Monday, January 28, 2013

Le Cotage Conversion- All Hands On Deck! Part I

Our next biggest challenge since that bathroom episode downstairs, was refinishing the floor.This is the original floor, so it's 77 years old.
I had a trip planned to the temple with a bunch of friends on Saturday, but early in the morning, I ran up to Alpine which is 35 minutes north to pick up a floor sander. I came home, dropped the car at the cottage and started saying goodbye to my hubby.
"What's wrong?" I asked. "That's not what I was expecting it to be." he answered. Well, I hated to leave him to fend for himself but I had to skedaddle!
When I came home that evening they had a different sander- the one you see up above. The first one rotated and didn't have a collection bag. It was apparently a bad scene.
On Monday, Jake, Rylee, and Anthony spent hours sanding. On Tuesday, I took over dancing with the sander. Here, you can see Nicole and Porter scraping the bedroom to get it ready to sand.
After four hours, Jake walked in to check on me and I was laying flat on the floor resting. I always feel guilty when he finds me doing nothing. "I literally just barely laid down!" I exclaimed in defense.
It was very dusty. We had a dust collector from the woodshop set up to filter the air. It felt pointless, what I was doing. I would watch for "progress". The finish would gum up on the sanding pad creating stone-like lumps which would cause the whole thing to "float" instead of sand. I would have to stop often to scrape these off.

As you can see here, there were these very strange dents in the floor. They became more pronounced as the floor around them was sanded down. My guess is that these were caused by furniture being pushed around. It is not a hard-wood. The living room half is hemlock, and the kitchen half is douglas fir.The problem is, any spots that are still covered by the old finish will not absorb the stain or the new finish.

This particular section of flooring that Rylee is working on was in the closet of the bedroom which use to occupy what will be our kitchen. The closet contained actual linoleum which had to be scraped up to reveal the wood underneath.
There were places in the floor which had plywood scabbed in because there were vent registers and who knows what else. Jake removed the plywood and took wood flooring from the original kitchen to patch these areas up. He also took some flooring which was nailed up to create walls around the storage room downstairs. That's why these particular boards are blue. 

Eventually, I suggested to Jake that we had to come up with something different. I felt like I was just wasting my life away.  We suspect that there was years of wax layered on this floor. It is imbedded into the wood itself. Jake was even concerned the the wood wouldn't absorb the stain like normal because of this.

I enlisted the children with all the hand-sanders they had at the woodshop. Here is my Morgan.
He persisted and got quite a patch of bare wood. (Not shown here) He revealed probably 2 square feet with that sander, which was not easy!
It was kind of fun doing dance moves with the sander, but after two days of this every muscle I owned hurt.

So... (I can hear you asking) what did we come up with to speed this up?


  1. Ah.. what we'll do for those lovely wood floors! And, yes, what did you come up with?!

    1. Sandy, I am SO looking forward to NOT having carpet to absorb and hold all the symptoms of having so many children!

  2. And … ? Come on, we're hanging here! *holds breath until she finds out answer*

  3. Those dents were caused by the previous person that sanded the floor, its caused by either lowering the drum onto the floor while stationary or stopping before lifting the drum off the floor, those dents are created in milliseconds. It's actually a great example of what to avoid when using a drum or belt sander.