Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pictures of the Week: Grasshopper in a bind!

For those of you that are faint of heart and want to protect and save every living creature out there, then you will be really proud of me. Especially my wife.

This week's Picture of the Week takes us to the benches of Provo, Utah where my crew was doing a deck overlay for one of our clients. We do the deck in multiple phases and the base coat phases are really sticky and smell really sweet, which subsequently attract all kinds of insects.

When we showed up one morning to continue the process, we were surprised to find a grasshopper stuck in our base coat; obviously it had been stuck there all night.

So what did we do? Well the only humane thing we could do. We cut off its feet! I know that sounds groosom but there was no way we were going to get him out of our base coat. He had to sacrifice his legs for his life.

Well I am glad to say that we were able to get him free and he bounced off the deck and now I am sure his friends call him Hopalong Joe or something clever like that.

Well hope you enjoyed the pics, until next week, see ya lata!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tool Under Review: The Burke Bar

OK, here is a new addition to The Quirky Contractor. Each week I will post a review on a tool I feel is worthy to comment on. Hopefully through doing so you will be able to get a real overview of a tool that you can possibly use on one of your projects or suggest for your contractors to use. Or maybe the tool is just a waste of space and this will help you avoid a costly purchase.

There are so many cool tools out there. I continue to find tools that make my job easier and less painful to my body. There is always the right way and wrong way to perform a task, and most likely the tools you use define whether you do the job the right way or the wrong way.

This weeks tool is really the MVP of the job we did a month ago in Wyoming. We had to demolish an existing deck and recover it with a concrete overlay. The tool that made the demolition go by so fast was the Burke Bar.The Burke Bar is the yellow tool in this picture. The other two tools will be discussed next week. They were useful as well. The Burke Bar is a heavy duty demolition specific leverage bar to help bust up stubborn flooring like tile, wood, or concrete overlays. Here are the pros and cons:
  1. It is very, very heavy, which allows the bar to do most of the work. Just like a sledge hammer is heavy this tool is heavy on purpose. It allows the user to plunge the tool into the flooring and the weight of the tool alone will do some serious damage.
  2. The teeth on the end of the curved bar allows you to get up under the flooring and really pry it up. I haven't found another floor demo tool that can get up under difficult flooring like the Burke Bar. Other tools need a second tool like a hammer to help pry up under the flooring.
  3. The heavy nature of the bar does get you more tired then some of the other demo bars out there. We were exhausted by the time we were done demoing the deck but it was also over 1,000 square feet. That is a lot of flooring to demo in only 5 hours.
  4. The bar is shaped a little odd. You have to construe your body a little to get the bar to slide under the flooring properly. They really need to fix the shape so that you don't feel like the hunchback of Notre Dame when you are done.
Overall I would need to give this tool a 4 1/2 out of 5 stars for its effectiveness. Really the only downfall would be its awkward shape, but nonetheless we were able to get much more work done in less time. The translate into $$$ and that is what makes a good tool great.