New skill added today [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Houston Remodeler
06-08-2010, 04:54 PM
While waiting for my shipment of Ipe to arrive, I spent some time in the shop playing with my gently used, but new for me Riamondi bulldog machine. It performs as advertised. Below are some pics of absolute black granite, some brown tile that seems to be made out of plastic, carrera marble and glass tile. They all came out great. I also figured out how to bullnose sheet mosaics, using a spare sheet of white onyx I had laying around. Tho only thing I would change about the machine is a button to hold the motor still while changing the blades.

I am going to make some of my own tile holding boards as the 2 sizes they give you don't quite fit all the sizes of tile I had, particularly the glass.

Round these parts the going rate is $1 per inch for bullnosing, so this will be a nice side business. I will be stopping by the 4 high end stores I deal with regularly, so they can let their customers know that we can bullnose almost anything.

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06-08-2010, 05:08 PM
so your going to close the graffiti clean up biz ? :D

Houston Remodeler
06-08-2010, 05:23 PM
Unfortunately the graffiti remains an ongoing problem. Granted, the graffiti is down by 99 44/100%, but the little snot noses continue to think its perfectly fine to spray paint on someone else's property. There should only be minor graffiti until school lets back in, or someone get released from prison. Then its thanksgiving break, then semester break... you can set your watch by these guys.

06-08-2010, 05:27 PM
a button to hold the motor still while changing the blades.

Why is that such a hard thing for saw manufactures to grasp? Half the time when they do have a stop doesn't even work. From grinders to circular is simply inexcusable and nothing makes me madder then attacking a tool with screwdrivers and visegrips. EOR

end of rant

06-08-2010, 05:57 PM
What's that run,$3000 or so? Sure does make a fine looking bullnose.

Good luck with the new venture Paul.

Brian in San Diego
06-08-2010, 06:21 PM
That's what these guys ( get for it.

06-08-2010, 06:40 PM
Fab shops charge me about 10-20 bucks a ft. depending on the profile..a simple half radius is about 12 ft. but they have lotsa other choices.

Also it says the saw can only do 47 inch long pieces.

Will the saw do 2cm or 3 cm slab material?

Its a real nice toy and definitely handy for the jobsite but seems to me it will take some time to recoup the investment. Im still jealous though.

Houston Remodeler
06-08-2010, 08:06 PM
I managed to catch it for $1500. It was used by a little old lady who only profiled tiles on Sundays. It is a sweet little tool. I can carry it to the jobsite with ease. I am really psyched how it handled the glass tile.

It's really made for tiles not slabs, which is the reason I am targeting the high end tile stores. It helps keep my foot in their door by helping their sales. The granite shops can handle the large slab work. I'm getting too old for that anyway. :gerg:

Old World Tile and Marble
06-08-2010, 08:55 PM
it cuts and polishes or you have to change blades and make multiple passes?

06-08-2010, 09:01 PM
thats really cool paul!!! i really do need to get one of them machines:crap:

Houston Remodeler
06-08-2010, 09:02 PM
Yes, that is a sucky part that you have to change polishing wheels for each grit and make a separate pass for each grit. That is very simple and takes less than a minute. But when doing production work you do all one grit at a time so the work flies. It takes longer to swap tiles than to make a pass to polish the edge.

I do like that the edges are not rounded over like when the granite guys do the work by hand. The corners here are nice and crisp, so when you lay one tile next to the other the line is perfect, and not pillowed at the joints.

The segmented rough grinder is really for granites and hard porcelain. The marble and glass took a nice profile on the 60 grit wheel. It takes experience to figure out which wheels you can skip. You can also not use all the higher end wheels if you don't need that finish or it polishes out at a lower grit. It all depends on the tile.

06-08-2010, 09:07 PM
impressive Paul

06-08-2010, 10:03 PM
Looks like fun. I have wanted one of those for years. I spend way too much time bullnosing and polishing on the jobsite. Sometimes I even bring it home to do on the weekend.
Does it make a mess at all or is it pretty self contained?
Please keep us posted on your experience.

Houston Remodeler
06-08-2010, 10:07 PM
When I first fired it up I forgot to replace the splash guard which they needlessly tell you to remove for wheel replacement. I soaked my radial arm saw but good. Once that was back in place the water is 100% self contained. It puts a ton of water onto the the cutting wheel, has a huge reservoir which weighs it down nicely when in use.

