Velcrometer Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
It occurs to me that I never gave y'all an update on how my floor-refinishing project went last month. I said I was renting a floor sander and never said another word about that. I should probably rectify that, even though it may be the only reason some of you keep coming back.
So, how did it turn out? Well, normally, I'm not one to brag, but I think the following photograph of my professional-quality refinishing job pretty much speaks for itself:
I should do this for a living.
Okay, not really. That's a picture of our back deck. Hence all the little seed pods.
Here's what the floor really looks like:
Not bad, if I say so myself. I still don't think I should do it for a living, though; who would be able to afford me?
Let me tell you, that floor sander is a scary beast. You've got a sandpaper-covered drum revolving so fast that each little grain of sand on it emits a teeny little sonic boom. Once you engage it, it's like trying to push a wheelbarrow full of concrete down a steep hill, but slooowly. I was wrong when I said that leaving the drum engaged would result in the sander ending up in the basement. If I had let go of the handlebars, the thing would have been through the house's outer wall, in the driveway, in the neighbor's house, and halfway to Des Moines before I had time to react.
Of course, one has to wrestle this monster while wearing earplugs against the noise and a dust mask against the...well, against the dust, obviously. It's hard to feel like one is at full capacity under such conditions. On the other hand, I looked goood.
What surprised me the most was the amount of sawdust produced. The sander has a huge cloth bag for collecting sawdust, but only some of the stuff actually makes it in there. Even so, I had to empty the bag several times. There was so much sawdust that I was amazed that there was any floor left. I could have made an entirely new floor just out of the sawdust.
Something to keep in mind if you ever decide to do somthing like this: make sure that the place you rent the sander from will let you return any unused sandpaper. The room isn't that big, so I had a lot left over to bring back. That's good, because the rental price of the sander is left than half of the total cost. Being stingy with my sandpaper saved me roughly seventeen million dollars.
Applying the polyurethane finish was pretty uneventful. That made me happy at the time, but now that I'm writing about it I'm sort of wishing that I had an embarrassing story to tell in which I started by the door and worked my way further into the room until I painted myself into a corner and had to spend 24 hours curled up on four square feet of floorboard due to bad planning. That didn't happen. But let's pretend it did so we can all have a good laugh about it, whaddya say?
After I finished applying all three coats, which took 24 hours apiece to dry, it was time to bring the stuff back into the room. Except not. What happened instead was that Trash talked me into making the second bedroom into the study, and vice versa. So now I'm updating this page from atop my fancy new floor instead of the dinky little room that used to contain my desk. That room's a bedroom.now. It's kind of cool because unlike most bedrooms, it has a door to go outside. Let's hope a teenager never lives in there, shall we?
Overall, the project was a lot of work, requiring a great deal of time, expense, and inconvenience. Naturally we're planning to do the same thing to the rest of the main floor.
Any money received from advertising this month will go to benefit:
BET RED It's ON. The Tomato Nation/Donors Choose Challange is back, and bigger than ever. As always, all ad money in September and October will go directly to the contest.