Friday, February 23, 2007

Official Grind Tester

The head of production where I work is a heck of a nice guy. We are polar opposites when it comes to politics, and to a less extent when it comes to social issues, but we have found common ground in enough areas that we get along very well. Our conversations mostly stick our common interests, and that is the main reason we get along so well. Those few times when we do venture off in to politics or social issues, it is very interesting that we can often agree on what the problems are with this country, but it’s the solutions to those problems where we differ greatly. Sound familiar?

Anyway, wood working and tools are a common interest, and we are both self-reliant and self-starters. He doesn’t really care much about the fact that I’m restoring an old Victorian –he lives in a 70s Ranch Home, but we both have a passion for working with old redwood and building things. He makes the most amazing wood puzzles you have ever seen in your life. Other things we have in common are reusing old stuff, we are both appalled by waste, and we're both cheap bastards. Oh, and we're both Ebay junkies.

When I mentioned that I was getting all the old tile out of The Oberon Saloon it wasn’t the fact that it was 100 year old tile that peaked his interest, it was the fact that I was getting $1000 worth of tile for free and all it took was a little hard work. That’s the cool part.

He is in his early 60s and every year his sons give him tools from Christmas. He probably has the most complete shop of anyone I know. Last week I was talking about The Oberon tile again because I had started to clean it. I mentioned that the tough part was going to be getting the grout remnants off. I mentioned that the advice I was given was to use a dermal tool and he kind of muttered that the dermal tool would take me forever.

He asked me to bring in a tile for him to fool with so I found a really bad one that had several thick clumps of grout still on it. I brought it in to work on Monday. He brought it back to me on Tuesday and it was spotless. Not a hint of grout on it. The tool he ended up using was a disc sander.

He said it took a matter of seconds to clean the grout off. Obviously I’m going to be trying this method and I thanked him profusely. He then asked me to bring him in 10 more tiles – really bad ones, because he wants to try some other things. He’s going to try several different grits of sandpaper to see which works best, and try some other tools in his arsenal. I have no doubt that on Monday I’m going to have 10 cleaned tiles and several solutions for cleaning them.


merideth said...

oooh and then you'll have a perfectly logical reason to get a new tool for your own shop!

Greg said...

It's like we were separated at birth.