Tools and materials to sand and varnish a wooden floor
I think I must have been cursed by that Romany lady I didn’t buy the lucky heather from. It was years back, I was hurrying through Middlesbrough Cleveland centre and she chased me as bustled along. I was late for something or other, I’m normally excessively polite but this time I was blinkered by some urgent whatsit and my gentlemanly genes abandoned me. She shouted something at me as I told her how busy I was and when I tried to make good and buy some heather (lucky or not) she refused my cash and I assume I was cursed from that point on.
I say to folk that I have bad luck and they then unburden their own sorry tales of bad fortune, well sunshine you’ve got nothing on me, I have bad luck, not terrible luck, no awful tragedies, just plain vanilla bad luck.
Take for example this week, I was at work ,I was wearing a three piece suit, I think people think I enjoy wearing a suit but honestly it’s one of the few bits of clothing I have that’s not falling to bits and it’s durable and convenient. Not only was this suit a three piece affair but it was also from three separate suits, I’d cherry picked the best bits, the least shagged and un-dustiest bits. Anyway at work I retired to the loo to beat off any residual bits of dust I’d taken to work with me that day and I stretched into a satisfied yawn as I completed the task only to notice my fly-zip go ping and unzip along its full length.
“]It’s like going to the shops (to allay the annoyance of finding your living room filling with water) and writing off your car in a collision with an escaped horse. Horse was ok, car was a write-off, see posts from last year.
It’s like winning a £100 on a lottery scratch card and immediately having the engine management light indicate a £300 engine fault closely followed by the dentist chiming in with “serious infection” and “operation” and “£600 invoice”.
Well this weekend Mr. Bad Luck Romany Curse struck again, well to be quite honest he hadn’t stopped he was just carrying on his good/bad/cursed work.
This weekend my floor work was reaching a conclusion, it was ready for sanding and with sanding in mind I booked in a floor and edge sander to pick up on a weekend hire from HSS Tool Hire. Sander hires are not cheap but a weekend hire can be extended a little by picking up the package on a Friday afternoon and dropping it back on a Monday morning. A really good deal…
My plan was to take the Friday off work, prep the room on the morning, head over to Darlington on the afternoon and pick the sanders up and then sand till the early hours or until I thought I was pressing my luck with the neighbours. This would leave me another day free and one to have a fun day with my little girl. All good a full 1 ¾ days to work on the room.
But my little curse was still spinning away and after booking the sander midweek I dropped into my folks on Thursday evening after work. Reversing out of their drive later that night there was a loud dunk from the front of the car, I thought I’d ran over something, a quick inspection and nada. I turned out of the drive and was met by another loud thunk. Hmmm let’s ignore it and get home.
I was lucky though as my 30 mile trip home was incident free (apart from the bulb warning light coming on the second I hit a pea-souper, see more incessant bad luck), I visited my little girl and on getting in the car to head home there was another loud b’dunk. This was going to be a problem
The next morning I phoned the wonderful Martin Smith garage in Hartlepool, Martin picked up and as I explained my woes he confirmed my fears that I had a coil spring breakage. He said it may be driveable but when I explained I’d be driving for miles with my little girl the next day he insisted I take it in pronto (the spring could touch the tyre and blow it out). So that was it, bad luck, not terrible luck but my morning of prep was gone, my expensive sander hire window was disappearing. I resigned myself to finally watching Star Wars while my car was in the hospital, I spent three hours in the comfortable limbo of the cinema and on arriving at the garage my car was miraculously just that second arising from service bay (good luck… eh). The work wasn’t expensive for what it entailed but anything more than a fiver is a lot for me at the moment, so it was relatively a lot of money I didn’t have. So hey ho, I had a quick visit to see my folks and tell them the good news, I headed off and picked up the sanders and by the time the room was prepped (wood into garage, firewood cut, room emptied, tools away, tools for job found etc.) and I was ready to go it was already past seven in the evening.
So my weekend has been a bit fraught, what was a leisurely 1 ¾ days became one day plus an evening on Friday from 7 till very early the next morning, a Saturday evening – after dropping off my little girl – till stupid o’clock in the morning and a Sunday absolutely all blinking day till I had to stop in the early hours of Monday morning. By this time I’d got all of the main sanding done, however I didn’t have time to work on the edges, so my hire of an edge sander was completely wasted. I remember being stood in my freshly sanded room admiring my work with a glass of whisky at 1:30am knowing that the next day was a 5:50am start to get the sander back to the hire shop before a 12 ½ shift at work.
