Friday, May 21, 2010

Corners and edges

The random orbit sander was great at getting right up to the edges of the floors, but still, it couldn't get the last half-inch or so, nor could it get into the corners and a few really tight nooks and crannies we had.  Then there were a few boards that had particularly low corners, and we didn't want to run the sander for an extra hour to level the whole room enough to get those few extra square inches.  So all of those spaces had to be done by hand. 

This scraper was good for getting the finish off of larger areas, like corners, that we couldn't get the sander into.  We hadn't bought it with this particular job in mind (P gave it to me as a Christmas gift for refinishing furniture), but it turned out to be exactly the same width as our floorboards.  This was very convenient--it's very sharp, and I discovered the hard way that if I tried to do two boards at a time, I was liable to put a serious scratch into one.  The scraper required a good bit of strength to use effectively, so I left that one for P. 

Mostly, we used a really low-tech solution: a folded piece of sandpaper left-over from the random orbit sander.  80 grit was good for removing finish, followed by a quick polish with 120.
The difference between the before and after pictures is fairly subtle, but it was definitely worth the effort.  (Yes, the baseboard molding in this room is at carpet height, so elevated off the floor by about 1/2".  Yes, this is a problem--we can see under the boards and into the gaps along the wall.  No, we're not in any hurry to do anything about this, for reasons that will become clear later.)

Finally, P, being the meticulous guy he is, used a putty knife to scrape the worst of the finish out from between the deepest of the remaining bevels.

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