Late Saturday afternoon TBM and I were working on the floors in a room that used to be our living room, but will become his studio once the floors are done. It’s a decent size room: 12.5 x 14.5 feet. I was repairing holes and damaged boards, and TBM was using the heat gut to remove the last dregs of paint from the corners and around fireplace. Then he casually picked up the orbital sander and started to work, a final sanding to open the pores of the wood to accept stain. I noted the time: 5:24. After an hour he had sanded four boards, a width of about four feet. I asked of his plan; he said he would sand the room that evening and be ready to stain it the next day. I begged to differ. By hand? Using an orbital sander? I might as well have gotten out an emery board to help move things along. I felt sanding by hand was a terrible waste of our precious weekend time and thought we should rent a drum sander- the four hour window the rental center offered would surely be enough time to finish this room, and maybe then some. After some “discussion” (which I feared would cause neighbors to phone the police, our voices echoing off the walls of the empty room), TBM declared he would go rent the sander, but for 24 hours, and we would see what we could get done that night and the next day.
Well… WE SANDED THE ENTIRE DOWNSTAIRS!!! TBM did, that is. I continued detail work of repair and filling holes (more on that coming in a separate post), and with a few hours left on the rental, he turned me loose in an upstairs bedroom, my first time operating the drum sander. Not because I haven’t wanted to, but because TBM is very stubborn, hardworking, and independent. Which are wonderful qualities overall, better than being lazy, but sometimes he just won’t accept help. Though after I sanded the bedroom and he saw I didn’t ruin the floor, I think he’ll be apt to let me help again. TBM’s description of using a drum sander: it’s like fighting with someone and it really wears one out. It will wear TWO out in twice the time, which is my argument for helping operate the sander as well!
This floor project is taking “forever” and I’m envious of people like Kristi who refinished her floors in about two weeks’ time. But our floors are a different beast, not the lovely hardwood in Kristi’s home. Plus, we are living in the house as we refinish which means we are constantly moving things around so we can work, and that slows us down. I am certain when we are done we’ll be pleased and proud, and I’m going to plan a candlelight dinner- actually dining on the floor!- in celebration.