It was funny that even though Mr. Bad Luck had made me work slavishly all weekend he couldn’t resist a further little poke. The sander I’d hired was great however the exhaust to the bag wasn’t working and rather than sucking up all the sawdust into a bag it just spat it all out randomly. Now even under bagged sawdust conditions things can get a bit… erm… sawdusty, well multiply this by ten, there was sawdust everywhere, at the end of the night I just had to strip in front of the washing machine and throw everything in. The sawdust got in my eyes, through my ventilator, on my dado rail, in the coving and I even neglected to close the kitchen door at one point, oops my seemingly clean (in a distant high corner of the kitchen) bowl puffed up a cloud of sawdust when I glooped in a spoonful of yoghurt, it was everywhere.
Still I’ve not been defeated, I have maintained my lofty calmness and sniggered at all the problems, well most of them.. I’m not too happy with the dental work.
The weekend though was a success the work I’ve done is excellent. If you refer to my previous post on sanding my bedroom floor I remarked that the work was too clinical, I’d filled the floor with Lecol 7500 and it had filled every nook of the floor but it had done such a good job the floor looked almost like a laminate. Well this time rather than flood the entire floor I only filled holes and very wide gaps, this – so far – looks rather rustic, the floor is incredibly smooth and finished but the gaps between the boards give it that authentic farmhouse appeal it looks great.
Want to know my tips and tricks on using floor sanders etc, then checkout my page Hiretech Sanding Tips
Tools and materials to sand and varnish a wooden floor?
NOTE do not light a fire while sanding, airborne sawdust is combustible
PS the large drill/screwdriver is for sinking in exposed screw heads and the smaller electric screwdriver is used to conveniently fit sandpaper to the drum floor sander
PPS the bluetooth headset did not work out, a pair of normal earbuds under the ear defenders was safer and much easier to hear
On another tack I’d done a bit of work during the week too, I’m managed to drag myself into my overalls and get the filling finished under the radiators. This had meant some sanding and clearing up of the filler work I’d done before, not exactly a stretch but work I wasn’t keen on doing.
The first sanding of the job was rather troublesome, I used all six sheets of 40 grit paper, I tried a 24 grit but it disintegrated immediately and was ejected from the floor sander. The problem was the boards were impregnated with some painty/waxy affair and it took multiple goes to get rid of it, I had to attack it from a variety of angles before it completely shifted and once that was done I had to sand along the board to get a smoother finish. It took absolutely ages, at one point I nearly resigned to a more rustic look, I suppose it might have looked better but I put it down to laziness and cracked on with getting the boards really clean.
After clearing the boards I then went around the room slowly, board by board, painstakingly moving along a couple of inches at a time, rolling the sander from the middle of the room to the edge, lift, move along a couple of inches, then repeat to the edge. This took two sheets of 80 grit paper.
Then once done I went around the room with a 120 grit, just one sheet did the job. Once this was done I collected this sawdust into a tub ready for the filler. Remember my problems with the exhaust and bag sawdust collection, well piles of sawdust would gather around the room on every dozen or so strokes, my workload was complicated by lots of broom and shovel work, it was backbreaking. The sawdust up to this point went straight into the bin bag, this sawdust though, the 120 grit fine stuff was to be mixed with my Lecol 7500 resin filler to form a filling paste for all those pesky screw holes.
So once the 120 grit sanding was finished it was down on my knees to mix up the resin/sawdust mix and then crawl around meticulously applying it to the numerous large screw holes in the boards. It took a while and I know I’d missed a few holes but heyho I could get them later.
An hour and a bit later and the filler was dry, this was it my last sand of the room, three sheets of 120 grit paper polished it off. So early Monday morning it was into the car with the sanders, remaining papers and bags, off with my clothes into the washer, a quick hop into a steaming bath followed by a two finger glass of Glenmorangie single malt, before too little time in bed and too long a shift at work.
So what is bad luck, here’s my theory on luck… tongue firmly in cheek
You get a finite amount each day, whatever you do diminishes it little by little, you may have a bit of luck left at the end of the day but it depends on how much you spend during the day.
I’m working with power tools all day, so my luck runs out quickly as I can be pretty reckless. My luck being employed in not cutting off bits of my anatomy while working with these tools, hence my bad luck 🙂
If you just sit in bed all day, your luck is still being employed in stopping light aircraft from landing one your house, but it only uses a trickle. This is demonstrated by my car being ready for me on surfacing from Star Wars, I’d been in a cinema for hours with little or no threat – despite being in Hartlepool 🙂 my luck was on recharge.
Or is this just a load of cock…. Oh look a horse
If anyone knows how to reverse a curse then do let me know?