Lucas’s Wood Floor – Complete!

Jean and I worked non-stop this weekend to get Lucas’s wood floor done. Jean’s pregnant (woops, I didn’t say that yet? Well, she’s into her fourth month, so there you are. We ARE finding out the sex of the baby when we can and we HAVEN’T yet begun active name picking.) so she kept Lucas out of my hair while I did the sanding and varnishing…


Jean had borrowed her father’s belt sander Friday morning, and I promptly broke the only belt for it the following morning. I trotted over to Dad’s basement where I procured not a replacement belt, but a more powerful sander with a couple belts of it’s own. The primary purpose here was to bevel down the edges of several boards that were the slightest bit off – enough to cause a sock pull, but not quite a stubbed toe.
I promptly broke those belts as well, and decided it was best to try my luck at something less than one year old. I loaded up the recycling (must be productive, even on random errands…) and trundled off to the dump (free recycling, yay Fairfax County 🙂 ) and then to Home Despot (as Bob calls it) where I picked up some new serious grit belts for my Dad’s sander and some replacement ones for Bob’s. I also gawked respectfully at the Hot Tubs on a 10% off sale, and picked up an extendo-super-long duster for our vaulted ceiling residents, the cobwebs.
Once I got back, I began sanding in earnest, and it was a piece of cake. I quit around 2ish, and picked up the massive head sander from the rental place and nearly finished the job with 60 grit by 9:30 or so that night.
I took some time out in the middle of the day to also sand down a set of cherry coasters that I’ve been meaning to get to. I figured it was a good opportunity while I would be sanding and varnishing.
Jean and I had been mulling over whether to stain the floor cherry, as I had the bar, or go with natural, varnish-only. We tried with a couple sample scraps, one stained cherry and varnished, and the other simply varnished. It was really amazing to see that even though the cherry was nice, it really homgenized the grain. The oak on its own really held up and revealed a variety of hues and patterns not really visible until it was varnished. Natural it was!
The next morning I removed most of my scuff marks with a finer belt and then finished the floor by 9:15 or so with 100 grit on the head sander. On to the varnish!
I applied a total of three coats of varnish and was done by 9:30 or so that night. Check out the picture under (finish work) and also on the recent pix to the right if you’re viewing this before late August.
Next: Moulding!