Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Saturday post...

(Friday night. The line of tiles down the center of the room are on the centerline and they provide my reference point. Saturday's project is to fill the areas to either side of this reference. The area at top center was just tiled. CycleDog photo.)

I haven't written about cycling lately because I just haven't been on the bike much. In all honesty, I'm afraid of doing permanent damage to my knee. It's been troublesome for about 2 years now, and it reacts badly to cold, wet weather. Since I've been laying tile, my knees are sore and riding aggravates them. I can take no more than 2 hours doing tile work. You'd think it wasn't particularly difficult, but why do I have sweat dripping from my nose?

Originally, I'd planned to have the kitchen finished last weekend, but I was called in for overtime and I had no energy for doing tile. Also, since I left the area in front of the sink and the stove for last, it meant that the kitchen would be unusable until the thin set (a kind of tile adhesive) cured under the tiles. But there's a fast-curing thin set that sets up in just 3 hours. It has additional quicklime that makes it set up so rapidly. One problem, though, is that you have to work very quickly and work with small quantities. The stuff hardens in the mixing bucket otherwise.

So this morning I bought a 25 pound sack of this thin set. It's from Mapei! I'm assuming it's the same company that sponsored a team through the 90s until 2002. I can't wait to tell Mary her floor has a connection to professional bicycle racing. I'm sure she'll be overwhelmed with emotion. Oh, the joy!

Anyway, I mixed it in 2 batches, laid the tile in about an hour and a half, and cleaned up before noon. As I write this, Mary is still asleep. She's had a cold and sinus infection that interrupted her sleep until the doctor prescribed some high-powered cough medicine that knocks her out. I think I could ride a motorcycle around inside the house right now and she wouldn't wake up.

(Saturday morning. The bags, cans, boxes, etc, are there to remind us not to walk on the tiles until the adhesive sets. CycleDog photo.)

So when she gets up, the tile should be ready for grout. As you can see from the photos, I left the final cutting work for tomorrow. I hope it's a little warmer because the tile saw tends to spray me with water. (It uses a water bath to cool the blade and it slings water off at the operator.) Right now it's about 45F with a stiff north wind. When I went outside to clean up the tools, the combination of sweat, low temperature, and wind left me chilled in seconds. Adding some water from the saw wouldn't be any fun.

Right now I'm looking forward to a shower to get the smell of quicklime off of me, though with all that stuff curing in the kitchen, I should look forward to smelling it for the rest of the day. It's also very good at drying the skin. My hands feel like sandpaper.




Blogger The Donut Guy said...

Brother.....I feel your pain.

I'm 12 years old in the inside with a 49 year old body and 90 year old knees.

Not a good combination.

12:54 PM  

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