0

I'm installing a dry-laid patio covered with 24" square, 1.5" thick, geo-cut thermal bluestone slabs. These are the cuts I will need to make:

  • 22 slabs will need a straight cut across the entire 24" length
  • 4 slabs will need a straight cut at a 45 degree angle to the square face (a few inches in length)
  • 1 piece will need an inside corner cut (remove a small rectangle from one corner)

The slabs will be placed with minimal joints so straight cuts are important. The cut edge won't be visible so surface polish is not important.

It's a fairly large project (430 SF patio) so I'm open to purchasing or renting equipment if that speeds up the job or gives better results. I own a small angle grinder (4-1/2" blade, 8.5A motor) and a circular saw (7-1/4" blade, 15A non-worm drive motor) and a few basic stone-shaping hand tools.

Have any advice on making these cuts? I'm particularly unsure how to approach an inside corner cut.

  • Is blue stone the same as sandstone? If it is I have used a skill saw to cut large blocks in the past I found a high tooth count blade worked well and a blade lasted the whole job, at first I tried a ripping blade but that really caused chips. I am sure this is hard on the saw but I cut all kinds of stuff with my skill saw, salt blocks, sheet metal and even wood. – Ed Beal Nov 2 '18 at 19:10
  • Many people use "skil saw" to refer to a worm-drive circular saw. Is this what you own? Mine is a sidewinder direct drive saw. A direct drive saw would have less torque than a worm drive saw. I've been told this makes it less suitable for cutting stone but I have no direct experience. Of course neither is setup for water to keep down dust. – Stanwood Nov 2 '18 at 19:18
  • I have both. on the salt blocks I use the side winder because they are cheap throw away saws and my worm drives are expensive. The salt kills them. But the side winder should work with a high tooth count. – Ed Beal Nov 2 '18 at 19:23
  • 1
    From the web: "Pennsylvania bluestone is a dense, strong, fine-grained sandstone quarried in the northeastern United States." – Stanwood Nov 5 '18 at 13:07
  • Have you tried lifting and working with these stone slabs yet? These are going to be really heavy. Do you have helpers or equipment to help you move and place these for installation? – auujay Nov 5 '18 at 13:44
1

I have cut sandstone with both a sidewinder and wormdrive. Use a high tooth count so it won't chip the edges as bad but it will work, also safety glasses / face shield gloves and even long sleeve shirt help protect you, thanks for what blue stone is.

1

I have done something similar but with far looser tolerances. I had an old bluestone sidewalk replaced and salvaged the large pieces for other walkways around the yard.

I used a cheap 4 1/2 inch angle grinder with a diamond/masonry blade. My stone was more like 2 or 2 1/2 inches so the blade would not cut all the way through. I would run the blade for a cut, which would make it more than halfway through the slab. Then I would slide a 2x4 under the stone next to the scored line and jump on the “discard” side.

This technique let me cut huge pieces down to more manageable sizes. Obviously the part of the cut with the blade was totally smooth and the snapped piece was rougher. If a tight fit is needed you would need to go back and “cut”/trim the rough side (or use a circular saw instead).

You are right that the inside cut will be very difficult. If you can get a good cut it may work but remember I be very careful when placing and moving that piece as it will be very likely to snap off.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.