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tools | Building Our Nest
Dec 18 2009

Meet my new little friend…

I picked this little lovely guy up last night. He was so cute and he needed a home, so I brought him back to the new place and he just purred and purred…

OK, I’m being silly from working all week. I went to Home Depot and used my very perfect birthday present from my awesome in-laws to get a new shop vac.

Let me get you in on something here. I have –always– wanted a shop vac. They are just so super cool. “Amazing vortex of helpfulness” is what they should be called. No home makeover is complete without one. And they have more accessories than a Mastercard Platinum Barbie. Anyway…

I am so glad to have something to suck up all this sanding dust I have created. It is everywhere! Must get it all up before the staining can begin this weekend. This little baby will make it happen. Thanks Chuck and Barb!!!

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Dec 6 2009

Sand the Floor!

We got started on the actual prep work for the floor refinishing on Saturday. After a little more sleeping in than originally planned, that is. After a waffle and coffee fast breakfast, I nipped off to the best place on Earth…

AKA, the most dangerous place on Earth.

AKA, the most dangerous place on Earth.

After walking out with about $50 more stuff than I planned to buy I went to the local Sunbelt Rentals store to pick up the drum sander and the circular sander. As far as I can tell, they are the only place in town that rents these. If you ever need one, be sure to rent over a Sunday. They didn’t bill me for the day, since they are closed. Nice!

Back home to grab Ellen and Jack and off we went to the new place. A little more prep and I broke out the sander. I did the floors in my house back in Denver, but forgot how heavy the sanders are. Woof! Lift with the legs, people…

Fortunately the power didn’t trip when I fired up the beast and away we went. The old stain came up quickly and before too long the living room was looking pretty good. Ellen went out for street tacos and sodas which made for a nice lunch and then about an hour later our open house guests arrived. We gave four back to back tours of the house to some really great friends, one of whom is within walking distance. (I wish I had gotten video of my dad dancing with Denali, the six month old Great Pyrenees…)

With the break over it was time to get back to sanding, but with the fading light I made another Home Depot run (Two in one day! I’m in heaven!) to snag a halogen work light. Had to get a work light to see what the heck I was doing.

So much nicer than the teeny weeny amount of light put out by the regular room lighting.

Last thing I did Saturday night was edge sand the dining room with the circular sander. This thing is like a pack of ninjas ready to unleash their masterful skills upon the haughty and unsuspecting villain that is that little edge of floor that the drum sander can’t reach. It rips up the floor in nothing flat. A little panicked by the extra 1/64th of an inch it stripped off (a very large distance in floor stripping, mind you) I went back and drum sanded the entire floor today. I think it looks OK, but I will still try to do a little blending work with my hand held sander tomorrow night. Which leads me to this question…

How perfect is perfect enough? If I obsess over every detail of this renovation to the level that I know I am capable of, it may never get done. Also, I will never be happy with any of the work and thus will not enjoy the dream home renovation I’ve always wanted to do. Let the little details slip and we’ll have a big house with ‘meh’ style and thus will not enjoy the dream home renovation I’ve always wanted to do. I suppose some Zen-like state of balance needs to be achieved here. Good thing this is a group project. My lovely bride/co-contractor can help me keep from teetering off of that point the way she did today.

I was ready to pull an all day-er, but she convinced me that dinner at my mom and dad’s house would be a much better way to spend Sunday evening. MMMmmmmm, chili and cornbread on a foggy and cold night. Just right. The rest of the sanding can wait until tomorrow.