Today, test kits are available consisting of numbered “picks.” Each number is related to a Moh’s hardness rating. You start by scratching the floor surface with the lowest number pick and continue up the scale until you see the first signs of a scratch in the concrete. This pick number tells what series of diamond pads to use for the polishing process.
4 Polishing the edge
Clif Rawlings, product manager/training coordinator for HTC America, says it’s always been easier to diamond polish the center of a floor than its edges. So with the help of polishing contractors HTC designed the HTC 270 EG “Standup Edger” to efficiently perform work along the edges.
The tool features an 11-inch-diameter polishing pad, mounted on an adjustable grinding head only 412 inches high and 10 inches deep, allowing it to fit under kick-tow plates, coolers, racks or even shelving in retail space. The wheels of the 230-pound machine freely move on the floor while the head of the machine can be tilted to the contour of the floor and rotated to the left, center or right to grind against walls. The grinder shroud has adjustable wheels which run against verticals to guide the machine, allowing easy operation.
5 Measuring gloss
In the past, diamond polished floors were specified to be polished to a designated grit level. But owners wanted their floors to have a uniform glossy appearance because customers like glossy floors. So gloss meters have become a popular tool for both contractors and owners representatives. Using products like the Horiba IG-331 Gloss Meter, contractors can measure gloss as they work. This instrument measures 60 degree (most commonly used) or 20 degree angles (for very high gloss requirements).
6 Measuring slip resistance
Sealers, coatings or diamond polished finishes can increase the risk for pedestrian slipping and falling. To ensure public safety, owners and contractors measure slip resistance with tools like the RSI BOT-3000 made by Regan Scientific Instruments (RSI). The company’s president, Peter Ermish, says the generic name for these instruments is “tribometers.” They measure the coefficient of friction (traction) between two surfaces rubbed together — the higher the coefficient of friction, the higher the slip resistance. The BOT-3000 is about the size of a shoe box and has interchangeable rubber or leather sensors (simulating shoe surfaces) that pass over wet soapy floor surfaces during the test. The ideal reading for diamond polished floors is 0.42; below 0.30 is considered unsafe. Ermish says most of their sales are direct but some diamond polishing manufacturers also sell them.
Forming and bulk-heading
The ongoing development of cordless tools using lithium (LI) battery technology makes them more indispensable. They have increased run time and are more powerful, at the same time weighing less and becoming smaller. Here are three tools for building formwork to make your work easier and more accurate.
7 Three-plane lasers
With this small tool you can set elevation, plumb and lay out square corners. For indoor work the Bosch GLL 3-80 projects a red laser line visible for approximately 30 feet. Set the tool in pulse mode for long range commercial interior applications and small exterior applications and a receiver-sensor picks up the signal up to 265 feet away. The tool also self levels within a couple of seconds and can be used for laying out lines and setting points.
8 Impact drivers
For many good reasons, contractors are converting from nails to screws for setting forms. The advent of impact drivers is part of the reason because they make it very easy to drive screws. The most popular models use 12- or 18-volt platforms. Twelve-volt impact drivers are small enough to fit in your pocket and can drive screws in spaces as small as 512 inches. Eighteen-volt models drive screws much faster with more force.
Impact drivers use hammer and anvil systems that strike each other twice in every rotation, driving the screw. This movement also causes the bit to re-seat itself into the head of the screw as it turns. As a result it takes very little energy to use the tool compared to a conventional drill driver. A prime advantage of impact drivers is their size because they can be built smaller than drill drivers. They are faster, too, as much as 40 to 50 percent.