Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Floor Update

Yesterday I did the drum sander and today I did the edge sander. The drum sander was the one I was worried about. I had never used one before I’ve heard the horror stories of burning grooves in the floor if the drum sits in one place too long. Everyone says the same thing, “Keep it moving”. The edge sander I’ve used before. When I did the floor in the bathroom I sanded the whole thing with an edge sander because the room was so small.

The only problem I had with the drum sander was a broken lever handle. There is a lever that you lift up on to disengage the drum from the floor while it is moving. On the second pass I lifted up on it and the bolt that it pivots on came loose and the drum hit the floor and dug a small groove. I was able to sand it out, so no long term damage. The other problem I had was that I’m 6’ 4” and the handles for the sander are low for me. I spent about 5 hours sanding and I really felt it in the shoulders when I was done.

The drum sander can only get to within about 8-inches of the wall. For the area up against the wall you use the edge sander. This proved the be the problem for me. When I did the drum sander I started out with 60 grit, then 80, and finally 100. I planned to do the same with the edge sander. The edge sander stands about a foot tall and weighs about 40 pounds. It uses 7-inch circular sanding disks. When this thing is running it is hard to control. It just wants to take off on you.

When I started I was kneeling on the floor and I had 60 grit paper on it. I turned it on and sanded the area directly in front of me. So far so good. I then went to sort of stand up in a crouching position so I could move around. As I did this I lost my balance because the sander was pulling me all over the place. I ended up going over the front of the sander and pushing it into the floor with all my weight. It ate in to the floor bad.

The only good thing about this, if anything about it can be considered good, was that I was right in front of a plinth block when it happened. If I had been someplace else it would really be noticeable when I put the quarter round on. I was able to feather it a little bit, but there is no making this one go way. After that I went to straight to 100 grit and did the rest with that. After sanding and cleaning I put on a mixture of Boiled Linseed Oil and Turpentine. Tomorrow will come the top coat. I was afraid I might got some splotchy-ness with the oil. Sometimes softwoods can take stains and oils unevenly. To my surprise there was no problem.

Of course, you all want to see a picture. I’m really not happy with this floor, and wasn’t going to post any pictures until I had cabinets, appliances and rugs – many large rugs – were covering the floor. But, what the hell. I know if I didn’t post one everyone would be asking, “Where’s the pictures. We want pictures”. So, just for my Blogger buddies, here is the first picture of the kitchen floor. What do you think?

Boy, that picture came out a little small, didn't it? Well, isn't that just too bad. Guess you'll have to wait for a better picture.


Candice said...

Hey Greg! I'm not writing about your floor but I didn't know where else to put my comment. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have the same sort of problems with my house history as you do -- I know the history of the house, and I just learned who the craftsman was, but I STILL don't have the architect. It drives me crazy.

By the way, the reason your sidebar on your blog is off-kilter is because you have an icon stuck in there that is too big for the column. Start moving those icons to the footer rather than the sidebar and your problem will be solved.

Trissa said...

Looks great Greg! It's encouraging to see and motivates me to get to that point soon! Hopefully we'll be re-laying our fir flooring this weekend. Where's that bigger picture?

StuccoHouse said...

What a tease you are ;-) Where is that bigger picture?

Suzanne said...

Hey Greg, you mentioned a magazine the other day called Restore and Preserve. What is that? Is it available at bookstores nationally, or is it a local CA thing?

Your floor looks great. Shy little thing though.

Greg said...

Hi Suzanne,

Restore & Preserve is very local. It is a monthly insert in the local newspaper. As the name implies, it is all about Restore & Preserve. Every month they feature 2 or 3 local houses and there are also columns by professionals on restoration and preservation. Aaaannd, in the August 15th edition MY house is going to be featured. I'm both excited and nervous about it.

Watch This Spot for details.

SmilingJudy said...

Glad to hear it's not just my wimpy arms that has trouble controlling the edge sander. When I posted about disappointments with my finished floor, someone responded with "they're just floors". She was right. It's been a couple of weeks and I still shake my head at the imperfections, but I'm getting over it.

I think part of the problem comes from the fact that when you "become" work on your house -- that's all you do and all you are -- you set an even higher standard for yourself because of what others might think of the results of your commitment.

Jenne said...

I actually had faith in my husband's handy skills when he refinished all our floors last summer. They still look prety damn good...despite things being dropped on them, and a puppy with long toenails running around.

derek said...

The floor looks great, you won't notice all the imperfections once everything is in. I thought they made a edger that was a big heavy belt sander? We're looking to do our floors soon, don't know when we'll have the time though. Your experience doesn't sound so bad.

Patricia W said...

My aunt has hardwood floors in her house. Right after she bought it we decided to sand them and reseal them. One of the first things to happen was the bolt/screw coming out and gouging the floor. Makes me wonder how common this problem is.

Jocelyn said...

Our kitchen floor isn't "perfect" either. I think I've said before there is some discoloration, a few uneven parts, and a stray hair (of mine) stuck in the finish. But it is not noticeable unless you get down and really look at it. And who looks down all the time?- only really sad people. And you won't have anything to be blue about when you finish your kitchen. :)