Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Pine Floor - Part Trois

Eric's been busy repairing the pine floor upstairs in his office.  I went to the pharmacy and asked to buy a couple of those graduated pill containers they use in hospitals to dole out pills.  The pharmacist gave me 10 gratis; he was a nice guy and sympathetic to our cause when I explained why I needed them.

Those little pill containers make excellent containers to mix two-part epoxy in.  Using those equally non-eco plastic coffee-stirrer sticks, you can mix up a batch of epoxy precisely and without mess.  (And if you leave the stir-stick glued in along the side of the container, you can just peel out the remaining epoxy when it's hardened and reuse said container).
To plug the smaller holes, Eric first glued a cork plug into the original (and uneven) hole.  This provides a base for the next step:  using a 1-1/8" Forstner bit to enlarge the holes and make it possible to fill with a wooden plug.  Then, using the corresponding 1-1/8" plug-maker, Eric used the drill press conveniently located in our living room to make said plugs.  Again, I got to beat back the sawdust with the vacuum cleaner while Eric drilled.  We're a dynamic duo like that.

The plugs are all glued into place now.  When the epoxy's good and cured, Eric'll take off the excess (just a bit above the level of the floor) with a chisel and sand down the remaining part.

Filling the two larger holes was a bit of a challenge, since we don't have a band-saw.  Why, I have no clue.  I think it would look great in the kitchen, right beside the oscilloscope that's taking up valuable real-estate on my kitchen island.

Eric took a rabbet bit and router, and enlarged the holes.  I had every intention of taking an AFTER photo, but that didn't happen.  You'll just have to use your imagination:
Using a rabbet bit creates a shelf that the plug can sit on.  What you're seeing at the bottom of the hole are the floor joists.  Eric doubled up a section underneath the hole when he rebuilt the ceiling downstairs.  Thinking 50 steps ahead is Eric's specialty.
Eric made a paper template, and from this one of our neighbours kindly cut plugs.  Eric remembered to mark the direction of the grain on this template.  The other one, no such luck:
This plug's make out of oak because the hole was shallower.  Eric didn't see the need in enlarging the hole to the point of compromising the floor even more.  Once the floor is painted, you won't be able to tell anyhow.
Filling the valley is going to present a bigger challenge.  I plugged the holes at each end with corks, and Eric's going to even out the edges and make a long plug out of pine, and fill the side gaps with with epoxy.  I should also note he mixes some super-fine pine sawdust in with the epoxy.  He says this makes sanding easier.  Considering he's blowing through 50-grit sandpaper on the belt sander like no one's business, I'm not so sure...  Eric's nearly used up his crepe sanding block.
Here we've got a fissure filled with some of Eric's sawdust epoxy.  We've got a few spots like this on the floor.  We also had to screw down a few squeaky floorboards using some 3" Spax screws.  Take that, dammit!  We're not messing around.

We're at a bit of an impasse with regards to the cracks between the boards.  We're on the fence if we should just clean out the crud with our new Fein Multitool, and fill everything before painting, or if we should just look the other way and paint over it, and hopefully never look back.  The gaps are anywhere from 1/16" to 1/4", some even larger.  We'll have to ruminate on that a bit.

Our reward?

Another stunning sunset.   I just wish there was a way to make the daylight hours longer.  There's no denying it, but fall is on it's way whether we like it or not.  The maples are changing colour with the cooler nights, and we've seen a few flocks of geese heading south for the winter.  We've already lit the wood stove a few nights, not so much for heat (although it does cut the humidity nicely), but for ambiance, and because we were convinced Cooper missed lying on the warm tiles in front of the stove.

Stay tuned for part four of my twenty part series!


Ron said...

It seems to me that there was some kind of self-leveling compound made by a sheetrock company... as I understood it, it was for filling in those cracks and whatnot... usually before carpet, I think, but it might work just as well prior to painting. Unfortunately, I don't know any more about it, I just remember a guy who owned rental houses talking about it.

I've got to get up on the roof and clean my chimney the next time things are dry here, getting cool fast.

Shim Farm said...

Hi Ron, yeah, I know Mapei (the grout people) make a product called Planicrete which is a self-leveling mortar. I'll check into that - it might be a solution.

Oh yeah, sweeping the chimney. What a PITA! Since our roof is metal and at a 2:1 pitch, no chimney sweep in the area is willing to touch it. We sweep it ourselves every year, and it's such a bloody awful job. Last year we nearly turned Eric into a Darwin Award candidate using our tractor, a 30' ladder, and and and...well, suffice it to say the job got done, but it was hell. This year we're gonna do it from inside (hell for me, I get to clean soot off every surface in the house), but it's another one of those non-negotiable tasks on the long to-do list.

Yup. No denying it. Winter's gonna come whether we're ready or not.

Robin said...

I was wondering how you were going to fill in the holes. It looks very nice now.

Something about the cooler weather has Lee and I trying to get back into interior house projects. You are inspiring me farther!!

Shim Farm said...

Hi Robin, the 2-part epoxy, combined with the super-fine sawdust makes a great hole filler. It's tough, resistant, and we've brought many pieces of wood back from the brink with this method.

We've got a few really interesting epoxy repair jobs around the house I hope to post about many other things LOL...

The weather is finally cooling off. Nice for a change, and yes, oh so motivating.

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