How to use a slater's ripper

      
     
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 Beginning to remove slate with ripper 

Once you have idenitified the broken or damaged slate on your roof, follow our steps using your slater's ripper:

 

Step 1 - Position ripper

Hold the handle of the ripper and push the hooked end underneath the broken slate, and to one side. 

 

Make sure that you keep the ripper flat against the roof at all times, so that you don't break the slate into smaller pieces.

 
     
 Using ripper to remove slate 

Step 2 - Move ripper

Move the ripper back and forth and from side to side until you can feel when it has hooked onto the nail that's holding the broken slate in place.  

 
     
 Tapping handle of ripper 

Step 3 - Tap ripper

Using an rubber mallet, firmly tap the flat portion of the handle. Tap back towards yourself, firmly and carefully.

 

 
     
 Hitting or tapping the handle of a slater's ripper with a small hammer 

Continue tapping until you can feel that the nail has been cut completely free of the slate and the slate starts to loosen. 

 

There are different opinions as to how many times and how hard you need to hit the handle of the ripper. One view is that one sharp blow is better because it causes less stress to the surrounding slates. Another view is that a series of lighter taps to the hammer is preferable so that the nail is loosened gradually, with less risk of breaking the slate or the nail.  

 

Also, if the nail is very hard to dislodge, you may need to make a number of hits. 

 

 
     
 Slate coming loose using ripper 

Step 4 - Remove nail

When you have cut away the nails on one side of the slate, move the ripper to the other side and repeat steps 1-3.

 

Once the second nail has been removed, pull the ripper towards you and the slate will gradually come with it.

 
     
 Whole slate has come loose using ripper 

Keep pulling on the ripper until the slate comes away from the roof in one piece.   

 
     
   

Using the notch on a slater's ripper

 
 Notch at the tip of the blade on a slater's ripper  

If part of a nail that is holding a slate in place breaks, you will need to use the notch at the tip of the slater's ripper to cut away the nail completely, so that you can then remove the slate. 

 
     
 A slater's ripper being used to cut away a broken nail from a slate on a roof 

Step 1 - Position notch

Keeping the ripper flat against the roof, push the blade up and under the slate, until the notch is resting up against the broken nail.

 

Hold the ripper in place with one hand. 

 
     
 
Tapping the end of the handle of a slater's ripper to cut away a broken nail from a slate on a roof
 

Step 2 - Hit ripper

 

Using your other hand, take a small hammer or mallet and hit against the very end of the handle, aiming away from you.

 

 
     
 A broken nail removed from a slate by the notch on a slater's ripper  

Step 3 - Remove nail

Keep hitting the handle until the broken nail comes loose and is completely cut away from the slate.

 

Remove the ripper.

 
     
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