Project Hardwood - Day 1

Wednesday began the hardwood floor project.  There is a reason that this is my first update since Tuesday - I have essentially been  living at the house working on the floors.  Wed morning I stopped at Home Depot to rent the drum sander and edger as well as pick up a few remaining supplies.  I called ahead the day before and was told that they had both available, but of course when I got there ready to tackle the floor they had rented out both drum sanders.  The guy at the desk said that an orbital sander would do the same thing but it might take a little bit longer.  Boy, would those words come back to haunt me, but more on that later. 

I sped to the house couldn't wait to get started.  I lugged the sander (all 120lbs) up the stairs, slapped on some velcro sand paper, picked a spot on the floor and got going at about 11am.  First, I had to fill in the bazillion nail and staple holes in the floor from the old carpet that had been installed.  This took about 2 hours to do.  I used some sandable, stainable wood filler.  Once that was done, I began the sanding process with the orbital sander.  The machine worked well, however, it doesn't take as much wood off as a drum sander.  Therefore, it took forever to sand off enough wood where the stains were.  I worked on sanding the floors until around 9pm and was finally happy with the results. 
Before picture of the dining room.  You can really get a good idea of the water stains that we were dealing with.

Before picture of the living room and dining room.  More water stains.

Prior to sanding, I had to fill in a bunch of staple and nail holes that were made when they had previously laid carpet.

Lots and lots of little holes.  This prep work took me about 2 hours, but was well worth the effort.

My trusty orbital sander which became a dear friend.  Special note, I purchased a window fan that has the in and out feature.  One fan was blowing fresh air in while the other was an exhaust.

This area took me about 4 hours to sand due to the heavy water marks.  When the guy at Home Depot said that the orbital sander would take a little longer, he wasn't kidding.  This spot alone took almost 4 hours to sand the stain away.  The drum sander was probably the way to go with a job like this. 

Finally, done sanding!

My Dremel Multi Max is what I used for the edges that the sander couldn't reach.  Also shown is my gardening knee pad that I got on sale for 70% off at JoAnn's.

I filled an entire garbage bag with the sanding dust.

Close up of the sanded floor - you can still make out a little of the stain.  I eventually got it out.
Things I learned.  Use the correct tools for the job, even if it means going to a different store to get it.  Knee pads are awesome.  Plan on spending double the time you thought it would take.

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