Purpose and Design of the Poplar Slate Support
The Slate Support acts as the buffer between the Cabinet and the Slate itself. It provides a broad flat
surface for the slate to rest, allows the shims to be distributed for leveling, and also a stable source
to screw the slate to.
Most Slate Supports are made of Poplar, and are 3" wide and 1-1/2" thick. The pieces are screwed
and glued to the top of the cabinet, and cross beams. They are cut back just short of where the pocket holes
will be, to avoid from protruding out from the pockets.
My Slate came pre drilled with the holes needed to screw the slate to the supports. I measured the location
of those holes from the side of the slate, and realized that 3" wide poplar would not quite reach the holes.
So I ordered a 4" wide piece, instead of a 3", to give me plenty of wood to screw to.
Installing the Slate Support
The poplar is cut at lengths just short of each pocket. There is no precision here, just stay out of the way
of the pockets...but not too far away. I cut a 35-degree angle where the pockets were to allow just enough
room and to also provide a little more surface area, but you can cut them square.
They are then glued and screwed to the top of the frame and cross beams. The inside of the poplar is usually
flush with the inside of the cabinet. The outer sides of the poplar extend away from the outer rim of the
cabinet to meet the screws from the slate. Even though it appears that the leverage is extended outward, the
weight will actually rest on the frame.
The middle poplar supports are glued and screwed on the middle of the beams (to support
the seams of the slate.)
WOOD BUYING NOTE: I also purchased the Poplar from the Hardwood company.
While the glue was still wet, I had my Dad help me lift the Slate into place. Not that the wet glue was crucial, I just figured it would really solidify, and allow less settling over time.
At this time, you don't screw down the slate, just set it on top and let gravity do it's magic...it wont go anywhere.
Surprisingly, the slate was very close to level. That's good news considering my basement floor was out-of-whack..