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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey! I'm stripping the walls in my shower to re tile. There is chicken wire covered with a full 1.5 inches of cement and mortar then the tile. I spent four hours pounding and chiseling today and got about two feet by two feet off. A terrible rate.
Isn't there a power tool that will let me cut the chunks between the studs? Reciprocating saw? Grinder? Help! I'm too old to swing a sledge all day.
 

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Old School
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Yes, a Sawzall with one of THESE bi-metal blades will do the trick in short order. I recommend "The Ax".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the solution

Actually, I ran into a contractor when I was in the store looking at reciprocating saw blades, etc. He talked me off the sawzall and into a 4.5" grinder with a diamond blade.
It cuts through the nearly two inches of tile and cement, falling just short of the wire, which I snip if the chunks don't fall. It works reasonably quickly, though it gets fire-hot after a couple of minutes. So I do a couple of two foot cuts, then let it rest while I sledge and snip the section out.
I can't imagine that I wouldn't have warped a few reciprocating blades doing this.
It's still slow, but it's DO-ABLE, which I was seriously doubting when I was just pounding the hell out of it.
One thing, if you're new to grinders--as I was--:furious:they are pretty scary doing this job. It kicks out sometimes and my Makita does not turn off automatically when you release the grip, so I've had visions of severed tendons dancing in my head. Plus it gets super hot.
So my plan is to suffer through this job and then put it up on ebay immediately!
 

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So my plan is to suffer through this job and then put it up on ebay immediately!
I'd encourage you not to ebay it. Lots of tools are scary 'til you've put some time on them. Angle grinders are a pretty handy DIY tool (I have three).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
what else?

Actually, I was wondering what else I'd ever use it for. What uses have you found? I've done a lot of stuff (though it may not sound like it) and never said to myself "oh, I wish I had a grinder right now"...?
 

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Tileguy
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I will warn you that "heat" is an enemy of a diamond blade. Overheating will ruin and release the matrix prematurely. Why don't you use some water to cool the blade as you cut? Do you have a helper?:)
 

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Actually, I was wondering what else I'd ever use it for. What uses have you found? I've done a lot of stuff (though it may not sound like it) and never said to myself "oh, I wish I had a grinder right now"...?
Things I've used my angle grinder for in the last month or so:

First was something my sweet husband used it for: cutting half a dozen oil filters in half to compare and contrast the insides.

- cutting a large roll of chicken wire in half instead of cutting it with tin snips. I estimate I saved an hour of time (and because I bought a 36 inch * 50 foot roll I got 100 feet of 18 inch high fencing for a lot less money).

- shaving the tiniest bit off some 2x4s that didn't quite fit into the made-in-china brackets I bought for making saw horses.

- smoothing off the edge of a metal bracket that had a burr from manufacturing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool blade

Yeah, I've wondered if I should wet it, but I am working alone... How can I manage that when I'm concentrating on not severing my hand?
 

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yes, ' heat is an enemy of a diamond blade ' but electric & water could be deadly enemies when cutting as you describe,,, i'd expect any segment loss would come from the abrasion of the blade core rather than segment wear,,, it doesn't sound as if you've got a lot of diamond cutting experience - i'd cut 12 long x 1" deep then cut again to your 2" depth,,, you are using the blade guard, yes ??????????????? :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
True, zero experience with diamond blades
Okay, I will try your tip on cutting short distances twice.
Glad to not bring water into it.
What are the signs of wrecking the blade? I have two more walls to do and I'll be off of it.

Finally, does anyone agree or think that a sawzall with the "AX" blade would cut this? If so I could use a combo of grinder and sawzall? Or will it just warp and twist that blade up? 2 full inches of tile, concrete, chicken wire.

Score it with the grinder, finish with sawzall? (I would just try it but don't own a sawzall yet)

And thanks, everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh, and yes I'm using the blade guard, safety glasses, respirator, hat, the thickest shirt I own and steel toed boots. I have full respect for this horror!
 

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dont use water with an electric angle grinder, presumably while standing in a cast iron tub, connected to grounded plumbing. It wont end well.

You use a pneumatic grinder when water is needed for cooling.

The sawzall or demohammer would have been the way to go....o well.
 

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good for you :thumbsup: hopefully you also have a segmented blade rather than the continuous tile blade, too,,, disintegrating blades can throw a segment 30' & puncture truck tire sidewalls & that's from a walk-behind 35hp saw which spins at much less than yours ( 10,000rpm vs 3,500rpm ),,, the reason we cut in 2 passes is primarily so to make it easier to hold a straight line,,, its faster w/less wear on blades,,, also more difficult for the blade to get ' caught ' in the saw kerf ( slot ) whereupon the blade could pinch & the motor/engine's torque would bind up causing personal injury/material damage :censored:
 

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A bit late to add this, but a carbide grit blade in your sawzall would likely have worked quite well. An example: Using a sawzall to cut a door into a hard plaster wall. Normal demo blades would last for about a 1' long cut before smoothing out the teeth beyond use. One carbide grit blade did the entire dorrway with ease. Home Depot carries them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I cannot WAIT to be done with this part of the job, with my life intact, hopefully.
So, I went out and bought the sawzall. Got talked into a diamond blade. It cut about a foot, as the poster warned, before becoming flat as a pancake.

So I went back and got a pack of expensive "AX" blades. Flat flat flat after a minute.

I went back to my old method, with the added tip of cutting twice instead of trying to make it all in one. I score about a foot with the grinder, then go back and hit it again. I cut a cube. Then I have to sledge it and clip chicken wire, because the cut falls short of the wire. Meanwhile my poor grinder rests and cools.

So each section is a battle.

Before I spend on more blades, does anyone agree a carbide tip blade would not flatten out in 3 minutes?

Luckily I will have other uses for the sawzall...

Thanks again, all! T
 

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Easy T, don’t need any injuries here. Before spending more on blades isn’t there a neighborhood grunt you can pay to help you get this mess out of the way?
 
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