Hardwood floor finish difficult to sand down

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  #1  
Old 05-23-15, 07:20 PM
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Hardwood floor finish difficult to sand down

Hi all.
I have 1.5" wide maple strip flooring in a 1950s-ish house.

I had planned to rent a Clarke orbital floor sander (only sander available here at the local hardware store) for a long weekend and get two 12X12 bedrooms and a 15X20 living room and a few closets sanded. It took one day just to do one bedroom, taking forever to sand off the old finish even with 36 grit. Edging with a palm sander takes equally as long.

Now two weeks later when I finally have time to tackle another room (tomorrow), is there a faster way to do this? I think part of the problem is the flooring has some very minor imperfections and maple takes forever to sand, thus the long time to sand the floor level.

I have to say though the floor is a lot smoother now in that one room I have gotten done, but I wasn't planning on this job taking so long. One guy bid the job at $1500 with two coats of poly and 1 coat sealer...Factoring in my equipment costs, sander rental and time, this bid is tempting.

This photo is the living room, which I am saving for last.

Any recommendations? Should I try 25-grit paper to start?

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  #2  
Old 05-23-15, 07:27 PM
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IMO, drum sanders are better suited for what you are doing. After a drum sander has taken the finish off and smoothed the floor, then I'd switch to an orbital... its better suited to the finer grits. You are probably right about the unevenness of the floor causing a problem. Either way, a drum sander will be faster, if you can find one to rent somewhere.
 
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Old 05-23-15, 07:39 PM
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Hardwood floor sander 220 volt

That's the correct sander ^^ for the main section of the floor

Wood and Hardwood Floor Sanding, Dustless and Conventional.

The second pic is the correct edger. ^^
 
  #4  
Old 05-24-15, 04:10 AM
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Beware if you use a drum sander that it's easy to mess up the floor if you aren't careful! They aren't very diy friendly. A drum sander has to move evenly across the floor, too much time in any one spots will sand dips into the hardwood. It might be safer to stick with the buffer/sander although I'd definitely recommend using an edger for what it won't get.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 05:13 AM
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BTW, Home Depot rentals have the correct machines but the are based on a 4 hour rental not 24 hrs. It can run into some money if you don't watch the time.
 
  #6  
Old 05-24-15, 05:43 AM
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Thanks all,
Any thoughts on starting with the coarse 24 grit over the 36 grit paper?

I live an hour drive from the nearest Big Box (Menards) and even farther from a HD...This is Menards world headquarters country and the next big box other than the 2-3 Menards stores is a 2 hour drive at least.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 05:59 AM
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I worked for a floor guy & the drum machine would blow right through it. If you can't get one of those machines, I would try the 24 grit. I ran the edger. I used 36 for the first go around & 80 grit, for the second time. Since I didn't run the drum machine, I don't remember if they ran it a second time with 80 paper. My guess is that they did. We also had what was called a "pull tool" for places where the machines couldn't reach.
 
  #8  
Old 05-24-15, 05:59 AM
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A coarser grit should cut faster although you will have more sanding scratches that will need to be sanded out with a finer grit. I'd give it a try

We also had what was called a "pull tool"
It's basically a sharp pull scraper, great for getting in corners.
 
  #9  
Old 05-24-15, 07:15 AM
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Reserved the floor sander for today. just went to the hardware store to pick it up...and it's broken...
the guy who used it yesterday said the sheets were not sticking to the bottom of the machine...huh...i wonder if that is why it was taking me so long to sand two weeks ago...anyway, I think it will just be easier to hire a teacher I know who does floors...he bid my 650 sq ft at about $1500 with two coats of poly and one coat of sealer.

I don't get this many days off work to keep at it all summer for the about $500 I would save after all the sanding sheets costs and sander rental charges.

Thanks for all your advice.
Very much appreciated.
 
  #10  
Old 05-24-15, 11:03 AM
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If you still want to diy, consider hiring out the sanding portion and then do the stain/poly yourself.
 
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