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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been trying to increase production by working with tools that make that easier.

I am working out of transit connect which requires me to use my space wisely.

Three things that I have picked up recently are....

Makita LXT Vaccuum..its a glorified dust buster, you have to empty it a lot if you suck up a lot of volume but its great for interior remodeling. I have other LXT tools so it fits me well.

RYOBI landscape trash can from Home Depot $15. I now have 5. They collapse down to about 4"s tall when not in use and will hold 70 pounds. About the only thing you wouldn't want to put in them would be shingles and plaster.

Husqvarna Gas leaf blower. Its a small handheld but I use it for everything from blowing a roof off after we clean up the nails to cleaning the table saw off at the end of the day. And dispersing the dust in the driveway or yard where we cut all day is easy as pie.

So what have you all picked up recently that you now couldn't live without??

-matt
 

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Great thread idea! The ryobi garbage cans I could see being great if they didn't just self-destruct. Thanks for testing them for the rest of us.

Nothing too original, but I just picked up and used a Paslode impulse framer. I was hesitant since I've only had bad experiences using other peoples. They were always misfiring. After hearing a number of guys here rave about them and having a job building a cabin with only a (very loud crappy) generator I decided to try it. Let me tell anyone who is unsure about them they are awesome! So easy and consistent. I built the entire little cabin on one gas can and I may have had one misfire which could have been user error. Many guys say they aren't good for "production" framing as they are slower and more expensive, and while that's probably true I don't ever do framing like that usually find when guys bump fire like crazy there are always nails put in the wrong spot. Also the amount of time fooling around with compressor setup and hoses etc. will make this one a huge time and money saver for me.

Oh also Matt, I bought a cheap corded blower and it's been great for all the above reasons you stated. The cord isn't an issue for me and I like not having to keep gas for it which may help in the transit connect. Or have you tried the makita cordless blower? Works with your battery platform and quite small.
 

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Residential Tile subcontractor specific tools.
First impression/ street cred tools: (This may be the most important section. If you set your clients mind at ease and let them know you care about their home and job at the outset then the rest is much easier.)
1. air mover. http://www.tools4flooring.com/crain-280-hd-air-lifter-p-287.html#.UlTO-FNo20w
when you come into a home and one of the first things you do is move the Fridge/stove/washer/dryer with one of these your client will be super impressed it is a tool most have never seen. It shouts PROFESSIONAL. It lets them know that you care about their stuff.
2. Flatness laser. Bosch GSL2 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008KXAG1M/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I have had this tool about a month. It is one of the few tools I have ever seen that directly makes me $$. How? It lets me show the client/CG exactly how much floor prep I need to do. It is right out there in the open and they usually pay. If they decline to proceed with the prep I make them sign a lippage waver.
3 tarps and aircleaner. These once again show the client that you are a Pro and that you are anal about the details.

Tearout:
1 Bulldogs and SDS wood and tile Chisels. There is no more useful tearout tool for the residential tile guy than the Bosch bulldog series.
2 Old saw to cut through whatever you need.
3 4 1/2" dustless diamond Saw. when you have tile to tear out it goes faster when you cut through the grout joint and backer, then take up the whole assy 1 sq ft at a time.
4 Dustless Cup grinder. Not just for mortar residue and leveling concrete. It also deals quickly with the billion narrow crown staples that are left when you tear out vinyl on 1/4" underlayment.
5 Dust deputy allows you to use even a cheap vac to its best with dust.

Setting:
1 Leave your wet saw at home.
1.1 High end snappers Sigma/ RTC/ Rubi. These will speed you up so much.
1.2 Grinder and good wheel. Cut your tile on scrap plywood. you will soon be able to cut dry with the precision and clarity of all but the best wetsaws.
2 Raimondi Colombo. If you are setting open areas this tool will triple the production that a setter and helper can do in a day.
3 Raimondi Leveling System (there are other brands out but I was an early adopter of RLS)
4 Barwalt grout system with Troxell sponges.

General:
1 Mini dollies 12x18" Have a Fleet of them they are so handy.
2 Roughneck 14/18 Gal totes. They are great for trash. use new ones to mix in and you can mix 2 bags at a time and let the left over mortar harden and break it out the next day.
3 Multimaster.
4 UTG gloves, Proknees and Thorogood boots.
5. Pamtite and HB220 glue gun you can set a backsplash and grout in the same day, and This tool will take care of many little positioning and detail issues that always seem to pop up.
6 roofing nailers for CBU installs.
7 Ridgid 4 gal shop vacs. I use 2-3 on a job. They are small and light, when I get one clogged I swap it. they have good suction and once or twice a year they go on sale for under $40.
8 Lasers PLS 1,2 and FT 90 measure and layout.. I think if i were buying now for the first time I would look at the Bosch GLL3-80 instead.

 

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Wow I didn't expect that kind of post out of this! I think I could spend 30mins googling items and still not be finished!

I tile once in a while and feel its similar to things like painting or mudding- anyone can do it, but it's hard as hell to do really well. I'd love to ask you a whole bunch of questions about your post but don't want to derail Burns' thread. Dyou want to repost it as a new thread? I'm sure others would be interested.
 

