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Old 12-16-2011, 09:11 AM   #1
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I'm close to the finish line with the buy/fix/flip. I have one more important task and that is to restore and refinish a 24' x 16' yellow pine floor. The pine is old growth. Years ago someone had the bright idea of building a closet with hot air ductwork into the floor. Plus they built an 'entertainment center' smack dab in the middle of the floor each time scarping out the original pine in order to make the 'improvements'. When I gutted the house and tore out these additions, I thought that there was no way I'd find some of this tight grained pine to match up so I opted out for filling in the voids with popular - the intention being to carpet. I've had 6 months or so to mull this decision over and my conscience got the best of me. It was vexing the thought of covering up this old floor. I took a half day trip down into S. Lancaster county to an old timey lumber yard and found just what I needed. Yesterday, I spent several hours processing my haul and now am ready to tear out the poplar and replace with the new found pine.

I talked to a guy at my favorite rental place. He has a decent knowledge base on his equipment and was generous with his time. I describe what I was about and the condition of the floor explaining that it had probably never been refinished and there was a lot of spilled paint and such since it was a work site for nigh onto a year. He is recommending that I begin by using a drum sander with 36 grit then switch to a rotary 4 pad disc sander that he has.

I left my new pine pieces about a 1/16" thicker than the originals so that I can sand down to the floor and go from there. He's arguing that the drum sander will do the heavy lifting and that is why I should go with it first.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-17-2011, 03:45 PM   #2
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I know area well , old home sand down high area first then the rest of floor.wish you luck. Tom

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Old 12-17-2011, 04:50 PM   #3
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Drum sanders can commit a world of sins in a very short time. Be careful using a drum sander, there is absolutely a learning curve with those things. It is all in how confident you feel about using the thing. I'm sure you can handle it, to be for-warned is to be for-armed.

Probably wouldn't begin out in the middle but at the same time if the new boards offer an additional 1/16" of grace maybe that's the place to dive in and get some quick practice.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline
Drum sanders can commit a world of sins in a very short time. Be careful using a drum sander, there is absolutely a learning curve with those things. It is all in how confident you feel about using the thing. I'm sure you can handle it, to be for-warned is to be for-armed.

Probably wouldn't begin out in the middle but at the same time if the new boards offer an additional 1/16" of grace maybe that's the place to dive in and get some quick practice.
Like running a floor buffer for the first time but w/o the damage.

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Old 12-17-2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Drum sanders can commit a world of sins in a very short time. Be careful using a drum sander, there is absolutely a learning curve with those things. It is all in how confident you feel about using the thing. I'm sure you can handle it, to be for-warned is to be for-armed.

Probably wouldn't begin out in the middle but at the same time if the new boards offer an additional 1/16" of grace maybe that's the place to dive in and get some quick practice.
I'll heed your advice. Yesterday, I milled up all of the old growth yellow pine. Hauled my Bosch compound sliding mitre saw with stand to the job site. Glad I did. I cut to length all of the pieces a little bit long at the workshop. Brought my Lie-Nielson low angle Jack plane in order to dimension any pieces width wise to line up with original floor. The job went relatively smoothly. I couldn't believe how much the 'new' wood fits in with the old. Installed a total 39 pieces in different parts of the floor. Made the pieces 1/16" thicker than the floor and glued down with liquid nail. Today, I mixed up Fasco 2-part epoxy cut with some wood dust and filled in voids and cracks. Monday, I'll rent the drum sander and give it a whirl.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #6
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If you have the option, get a drum sander that has the wheels on it that picks the drum off the floor when you reach the wall. If you don't, you'll end up w/ a long 3/4" wide groove all along the wall. Ask me how I know.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:11 PM   #7
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If you have the option, get a drum sander that has the wheels on it that picks the drum off the floor when you reach the wall. If you don't, you'll end up w/ a long 3/4" wide groove all along the wall. Ask me how I know.
This one didn't have the wheels but I didn't run into that problem. Whew! It really worked really well until the end of the day when the two adjustment bolts that work on the cam to tighten the sandpaper failed. I was lucky as I had just finished the entire floor (16' x 24') with the 36 grit. I had used up 3 pieces and had just installed the 4th. I was looking to swoop down on any real obvious scratches or uneven parts of the floor. When installing the 4th piece, I was'nt able to tighten the paper to the drum completely but went ahead and used it the way it was. I knew there was a problem but it was already after 5pm.. It sort of made a click, click, click noise as the loose paper slapped against the floor. Finally the paper came apart. That was the end of the day. This sander weighs a ton!. The rental place got it right: use the drum sander for the heavy lifting and come back with the 4 head oscillating sander - which I'll pick up tomorrow. I only dug in a couple of times and was able to sand out the valleys. Dealing with the higher elevation of the the pine that I added to the floor did present a bit of a challenge. I finally figured out a way of bringing the high spots down without dipping into the main part of the floor. It's pretty physical work!
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:17 PM   #8
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It gets easier from here on. The pad-sander will allow you to relax a little.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:34 PM   #9
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It gets easier from here on. The pad-sander will allow you to relax a little.
That's good news! My back is killing me and I'm a pretty big boy. This drum sander weighed a ton. But maybe that is what keeps it from chattering. I figure that tomorrow, I'll start with 60 grit and work my way up to 120 with the oscillating sander.

