Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sleeping Porch: Sanding the Hardwoods (part 1)

Here's how the room looked before sanding the floors and removing the bookshelf, which was secured to the wall. The pink and green splotch on the left wall is where I removed the built-in bed:

before sanding
This was the first time I've ever used a drum sander and edger. The drum sander was spectacularly heavy for its size but thankfully my neighbor Fernando was around to help lift it up the back steps.

I found the machine to be easy to operate and luckily I must have the magic touch because not once did I gouge the floor (!). In fact, I found the machine to be very easy to operate, unlike some unlucky homeowner's out there who have irreparably damaged their floors. (They are probably still weeping.)

Drum sanders can do a lot of damage to hardwood floor if you're not careful. All it takes is to leave them spinning in the same place for even just a few seconds, and you can end up with a crevice in the floor that will never come out. You have to stagger and feather off the edges of the room because if you don't, then the edges will get hit twice (once when you move forward, again when you move backwards). That can end up with the room having an indented ridge around the edges of the room. (If you haven't ever seen how bad that looks, just go apartment hunting in four-plexes around the Montrose area and you'll see how bad some DIY floor sanding jobs can end up.)

sanding in progress

sanding in progress

I didn't quite finish because I had to return the drum sander while I dealt with another problem: I discovered that the blue paint had seeped in between each of the floorboards. I'm not sure how pro's deal with this issue, but it came right out with a utility knife, a careful hand, some patience, and a shop-vac.

On the left is a crack which I had only halfway cleaned out.
On the right is a crack that's fully cleaned out.
Looks much neater, doesn't it?
Now that the paint is all out, I'll prep the kitchen for sanding and knock it out along with the other rooms and the remainder of this room.

* Thanks to many You-Tubers who have posted their how-to videos and especially Pete's Hardwood Floors in Wisconsin, which has a dandy website for learning the in-and outs of hardwood floor sanding, along with helpful videos like this one: