Wednesday, January 20, 2016

amber waves of pine

The floors in the nursery/future master bath have been done for a month or so now, and they managed to become the longest single project in working on the space.  Longer than running the plumbing.  Longer than building (and unbuilding and rebuilding) walls.  Longer than stripping the woodwork.  Longer even than restoring the windows.


The story of the floors began when we bought the house.  Despite the absence of working roofs, plumbing or electrical, the bank decided that they also required us to finish the floors on the second floor under the terms of the 203k.  In this room, the floor was a mix of layers including vinyl sheet flooring, cat piss, 9 inch asbestos checkerboard tile, cat piss, two layers of marble contact paper, cat piss, black linoleum adhesive, cat piss, and the original faux grained painted border.  The cat piss issue is important since it almost caused us to walk away from the deal.  While the whole house was fairly saturated with urine, this room was by far the worst since it had the most exposed bare wood.  The first few inspections the weather was quite cold and wet and the smell/moisture wasn't obvious.  However, on the final walk through it was warm and dry and we could immediately see the wet pervading the floors - we thought we must have another leak from a mystery source until I put my nose to it....

So, we stripped the floor, did a quick sand and many soaks with the various urine destroying solutions and three coats of waterlox (not sufficient on pine, just enough to make them look doneish for the bank).  Now the intention was to be able to come back later, scuff sand the floor and put of a few more coats of waterlox.  The reality is that my roofer decided I was not capable of sanding the floors on my own and did me the enormous favor of coming in with his edger and sanding the edges - gauging them so badly that fixing them to be level with the rest of the floor would take off half the sandable wood.  So that's how they sat for 3 years.

At 8 months pregnant the room was done enough for me to revisit the floor, so I conned my friends into carrying the big ez sand  machine up the stairs for me and joyously got to work.  Only to stop 10 minutes later after realizing the machine had a metal burr on one of the sanding pad bases that etched curlicues deep into my pine.  I may have cried.  I swear it wasn't the hormones.

The manager at Home Depot did what he could to help the crazy pregnant woman, and ended up giving me over $100 dollars worth of sanding disks for my handheld Dewalt because I decided I was going to do the floors BY HAND.  I almost finished them too, and then Toren arrived two weeks early.  

After a month and a half of recovery I was ready to revisit the floors.  The room had been locked up, covered in sawdust, with our closet tarped off (yes, we had no access to our closet for two months when we had planned on a week).  Finished the 80, did the 120, spent two days dental picking the gaps between the boards and vacuuming and was finally ready for Waterlox 2.0.

It went down beautifully.  And there is much evidence of the whole menagerie memorialized in the floor... The first two coats are Minwax red oak and dark walnut (8 oz each in a gallon of waterlox), with three more coats of straight waterlox.  And given I was doing this with windows open in early December I think I owe global warming a big thank you!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

all hail technology

I know I just expressed my relative disinterest in technology, but then I came across this.

I will be buying one, just not the first version.  It can etch glass for stained glass panels.  It can engrave leather to replace my one of a kind lincrusta.  I can carve wood for moldings.  I don't have words for how giddy this makes me.  Especially since Lincrusta in England estimated it would be 20,000 pounds just to carve a new roller (if they were even willing to do it).

So yeah, technology is pretty cool after all....

Maybe they'll send me one because I'm a blogger.  I bet I could beta test the shit out of it.