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Thread: Removing old floor tiles (Festool comes to the rescue)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Removing old floor tiles (Festool comes to the rescue)

    On Sunday, I started to renovate the bathroom that is attached to the master bedroom in our house. The first task was to remove the old floor. That sounds easy enough, doesnít it. Well, let me tell you Ėit was not easy. The was one layer of vinyl tile over a layer of linoleum tile that had been partly removed. The bottom half layer, in particular, was both stuck hard and sticky. After about 45 minutes of scraping with various tools, trying out a hair drier, even trying some chemicals, this is how far I had advanced into the room:

    Attachment 4971

    Then, I remembered a gizmo that might do the job. My Festool LS 300 Linear sander (567 777) came with a scraper attachment (491 199). I was very happily surprised at what a great job it did! Here are a couple of pictures of the attachment in action:

    Attachment 4972 Attachment 4973

    It took only about an hour and a half to strip the rest of the old tiles (and this includes the time that it took to remove baseboards and the toilet). Here is another picture:

    Attachment 4974

    There was still some glue residue on parts of the floor. I cleaned this up quickly (about 10 minutes for the whole floor) with my Rotex 150 sander (571 494) in aggressive mode using both 36 and 50 grit Saphir disks. Of course this operation was dust free.

    Attachment 4975

    Thatís the good news; the bad news is that I clogged up 6 sandpaper sheets (at just under $1 US each) doing the job:

    Attachment 4976

    The underlying sandpaper is still very sound, so I tried cleaning off the gunk with a wire brush but was not successful. I can sort of pry it off but it took me about 15 minutes to clean up one sheet that way and I am not prepared to spend that much time at the task. If anyone has another suggestion for how to restore the sandpaper, please let me know.
    One other Festool sander also came in handy. That is the Deltex 93 (567 738) which was really good at getting into corners and cleaning up edges:

    Attachment 4977
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
    Steve Clardy Guest
    I've used a pressure washer wish success on 6x89 belts that were clogged with pine.

    Or maybe some Goof-Off. It removes sticky glue residue

  3. #3
    That is one ugly job you've got there Frank - how are your knees treating you tonight? It does look like the Festool sanders are really earning their keep there - that's awesome. As someone who has done some similar work with a non Festool sander, I can appreciate that.

    As for getting the crud off your discs... well, I would say that those 6 discs were worth every penny. Even though you went through them quickly compared to in the shop, I think you just rack it up as money well spent. Getting the crud off is not worth the hassle in my experience - I've tried scraping, freezing, heat, etc and I my advice is to call Uncle Bob and order some more discs.

    Good luck with that bathroom project.

  4. #4
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Well guys, I tried a couple of additional ways to clean the sandpaper, then gave up. Tim, of course you are right about the discs. Getting this job done with only 6 cloged discs was certainly money well spent, but I hate to waste anything.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
    Great news on the job Frank, but I'm with Tim, the disks are a consumable item an if that is what it took to get the job done, so be it!

    On a similar note, I've started using cheap chip brushes for some work where a super finish isn't necessary. I throw them away after use rather than waste solvents/time in cleaning them

    Jay

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austria
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    28
    Hi Frank,

    now that the sandpaper is already clogged up itís too late to try this suggestion. Maybe the sanding disks clog up less if you turn down the rpm of the sander.

    A buddy of mine recommends "Waschbenzin" or "Wundbenzin" in order to clean sandpaper (from resin). Unfortunately, itís difficult to translate the name of this chemical stuff. Possible translations might be "dry cleaning gasoline", "cleaning solvent" and "petroleum ether".

    What is that spring clamp on the hose used for? Would the hose fall off the sander without the clamp?

    Regards,

    Christian

  7. #7
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    Oct 2006
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    Charleston
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    Nice work Frank. Way to go Festool, once again showing the versatility and high quality of the products.

  8. #8
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    Floydada, Tx
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    Looking good Frank. Intead of pulling off the tile couldnt you just pull up the sub floor? Or was there no sub floor to pull up? Either way that bathroom with look really nice once you have finished it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Aufreiter View Post
    Hi Frank,

    now that the sandpaper is already clogged up itís too late to try this suggestion. Maybe the sanding disks clog up less if you turn down the rpm of the sander.

    A buddy of mine recommends "Waschbenzin" or "Wundbenzin" in order to clean sandpaper (from resin). Unfortunately, itís difficult to translate the name of this chemical stuff. Possible translations might be "dry cleaning gasoline", "cleaning solvent" and "petroleum ether".

    What is that spring clamp on the hose used for? Would the hose fall off the sander without the clamp?

    Regards,

    Christian
    Thanks for the suggestions Christian. I will remember them and try them should I encounter a similar job in the future.

    As the the clamp, yes the hose falls off without it. I covered this in the thread: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22. There is also a similar thread on the Festool Owners Group forum.
    Cheers, Frank

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    Looking good Frank. Intead of pulling off the tile couldnt you just pull up the sub floor? Or was there no sub floor to pull up? Either way that bathroom with look really nice once you have finished it.
    Thanks Al.

    The plywood that you see is the subfloor. I did not consider pulling it up but, because I am not moving either the tub or the sink cabinet base, I decided not to do so. I did consider placing another layer of plywood on top but Margaret was not happy with the slight rise in elevation that would then happen when entering the bathroom from the bedroom.

    I have finished the bathroom and it does look good -better than I expected.
    Cheers, Frank

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