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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day I posted on what tools I use and was asked to make a new thread.
Setup and teardown are the bane of the residential tile (non new construction) one of the biggest issues has always been what to do with waste water.
The wetsaw is in my opinion a lot like a radial arm saw, when set up right it can produce great cuts but its not something you need at the jobsite to be efficient. Whats wrong with a wet saw 1, set up and water containment 2, what do you do in the winter 3, porcelain must be dry, a water film acts as a bond break. 4, Weight to lug around. 5, Slow compared to a snap cutter. 6, Slow compared to a grinder on notch cuts. 7, cut tile drips wet slurry all the way back.
I think that wetsaws may be the biggest constraint to efficent setting. Snap cutters will be next but here is a vid of how I run a grinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Other tools that make you efficient
Carts and Roughneck totes.
Barwalt Grouting buckets
Cheap small powerful vacuums
Husky cross tables

The 14 and 18 gal roughneck tote is the perfect size for the tile guy.
One filled with tile debris is over 50#, You can mix 2 bags of mortar in one and it is wide enough that you can use the trowel as a scoop. Even more important, when the day's set is finished just let any excess mortar cure in the tote and break it out the next time you are dumping trash. The totes are flexible enough to use this way again and again.

18"x12" 4 wheel dollies are the other major tool that you can not have enough of. I use them for tile and totes full of mortar it is much faster keeping these two heavy bulky items on wheels, use the rest keep the job going. I also use them for the grout buckets.

Barwalt grout buckets seem to work better than some of the more los profile ones in that they are more ridgid and less prone to splash. They can be tippy with the casters installed so i keep them off and use a dolly when i need to... With Power Grout becoming more popular in my installs I now use 3 buckets just to have clean rinse water always ready as you often need 3 changes to get through a 25# bag mixed.

Vacuums for tile and stone work are one of two choices either go cheap like the 4 Gal Ridgid vacs ($40-79) or go Very high end like the Pulse Bac ($2900) I dont suggest Nilfisk/ Festool/ Fein only because They will not out last 3-4 cheap vacs grinding concrete, Expensive first hand experience. Added to these is a dust deputy they are super efficient with heavy particulate.

Cross tables from Home depot are the tilers friend. for Walls, backsplashes, snap cutters the list goes on and on they are light, cheap and if you can find the old aluminum ones, stable.
 

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I really like the tote idea. Buckets don't give much room to scoop out the product.

I disagree with the grinder though. I hate breathing any dust and a wet saw or snapper takes care of that. We have started doing more porcelain but for the most part travertine is our most used tile and a wet saw is what we like for that. Otherwise a snapper is my favorite cutting tool when not working with natural stone.

Obviously there are always going to be times a grinder is a must.

I really like the set up you have and might steal a couple ideas. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good point. Stone is one of those times when I will bring a wetsaw to the job.
 

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I like the cutting a fake grout joint idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
There have been many threads on task based organization. I use a mix of Brute boxes and sustainers.
Brutes:
20 gal for tarps. When I first started a painter showed me how to fold tarps dirty to dirty in an accordion fold.

16 gal basic kit. This kit is made up of tile essencials. 13"Sigma, mosaic mat (rotary cutter matslet you cut small mosaic glass cleanly even on the diagonal) 12"speed square, toilet template, festool gecko ssuction clamp-for setting large format, DW grinder, MultiMaster, 7/8" Bulldog I keep this tool for a specific reason over others and will post about it later, margin trowel, 25' cord with 3 head plug, ProKnees.
16 gal tearout kit. This kit cintaines 1" Bulldog, dustless tile saw, Hilti DCG500S dustless cup saw, old wormdrive, several wonder bars. At least in Omaha where most tile is set backer over ply, I find that sds Bulldogs are easier on the structure of the home than sdsmax systems.

16 gal fastiner kit. I went pneumatic a couple months ago whished I would have done it years ago, Bostich roofing gun , and narrow crown stapler, Dw 18 ga brad, senco pinner, nails, oil, 50' hose.
 

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There have been many threads on task based organization. I use a mix of Brute boxes and sustainers.
Brutes:
20 gal for tarps. When I first started a painter showed me how to fold tarps dirty to dirty in an accordion fold.

16 gal basic kit. This kit is made up of tile essencials. 13"Sigma, mosaic mat (rotary cutter matslet you cut small mosaic glass cleanly even on the diagonal) 12"speed square, toilet template, festool gecko ssuction clamp-for setting large format, DW grinder, MultiMaster, 7/8" Bulldog I keep this tool for a specific reason over others and will post about it later, margin trowel, 25' cord with 3 head plug, ProKnees.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6La3aKCbQj0">YouTube Link</a>
16 gal tearout kit. This kit cintaines 1" Bulldog, dustless tile saw, Hilti DCG500S dustless cup saw, old wormdrive, several wonder bars. At least in Omaha where most tile is set backer over ply, I find that sds Bulldogs are easier on the structure of the home than sdsmax systems.

16 gal fastiner kit. I went pneumatic a couple months ago whished I would have done it years ago, Bostich roofing gun , and narrow crown stapler, Dw 18 ga brad, senco pinner, nails, oil, 50' hose.
My setup is similar, I use a mix of systainers, Rubbermaid roughnecks and 5 gallon pails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Contueing on my systainer kits.
I use 3/16 spacing for everything unless there is a compelling reason to use something else, compelling like willing to pay more for tighter joints or the tile is Dal floor and you NEED bigger. I really like the Tavy spacers and have 2 sys1 filled with them I try to keep 1200 or so.

