He’s in his early seventies, and that thing in his hands is a modified weed-whacker.
Back story: Mom and Dad decided, recently, to polish the Saltillo tile floor in their home, and Dad bought a floor polishing machine off Craigslist, for that purpose, for a song. The guy who sold it had been using it to grind concrete floors smooth, but it came with “soft” buffers, and Dad had no problem putting them on and getting them up and running.
Dad uses the machine to buff the floors.
And discovers, to his great annoyance, that some previous owner of the house had sealed the floors without cleaning them, first. The polisher will cut through the sealant on the tile, but the dark grime in the grout, between the tiles, is sealed in and will not come off with cleaners or mechanical buffing.
The grout, he decides, will have to be abraded away, where it’s dirty, and replaced.
He buys a cheap electric trimmer—at Harbor Freight, I think—and replaces the line reel with a wire brush, supposedly made from brass and unequivocally purchased at Harbor Freight.
Using this contraption, he discovers A) the brush is too hard and tends to erode the surface of adjacent tiles, as well as the surface of the grout, and B) every so often, it gives off sparks. Which brass does not do. He holds a magnet up to it and, whaddya know, click, it sticks. The brush is steel plated with brass.
He replaces the fake-brass brush with a special nylon brush he’s found online and ordered through the mail. And it works: The dirty grout is ground away, but the adjacent tile is not marred.
And that’s a picture of him, up top, abrading away the grout between the Saltillo tiles on the floor of the home he shares with my mother, using a tool improvised from an electric weed whacker and a special-purpose nylon brush. In his early seventies.
I do love him so.