So I'll be sanding the floor of Camo Manor this weekend and…

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  • So I'll be sanding the floor of Camo Manor this weekend and…
  • Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Anything I should know to avoid catastrophe?

    always lift the belt off the ground when the machine isn’t moving.

    camo16
    Member

    Ah okay, so switch on and start moving straight away then?

    Good advice right there.

    Premier Icon JasonDS
    Subscriber

    Knee padding.

    Premier Icon Imabigkidnow
    Subscriber

    avoid any very recently installed plastic central heating pipes feeding your radiator through the floor if you have them (not me – a friend)

    camo16
    Member

    Any idea how long it takes? It’s basically two biggish rooms and a hallway.

    jodafett
    Member

    Ah okay, so switch on and start moving straight away then?

    Yeah, then lift before you get to the end of a section. I’ve seen houses with nice little grooves a couple cm’s from the skirting board, all the way round the room!

    dooosuk
    Member

    Have you made sure there’s no protruding nails?

    camo16
    Member

    Yeah, we’ve gone over the floor a few times dooosuk. One last look over everything tonight. I have to bang all the floor board nails down too, I think?

    beaker2135
    Member

    Punch the nails in before you start or they’ll rip the belt
    Longer than you think + twice as long to clean the rest of the house 🙂
    Not quick enough

    camo16
    Member

    Fantastic info guys! Cheers.

    One more thing – a work mate has just told me you’re supposed to start on the diagonal and then work along the floor boards the second time around. He’s a bit of a git and I definitely don’t trust him. On this occasion, is he right?

    Ta.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Be prepared for the possibility of mucho dust – when I did ours the place was full of it. Not sure this is supposed to happen but it might.

    beaker2135
    Member

    Yes, sadly
    It will remove more of the surface across the grain, but you need to finish it off with the grain to avoid the scratch marks showing
    No need to tell him though

    camo16
    Member

    Ah, okay then.

    Damn he looked so smug I was praying he was wrong.

    No need to tell him though

    Not unless it goes wrong, in which case I will be blaming him.

    Be prepared for the possibility of mucho dust – when I did ours the place was full of it. Not sure this is supposed to happen but it might.

    The hire place has sold us these bags that are supposed to stop the dust getting out… did you use the same sharkbait?

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    You can try to seal off the rest of the house, but you can’t. You can only minimise the mess, but its still worth it, double layers of plastic betweene the rooms minimum, Close ALL DOORS IN THE HOUSE.

    You will need to clean several days in a row as it settles

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    The hire place has sold us these bags that are supposed to stop the dust getting out…

    😆

    richpips
    Member

    Make sure you put the sanding belts on the drum very tightly.

    Get far more belts than you think you will need.

    camo16
    Member

    Ahhh.

    Fairly massive undertaking, this.

    But the end results are worth it, eh? Aren’t they?

    Premier Icon JasonDS
    Subscriber

    Ours looked good when finished. I think I saved a bag of the dust to mix with wood glue to fix dents and scratches.. haven’t tried it so dunno if it actually works…

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    But the end results are worth it, eh? Aren’t they?

    Well, you end up with a nice smooth floor to lay a carpet on 😉

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    A word of warning – those big floor sanders are absolute beasts – its quite physical work manoeuvring them and be prepared to be dragged across the floor the first time you lower it down. Seriously throaty machines!

    As above make sure all nails are sorted – they destroy the sanding belts in seconds.

    You are likely to need multiple passes on each section and make sure you keep a nice even pace otherwise you will have beautiful undulations across the boards.

    Also, consider what you’re going to protect your lovely sanded floors with between finishing the sanding and getting them varnished. I didn’t and my wife spilt emulsion on them – soul destroying having to wait for it to dry and then sand some more. Even dusty footprints can take some shifting and remember when you’ve got exposed wood showing anything water based (like mud) can properly get into the wood.

    Regardless of any bags etc the hire shop has sold you, you will get dusty – very very very dusty. Make sure you wear eye protection and a face mask.

    Good luck – its a bitch of a job!

    Cheers

    Danny B

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    +1 for eye and mouth/nose protection.
    Also, wear full length sleeves/legs and probably a buff or hat to keep the dust off you.

    Go diagonal (45deg) to level out between the boards on your first pass or 2. Then go with the grain.
    Don’t bother with really coarse paper unless you really have to. The coarse stuff can catch and rip itself off the drum.

    Hammer down any exposed nail heads first. they’ll polish up fine, but if they’re sticking out they can catch and rip the sandpaper.

    Machines with bags do a fairly good job of catching the dust. Just make sure you empty them regularly and you’re not supposed to leave the machine with them partially full: dust + heat buildup = BANG!

    Edge rotary sanders are like trying to pin down a chimpanzee having a fit. YOu have to wrestle the buggers.

    Once you’re down to bear wood, wear shoe-protectors or non-marking soles.