I have always been a Raimondi fan and was an early adopter of the RLS I have a sys2 with 300 or so wedges and a sys4 with 600 or so clips, I still have a bunch stashed from when they were like gold

Carpet kit is an sys1 that has basic carpet tools for making doorway transitions.

A flex wet polisher used to dress stone or polish an edge this tool is super handy.

IMy neighbor makes these yellow boxes I keep this stack behind the seat . I finally bought a bunch of standard pencles and a good sharpener it is so much nicer to have a sharp pencle always at hand. Earplugs aee in the second the third one has Toggelers and one of my best tricks the 1/4" T nut. We all have pulled toilets on concrete where the bolts were imbeded and too short once tile was layed. The T nut solves this, break off the tabs slip the plastic washer on and use the
Nut to solve the problem. ( It is a mess to try and drill out the steel from the concrete when I have to I use a 3 /4" diamond wet core bit bore down an inch drop a new 4" bolt inbed it with thinset)

More to follow
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I use Chanel locks I use the plastic "caps" so the snap washer is between the T nut and toilet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Ok This post is of tools that changed the way I set tile. There are some tools that make you Faster other tools make you achive better fit and finish. Every once in a while there comes a tool that will directly make you money. Here are those tools for me

First is the PAM 200 and Pamtite hot glue. I have 2 main uses for it. First i use it for Base and toekick tile. Now with this I can finish a floor set come back the next day and glue my Base and Grout in the same day. The second major use is Backsplashes I set a lot of 6x6 Diagonal backsplashes with Pamtite i can affix small intricate pieces around outlets and they will stay exactly where I set them as a mater of fact the bond will stick hard in 30 seconds. I have taken to doing smaller backsplashes all in Pamtite. The extra cost of the glue is small when it saves a trip and allows me to complete jobs in one day.
http://pamfast.com/index.php/news/unique_pamtite_hot_melt_adhesive_from_pam_fastening/

The next Game changer is the Bosch GSL2 floor flatness laser. This one directly makes me $$$ by showing Clients visual, unarguable evidence that their floor is out of spec and needs prep (before i pull it out, before i even look at the floor i talk to the client and explain to them generally the preparation costs and risks from not prepping this way their floor is talking to them and not me trying to gouge em. I always early on share this quote " when I first started the old man who was my menter used to tell me-'Craig what ever you tell them before is a professionals opinion, anything you tell em after - an excuse'") with this tool they either pay or I get a waver about lippage.

The Air mover, I know they are expensive, but this tool will do so much for you. First it makes moving loaded fridges and new frontload washers fast, safe and scratch free. It also creates great goodwill with picky clients and shouts "pro". When people feel that you are hyper attentive to detail and respectful of their property they will give you the benefit of the doubt that any mess you are making is necessary.

The Raimondi Colombo is the last tool I will post about tonight. With a helper and the Colombo I have consistently set 500+ sf a day. With an additional setter and helper we were getting consistent 1200 SF in 5 hour days. Additionaly to being super fast the mortar is in perfect rows making coverage very easy to acheve, because it is adjustable there is little mess and you never have to let mortar skin over as you pull only what you need. Finally it saves your shoulder/wrist all that trowel work
 

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I am not seeing the grinder as a solution for straight cuts. The trade off just isn't there, unless I am not seeing something.

Other than that, we snap most all straight cuts, grind cutouts and toilets, hole saw smaller cutouts and wet saw any exposed cuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Im notsuggesting that the grinder is used for straight cuts. I use my sigma and rtc snap cutters. I made the demo cut only to show that you cancut straight and clean with one. The grinder is a valid replacement for wet saws for doing cutouts (outside corner, register, doorframe. . ?) It is both faster to make the cuts andyou do not have to dry porcelain before you set it.
 

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Im notsuggesting that the grinder is used for straight cuts. I use my sigma and rtc snap cutters. I made the demo cut only to show that you cancut straight and clean with one. The grinder is a valid replacement for wet saws for doing cutouts (outside corner, register, doorframe. . ?) It is both faster to make the cuts andyou do not have to dry porcelain before you set it.
If your cutting speed is represented in the video, maybe you can cut faster with a grinder, but my wet saw with me behind the wheel would cut that time in half.

Like I said, I use a grinder for unseen cut outs if the wet saw is not setup, but that's usually smaller jobs where 95% is straight cuts. Again, hate the dust and mess, much easier cleaning up a bucket and saw than every thing in the garage during the dead of winter.

We also cut the entire floor before laying, so the tile is dry when we install. Usually have a guy lay it out while working on the tub or shower. By the time we are ready to set, bing bang boom it's done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
you may be able to make a cut faster but when you add in the setup and tear down times and the water issues your production goes down minutes for the seconds less it may take to cut a tile.... but i score all may straight cuts. I sold my DW 24000 and haven't used my Raimondi Gladiator in over a year because the time and space they take.

I recognize that you are taking a much more cautious approach with pre cutting everything re stacking it and then spreading mortar and relaying it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm sorry i read then answer read the next comment and answer again.

I dont cut anything in a clients garage. It is a clinker right by the set or the grinder outside dust stays outside.
 

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Nice tools and setup. My old school tile guy does it your way, too.

One thing...you're usually putting your floor under the toilet flange ring, right? Or at least some subfloor? If so, the inner curve (instead) wouldn't have to be quite so "purdy". (nicely done, though)
 
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