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Chipping Tile Mortar

 
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Old 12-04-2004, 01:34 PM   #1
 
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Chipping Tile Mortar


I'm looking to buy an electric chipping hammer for removing old mortar when replacing tile. There is a wide variety of sizes and power from 2.5 ft lbs to 20 ft lbs of force. Can anyone give me an idea of what size of chipping hammer and chisels are good for tile demolition? If I can, I'd like to get a rotary hammer with a hammer only mode so I can use it for concrete drilling chores too.
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Old 12-04-2004, 06:25 PM   #2
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Re: Chipping Tile Mortar


A good hammer drill (at least one that uses up to 1 inch tools) is going to have enough force to cut a house in half so that is plenty of power. Like you said, you use them for concrete drilling and maybe you didn't know - concrete chipping, so they are more than enough for tile, grout, and thinset.

I haven't used an air hammer but had planned to for a project. At about $20 for one, I wouldn't be scared to just buy one and see what it can do. I know that when it comes to removing thinset from large surfaces, pros always talk about using a commercial grinder and not a chipper. The next thing they do is cringe and tell about the ridiculous dust that it will create.

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Old 12-04-2004, 07:42 PM   #3
 
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Re: Chipping Tile Mortar


Mike, thanks.

Judging from what you wrote, a $400 Milwaukee 11 amp SDS max model may be a good choice for the kind of work I do. I do have a 1/2" hammer drill but it's not enough for what I'm running in to these days.

I'm aware of commercial grinders but I'm not a tile setter by trade. I run a jack of all trades commercial maintenance buisiness and I'm often called to replace cracked or popped tile where they get pounded on by god knows what. Advice for you for whatever it's worth. I am currently using a $20 air chisel on a 10 CFM portable compressor I lug around and it peters out pretty fast. An electric hammer seems much more practical. Sometimes I run into building fractures where the building settled 1/8" or so on one side of the fracture. This is when I carve and fill a ramp into the concrete so I can prevent a tripping hazzard. This is when the air chisel becomes an air tack hammer. Uhgggg!!!!! I'm sure there will be extremes like 1/4". And yes, I use elastic mortar and grout.

Last edited by jdlong; 12-04-2004 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:34 PM   #4
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Re: Chipping Tile Mortar


I use an air hammer and, if you scout around, you can find a 3" blade for them. I found one at NAPA last time and Florida Bolt the time before that. I grab them when I find them because finding one when you need it is nearly impossible.
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Old 12-05-2004, 12:32 PM   #5
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Re: Chipping Tile Mortar


jdlong - does the air hammer peter out because of the compressor not being able to supply enough air, or is the problem with the air hammer?

That Milwaukee you are talking about sounds like what I have, if not that one, then the one just below it. I love that thing. The first time I used it as a hammer drill to drill a hole in a concrete slab to epoxy a bolt in it I about crapped my pants at how it worked. Up to then I had only used regular drills and masonary bits, that hammer drill drilled my hole in about 6 seconds where my regular drill would have taken 10 minutes and probably destroyed the bit. I use it with ship arbor bits to drill through timbers, just amazing what you can do with the right tool!
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:59 PM   #6
 
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Re: Chipping Tile Mortar


Mike, yes. The compressor does not provide enough CFM. I have to stop and wait for it to charge up and then everything is fine. The way I understand it is the cheaper $20 air hammers and chisels have a lot of energy wasting blow-by where a quality model utilizes the air well and puts the energy where it belongs. That was my point.

Thanks for the scoop on your rotary hammer. It's something I've been putting off for too long. I have run in to other situations where I wished I had one such as hammer drilling 1/2" holes around the circumference of a larger hole where I wish I had a core bit. I've turned work down because I don't own one. Lugging a compressor around to replace half a dozen tiles is a pain in the butt anyway.

Last edited by jdlong; 12-05-2004 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 12-05-2004, 07:57 PM   #7
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Re: Chipping Tile Mortar


I like the fact that the Milwaulkees have a clutch. I really wish I had a reverse on mine, that would make it just about perfect.
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Old 02-27-2005, 05:28 PM   #8
 
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Re: Chipping Tile Mortar


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlong
I'm looking to buy an electric chipping hammer for removing old mortar when replacing tile. There is a wide variety of sizes and power from 2.5 ft lbs to 20 ft lbs of force. Can anyone give me an idea of what size of chipping hammer and chisels are good for tile demolition? If I can, I'd like to get a rotary hammer with a hammer only mode so I can use it for concrete drilling chores too.
if you are doing just one project, go rent a hammer it will come with an air compressor for about 80 dollars a day or go to home depot, lowe's any contractors builders store.I also have a floor grinder and sometimes use the bothchipping hammer and grinder. if multiplipurpose thin set was used on old flooring it can some times be a bear to get up. use 3 to 4 inch bit on your project and you wont have much of a problem. now if you are doing a total remodel where you have move everything out and going to have to rehang doors the whole kitten kaboodle. then just chip the tile up and all of the loose thin set, sweep real go and float the floor. you do not need to remove all thin set. now if you choose to use this method take into calculation the height for door and jam heights and some appliances. you will be adding on to the floor height if you leave thin set down and have to take into consideration things like will the door close, will the dish washer fit back in etc. hope this help. from that tile girl again!!!

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