I'm planning to sand the floorboards in our dining room this weekend
and would like to get my wife and baby out of the house while I'm doing
the sanding but have no idea how long it will take?
I've got everything prepared, room cleared, all boards screwed down
I want to sand the floorboards first to get rid of the top layer of
dirt etc and then sand a second time to collect the sawdust to fill the
gaps between the floorboards. I will mix this with some special glue
like liquid (which I'm getting from sanding shop) and allow to dry
overnight. I will then do the final sand on Sunday using 2/3 different
The room is about 12 foot by 12 foot.
Obviously they only need to be out while the sanding is going on, not
while I'm filling the gaps.
10 minutes, to a week.
Are you using a hired floor sander, a belt sander, an orbital sander, or hand
Taking it back to 'clean' wood will of course remove any patina and get
you wood that looks essentially 'new'.
A light sanding will not do this so much, and will remove most of the minor
When I did it it took me sat/sun from a prepared position to having the
I'd allow four hours each day. That ought to cover eventualities.
The dust will go everywhere, blank off all other rooms, you have been
By the way, I tried that sawdust and pva business, what I ended up with did
not match the boards, it looked like dark shiny goo, and it shrank as it
I recommend you bin the idea and use either a wood colour acrylic frame
sealant, or, Wickes now stocks floorboard gap sealant in a range of three
colours, light, medium and dark.
Another thing. I suspect you've booked the sander now, but unless your floor
boards are really yukky there is a school of thought that just says clean
them with a scrubbing brush to get the ingrained dirt out and then
stain/varnish/oil. The reason is that sanding them flat removes all the
character, whereas really old floorboards look best with a myriad of dings
I went over my hallway with a scrubbing brush and then a handheld orbital
sander and achieved a nice result that left some character: cupped
floorboards cause some problems though as the raised bits tend to get sanded
more than the dipped bits.
If your boards are painted with that black stuff then that'll need sanding
off, and surface woodworm tracks are better removed or filled too.
Andy, I'm not actually using PVA glue but a product specifically for
this job which the hire shop reccommend.
In response to the previous comment I am using a belt sander along with
a an edging sander.
If you're using some proprietary agent then I have no knowledge of that. I
still think goo in a tube from Wickes will be easier, but that's just my
I tried various things when filling gaps. The PVA + sawdust shrank when
drying and was almost a shiny dark brown colour, not a match at all ( NB: a
perfect match is not necessary nor perhaps even desirable ).
I then tried wallpaper glue plus sawdust: this gave a good colour match with
a matt finish and no shrinkage but was brittle and did not cling to the
sides of the gap ( floorboard gaps open and close through the year ).
Eventually I caulked the gaps with twisted skeins of hemp string ( very
fiddly and tiresome and probably unnecessary ) to be on the safe side and
injected Dow Corning natural wood colour acrylic frame sealant into the
gaps. That worked a treat. Each gap had to be masked off either side with
masking tape to stop it contaminating the floorboards when smoothed with a
As to the machines you are using, they sound standard. I expect the hire
shop has told you but go at 45 degrees to the boards with the belt sander
at first, finally along the length of the boards on the finer grades. Get
all the nails out ( or bashed in ) and the staples out first. That black
paint that is often painted on the boards seriously clogs sand paper. Lift
the belt sander off at the beginning and end of each run whilst moving as if
stationary it'll dig a groove.
Same goes for the circular sander, keep it moving else a circular groove
appears. Do not touch any CH pipes with it.
That can't be stressed hard enough.
Don't think it won't happen to you!
Block round the doors as much as you can, that stuff gets everywhere. Remove
as much furniture as you can - and if there are any plants (especially
cacti) take them out before you start. Getting fine sawdust off those tiny
prickles is impossible.
If there's a woman in your life don't forget to keep all doors shut and
preferably blocked. Wear a mask yourself. Don't leave the room in your dusty
I'm not particularly house-proud but I'll never forget the wood dust
everywhere when Spouse did our dining room while I was at the theatre and
not there to shout at - er advise - him.
Remove *all* furniture including the skirting and picture rail if possible.
Seal round the door with parcel tape including the keyhole.
If you have a back-boiler turn that off and seal similarly.
Shave head, and wrap body in clingfilm from navel to knees. There are
places you really, really don't want sawdust and it's probably worse for
Access and egress via the window from outside, not via the rest of the
I don't think I did any "surprises" that bad even as a child.
I have a large fan, a nice stainless steel 24" floor standing one, that on
'high' really makes a significant wind.
Cut a fan-sized hole in sheet of something, and attach it to an opened
For me, this really worked very well.
With windows elsewhere in the house open, and the doors shut normally,
there is a really decent negative pressure inside the room when the fan
Personally, I don't use breathing masks.
I use 1*3m of hosepipe, connected to a Y adaptor, connected to 2*10m of
Stick this in mouth, breath in through it, and out through nose.
The cling film suggestion is silly.
I use a large binbag.
Put earplugs in.
Put binbag on.
Put shielded goggles (the ones with silicone rubber all the way round)
on over the binbag.
Put ear defenders on.
Put hosepipe into mouth.
Put rubber band round your throat.
The fan spins down much faster than it once did, now I've been using it
to extract brick dust...
When you are finished for a while, beat yourself around the head to
dislodge any dust, in front of the extractor fan, then wait for the dust
to clear, and disrobe, shaking all clothes.
(this is not a good idea if the fan would blow the dust where it would
be a hazard.
ha, no, its not often domestic floors are like that. Sanding is good
for public halls, but for domestic houses its normally well OTT. All
most domestic pine floors need is a good clean up and refinish, plus If
theres the dreaded black gloop on them those area will need sanding.
A good clean up of a room took me what, an hour and a half start to
finish? way easier than sanding, costs nothing, and looks better in the
Another prob with sanding is it sometimes uncovers old worm tracks,
making the wood look like real junk. This is irreversible. If that
happens you can either live with your woodworm on show, replace the
floor or hide it with lam. Either way its a floor ruined.
Damaged boards can usually be turned over.
On 30 Nov 2006 04:55:15 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
I have had 3 rooms ...LR/BR and Hall done in my flat by a commercial
organisation and the hall and bedroom being smaller were completed in one day .
The Living Room took until the second day but that didn't include gap filling
that you are doing and they are used to doing this sort of work . The smell of
the 2 pack they used was the worst thing and I certailny wouldn't have allowed a
baby in to the flat .It was bad enough for me and I went out for fresh air when
it was being done until the smell abated a bit .
I would have thought two full days in your case .
you're starting to scare me a little bit now!
There is one door leading to the main hallway and french doors leading
to the patio and garden. I was planning to seal the door leading to the
hallway using masking tape and enter and exit via the french doors.
Will masking tape be sufficient?
On Fri, 1 Dec 2006 11:22:42 -0000, Mary Fisher wrote:
When ever I'm doing anything that'll put dust into the air I either try
and capture the dust with a vacume as it's generated or just run the
vacume in the same room with the hose supported a few feet above the
floor. Once the dust making is complete go away for a cup of coffee (10
or 15 mins) and the air, even if thick with dust on leaving, is very much
cleaner on return.
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
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