The Fireplace: Part 2

I have another new toy.

Destroyer of worlds, boxed. Other brands are available.

Previously, we had our fireplace opened up with the goal of getting a wood burning stove installed.

We need to get the chimney breast plastered, which we can do now, but if we want to A) save the coving, and B) save the plasterer some time and effort, we will need to remove the old material that has been plastered all over it.

You can see the material in an older pic here

I’ve already taken some of it off across the middle. By hand. With a small chisel. Never again.

In order for me to get the rest off in good time (Note that I am the idiot who booked the plasterer for two days after the initial work on opening up the fireplace) I purchased an SDS drill, which is essentially the same as a normal drill but can pack more of a punch, and has one key additional function that I’ll get on to shortly.

The drill, with a chisel bit attached

I wanted to buy a Makita one as I recently purchased a Makita Combi Drill but they didn’t have any in stock at a local powertool store and I needed it pretty quickly, so I just bought their 2nd cheapest option instead.

Now that I’ve used the drill, I kind of wish I went looking elsewhere for a Makita one, but it’s not because this drill is bad at all. Although originally I didn’t think I’d use it often, I have a feeling that I’m going to use it quite a bit. There’s nothing wrong with the drill I did purchase – it works really well – but I would like some consistency with the tools. Plus the Makita tools are just better made than this one. As the Makita one I did find (well, it was advertised but none were present, with the exception of an older display model which had some wear and tear and was securely fixed to the shelving) was corded it didn’t matter too much whether I stuck with a particular brand or not for this particular tool. The only reason for brand loyalty (or consistency at least) in the powertool world, as far as I can tell, is the ability to use batteries across devices. And because you like them of course.

Anyway, the drill I did get has three settings. The first is what you would expect a normal drill to do – rotary action. You attach a bit on the end which spins. Put this against a surface and makes a hole. Lovely. The second setting does the normal rotary action as described above, plus a hammer action. As you drill into a surface and apply pressure, the bit gets pushed forward at force and released back again very rapidly. This allows you to… well, smash and drill at the same time. Useful for making circular holes in harder surfaces like brick.

The third option is what I bought the thing for. The Hammer setting. Forget the spinning drilling bit of a normal drill, this thing just hammers.

We’re not talking a slow tap tap tap here either. It really smashes away at significant speed. All you hear when you pull the trigger is a buzzing. A loud, near deafening buzzing. That is until you push the bit against the thing you want obliterated and it turns from near deafening buzzing to repeatedly smashing several dozen times a second and sounds like a jet engine.

I love it.

Does make your arms hurt, though. And your back. I’m not built for this manual labour lark, but I’ll get used to it. Even accounting for my severe lack of fitness and strength, I managed to clear all the plaster away ready for the plasterer to put up a fresh, flat coat.

Undercoat of plaster remains in some spots, most is gone though

I’ve still got some tidying up to do, little bits of plaster still dotted around. I didn’t want to get too close to the coving with the drill so will attack that strip with the chisel. Just as soon as my arms have stopped shaking…

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