Floor Sander Advice

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  #1  
Old 01-15-01, 03:31 PM
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I just sanded my new oak floor this weekend, and I wanted to share some advice for anyone out there who is planning to rent a floor sander in the near future. My advice is to get a drum sander with a lever that allows you to raise and lower the sanding drum.

The sander that I rented was made by "American Sander". It was very easy to use and it didn't gouge my floor at all. This sander rides on three wheels. When you move the lever, the two front wheels go up and down which raises and lowers the sanding drum.

The other type of sander (without the lever) just has two wheels in the back, and the sanding drum is the 3rd point of contact. To raise the sanding drum off of the floor, you have to tilt the entire machine back. These sanders are very sensitive to the amount of pressure that you apply to the handle, as that pressure gets directly translated into pressure on the sanding drum. If you have heard a horror story from someone about sanding a floor, I can would bet that this is the type of sander that person used.

I had heard too many horror stories about drum sanders myself, so I decided to first try the vibrating "Square-Buff" type of floor sander. My advice would be to NEVER use this sander on bare wood. The sandpaper is attached to the sander with a soft scotch-brite pad. This pad is too soft and allows the sandpaper to conform to the shape of the wood. Because of this, not only is the sander useless for flattening a floor (with even tiny uneven spots) but is also eats into the soft places in the wood grain, which raises the grain. After 4 hours with the vibrating sander, I had to go rent the drum sander to repair the damage. The vibrating sander is also painfully slow.

Note: I am planning to use the "Square-Buff" sander with a 150 grit sanding screen to sand the floor between coats of polyurathane. I think it will be easier to handle than a floor buffer. Is there any reason that a circular floor buffer would be better?


-David
 
  #2  
Old 01-16-01, 07:43 AM
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David, you are right about the drum sanders--but I still managed to leave uneven marks where I stopped the sander ie. pulled the lever. I could have blended these in with the edger--but I could not see them until after I finished the floors! The drum sander was easy the edges are what take the time. I did three small bed rooms and used a dewalt vibrating hand sander between coats--it doesn't take much you just want to knock of the high spots so the next coat goes on smoother! But if you have a large area--I would rent the large vibrating floor sander! Be careful 150 grit is all you need!
 
  #3  
Old 01-23-01, 03:22 PM
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I had used the square buff sander in our old house and I'd have to say that it did not do a good enough job. It certainly prevented gouging but the result was not as thorough as I would have liked.
 
  #4  
Old 01-24-01, 08:49 AM
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Cool Re. Floor Sander Advice

Thanks for the advise. This is a spring project that I am gearing up for. I have 3 bedrooms to do. My question is; How much dust did the sander kick? Wife and youngest have sever asthma. I am wandering if I should leave it to the pros and go [window]shopping for the day. Would their dusk be controlled any better.

Thanks

Doug
 
  #5  
Old 01-25-01, 07:55 AM
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The pro's use the same type sander--and they are extremely dusty--I would clog the dust mask I was wearing. I did my floors right after I bought the house--before I moved in--would not think of doing it now that I moved in! Oh ya--I got a price after I did it myself--$700 for three bedrooms. I had $400 in materials and tool rental plus all my time--I would suggest letting the pro's do it!
 
 

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