I am going to mount a slate chalkboard on this rail. The slate is 60" which is the length of the rail as you see it.

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As I get closer to the actual installation I am questioning my choice of dealing with the light switch. I was planning on cutting the slate to accommodate the toggle switch - cutting big enough holes that I could put the switch body on the front of the slate, with the plate over the top of it. The thing that is getting me nervous is that this requires removing a lot of material and I am concerned that this corner is going to break off when I drop the board into the rail.

The slate is estimated to weigh 65 lbs and dropping it into the slot is already going to be an adventure, I prefer to not have to worry about breaking this corner.

In terms of the holes I need to make, I am not concerned about precision. I will be able to make a perfect paper template to locate my holes exactly where I need them. For tools I have a set of diamond hole bits and I can handle an angle grinder.

The easiest thing that comes to my mind is drilling a little hole in the slate right where the switch pokes through (or two holes; to make one elongated hole) and use a toggle switch but that is going to look a bit strange because the switch won't stick out far enough to look normal.

Then I thought about those push-button dimmer switches - the ones that click for on/off and rotate for dim/bright. That one could be good because I can literally use whatever I want as the button.

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I also thought about the old-school push-button because our house was built in like 1900-something and has a few of these these switches.

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I am considering pulling the switch and covering the box; just using the pull cord on the ceiling fan. This is the way the house was wired when we got it. (Which is why you see the word BULB written on the wall - why do electricians think that's ok?)

But I thought I would ask you all if you have ideas.

  • 1
    Are you willing to consider a remote wireless switch? Sep 9 '15 at 20:39
  • @overslacked as long as the guts fit in existing box, yes absolutely. I hadn't thought of that!
    – jqning
    Sep 9 '15 at 20:41
  • 2
    If you remove the switch and just connect the wires, the switch box becomes a junction box. Current code requires that all junction boxes be accessible. I don't think a 65 lbs. piece of slate in front would be considered accessible.
    – DoxyLover
    Sep 9 '15 at 22:27
  • 2
    Why don't you just move the box to the right? You could attach it to the stud on the right, or use a remodel box and put it somewhere in the middle of the two studs.
    – Edwin
    Sep 10 '15 at 0:01
  • 1
    I like the twisty dimmer idea... lots of possibilities for cool knobs. (And relatively easy cutting of the slate.) FWIW, I think some AHJs would consider a junction box behind 65# slate to still be accessible... you'll find examples of very substantial spa bathtub access panels being passed in some jurisdictions. Then again, some won't. If you made it into a simple junction box and you wanted to be 100% legal, you might think about flipping it to the other side of the wall (depending, of course, on what's there.) Sep 10 '15 at 5:13

"I am concerned that this corner is going to break off when I drop the board into the rail"

first drop in the slate and then after the slate is already installed in the wall cut it

  • I have no experience cutting slate chalkboard however this answer addresses your concern of breaking off the corner as you drop it in the rail.
    – joe
    Apr 6 '17 at 2:31
  • I would not do this unless you have the right tools and experience.
    – DMoore
    Apr 6 '17 at 3:24

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