Timelapse: Finishing the hardwood floors

We finished the sanding today by knocking down any leftover rough spots with a palm sander, then blowing all the dust off the walls with an air nozzle and then using a big fan to blow it all out the windows before doing a final vacuum and then wiping the floor with a very lightly damp cloth.

Then things started going literally sideways, when I abandoned my original plan to use the big square sander with a white pad to buff in our Rubio Monocoat finish and decided to rent a floor buffer instead.

Knowing nothing about buffers we rented a giant 20 inch beast of a machine and stuck a big white buffing pad on the bottom before mixing up 650ml (twice what we needed) of 5% white Rubio Monocoat plus 2c, and carefully squeegeed it across half the floor.

I was definitely expecting a bit of torque when the machine woke up but I wasn’t expecting the polisher to literally drag me straight sideways for half the length of the tiny house before I reluctantly conceded I’d lost control of the situation and let go of the trigger.

With Rubio rapidly setting up on the floor I tried again, and again, and again, being flung all over the place as the machine bashed into the walls, wheel wells, and our french doors (ouch).

The next step was to put a towel under a fresh white pad which turned the unruly machine into a wild beast that we could only manage with BOTH of us hanging on for dear life.

If you’re a professional flooring person you’re laughing your ass off right now because you know I left the handle unlocked and tried to use it like a sander when what you’re supposed to do is lock the handle and then rock the machine forward or back to drive it left or right. (A fact we discovered reading the instructions on the way to return the machine.)

In the end we got ‘er done, but actually reading the instructions, renting a 13 inch polisher, or just using the square sander as originally planned, would have reduced the violence to our bodies and the tiny house.

Also just FYI for other builders: We used exactly 350 ml applied with a squeegee onto 135 sq ft of soft maple. This is exactly the size of their small $60 can. So buy two to be safe and return one of them!

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