Its a little low to the ground for you taller guys and gals.

Crestone Tile
06-08-2010, 10:13 PM
That's a good incoming rate for BN. Here, I can get most things bullnosed for the same price if not less than factory BN pieces. It's great because I can get custom widths for sills and such while staying with the same dye lot for really no extra cost.

Also, if you're going to get set up for bullnosing, be prepared for people to request bullnose AND glaze on ceramics.

Houston Remodeler
06-08-2010, 10:17 PM
Would I have to have that glaze fired? There is a pottery place with huge (think Texas) kiln a few blocks from the house.

Crestone Tile
06-08-2010, 10:19 PM
That's the way they do it here.

Houston Remodeler
06-09-2010, 05:09 AM
I have time wednesday to stop by the kiln and ask a bunch of questions

06-09-2010, 08:14 AM
Paul it looks like you could make some nice outlet covers with that machine.

Houston Remodeler
06-09-2010, 12:43 PM
Great idea Jack.

So today I went to Interceramic and the 3 most expensive tile stores in Houston. They weren't impressed with the absolute black or the carrera (who can't do that right?), but when they saw the glass tile their mouths dropped to the floor. One guy said the bullnosed glass tile was nicer than the whole regular tiles they ship in "and you bullnosed it!"

Then I told them I could bullnose sheet mosaics. They went nuts for that too.

Being salespeople, they could see the opportunities for themselves. I came home to make a pile of samples, all of which will have my name and phone number on them for easy reference. They gave me samples of tiles to play with and return to them.

I should have gotten one of these machines years ago. :bonk:

06-09-2010, 12:49 PM
12$ a ft is a nice string to your bow.!plus the benefits.good one paul!:cheers:

Houston Remodeler
06-09-2010, 12:50 PM
I can probably get $18 a foot for the glass tiles and mosaics. Sweet.

06-09-2010, 01:22 PM
I've made thousands of bullnose with the Bulldog. And I mean like 10's of thousands.

Most times it is ceramic stock pieces for stores (Interceramic included) and small orders of a few hundred pieces for individual customers. I cut and then profile and then polish or paint the edge. An upside down pass is needed on most jobs were the factory edge is saved (not bullnosed). If a painted edge is desired C-cure
epoxy grout paint is used.

With basic tile the charge is around $3 a piece with a minimum of $75. On a good day, I turn out about 400 pieces. Most days around 300. I don't make bullnose for a living, just do it from time to time for a shop owner who is also a good friend.

Couple of tips for ya.

1. Wedge spacers.

2. It's good to use the coarse wheel first most times even if the smooth profile wheel gets you there. Them wheels cost a fortune and you wear them out fast skipping the segmented one for first pass. Some materials like soft granites and marbles and wall tile do better with just the smooth wheel though so there are exceptions. When using two wheels to get profile, be sure to leave a bit of untouched material on the first pass.

3. Wedge spacers.

4. Clean water basin often. Usually work until more water is needed, add water and then next time water is needed or wheel is changed, clean the basin well and add fresh clean water.

5. Wear earmuffs.

6. Wedge spacers.

06-09-2010, 02:10 PM
we all know bullnose is top heavy,if we could all make on the bullnose we would be better much does the tool cost?

06-09-2010, 02:11 PM
tip- wedges everywhere!:rofl:

06-09-2010, 03:20 PM
Wedges for what and where?

06-09-2010, 03:22 PM
Also before running the tile through the segmented wheel, take a grinder and knock off the edge. Will save you some life on your blade.

Houston Remodeler
06-09-2010, 03:38 PM
I knew about knocking off the edge, what are the wedges for?

Houston Remodeler
06-09-2010, 08:21 PM
Does anyone know what the wedges are for?

06-09-2010, 09:45 PM
wedges :shrug:

hell, I would give up on setting tile to make $900 a day bull nosing tile -:tup1:

06-09-2010, 09:59 PM
Me too!

Good for you Paul! You never cease to impress me with your skills both in business and installation!:tup1:

06-09-2010, 10:13 PM
"Wedges? We don't need no steenking wedges! What? It was badges? Oh, nevermind."


