Slate Hearths Cut to Size – 26th June 2024

Italian slate hearths – from Mother Earth to your fireside!

We have been manufacturing slate hearths cut to size following customers’ exacting requirements for 24 years now here at Manthorpe Slate and today we thought we would give a little bit of background and insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes to create these elegant fireside hearths and how they come to be!

The slate used in our Italian slate cut to size hearths starts life as sediment from the erosion of mountains. This clay material is transformed under heat and pressure into the slate which we see today and is normally found in the Northern areas of Italy.  It has been mined in the Liguria region for centuries and it is still mined in the traditional way today, where huge blocks are sawn out of the slate vein underground. These are transported to the surface and eventually to the mill building where they are either hand split by means of a very fine wedged chisel to produce riven slabs of up to 2.3m x 1.2m, or sawn on a multibladed block gang saw into 20mm or 30mm thick slabs which are honed to produce silky smooth, uniform black Italian slate.  These slabs are then either sold as they have been cut or sawn to a specific size. They are used within Italy or transported around the world via truck or shipping container.

Our slate hearths cut to size

Here at Manthorpe Slate we buy our slabs in the large random format to enable us to produce hearths cut to size according to our customers’ individual requirements. When we receive the slabs, they are carefully inspected for any cracks or inclusions which you would not want in your slate hearth. We then saw them to the customer’s exacting size on our bench saw that is water-cooled to suppress the dust. In the case of riven slabs, we finish any edges, double check the sizes are correct and seal the hearth ready for collection or dispatch. With the honed slate, even though it is honed before it leaves the quarry, we always re-hone the top of the slate to remove any handling scratches and finish the edges using diamond polishing pads in a water-cooled polisher, again to our customers’ requirements. Like the riven slate, the sizes are then double checked and the hearth is sealed ready for collection or dispatch.

         hand splitting slate using chisel before it is cut to size.        Italian slate block in a mine.

 

Please click the link if you would like to know more about Italian riven slate, Italian honed slate or our bespoke hearths that are cut to size. Alternatively you can contact us at Manthorpe Slate for further information and help with your hearth!