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Destroying a perfectly good (if you don't mind an occasional 3" of water covering it) floor

(home) (door opening) ( jack hammer 1) (jack hammer 2) (pouring 1) (pouring 2) (outside wall) (ceiling)

Starting out. I'm using the pointed chisel here, whose existence as near as I can tell is just a cruel trick for novice users.

To get to the point above, I spent a good bit of time. Maybe an hour? I don't remember, I've blocked it out. Suffice it to say that getting the pointed chisel stuck in concrete is a good workout. There are no "Jackhammer for Dummies" books and the instruction manual for Harbor Freight mostly had helpful advice like "Don't do this if you have a bad back", so I was figuring out how to use one of these as I went.

I expect I still have quite a lot to learn, but after a while, I caught onto a couple tricks. The first is to not use the chisel point and to instead use the 2" flat chisel. The 2" flat chisel is kinda like a wood chisel (wide and narrow), except that it can fit in a jackhammer and your dad doesn't yell at you when you beat it into the concrete. Ok, maybe its not much like a wood chisel. ANYWAY, the flat chisel is nice, because you can beat it along in a line on the concrete, allowing the bouncing of the chisel to sorta slowly propel the chisel along the line. You go back and forth along this line, with the chisel maybe only penetrating a 1/4" of so until the concrete cracks. This is a wonderful thing.

Its an especially wonderful thing after you've made your first channel in the concrete so that when the piece cracks off, you can pry it out away from the concrete it was recently attached to. That lets you start making progress, which is a darn good thing, because you were just about to go inside and announce to your wife that maybe $1500 to remove the floor wasn't all that bad actually and you're sure a very lightly used jack hammer must be worth a lot of money.

After day one and probably five or so hours of jackhammering, this was the result. Anyone got a body they need to get rid of?

After day one's learning, I was feeling pretty good. Well, mentally good. Physically I was feeling pretty sore. It turns out there's a reason all those guys you see with jack hammers on construction sites are pretty big guys. The women with the traffic signs are the smart ones. But other than my forearms, shoulders, lower back, and legs, I wasn't too bad off. For instance I could easily turn my head without pain.

But now that I'd figured out my couple tricks, I was ready to get some destruction done! I hopped out of bed the next day (Sunday) at 11am and rushed out to start work at 2pm. After two hours, I realized that I'd procrastinated a bit too much and wasn't likely to get done with breaking up the floor that day, so I had Laura call Joe the concrete guy and put him off a week. I told her to tell Joe I was sick and not a procrastinating wussy-man, but I'm not sure that was communicated clearly.

Anyway, at the end of the day (about five hours work), this is what the floor looked like:

I think we're commited at this point. So, tomorrow evening I hope to get back going on the floor (instead of writing clever webpages about it) so that its all done by this weekend, ready for Joe to do the floor next Monday (12/11/2006). If I get it done before the weekend starts, I won't be able to work on the garage at all over the weekend since the floor is all busted up. This is called "using my slacker tendencies as motivation".

By the way, I think we really lucked out with the floor... There doesn't seem to be any wire mesh or rebar in it. This is probably the only time when I've been glad someone under-built something I now own, because I'm not sure the "crack it off and flip it over" method would work all that well if the chunks were held together with wire mesh or rebar.

(Now that I've said that, I'm sure I'll discover that all the rebar and wire mesh is in the half of the floor I haven't done yet)

Oh my god! I actually finished busting up the floor!

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