Finishing off a pitch pine floor
So it’s all down to finishing off a pitch pine floor, hours of tonguing and grooving, weeks working on the sub-floor too. It’s pretty freezing up here in the hills, the radiators were now fitted in in the family room but that was it for the ground floor, no other radiator blessed rooms. So now it was the job of finishing off a pitch pine floor before I could occupy the family room, my existing sanctuary of the living room was now full of furniture teetering on sheets of chipboard over exposed joists. These joists having been exposed after gracefully giving over their pine floorboards to the family room project. That meant that essentially my breakfast/TV room was now mostly floor-less, the couch was on chipboard sheets while the TV and chair rested precariously at stupid angles directly on the joists.
Breakfast in the living room was now a three clothing/blanket affair of a fleecy top and track bottoms, a large hoody brocade dressing gown while shivering under a fake fur throw (a dreamboat… I am not). The cold snowy air was no longer on the outside, it permeated through the sub-floor vents which were no longer sub-floor and vented directly into my breakfast area. Not good, but sometimes good for a giggle when snuggled up on the couch breathing out clouds into the frosty air trying to eat toast without getting frostbite. Still the family room was nearly ready to be occupied so hopefully I’d still have all my fingers and toes by the moving in date.
So last week and only two post-work and one weekend day to pursue some work, so not much time at all. Tuesday evening was a bit of a washout as I didn’t get home till nine in the evening, so rather than changing I threw on some overalls over my work suit. I then rattled off some filling to cover the bonding plaster I’d applied earlier, covering in the pipework and electrical chasing. Not my finest work but it was now ready for sanding and it did mean that an evening I could have simply written off was an achievement in some part.
Thursday and I had a bit more time to work with and I decided to do one of my least favourite jobs of hanging doors, I think everyone has their Achilles heel and mine is hanging doors. Now I realise that the job in hand was really re-hanging doors but to me any door hanging is something that fills me with dread. So now as the family room was to have a floor that had risen a little, it needed the doors removing, a bit of their bottoms removing and then rehanging. Or in my experience doing this procedure, but doing it thirty times until it was right.
The two doors in question were the corridor door and more significantly the door to back porch, if this door wasn’t done in the time allotted that evening then it would seriously compromise the security of the house while making it even more bleeding frosty. Now I don’t know what’s happened since I last worked on a door, it could be that my tool handling, measuring etc… had improved as imagine my surprise when each of the two doors was removed, shaved and then rehung within an hour and both worked perfectly first time. In fact they were near perfect and each door had only a minute gap underneath. I celebrated that evening by sorting out the planks of wood I had left into widths and quality ready for the Saturday showdown. The Saturday being the only weekend day I had to work on the house and the day I would find out whether I had enough boards left and the day I must get the boards finally down.
Friday was a day of work but I used my lunch hour and a bit of goodwill to get some more screws (now running at a 1,000 in the pine floor and around 3,000+ in the sub-floor) some sandpaper and a couple of boards squared off with a bench saw ready to be door thresholds.
Saturday arrived and good as gold I got up early, dressed in my thermals, put the fire on, put some washing in, made and ate a hearty breakfast and was cracking on early in the morning. The first couple of hours were spent making the thresholds fit to the wiggly limits of the doors. I then worked slowly across the room, hammering and applying further squeezing with my spreader clamps. Midday came and went and the planks were diminishing rapidly, however there were still some good ones left and after a quick lunch I laboured to tweak the final full row and two doorway rows into place, these two being rather tricky to navigate.
A final bit of pummelling and it all fell into place, the last bits in the doorway were rather neat but they looked really good, however on trying to open the back-door they now were somehow lifting the threshold a little and the door had now jammed – such were the narrow tolerances I’d allowed. The door was really jammed shut, so I tried to push it from the porch side only to find I’d latched the porch from the inside with a security latch – so that was a bit of a problem. Venturing back inside I then managed to manhandle the door open exposing the hinge screws. A quick bit of screw-driver work (I’d replaced the nasty old slot screws with nice new stainless posi’s) and the door was off, a quick shave with the electric sander, bish bash bosh, door back onto its hinges and all was perfecto again.
The day was rounded off with some sanding around the edges of the room and once ten in the evening appeared on my wristwatch I retired to a curry and a movie.
Finishing off a pitch pine floor – Essential Tools