Sunday, July 14, 2013

Restoration Sans Destruction: Hardwood

And this is my first post here on our new(ish) blog! Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Andrew occasionally spoken of in Gina's entries and half of the Odd Fellows Wrecking Crew (More than half, by weight).

Here at the Odd Fellows House we have a number of projects underway, as our editor in chief Gina has been documenting :-). The house has a number of original features that we are excited to restore and preserve. Perhaps chief among them is the newly unveiled hardwood flooring in our parlor and, if our luck holds, in the master bedroom. The wood appears to be either pine or douglas fir. Here is what we are working with:

While at first blush it may be a little more "blech!" than "yay!", we are quite happy to find the hardwood in such great shape. The wood would have been hand nailed down in 1885, right around the time President Chester Arthur dedicated the Washington Monument; during a period where Indian raids were still an issue in the Northwest Territories. Since that time there have been a lot of plagues unleashed on the hardwood floors of America. Who among us can forget the linoleum fad of the 1950s? What house wasn't touched by the vinyl sheet flooring of the mid-1970s? It has been a dangerous world for floors these past 127 years and we are most pleased at least one of our's made it through (relatively) unscathed. 

While we are overjoyed to not be using a heat gun to loosen adhesive and scrape up asbestos-laden tile in our parlor, we are faced with a dilemma. The floor is certainly not perfect, and it definitely needs some sprucing up (pardon the pun). The last thing we want to do is sand away too much of our wear layer or our face nailed nail heads, and wind up with a floor in need of replacing. The restoration process here will be an exercise in restraint and extremely careful sanding. 

Hopefully, if I get the thumbs up from Gina, we can repair the scuffs and scrapes and avoid having to sand too much!


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