Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thirteen-hundred . . .

Thirteen-hundred holes, thirteen-hundred screws, thirteen-hundred pegs.... and you ask where have I been lately?
It all started when my last customer decided to move his children in to a better school system in neighboring town of Cape Elizabeth. So he bought a new house. Nothing remarkable really. Just your run of the mill 1970s split foyer that saw previous service as a rental and was in need of some serious mending.
It seems the tenants left their dogs alone all day and they needed some relief. There were multiple spots like this. So the carpets came up and the urine soaked particle board sub-floor as well.
Materials were ordered
And the lumberyard conveniently delivered to the second story deck for me.
Six hundred lineal feel of 1 x 12 eastern white pine dressed three sides
Easy walk in to the house... except for the painful shoulder and constant tingling in my arm
So I pulled up about eighteen-hundred screws and six hundred square feet of piss soaked three quarter inch particle board.
and two layers of ply and linoleum in the dining room
About 30 hours labor just in prep work alone ....
... til I could start laying the pine floor. Its just about here where I threw my lower back out and had to take four days off  to lay flat on my back and have it recover to some degree of function so as I could stand up and would not dribble on my self when I brushed my teeth.
after a quick recovery I went back at it . . .
Got the hallway done
then I tackled the living room
Pretty good for a lame back and a sore arm that tingles like the worst funny bone whack you ever had.
It was slow going as I was trying to make sure they were as tight to each other as possible.
All set with thirteen hundred counter-sunk screws....
...for which I needed to make thirteen hundred plugs....
A morning in the garage on the drill press
Produces something like this
Ripped in to strips and taped.
Then run through the table saw on edge to free up the plugs
Resulting in something that looks like this
A day and a half crawling around on the floor with a bottle of glue and a hammer....
and thirteen hundred holes are plugged.
Looked kind of nice with all the plugs standing proud like that.. but they all had to be chiseled flush with the floor
Then I got to dance with the buffer for about two days. Using a full blown floor belt sander would be way too rough on the soft pine.
Then the first coat of sealer goes down
Then I dance with the buffer some more
And first coat of polyurethane goes on.
After two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane are on it, it looks like this
It has that shabby chic look to it. Another fifty five hours of labor on the install and finish.
Then I tackle the oak treads on the stairs..... not good for my bad arm
and after two coats they look like this. Not bad, considered they had never been sealed and started out full of dog piss stains. Hoping to finish up this week.


  1. Lindo trabajo, espero no te haya perjudicado las vértebras...

    1. Vertebrae, nerves and arm are all messed up, that's what you get for 35 years of physical work, it just goes with the territory. At least I still have all my fingers and can pick my nose ;-)

  2. Nice Job!

    My back is sore just looking at it.

    1. My back is not so bad all things considered. My neck appears to be a different story. The nerve to my left arm has a serious very troubling kink in it at C-7 causing all sort of grief. Seems some knife work will be needed to sort it out.

  3. You do really good work. And you can repair vehicles, too. Wish I had those skills.

    1. Well despite being number than a pounded thumb at times I must have learned a thing or two after thirty five years of making a living at this game. They really were undecided on what to do for a a floor and I suggested this as a wildcard not usually available at big box stores. They liked the idea. Hundred hours of labor later the customer is pleased with the results and so am I. Even more pleased as I got paid for the job today. It does take a toll on the body and I would not wish this job on anyone.

  4. Awasome job, Mike, looks great!

    1. Hey Peter? It turned out to be a tougher job than I expected and it seems I was there forever, but I am pleased with the results. Now I need to lick my wounds and recover.

  5. Mother.of.pearl. That's a big project! Looks awesome, though.

    1. Hey Mark, it was an epic ordeal, seemed to take forever. It was a lot of work to do without help. Sure glad it is done now.

  6. Just having a catch up. I worked in a house with the same dog puss problem only it soaked into a cnc tete floor. Couldn't get rid of the smell!
    Good job on the floor, I live a pine floor, very underrated over here, everyone wants hardwood.

    1. On this one the particle board carpet underlayment soaked up a lot of the dog piss. So most of the structural plywood floor was ok. It was a big job to tear out the old underlayment. I think I had thirty hours labor in that part alone. The customer was not sure what they wanted for a floor and I suggested the pine as a possibility. They looked at one I had done in a store in town about fifteen years ago and liked it. I have done a few in the past but it is not all that popular. As you say most go with the hardwood usually 2&1/4 inch wide oak.