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Wow I didn't expect that kind of post out of this! I think I could spend 30mins googling items and still not be finished!

I tile once in a while and feel its similar to things like painting or mudding- anyone can do it, but it's hard as hell to do really well. I'd love to ask you a whole bunch of questions about your post but don't want to derail Burns' thread. Dyou want to repost it as a new thread? I'm sure others would be interested.
I will tomorrow .
 
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What brand of dustless diamond saw are you using? The concrete grinder is a great idea and just in time for tearing out my kitchen floor
 

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Residential Tile subcontractor specific tools.
First impression/ street cred tools: (This may be the most important section. If you set your clients mind at ease and let them know you care about their home and job at the outset then the rest is much easier.)
1. air mover. http://www.tools4flooring.com/crain-280-hd-air-lifter-p-287.html#.UlTO-FNo20w
when you come into a home and one of the first things you do is move the Fridge/stove/washer/dryer with one of these your client will be super impressed it is a tool most have never seen. It shouts PROFESSIONAL. It lets them know that you care about their stuff.
2. Flatness laser. Bosch GSL2 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008KXAG1M/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I have had this tool about a month. It is one of the few tools I have ever seen that directly makes me $$. How? It lets me show the client/CG exactly how much floor prep I need to do. It is right out there in the open and they usually pay. If they decline to proceed with the prep I make them sign a lippage waver.
3 tarps and aircleaner. These once again show the client that you are a Pro and that you are anal about the details.

Tearout:
1 Bulldogs and SDS wood and tile Chisels. There is no more useful tearout tool for the residential tile guy than the Bosch bulldog series.
2 Old saw to cut through whatever you need.
3 4 1/2" dustless diamond Saw. when you have tile to tear out it goes faster when you cut through the grout joint and backer, then take up the whole assy 1 sq ft at a time.
4 Dustless Cup grinder. Not just for mortar residue and leveling concrete. It also deals quickly with the billion narrow crown staples that are left when you tear out vinyl on 1/4" underlayment.
5 Dust deputy allows you to use even a cheap vac to its best with dust.

Setting:
1 Leave your wet saw at home.
1.1 High end snappers Sigma/ RTC/ Rubi. These will speed you up so much.
1.2 Grinder and good wheel. Cut your tile on scrap plywood. you will soon be able to cut dry with the precision and clarity of all but the best wetsaws.
2 Raimondi Colombo. If you are setting open areas this tool will triple the production that a setter and helper can do in a day.
3 Raimondi Leveling System (there are other brands out but I was an early adopter of RLS)
4 Barwalt grout system with Troxell sponges.

General:
1 Mini dollies 12x18" Have a Fleet of them they are so handy.
2 Roughneck 14/18 Gal totes. They are great for trash. use new ones to mix in and you can mix 2 bags at a time and let the left over mortar harden and break it out the next day.
3 Multimaster.
4 UTG gloves, Proknees and Thorogood boots.
5. Pamtite and HB220 glue gun you can set a backsplash and grout in the same day, and This tool will take care of many little positioning and detail issues that always seem to pop up.
6 roofing nailers for CBU installs.
7 Ridgid 4 gal shop vacs. I use 2-3 on a job. They are small and light, when I get one clogged I swap it. they have good suction and once or twice a year they go on sale for under $40.
8 Lasers PLS 1,2 and FT 90 measure and layout.. I think if i were buying now for the first time I would look at the Bosch GLL3-80 instead.
Whoa, nice. With you're attention to detail and productivity, I have to ask if you have any tricks to mixing your thinset for consistency. (I always wonder why tile guys don't just mix by volume, instead of "some of this, more of that, more of this,...etc.)
 

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Just about all my projects involve some exterior parking lot lights. Details for the bases typically call for 24" diameter round concrete base with a chamfer top. How do you chamfer a circle?

For years we roughed it in with a margin trowel when we poured, then had to do a lot of grinding and patching to make it look decent after wrecking the sonotubes.

Then one of my guys told me about this:




Comes in different radiuss (radii?) I got several and passed out to my concrete finishers.
 

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Can't count this as a recent purchase, but in the interest of time saving devices I will note that a set of collapsible plastic sawhorses and a solidcore 3'0 slab door cut down to 60" makes the perfect instant table set up for most one-off tasks. When you're done for the day they all fit perfectly over your wheelwell and ratchet to the side of the van.
I know this is pretty basic, but getting the perfectly sized work table is a thing of beauty. It's not heavy, it's small enough that you can wind it up a set of stairs or into somebody's kitchen with ease and have a nice solid work table for the day.


In that vein, the Rolling Cart is incredible! I still haven't been able to purchase one for myself as I don't have the storage for one and I haven't found one that was as collapsible as I'd like it to be yet.
If you do work in apartment buildings with elevators it is the greatest thing in the world. Load everything onto the small cart, go right on up. Then if you're painting, you can use it as a station to open and mix cans, transfer into pans, etc. You can even wheel it room to room with you. So good. Can't say enough about the small rolling cart.


Great thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are those trash cans, they stand 26" tall and are 21" in diameter, I threw the vacuum in the pic two.

For the price they are pretty tough. I haven't destroyed them yet and I haven't been easy on them

Charcoal
 
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