cutting machine, deepening it. The cycle is repeated three to four times, after which the sheet is easily broken.

Pre-soaked wave slate can also be sawed with an ordinary jigsaw. It is important to use blades with small teeth and shift the spindle to a lower gear. Work with the tool carefully, without pressing on the material, otherwise it will begin to crumble. It makes sense to use a jigsaw only if you need to cut a small number of sheets.

How to do without a power tool

If you have to work indoors or if there are no suitable electrical tools available, you can use the classic methods of cutting corrugated slate sheets. After wetting the asbestos-cement material, you can:

  • saw it with a hand hacksaw. It is necessary to use a tool with interchangeable blades with a small tooth, since the working part will be blunt enough quickly and become clogged with asbestos-cement crumb. It is better to cut without pressure so as not to break brittle material;
  • cut with a conventional hand torch. The notch along the marked line deepens into several passes, which alternate with the soaking of the slate. When the cutter will be deepened by more than 2/3 of the sheet thickness, a wooden plank should be placed under the notch and press on the edges of the sheet. it will fall into two parts.
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You can split the slate sheet without using cutting tools, using only a hammer and a roofing nail. A lot of holes are punched with a nail along the intended line (along or across the wave). the more there are, the smoother the fault line and the easier it is to break off the excess part of the sheet. If the holes make their way along the wave, turn the sheet so that this wave is lower. After the chain of holes has been punched, a long rail or bar is placed under the planned fishing line, after which the sheet is broken by clicking on the edges. You can also tap the material in a line from the holes with the side of the hammer.

This technology requires the use of only special slate nails. They have a special rod configuration and a head made of soft metal. when driving a roofing nail, the slate does not crack.

If you want to split a lot of slate sheets, the punching process can be accelerated. To do this, drive a number of roofing nails into the bar and punch the slate with a finished “comb”.

You can find out how to properly “cut” slate sheets without dust from the video clip.

Work with flat slate

Choosing how to cut a flat slate, you should pay attention to all the technologies and tools that are used for corrugated sheets, but it is best to use an angle grinder with a stone disc.

The flat sheet must be laid on a flat surface. This can be a site with dense soil or wooden flooring, which is not a pity to accidentally damage a power tool. If the cut line is close to the edge of the sheet, this edge can be supported on a long rail for ease of use. Remember to feed water to cut to reduce dust. The thematic video will help to understand the question of how durable the slate is.