Finishing a hardwood floor

I have just removed the wall to wall carpet from a 12ft by 12ft bedroom. The carpet has been down at least 30 years and it was a very dusty job! The floor underneath seems very smooth and clean apart from the dust and I would like to finish it myself.
I think a light sanding with my ROS followed by a clear water based varnish.
What would be an appropriate grit to use?
Should I lay down a shellac barrier coat?
I am crazy even to attempt it?
Best Regards, Jack
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Your plan seems to contain a great amount of stoop labor. Why not rent one of the floor sanders from one of the big box stores? Your knees will thank you. Joe G
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Along with this excellent advice I would suggest that there are water based urethane systems that wipe on with a sponge mop and dry fast with almost no odor. You can easily get three coats on in a day. They are hard enough for light traffic in a day or so and cure in about five days. They are available in satin, semi-gloss, and gloss finishes. Also, they have a companion stain selection for predictable colors with different woods (one day drying time). The results are so beautiful that I wouldn't dream of messing around with anything else.
Tim
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jack wrote: | I have just removed the wall to wall carpet from a 12ft by 12ft | bedroom. The carpet has been down at least 30 years and it was a | very dusty job! The floor underneath seems very smooth and clean | apart from the dust and I would like to finish it myself. | | I think a light sanding with my ROS followed by a clear water based | varnish. | | What would be an appropriate grit to use? | | Should I lay down a shellac barrier coat? | | I am crazy even to attempt it?
Did that a long time ago with oak/cherry floors in my first house. Used 80 grit on a five-inch hand-held belt sander to remove the old finish and the worst of the soiling. Then worked down to 220 grit before the first coat of clear urethane varnish; and used progressively finer grits on each coat. Used 600 grit on the 6th coat; and didn't bother to sand the seventh.
Now that /was/ crazy - but it was beautiful - and a bit dizzying because there was an illusion that the surface we walked on was actually about four inches above the wood. Visitors tended to ask if it'd be ok to take their shoes off...
"Crazy" is a measure of deviation from the commonly accepted norm. It's your home - so be as crazy as you want.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Does "a long time ago" translate into presently using a floor machine to eliminate wear and tear on your back or would was it easy enough then that you'd use the same method again?
I was thinking one forgo the cost and transportation of a floor machine and go the same route with a broom handle or something similar firmly attached to the handle of a belt sander so one can do it standing up.
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Upscale wrote:
|| || Did that a long time ago with oak/cherry floors in my first house. || Used 80 grit on a five-inch hand-held belt sander to remove the old || finish and the worst of the soiling. Then worked down to 220 grit || before the first coat of clear urethane varnish; and used || progressively finer grits on each coat. Used 600 grit on the 6th || coat; and didn't bother to sand the seventh. | | Does "a long time ago" translate into presently using a floor | machine to eliminate wear and tear on your back or would was it | easy enough then that you'd use the same method again?
I actually did rent and try two machines: a big floor sander and a smaller critter billed as an "edge sander" for sanding right up to baseboards and stair risers. Both machines were excessively agressive and were returned posthaste, after which I went to Sears and bought the small(er) belt sander. The wear on my back wasn't all that bad; but my knees would have benefitted greatly from strap-on pads.
If I were to do the job again (and if I intended to make the house as beautiful as that first - not a given) I would use the same approach, except that I'd use my 1/4 sheet SpeedBlock (instead of a felt-wrapped sanding block) after the initial sanding; and I'd probably brush on only the first coat of varnish and wipe on the subsequent coats.
| I was thinking one forgo the cost and transportation of a floor | machine and go the same route with a broom handle or something | similar firmly attached to the handle of a belt sander so one can | do it standing up.
Geezerhood does change one's perspectives, doesn't it? :-)
Still, I think I'd do it the same old way - only with knee pads and much more frequent stretch breaks. I wouldn't make that kind of effort (then or now) except as a labor of love. YMMV
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris Dovey wrote:

My favorite amateur-proof floor sander is a rented 12x18 orbital.
It works great with no gouging and eliminates the need for an edger. The orbital is far less aggressive than a belt or drum sander. As long as I didn't skimp at the 24 and 36 grit levels, I don't think it took me all that much more time than a drum would have on new flooring. The same unit would be a dream for refinishing.
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Just send us the pictures over at a.b.p.w. The ones during the sanding should be excellent.
Upscale wrote:

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Many thanks to those who replied with good advice. I realised that my idea of a light sanding would not do the job and I lack the skill to use the rented sanders without gouging etc.
My local Benjamin Moore dealer recommended someone and he did a great job at a very reasonablle price. My only task was to paint and install new quarter round. I discovered that my spindle sander does a great job of coping quarter round. Is this a normal method or have I discovered a revolutionary new technique? :-)
Jack
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Not really... A dremel tool is standard equipment in a trim carpenter's tool box.
A cheap spindle sander would be damn handy for similar adventures.
jack wrote:
I discovered that my spindle sander does a

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