18 September 2006

Sanding

With the water heater situation resolved I'm back to work re-finishing the floor.

A couple of stumbling blocks with the sander...The bolt I'm using to hold the pads and sandpaper on kept coming un-done because of the rotation of the sander. I tried for a couple of days to find a 'Left-Hand' threaded nut and bolt (one where the threads are reversed so it would tighten in stead of loosen as the sander spins) but was unable to find one. So I came up with my own solution, I drilled a small hole in the bolt and put a cotter pin through it and it's been holding the nut on perfectly. Unfortunately, the next little roadblock happened as I used the machine and the blue pad began to squish down some...As it did the end of the bolt began to come into contact with the floor - not good! So I ground it down a little with my dremel tool and put on a new pad. When I go to the next sandpaper grit I'm going to try doubling up the blue pads under the sandpaper to see if that adds enough height to solve the problem. My next step, if that doesn't work, will be cutting the bolt shorter and drilling a new cotter pin hole but I hope it doesn't come to that as it will make it a lot more difficult to screw on the nut.

But...As you can see here, I have been making some good progress on the floor even with all the problems.



The most difficult part of the sanding so far has been the removal of the old finish. Not sure exactly what it is, I'm assuming some type of varnish. The sander scrapes it off pretty well but it keeps making huge sticky chunks both on the sandpaper and on the floor. When the chunks get thick on the sandpaper it stops spinning as they 'glue' it down to the floor. I have to constantly stop the machine, flip it over and pick the chunks off because they also get so thick the sandpaper is riding on them and not contacting the floor.

These are the chunks when they stick to the floor:

And here they are after I chip them off of the sandpaper:

Overall though...I think it's going pretty well and I'm learning enough in the process that I think the subsequent floors (I have (at least) 4 more rooms to go after this one) will go a lot more smoothly (and faster).

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