Sanding Parquet floors?


Awl --
First, some examples:
http://parquetfloorinstallation.com/1615_Oak_Parquet_Floor_Tiles.jpg nice
http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/parquet-floors-010708.jpg
not uncommon in WWII Manhattan apts, brownstones.
http://www.parquetflooring.com/P15-Parquet.htm wild -- eat your heart out. Man, I'd be afraid to walk on this..
Here's the Q:
If sanding is supposed to be with the grain, how does one sand parquet floors?
I'm guessing that instead of a drum sander, mebbe they use one of those big jitter-bug-type sanders that HD used to rent.
--
EA



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wrote:

The most important thing when sanding parquet floors is to keep the drum sander moving. Stop for a second and you will get a massive gouge in the floor, impossible to remove. Drum sanders are the worst for this. You can get belt sanders (ie two drums and a "tank track" sort of belt like the small power tool type. These don't gouge the same but are awkwarder to use. Needless to say, you start with coarse sandpaper & then with finer grades. The real problem is round the edges where the machine can't reach. This takes forever with a small belt sander & by hand.
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wrote:

The most important thing when sanding parquet floors is to keep the drum sander moving. Stop for a second and you will get a massive gouge in the floor, impossible to remove. Drum sanders are the worst for this. You can get belt sanders (ie two drums and a "tank track" sort of belt like the small power tool type. These don't gouge the same but are awkwarder to use. Needless to say, you start with coarse sandpaper & then with finer grades. The real problem is round the edges where the machine can't reach. This takes forever with a small belt sander & by hand.
================================================== You bring up an interesting and very elegant point: Instead of the drum type, indeed, a big belt-type sander! An almost obvious point, that seems to remain elusive in much of the industry!! If equipped with variable speed, then proly virtually gouge-free, as well.
I guess part of the advantage of the true drum-type sander is that with the weight of the machine bearing down on a "line", the relatively high pressure on the wood results in faster material removal -- altho always at a risk.
For edging, and under/around radiators, etc, they rent what looks like big big angle grinder, with disk sanding paper.
Still, the grain issue seems to be unresolvable in parquet floors, so mebbe part of the solution is to go with considerably finer finishing grits than what is required on straight-grain floors.
I call the dings, dips, divets, and various gouges in my floors from neophyte drum sanding, uh, "character".
And you can likely at least partially rectify this with boucou coats of polyurethane, letting it "fill" the divets. I've read/heard that 8-12 coats of polyurethane gives stunning results on floors. AND will also render the floor virtually invulnerable to future damage, as that thickness of coatings will allow the floor to be re-finished or touched up without ever having to sand the wood again. iow, the wood itself is essentially "entombed". Very labor intensive, tho.
--
EA



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wrote:

It takes a lot of practice to use a single drum sander. I got the hang of it just about the time I was finishing the job. This happens a lot with me............ ;-)
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It takes a lot of practice to use a single drum sander. I got the hang of it just about the time I was finishing the job. This happens a lot with me............ ;-) ================================================ Welcome to the LBD club! learn by doing... or for me, LSBD.... s slowly... So your floors must have almost as much "character" as MY floors!
I actually did some of the smaller rooms, and parts of the larger ones, with a 4x24 porter cable belt sander. You have to be careful even with that, AND you need considerable Wheaties+vitamins+kneepads+backbrace.... goodgawd....
Using a drum sander in a smallish room is asking for even more divets!
--
EA





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wrote:

For this one you need a special bent-belt sander...
http://www.parquetflooring.com/P04-Parquet.htm
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Beautiful.
--
Nonny
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EA,
I refinished my 30-year old, red oak parquet, entry way a couple of years ago after the dog died. It was only worn on the traffic patterns and in great shape elsewhere. I did the 12-year old, 3/4" oak floors (which I installed) in the family room and kitchen at the same time. I rented one of the big (12" x 18") orbital sanders, figuring a drum sander was overkill. I've used drum sanders before and they are very powerful. The parquet isn't as thick as the regular oak, so I wanted to be careful.
Even with the biggest grit the orbital sander couldn't "cut the mustard" on the parquet or on the worst parts of the 3/4" oak. I ended up using a regular belt sander on most of the parquet to take the factory finish off. It's a fairly small entry way with a couple of closets, so it wasn't a big deal. In hindsight, I should have used the big drum sander.
The grain issue doesn't seem to matter with parquet. After four coats of gloss, oil-based polyurethane the floors look great. They should outlast me. The kitchen floor does have more "character" to it than the others, but that's a tough environment for wood. Don't bother with the water-based finishes, they don't seem to last as long as oil.
dss
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Oil probably is tougher, but it also tends to darken the wood, often with a very nice effect, so it's not at all a bad thing, unless you want to keep the wood as light as possible -- which was my situation. If staining the wood, you would also want to check how the oil poly affects that, as well.
You can get waterbase polyurethanes with a catalyst/hardener, which supposedly gives a bowling alley type hardness. Seems to have held up by me, but I have no real reference points.
Probably you have to use more coats of water based than oil, for the same thickness of coat, mebbe 2 to 1, but I'm certainly no expert.
If you have enough coats of poly down, mebbe then you can get by with one of those big orbitals, with a fine grit, to just take off the top couple of layers of poly, and re-apply a fresh coat or two, every 5 years or so. These should go quick, with a good poly.
Mebbe those big orbital jitterbugs are more for softer pine floors, ito of the wood itself. Seems like a good idea, if they worked.....
Btw, I have acheived interesting effects mixing stain with poly, or even staining over poly, but not on wear surfaces like a floor. It's possible that stain could interfere with a urethane's wear-ability.
The advantage to mixing stains with or over poly is that it doesn't soak into the wood, making it easier to sand off/remove. It also doesn't darken as much, and seems to have a more "vibrant" effect.
--
EA


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