Have you ever used a Swiffer Sweeper on a job site? It is the cats meow. Here is a link to the product. http://www.swiffer.com/products/swiffer-sweeper Forget about tack rags from now on. For several months this living room had a portable table saw and compound mitre saw in it while I addressed issues on all 3 floors. Wood dust inevitably migrated onto all of the newly painted walls and ceilings. I know because I took a damp cloth and wiped it on one of the walls. Bad thing to do. It left a long unsightly smudge that stuck to the paint. I tried a tack rag but it would have taken me forever to remove all of the dust. Then, in one of those rare occasions, I actually had an idea to try this Swiffer that my wife uses all the time. Perfect solution. In less than an hour I picked up all the dust in the room with a 10 foot ceiling and 24' x 16'. The entire area was contaminated. If it works on walls and ceiling, I figure it will work just fine on the floor once I get done sanding and just before I apply the poly.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
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I would vac thoroughly.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #11
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I would vac thoroughly.
Understood. First thing to do.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:34 PM   #12
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Thoroughly vacuum the tops of window and door trims and any floor vents there may be and the tops of anything else in the vicinity that can hold dust.
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:43 PM   #13
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Well, now I understand why a good floor refinisher will charge up to $3.50 per square foot. I'ts damn hard work! I took back the drum sander and rented a 4 head oscillating sander. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with it's performance. I was hoping it would continue the process of leveling out the floor and undoing some of the damage caused by laying down the drum sander in parts of the floor - leaving slight dips. It just wasn't aggressive enough. But anyway, I went from 36 grit up to 100 grit then took it back. The other problem with this sander was that it did not get right up to the baseboard - something the rental guys assured me it would do. So, I had to spend a couple more hours on my knees with my palm orbit sander finishing up. Then vacuumed and dry mopped the floor with the Swiffer. If you haven't tried this yet, it is the cat's meow. You won't believe how much residual dust I picked up.

I bought a Minwax product from SW - satin - and mopped on the first coat. I was aiming to get two coats on in one day but it was not to be. First coat was still slightly tacky at 6pm. Next morning it was hard. I bumped it down with a vibrating sander and 220 grit. The grain on the pine had raised quite bit. The first coat really sucked in. The second coat also took a day to dry. This time there were a good bit of areas that were raised up sort of like maybe poly might have pooled up in slightly depressed areas of the floor. It took at least and 1.5 hours to prep for the 3rd coat. Once again I used a vibrating sander with 220 grit to deal with the issues. Third coat is now drying.

Question: I'm gonna assume that I will once again have to deal with some defects in the finish. I really don't like polyurethane! Would it make sense to rent a buffer to smooth out the final coat?

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