unexpected hand tool use...

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D_W

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redoing my floors this week and I've never thought about why small areas that I've refinished were such a burden, but I took a little alcohol to the floors and found that they are shellac.

So instead of using a floor sander that I bought - this whole job is expedited by a schedule to get it done before the spouse returns - I have a combination of goo and a million little staples to remove along with the carpet that was on the floor. The goo is some kind of degradation like tar and I'm just scraping the whole lot off.

I have about 5 or so vintage scrapers that were designed for floors and they work OK, but realized this morning that I could take advantage of the very hard cheap chinese HSS irons and greatly extend the sharpening interval. This is something I'd not consider, but I'm using them to scrape, and they do last well and I don't have to get up off of the floor nearly as often to refresh them. They're also indifferent to the heat generated by scraping.

I found no real suggestions for this (the shellac is coming off, no way around it, it's not just getting cleaned - the wife has a specific look that she wants and I'm using solvent types.

It occurred to me that while I'll be scraping about 500 SF, and then have some more area that's under WB finish that I've done in the past (that sands fine) , this would be a difficult job without hand skills and toolmaking ideas.

The staples for the padding are in deep, and I also reprofiled a high quality prying tool -it's basically sharp now - aside from the physical part of scraping bare 200 SF or so last night, and doing the same thing tonight, and then the rest tomorrow, it's not really too unpleasant. I feel like I could make a standing push tool to do this, but there won't be time. Thus far, I did already make one, but the handle ends up being the weak point and the effort to make such a thing with a heavy handle isn't in the cards here.

the option to have someone else do this was also out for me - the guy wanted us to remove the furniture from the house, put it in a storage unit so that he wouldn't have too tight of timing constraints, and then he wanted to use WB finish. The amount of nuisance would be at least as high or higher even if it would've been a lot less work. I don't like getting cheated out of projects.
 
Make fun if you'd like - one of the things I needed to solve is body position. I guess you could get fit enough to work stooped over a scraper, but I'm not going to do that in the time it takes to scrape 500 or so square feet.

The goo on top of the shellac is also a problem and I'd rather scrape it off. I rigged together a test scooter that holds an iron on the back and instead of stooping over, I can sit next to it and push it like a plane, sitting instead of standing, and basically work doing it for several hours at a time instead of constant breaks.

I ordered a bunch of extra discs assuming that I'd be clogging them. the effective cost of taking two wheels that were on some exercise device that nobody here uses and putting a $7.50 chinese iron on the back is pretty close to zero. It looks like the whole operation with crude sharpening with sandpaper (the board next to it just has a piece of PSA roll on it to keep the iron edge fresh) will consume about 1/16th of an inch of the iron and it's far less boring than pushing around a floor sander and changing discs or picking shellac globs off of them.

Nobody does much hand work these days (by much, I mean hours at a time, not that using a little bit of something here and there), but I'm convinced that very little would've been done in the old days with a body position that wasn't upright and relaxed. Pushing the scooter is not a matter of extending the arm so much as it is just pushing forward with the shoulder while upright.
 

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Back in the late 80’s, helped dear old departed dad (18 years today) refinish a large hardwood floor. He had a wheeled floor sander and the smaller hand held, but there remained spots that the sanders could not reach. He took the largest file he had in his tool box and ground an edge on the side. Worked lickety split!

As he was a house contractor and did this for a living, I guess he knew all the shortcuts.
 
Back in the late 80’s, helped dear old departed dad (18 years today) refinish a large hardwood floor. He had a wheeled floor sander and the smaller hand held, but there remained spots that the sanders could not reach. He took the largest file he had in his tool box and ground an edge on the side. Worked lickety split!

As he was a house contractor and did this for a living, I guess he knew all the shortcuts.

After scraping off the finish and goo - luckily the floor doesn't appear to have been stained or at least not deeply, so I didn't have to take off much wood - I'm not convinced that it really saved any time to sand instead of finish scrape after the first scraping.

But I got one of those trick USAND sanders that they make near or in Indiana, PA and aside from being a bit slow in coarse work (bypassed most of that scraping, anyway), it works a treat due to a bunch of small independent 6" pads instead of one big one.

But finish scraping would've been at least as fast and far less dusty. Lesson learned. Not sure how even stain uptake would've been, though, and the mrs. wants the floor dark. She's howling over the dust, though.

Probably would've been cheaper to scrape the floor and then hand sand linearly to scuff the surface of the wood for stain. Not using shellac, but shellac definitely builds a lot faster going on a scraped or planed surface than a sanded surface - most of even the first coat will stay on the surface and not soak in.
 
Not going to change the world, but will be acceptable when done and easy to refresh in a decade if it takes undue wear.

Puzzling over the gray spots in front of the fireplace. Incontinent elderly persons chair locations? The wood has seen water more than once in the same spot, but is not burned.

one light sand and a third coat of urethane and good to go.20220814_132820.jpg
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Last coat improves the sheen a little and will add thickness for wear. I have a couple of spots to touch up, like one where i missed drips coming off of the lambswool. But those shouldn't take long to deal with.

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Perceived differences in color are just light levels and sources. The darker looking hallway has an overhead very color softened fixture. Surprised to see the difference looking at it in pictures, though.
 
looks good! is that straight from a scraper then finished?

Thanks - no, in this case (straight from scraper to finish), it is scraped rough then sanded as a rough sanded floor would be done. But I think I would have been better of following the rough scraping with a finish scrape instead of working through the grits for many reasons.
 
nice looking floor.......
dread to think of the cost of a replacement now.......
oak floor isn't terribly expensive here, I could redo it - it's on ply subfloor so I wouldn't have to stand on a ladder....but it would costs me quite a lot to replace it in time. Maybe a week to do the floor and then I'd have to sand it as installed and go through the same finish process.

I appears to have had a very dark very thin original finish or stain, or that could just be oxidation near the vents. Maybe I'm wrong about being refinished and the slight wear at the edges is from being sanded when installed in the late 1950s. It's probably been under carpet for most of its life.
 

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