Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Floors in a Pinch

Because he only had one day off this week, Jon was determined to finish our floors on Wednesday- despite the heat. So, Tuesday I finished wiping the pitch off every knot with turpentine, and then scraping away everything that was left...

We got out to the yurt at 5:30am to try and beat the heat, and tore into the floors with 40-grit sandpaper and this beast (I'm talking about the sander, not Jon):
Some particularly hard-to-reach spots required this drum sander too...
Like before, our pads kept getting gummed up with pitch...
Lots of pitch. See those flakes on the floor? They're pitch too.
We were prepared though, and we just kept going... and going... and going.
By noon, and 28 packages of sandpaper later (4 pieces to a package), we were done! We finished by palm sanding the edges that the beast couldn't reach and headed inside for lunch.
In the afternoon we swept well, and then oiled the floorboards with the oil we made (3 gallons of walnut oil mixed with 1 pound of beeswax).
Isn't it purty? The ants seem to love the oil, so Jon cut a bunch of thyme to deter them... apparently they don't like the smell... or maybe it just covers up the scent of the oil.
We surrounded the perimeter of the floor with thyme, and our work was done. Over time, the oil will sink into the floorboards and leave them with a lovely glow.
Because of the pitch, we will probably need to shellac them as well. We're looking into making our own non-toxic shellac using shellac flakes (did you know they come from the lac bug? Seriously!) and grain alcohol. But that's a project for another day. For now, we are done. Mike thinks our new floors will be a swell place to take a nap sometime in the future, and I think he's right.

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