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Old 10-20-2013, 09:25 PM   #1
T_Hulse
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Floor buffer for grinding concrete?

I rented a standard 17" floor buffer once with a diamond head for grinding concrete, and it was a pure dream, loved it for very fast light abrasion over a large surface area quickly. I'd like to buy one now, but I'm wondering if any of you use one that you could recommend a good source for the diamond head? I was thinking of just getting a cheap used machine for a few hundred bucks to go with it, something like an old Clarke.
Anyone use a buffer with a dust hood? I've never even seen one, don't know if they make 'em.
Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:44 PM   #2
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Hi Tom,

Might want to PM Jesse (Arizona Floors). He has purchased some floor grinders and done research on a lot of options.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:08 PM   #3
Brad Denny
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Tom, Pearl Abrasive had dust shroud for 17" buffers that works pretty well. I'd also look at their Hexpin Turbo system. Expensive, but very flexible for other uses. We have an old one with carbide teeth that needs rebuilding, but I really like the individual spring loaded pins. They hold to the contour of the floor pretty well. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...54934254,d.aWc
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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Granted it was a while back, and there is probably something newer, but we used the Pearl system and loved it. Allowed us to do things clean and fast.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I like the look of that Pearl setup, but it seems like kind of an elite system with the head having all those little moving parts and features like being flexible & removable. I think I'm looking for a low-cost alternative on the head.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:09 PM   #6
Higher Standard Tile
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Tom I have something homemade that might work. Will take a picture and post later.

Basically made of old 5" cup wheels attached to head. A stone restoration friend of mine made it with wheels no longer good enough for stone restoration but ok for concrete scarification.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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Sounds perfect, Isaac. Do you have shipping to the mainland?
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Husquavarna PG 280

Tom,
I was concerend when i laid out $2,500.00 for this tool from Husquavarna on how much we woud use it and what for. I had a couple ideas and one job specifically where we were going to use it. Since that one job we have used it on any job where the concrete is suspect. The builders use a lot of curing compounds in the concrete, now we can scarify a slab to get a great bond. This machine has paid for itself ten times of what we paid. Any humps in the slab, we used to use a concrete planer that you have to get on your hands and knees to grind out. Now with the 280 you can do it quicker and standing up. The cost is worth the expense. If you have any more questions, let me know. Good Luck John Cox
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:09 AM   #9
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Tom, I forgot to take a picture today. I wasn't gonna sell it to you but I'm sure with all that free shipping on the mainland you can get the parts you need pretty cheap.

John, that machine looks really nice. How much do you have to spend on the diamonds and how long do they last? Looks like the have a lot of options on the diamonds too, which ones do you use for scarification?
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:55 AM   #10
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Pg280

Isaac,
We have replaced the diamonds once or twice since i have owned the machine. I think they are roughly $ 50.00 per segment. We were told to use three segments. Any more than that would make it gum up. We use the same diamonds for everything. We are using the 50 grit to be as aggressive as we can when we scarify a floor. You can move the machine very easily so as to not dig in too deep. There is also a vacum attachment to keep the dust to a minimum. It is a healthy investment no doubt, but i wish that i had made that plunge years ago. It has saved and made us money at the same time. Hope this helps. John Cox
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:32 AM   #11
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I was concerned about the expense when I bought it. But, once a few GC's saw the clean operation we were given work because we had the equipment. You can peel a lot of thinset fast and clean off a slab with the carbide bits. The diamonds were great for prep on flat slabs.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:58 AM   #12
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You can use a Diamabrush head on a standard buffer. A standard used 17" buffer can be had for anywhere from free (not so common) to $500ish.

Diamabrushes are from Malish - the diamonds are expensive, but there's lots of different grits. Y'all can rent one if you only have one job to do - I rented one at the Orange Homer Store - worked great.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:58 PM   #13
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Pg280

I bought the pg280 on John's recommendation. It's unbelievable to use, very easy operation. I have both a 220v and 110v grinder I wish they were both 220v if that helps.

I use them mostly grinding thinset. I haven't had a great experience removing paint fast with it, faster to use a 7 inch grinder.

Isaac, I have to check which diamonds I bought last but they have gone through roughly 15,000+ sq ft of thinset and still look brand new. They cost $90 a piece and I only use 3 per machine.

I've used the grinder to cut through 1/2" thinset.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:53 AM   #14
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That looks nice. One day . . .


Tom here is the diy version.

It wouldn't be cost effective if you had to go out and buy 5 diamond cup wheels. But they are ones not good enough for the stone restoration guy but ok for scarifying concrete.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:39 AM   #15
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diy notes

I learned quite a few lessons while using a floor buffer on concrete.
Read these forums before you start. It would have saved me money and labor.
Be prepared before you rent. It costs about $150/day for the buffer. You want it running from start to finish.
Donít do it alone. It is very labor intensive.
12 grit sandpaper doesnít work very well. It will take paint off but it takes a long time.
There are several options on wheels. Carbide tipped wheels donít work as well as you would think. It just sat on top of the concrete and didnít take anything off
Diamond pads should be ran wet. This makes a huge mess. Get a large mop and mop bucket. Plastic off the bottom foot of your walls.
If you run a dry wheel, cover everything with plastic. Itís cheaper than your labor to clean everything.
Construct a makeshift negative air system with fans and cardboard in a window.
Most Home depot employees donít know squat about how to use these tools
A buffer wonít reach corners.
A buffer wonít clean the dips off the floor
Carpet tack strip nails are a wheel killer
A buffer is a base board killer. Consider putting a metal paint shield where youíre buffing
A buffer wonít ďruff upĒ the concrete.
Use a razor scraper to get most of the glue, debris off the floor first
Black glue residue from stick on tile is very hard to remove. Consider using a solvent before you start running the buffer.
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