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Old 02-24-2013, 09:36 PM   #1
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Attempting to re-finish old floor, sandpaper gets "gummed up"


I rented an orbital sander from Menards and based on their suggestions purchased 2 packs of 36 grit, 2 of 50 grit, and 2 of 80 grit sandpaper. The room is only about 100 square feet.

The floor is old and has been covered with carpet for years. The house was built in the early 1900s.

After prepping everything and starting the sander, the sandpaper gets coated in what appears to be the old varnish/finish, rendering it useless. This happens in a matter of 30 seconds or less and at $5 per pack, not very cost efficient. The images below speak for themselves:







As you can see, the floor is quite a mess. I've read many articles and watched many videos, but this is my first time attempting this. Nothing mentioned having to strip the old varnish off... but is that what's causing this issue? What can I do?

I've been told that the issue may be that the current floor has a wax based finish, which won't removed correctly using a sander. If this is true, would I need to buy a chemical and strip the floor prior to sanding?

Appreciate any help - especially since I'm paying by the hour to rent this thing!

Thanks,
Carl

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:50 PM   #2
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Attempting to re-finish old floor, sandpaper gets "gummed up"


You need a drum type floor sander to strip the floors. The orbital sanding pad never leaves the surface so heat builds up in the pad and causes the thick layers of finish to soften and stick to the disks. A drum sander spins on a horizontal axis, the sandpaper leaves the floor allowing some cooling of the paper so the finish does not soften as easily. A drum sander will cut very fast and can easily strip all the finish to bare wood with only one pass using a coarse paper.

Since it cuts fast; extreme care must be used as it will quickly create a divot if you don't keep it moving when the paper is in contact with the floor. Do some research first as there is a learning curve! After you get the finish stripped then you can switch to the less aggressive orbital sander to smooth and flatten the striping effect the drum sander leaves behind.

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Old 02-25-2013, 03:37 AM   #3
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Attempting to re-finish old floor, sandpaper gets "gummed up"


[QUOTE=iamrfixit;1124341]You need a drum type floor sander to strip the floors. The orbital sanding pad never leaves the surface so heat builds up in the pad and causes the thick layers of finish to soften and stick to the disks. A drum sander spins on a horizontal axis, the sandpaper leaves the floor allowing some cooling of the paper so the finish does not soften as easily. A drum sander will cut very fast and can easily strip all the finish to bare wood with only one pass using a coarse paper.

Since it cuts fast; extreme care must be used as it will quickly create a divot if you don't keep it moving when the paper is in contact with the floor. Do some research first as there is a learning curve! After you get the finish stripped then you can switch to the less aggressive orbital sander to smooth and flatten the striping effect the drum sander leaves behind.[/QUOTE]


absolutely
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
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Attempting to re-finish old floor, sandpaper gets "gummed up"


You have the wrong machine and the floor has shellac or wax on it. Rent a drum sander, edger sander, and buffer. These sanders are not good for much except recoating floors and fine sanding prior to staining. This will take days with this sander. Get the drum type sander and start with a 24 grit and it will come up pretty easily. After drum sanding with 24 grit, edge with 24 grit, drum again with 36, edge with 36, drum with 50, edge with 50, drum with 80, edge with 100, then buff with 100 grit sand paper o the hard plate buffer head , then buff again with 120 grit with a white pad on the buffer. Hope this helps.
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