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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my guys used a grinder with a cutoff wheel to get the johnny bolts on a new toilet install as part of a bath remodel.

I have used this method for many years with no issues but somehow he ended up with a black residue all along the toilet and the wall tile.

I checked the wheel and it is the same ones I have been buying for years. I see no obvious reason why he ended up with this issue.

Its almost like the brass melted into the glazing or the resin bonder got hot enough to stick to the tile.

I really don't want him to have to cut out the tile and I don't want to replace the toilet so any help with the cleaning of this residue would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You might run your hand over it and check to make sure hot fragments of metal didn't melt into the tile and commode. Very likely that it did if the surface is now rough.

I have had this happen to glass before when guys have cut metal too close to it.

For your sake I hope this is not the case. Good luck!
 

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It's the metal fragments embedded or stuck to the surface. A grinder is too high speed, next time protect the area with a towel. I use an oscillating tool just enough so I can snap the bolt off.

You can try and scrap it off and see how badly it damaged it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was able to scrape it off somewhat on both the fixture and the tile.
What remains is a residue and some brass fragments.
I researched the cut off wheels and they have a resin binder in them which is what I think I am dealing with.
I know from past experience of epoxy grouting a commercial kitchen that certain paint strippers will soften epoxy resin. (don't get to far ahead of the clean up crew when grouting in front of a commercial oven that ran all day)
I will send a collection of solvents and strippers to the job tomorrow and see if he can save his azz, this guy needs to think a few steps ahead of himself....

I have used a grinde for many years with no issues, I think he was being to aggressive and heated the snot out of the brass while cutting.
I found a brass cutoff that was black from the heat.

I suppose thats what i get for moving a framer to the finish crew...
 

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I was able to scrape it off somewhat on both the fixture and the tile.
What remains is a residue and some brass fragments.
I researched the cut off wheels and they have a resin binder in them which is what I think I am dealing with.
I know from past experience of epoxy grouting a commercial kitchen that certain paint strippers will soften epoxy resin. (don't get to far ahead of the clean up crew when grouting in front of a commercial oven that ran all day)
I will send a collection of solvents and strippers to the job tomorrow and see if he can save his azz, this guy needs to think a few steps ahead of himself....

I have used a grinde for many years with no issues, I think he was being to aggressive and heated the snot out of the brass while cutting.
I found a brass cutoff that was black from the heat.

I suppose thats what i get for moving a framer to the finish crew...
I'd use the solvents first, the strippers might take off the glaze on the toilet and tile. And are you sure you want him to attempt this?

I gave up on thinking people will think ahead. I had a carpenter putting in frameless shower doors for me. As I was walking by I looked and said that's backwards the coating goes on the inside. What's he do....sets the glass down right on the grout joint and breaks the corner of the glass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LOL I know what you mean. I am understanding of mistakes, they happen sometimes and its just the way it is.
Besides, sometimes the best lessons are when you are trying to fix a screw up.
What I am not understanding about, is making the same mistake twice and not being man enough to admit you screwed up in the first place.
This guy was stand up about it and the way I see it is that at this point, I am looking at cutting out the bad tile anyway so he can't really screw it up anymore than he has already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you to everyone who offered assistance.

MEK ended up being the solvent to soften the resin that had melted off the cutting disk. Which in turn released the tiny globes of molton brass.

He was able to get the new toilet restored perfectly but the slag was hot enough to damage the wall tile glazing.

Three feet of a complimentary ceramic base solved that issue.

We tried the same cutting disk on several other johnny bolts in some work bench tests and we could not duplicate the results on our test tiles.

Although the immediate issue was solved the true causes of this still elude me for now.
 

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An angle grinder? Why would you do that?

Seriously. Why would you do that?

I've been doing this (Plumbing) for over 40 years and would never do that.
 

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I thought I was the only one who cut them by hand. I'd be too afraid of efing something up with a grinder.

I use a little hacksaw blade in a little handle. Works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have used a cut off wheel for many years with no issues.

Its quick and clean with minimal vibration or potential for damage. When done right with your arm braced against the fixture its quite safe.

I have NEVER had the issue as described here, and since I was not on site at the time, I will probably never know what really happened.

It is my thought that the tank bolts and the johnny bolts got crossed as I believe on the new Kohler's, with the steel tank plate, that those bolts are also steel.

I do not believe the error was with the method, but rather the operator.
 
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