Monday, February 23, 2009

Compass Rose - (Part 2 of 2)

This is a continuation, more or less, of a much earlier entry entitled Compass Rose.

Last week we rented the floor sanding equipment again and finished the rest of our hardwood floors. It was a marathon floor finishing session, during which we applied 13.5 gallons of oil based polyurethane. I've decided that oil based polyurethane smells like bad tequila, with a hangover to match, but I'm convinced it's better than water-based polyurethane, if for no other reason than the fact that they're outlawing the oil based stuff in several states now. (due to the VOC's?) It does give the wood a nice amber glow that I don't see in water based finishes.

Here's a second picture of the compass rosette, without the reflections from the window. The wood species are: white oak, cherry, walnut, and hard maple.

Very soon, before the sanding process is nothing but a distant memory for me, I'll post what we learned about the various types of floor sanders. We used three different walk-behind types, and two different edging sanders in the course of finishing approximately 3500 square feet of floors.

Just for kicks, here's a picture of this same floor, almost three years ago when we were raising the frame. This picture might give you a panoramic sense of the view from this room, as it's impossible to convey this now with a camera by photographing through glass.

Because I've witnessed two spontaneous combustion events at my own house site, I feel obliged to include this floor-finishing reminder... ALWAYS dispose of oily rags and sanding dust in a metal container far away from anything flammable or of value. Last week I made a checklist of the disposition of anything combustible that I reviewed and initialed at the end of every work day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and to say I'm amazed is an understatement. I just skimmed through all the entries - so I may have missed it - but have you moved into the house full time yet?

WOW is about all I can think of to say - and that doesn't quite capture the feeling!

I wish you and your family many happy years in such a wonderful place.


February 24, 2009 at 8:05 PM  
Anonymous AJG said...

Beautiful floor. You guys did a great job - or was it the neighbor kids doing all the work again? Glad you learned your lesson and are double-checking things before you blow up the holler!

February 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger brad_bb said...

I'm interested to hear your sander review as I'm about to refinish a floor for the first time. Can you specify the poly you used and why you chose that one? Thanks,Brad

February 28, 2009 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger oldmilwaukee said...

Cheryl,thanks for the warm wishes. we are not living in the house yet... but I'm thinking very soon. A few more railings and the supply side plumbing and we'll be in.

AJG, ha. neighbor kid was unavailable, so we did all of this part ourselves. :)

Brad, the sander with 3 rotating pads is the best. 2nd best (and best between coats) is the squar-buff sander. Both rented from Lowes. We used minwax oil based gloss. No particular reason for the brand I guess. We like the look of gloss, and they always recommend it at least for your first coat because it bonds to wood better - they say.

February 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

That is an amazing floor. Well done. I am awestruck by the scale and features of your building. My timber frame adventures are embarrassingly small by comparison.

April 1, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

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