Day 4. I thought of all sorts of ways to begin this entry. “It’s weird cutting lines into your floor with a circular saw.” Or “Man, concrete dust is something else. It really does get everywhere!” Or “I was right, scoring the floor did help me feel like the project is really progressing.” And they are all true to at least some degree. So, here’s the deal.
I got up at 6:45 AM today to go return the grinder to sunbelt rentals. At that time I was in 2-day old clothes, 2-day old smell, and hadn’t shaved for at least as many days. I came home and went back to bed. I got up about 9:30 and started the “real day.”
Al/Dad/Santa came up today to help. I’m really glad he did. It turns out I probably could have done what he and I did just with Clinton as board man, but it’s so nice to have someone with more experience to help guide me in this sort of project.
So, pretty much the first thing (after watching the Kemiko video) we did after he got here was to go shopping. We bought belts for his belt sander (for the floor edging), a good mop and some hearing protection for me (I already had eyewear and a respirator from a previous shopping excursion). We also got a diamond blade for masonry work. I really don’t understand how pricing these things works. The one that I was going to get at sunbelt was going to set me back close to $100. There was one at Lowes that was about $35, and I bought one (also at Lowes) for $16. It worked great.
Similarly, after some advice on the web, I was going to buy a worm-drive circular saw (much heavier and much stronger (and much more expensive) than a regular one). When Joe the contractor said he’d just use his saw, I thought “great, saved the cost of an expensive circular saw with the cost of a contractor!” I used my regular circular saw for this job, and it worked great. I should clean it of that concrete dust, but I’m thrilled. A $16 blade that I’d have needed to buy anyway, and I’m done!
So, I scored the floor today along the lines that Eve, Tom and I layed out yesterday. It was a weird feeling for me, dragging a circular saw along my concrete slab. Still, the first cut looked exactly like I hoped it would, and my spirits were greatly lifted as a result. The rest of the scoring took about 3 and a half to four hours. Since Al didn’t arrive until 1-something, and we went shopping and eating, we worked well into dark. I moved a halogen lamp into the area, and we just kept going.
The scoring went more or less like I figured it would. There are places I’m damn proud of, and places I’m particularly disappointed by. My strong suspicion is that a casual visitor will notice neither. For the most part, I think it looks quite good. It’s actually kind of neat. I posted more pictures . You can’t really see much of the scoring, but there’s enough there to get some idea. You can actually see it better when it’s layed out in the blue chalk (or prototyped in masking tape).
So, concrete dust. Eve had warned me that it’s fine, gritty and dusty and it gets everywhere, but I guess it’s one of those things that you need to experience to appreciate. It really is fine, gritty dusty and gets everywhere. By the end of the day, I couldn’t run my fingers through my (VERY SHORT) hair, it was such a mess with concrete dust-covered sweat. And sweat we did! It wasn’t hot, just the process of doing the job. I dunno what it was. I was glad to have my new ear protection. The goggles were a bit of a pain as sweat would pool in them (as well as in the respirator), but today I was extremely pleased with my respirator purchase. I thought I was buying it mainly for the acid spray phase, but being able to comfortably breath in a cloud of concrete dust was just tremendous. Al only had a paper mask. He ran a couple of the cuts and wound up caughing up a storm. We decided whoever was doing the cuts should be wearing the respirator, and since I’d already fitted it to my head, I just ran the rest of the cuts. So, again a sight to see with things over my ears, eyes, hands and nose/mouth but I was really glad for the protection today. It’s been a while since a shower felt that good too.
I also partially filled the sprayer I bought with water to test it out. I think it will work fine. It’s smaller than the ones in the Kemiko videos, and doesn’t have a flexible hose attachment, but my little tests on the concrete seemed to work quite well.
Tomorrow, Al and I will try to use his belt sander to clean up the paint overspray and other contaminants around the edges that the grinder couldn’t get to. Once that’s done (and a thorough cleaning or 2 with TSP), I’ll be ready to stain! That’s still a lot, but it’s certainly noticable progress. It’s nice to be working my way through this. I’ll be glad when it’s done, but who knows, I may even be nostalgic for it, and I almost certainly won’t believe that I actually ripped up my carpet and scored and stained my concrete slab, except for the evidence under my feet.
Well, more as it happens, but that’s the story right now.