Just for Fun... #72: Sometimes, the ideas just fall from the Sky...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 04-24-2013 02:09 AM 2424 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 71: The longest, shortest month of the Year... Part 72 of Just for Fun... series Part 73: The Bubinga Box Begins... »

The Roof on our Apartment building sustained a little damage this past Winter. After the snow melted, I found the remains of two Slate shingles, out of the hundreds that are up there…A little Slate roofing that fell off this Winter...

The one in the front didn’t survive the fall, but the one in the back put me of a mind to make something, if I can only square it up a little…
Back in my landscaping days, in the late “70’s, we cut tons of Granite for Walkways and Stairs. It’s a lot of work, but relatively easy to do. Though this Slate is a lot thinner, and “layered” stone, I tried the same basic technique on the Slate as is used on Granite…
After chalking lines, I Struck the slate with a stone chisel along the lines… Strike once, hard, then move the chisel… The idea is no different than cutting glass, creating a shock or stress that hopefully inspires it into a controlled break…Striking lines...

I used a rubber mat under the slate, so it wouldn’t just shatter!
After the lines were scored, the hopeful break was held over a good, solid edge, where I tapped it off with an old ball peen…Over the edge...Just have to make a frame for it...

Right about now, you’re probably thinking, “That’s all very interesting Mike, but what does that have to do with Woodworking?”
Truth is, Nothing!
But what I have in mind, is making a frame for this little slate…
I began by cutting a dado in both sides of a scrap. I centered the dado by simply flipping the piece end to end…Cutting the dado for the "Panel"...

It’s then a simple matter to halve the piece and make a quick frame…After halving the piece...Still needs "Refining", but this is the idea...

Almost every school child used to have a small chalkboard like this and they’re still surprisingly useful…
All that was left for this one was to make it kinder on the hands…A small chalkboard...

In order to apply finish, I masked the Slate with Wax Paper and Tape… (Somewhere in there I drilled a hole to hang the thing…)In the finishing department...

And that’s about it, an old fashioned I-pad…
I’m happy about the gift from above, but I’m even happier that it didn’t hit anybody on the way down!! :)
23 April 2013

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

23 comments so far

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3881 days

#1 posted 04-24-2013 02:16 AM

pretty fancy there michael

now you can keep tabs
on those things
that are ‘slated’ to get done

and it doesn’t even need batteries

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3462 days

#2 posted 04-24-2013 02:23 AM

Mike, Good thinking to use that gift from above… how about the rooftop with missing slate? I am thinking that your picture on the frame is missing and maybe that was the one use to patch the hole… LOL. No joke… I cut a granite with my circular saw however I changed the blade with masonry grinding stone… Don’t try this at home because my wife was angry at that time… not that it was not safe… but the dust are all over the place. Another fun…
Thanks for making my day a slate day.

-- Bert

View lew's profile


12881 posts in 4295 days

#3 posted 04-24-2013 02:24 AM

What a cool idea, Mike!

I cannot imagine how old the slate is but preserving, as well as using it, like this will keep it functioning for many more years!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4042 days

#4 posted 04-24-2013 02:25 AM

Thanks David
If any Young’uns ever stop by,
they’ll have something to amuse themselves with too!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4042 days

#5 posted 04-24-2013 02:53 AM

Bert: Granite with a Circular Saw?! Yikes!! That dust is very bad to breath, worse than fiberglass!
What we used to work with was one side finished Granite Slabs, usually about 10’ wide and up to 16’ long (usually about 6” thick, but it could run up to over a foot!)...
Chalk a line, score it with a chisel, then drill holes with a rotary air hammer/drill every 8” or so… insert wedges and feathers into the holes and then go up and down the line, tapping the wedges like a big xylophone…
There comes a point when the wedges and the stone almost sing… right before it cracks!! I enjoyed the heck out of that!
Cutting it was the easy part… setting it in place was back-breaking work, but satisfying… Granite is forever, and the work that I did then is still there, and likely to be there for a while!
Lew: This building has been here for about a hundred years with the same roof on it… Standing in the yard, I can see where quite a bit of it is coming loose though. As you probably know, it’s the nails that rust out on a slate roof… The slate itself has already been around for a few million years and a few hundred or thousand years of rains and winds and snow aren’t going to bother it too much!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3396 days

#6 posted 04-24-2013 07:54 AM

Mike that is a neat board for reminders
White boards can be a pain

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View ellen35's profile


2742 posts in 3972 days

#7 posted 04-24-2013 08:40 AM

Clever work Mike. This is quite the creative work!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3460 days

#8 posted 04-24-2013 09:19 AM

Very cool, Mike. I really enjoyed seeing this.

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View stefang's profile


16812 posts in 3874 days

#9 posted 04-24-2013 10:39 AM

Very nicely done project Mike and an inspirational idea too. I read somewhere that in the old days before dynamite, they used to drill holes in the stone and then drive in very dry wood pegs sized to fit the holes, then soak them in water. The pegs would swell and crack the stone.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Roger's profile


21013 posts in 3344 days

#10 posted 04-24-2013 12:54 PM

I’ve gotta say, that’s pretty nifty

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View libraryman's profile


45 posts in 4285 days

#11 posted 04-24-2013 01:58 PM

Just confirms my observation that most folks from NH are really neat.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3406 days

#12 posted 04-24-2013 02:03 PM

Very attractive and nicely done, Mike.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3526 days

#13 posted 04-24-2013 09:16 PM

Mike you are so clever at making something that would have been toosed away into a good looking and useful item, an Ipad no less!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4042 days

#14 posted 04-25-2013 12:43 AM

Thanks for your comments my Friends!
Jamie: I hate those White Boards, they never seem to erase properly!
Ellen: Thanks! I had one of these (an antique one) many years ago, but it broke… I always liked the idea of it, so when the slate was at my feet, the thought came right to mind…
Sheila: Glad you enjoyed it my Friend… Debbie and I took a trip to the Ocean today for a little “Battery Recharging”... The Atlantic was very turbulent!!
A Beautiful Day though… partly sunny, but warm, low 70’s… :)
Stefang: That’s a new one to me! I read somewhere that in colder climates, they’d pour water into the holes and let it freeze…
Your’s is a method that holds more merit I think… But I also think that many people who claim to know how the old-timers used to do it, don’t really have any idea! Somehow, I suspect that the ancients had ways of cracking stone that were far quicker than waiting for wood to expand (or water to freeze!)... and then they carved the stone too (any way that they wished!)... and if that wasn’t enough, they moved and placed the stones in any fashion they desired, like they were toys!?
I’m fascinated by those old mysteries of building, and “Expert’s” explanations of the how-to, but I suspect that the real answers would be head-smackingly simple, real “Why didn’t I think of that?!” stuff…
Either that, or it was just brute force and bloody ignorance! :)
Roger: Thanks my Friend!
libraryman: I can’t speak for most, but some surely are… :)
Moonls: Thanks Lorna! Did your Friend ever check out Highland Hardwoods?

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3230 days

#15 posted 04-25-2013 01:33 AM

Very cool old timey ‘slate board’ you created. I love the pinned half laps. Glad I read this as I would have tried to cut that slate on my TS!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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