06-09-2010, 10:18 PM
Sorry for the delay on the wedge mystery. Meant to get back sooner. Brother is 6 weeks in the hospital, still in ICU, after having lung removed due to cancer. Today was a tuff one. Been there most of the day.

Anyhow....the wedges are for wedging your pieces in the board stops. To get a good consistent profile the pieces need to all be snug, not tight and not loose. Well, you start cutting 300-400 pieces (side note, Ramondi Razor blades give you between 450-600 12" cuts before they are toast. I've gone thru two in one day before) and your pieces will vary some and the wedges hold them even on the board. It was a pain before I learned this little trick. Would have to make a cull stack because some pieces were either slightly to big or small.

I need to make a video sometime and show how you can really get down and turn out some bullnose.

And there is a stop for the motor when your changing wheels. If you look behind the machine you will see a small hole looking in towards the shaft. Slip the long end of an allen wrench in there and slowly spin the wheel. You will find the indent in the shaft with the allen and hold the shaft steady. Be sure to remove the allen before turning the machine back on. And you don't want to over tighten the wheel nut. Just good and snug is all you want.

06-09-2010, 11:20 PM
sorry to hear about your brother jason...

just kinda wondering tho is this mashine worth the $

Houston Remodeler
06-10-2010, 06:34 AM
Your brother is in my prayers. I know how tough lung cancer is.

The tips are very much appreciated. I am planning on making a few new sliding boards with some improvements to them. The clamping bench dogs could use a few new positions. or be movable. I'll investigate the C-cure.

Like most men and powertools, I am loathe to buy another one, but they are soooo cool. I have been looking at this machine for a while. I probably would have bought one at a trade show where they discount, but the cost of travel to the trade show would have more than offset the discounts. When I saw this one come along at half price I took about a month to decide. Then I had to get a full set of blades to the tune of $1800 or so. They took a month to arrive.

The best part is it keeps my foot in the door, and my name on their minds at these tile places. I am making coasters that are bullnosed to remind the salespeople. If I can find a way to nicely etch my name and number into them that would be even better so they can be give out to customers. Considering what I do; full remodels, this machine will pay for itself with one extra contract.

06-10-2010, 07:57 AM
I don't know where you are buying your replacement blades and parts from?
I buy all my stuff from Midwest Trade tools. Paulie Walnuts is on the forum. The Ding Dong Daddy of Bulldogs is the two headed machine. It is their newest and greatest of the bulldog world. The price is around $ 5,000.00. This does not include the blades. You make one pass and it takes care of two stages. I have had the bulldog for about three years and it is incredible what you can do on one. I am reluctant to bullnose for our competitor's, so we have an edge in our finished product. The other tool that is useful for bullnose is an Alpha wheel for Radius pieces. It is on a water fed grinder and allows you to make radius bullnose. With these two machines you can finish almost any type of material. Hope this helps. John Cox

Houston Remodeler
06-10-2010, 03:17 PM
I bought the water fed alpha in 2005. It took me 4 years to figure out it wobbled. When I had such a hard time using it in the beginning, I stuck it on a shelf and forgot about it, thinking I just sucked at profiling. A few months ago when I decided to get back into profiling, I bought a new $180 alpha wheel and tried it again. It wobbled to the naked eye. When I took it back to the store, they looked at me like I had 2 heads. It wasn't until they asked me to get the tool out of the truck that the mystery was solved. They were great guys and took the profile wheel back. I sent 2 emails to Al Ellis at Alpha, but haven't heard a word back.

The variable speed makita grinder helps a ton for profiling too.

I looked at the invoice, the full set of wheels was $1200. I got them through MK.

coping skills
07-04-2011, 08:18 PM

If you bullnose glass with it, and want to get your info onto them cleanly and neatly, glass etching cream and stencils should do the trick.

Tub etching cream is cheaper and is available at paint stores, and kinko's can make a vinyl stencil for you for nothing(if you say you'd like one to try to see if it works), you'll just have trouble with(cabOt and rOwe) the o's.

Oh yeah, and sorry for resurrecting the dead...just read the thread and decided to try to help out.

How have you been putting contact info on the tiles?

Houston Remodeler
07-04-2011, 08:49 PM
I had clear stickers made but I like your idea too