    Afterwards, once the dust has settled, hoover everything, then wash down with white spirit to degrease.

    Once that has dried slap on the varnish/oil/whatever you’re using.

    Enjoy the results!

    hora
    Member

    Seal the room doors with tape/bin bags – it’ll get throughout the house otherwise. Guaranteed.

    sleepless
    Member

    I sanded all the floors in one of our old 5 bed detatched homes once. it was horrible work.

    sink all nails in a couple of mm at least to save ripping belts to bits.
    have good dust masks, goggles, gloves and coveralls- and spare ones handy.

    it is hot work so have drinks on hand.

    tape off the doors. if you keep window open make sure all other windows doors are sut including neighbours washing off line.

    prepare to seal the sanded floor as soon as you can.have your hoover ready

    Dust is your enemy!

    We have new house now and just sand around the edge of floors then put big ruggs down. a lot less hassle.

    camo16
    Member

    I bow down to your mighty knowledge, oh STW hive mind. 😀

    Cheers all. I’m not sure if I’m more confident now, or scared stiff, but it’s best to know.

    hora
    Member

    Why not postpone the sanding for when the weather is absolutely bobbins?

    You Brits are cra-a-a-azy

    camo16
    Member

    …I presume it’s all fairly straightforward?

    Plug in machine… stick machine on floor… turn on… sand along floorboards… switch off… drink beer and feel manly…

    Anything I should know to avoid catastrophe?

    camo16
    Member

    Isn’t the weather bobbins now?

    If I wait for über bobbins, this damn floor’s never going to get done.

    qwerty
    Member

    You need some face masks & ear protection. The big machine will not do the edges next to the wall so you also need the smaller hand edging tool which is a bastid to control as its like a shopping trolley in a Jones factory to control. I sealed the room, used the dust bags and used the window for entry / exit once I’d started.

    You won’t notice the imperfections until you stain the wood.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Ah yes – forgot to mention ‘The Edge Sander’ – those things would sand a pig in half in seconds.

    Pop it down along a skirting board and getting dragged merrily across the floor – great fun!..

    Oh, one more tip. If they do sale or return on sanding belts get at least double you think you’ll use otherwise you’ll only be going back to the hire shop for some more half way through the day!

    Cheers

    Danny B

    camo16
    Member

    Nervous now about the edge sander.

    Is there a technique I should know for safe, efficient and sleek usage?

    camo16
    Member

    [possible sexist comment alert]

    I’m going to be sanding with mrscamo16.

    The idea was that one of us used the beast (I thought me) and the other utilised the edge sander.

    Now I’m not saying that women are weaker than the guys, but do both require muchos strength? Is the plan doable?

    [/possible sexist comment alert]

    sleepless
    Member

    ear defenders – well remembered qwerty. my brain is still rattling around in my skull from not wearing mine for the 1st 10 mins.

    Once you have finished the floor you will be so proud. you will expect everyone who walks on you work of art to mention how beautiful it is. if they do not do this, it is fine for you to remind them of how beautiful your floor is.

    have some spare nails/ screws ready for any boards which are missing them. also have some spare floorboard and wood worm killer incase you find worm holes after you sand the surface off.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Edge sander is probably harder to control than the big fella. The belt sander going with the grain leaves a nicer finish.

    The last sander I used had an integral handle the lifter the belt off the floor, so you didn’t need to tip it up, much easier than the simple ones.

    crikey
    Member

    The way I used an edge sander was to bend over with my forearms resting on my thighs and control it that way. I did an awkwardly shaped hallway and could hardly walk for a week..

    camo16
    Member

    Okay, I’ll try your method crikey – but since my back is gammy and I’m in the latter stages of recovery from serious knee gash trauma, I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep that up.

    Who needs perfectly smooth floorboards anyway? Undulations and scrapes just add character, no?

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    If anything the edge sander is harder work than the belt sander. You could use them in different rooms but I wouldn’t want to choreograph the pair in the same room.

    As above they are loud and dusty so decent protection is worth it, not a crappy folding dust mask or suchlike. I’ve used both varnish and oil in the past and these days would definitely choose the oil again (fiddes hard wax oil is what I used last time)

    camo16
    Member

    @ thepurist

    Cheers – we’re thinking of Danish oil, topped with yacht varnish. Does that sound okay, or would the Danish oil give enough protection?

    Ta

    crikey
    Member

    Oh, and top tip for varnish application; use a roller on the end of a pole.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    Dunno about Danish oil on floors – I’ve only ever used it for exterior woodwork. Not sure how it’d stand up in a heavily trafficed area. I’ve gone off varnish as its harder to do patch repairs that don’t stand out a mile (hallway in a place I let out) whereas the oil finish wears better in the first place then is easier to refinish.

    breatheeasy
    Member

    Genuinely, just pay someone. It was about the same price for the guys to sand and oil our living room and dining room and they did it in all two days. And it was an excuse to go out and have some quality time. And remarkably little dust too.

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