Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: A Study in Coordination and Concrete

…the next task is to remove the cement used to set the tiles. 

While some of the surface area in this section will be covered with our new cabinets and the range, there is still a decent amount of wall space that has to be smoothed out. 

The tools for this work are simple: a chisel and a hammer. And the actual work is straightforward: chip off as much cement as possible.

But here’s the thing – it isn’t the hand you use to hold the hammer that takes a beating. It’s the hand you use to hold the chisel.

In order to exert enough force to chip off the cement, you need to keep a death grip on the chisel, while whacking on it in a steady rhythm with the hammer. 

Results of a highly scientific study found that keeping a death grip on the chisel results in your hand locking into a claw, which requires the aid of your hammer hand to unclench the claw to release the chisel. 

Further studies found that the knuckle of your thumb on the hand that has become a claw turns an interesting color of blue and green when the hammer makes impact on repeated occasions. This seems to occur more for those individuals lacking hand/eye coordination. Fortunately, as this thumb is on the claw hand, which has become numb from keeping a death grip on the chisel, the pain of the bruise is temporarily suspended. It’s only after circulation is restored to said claw hand that an individual makes haste to locate the closest bottle of Advil.

And being the mathematical genius that I am, here is the proven equation illustrating the outcome of these studies: 

Home remodeling + cement structure x klutziness = owwies, Advil, and boo-boo strips 

However, the reward for incurring these types of maladies is that you end up with a smoother wall surface. Unfortunately, the surface still isn’t as smooth as we would like. In order to achieve the desired result, we will more than likely need to grind or sand the area. 

Tarps will need to be erected. Masks will need to be worn. The dulcet sounds of a power tool encountering concrete will echo hither and yon. And in spite of our best efforts, cement grit will continue to be found in nooks and crannies into the next millennium. 

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