Aug 29

New floors

Tag: boat workJonathon Haradon @ 9:05 pm

(refers to events that happened August 2nd – 6th)

After spending eight days just outside of Papeete, we were ready to move on.  The anchorage we were in had warm showers, but this was about the only up side.  The water was dark, cloudy and stank with sewage from runoff from Papeete.  You could almost see the rate at which stuff grew on the underside of our boat.

Matt and I sailed the boat over to Moorea, a short 25 mile sail.  He then went off to meet his and Karen’s moms who were visiting for a week.  Matt and Karen would stay that night at the hotel and the subsequent three or four nights.  I had the boat to myself!! Let the party start!

Before the party could start though, Matt had given me a list of jobs to accomplish.  The list had one item on it.  Redo the wooden floors inside the boat.

O.K., that’s melodramatic.  Matt and I discussed and we both wanted a nice newly polyurethaned floor.  Matt felt any more wear in certain spots would cause permanent damage.  It would look great and be a huge bang for our buck in terms of enjoyment and resell value.

Step one: Scrape.  Using a scraper take off most of the old polyurethane over the entire floor.  Time required: 6 hours.  Sweat level: high.  Battery power requirements: none.

Step two:  Use Orbital Sander on 80 grit over half of the floor.  Time required: 12 hours.  Sweat level: moderate to high.  Battery power requirements: moderate.

Step three:  Use Belt Sander with vacuum attached over entire floor.  Time required: 5 hours.  Sweat level: low.  Battery power requirements: enormous.

Step three should have been step one and would have saved the time required to do step one and step two.  But Matt had initially suggested the scraper and orbital sander route.  After a couple of days of this, I met up with Matt, described the progress, and realized the belt sander was the way to go.  That it took three days of work before I made the switch is a testament to some stubbornness and my oft detailed lack of handiness experience.

Step four: Redo entire floor with Orbital Sander on 80 grit.  Time required: 6 hours.  Sweat level: moderate. Battery power requirements: moderate.

Step five: Use Fein tool with triangular sander tool to get into the corners and edges.  Time required: 3 hours.  Sweat level: moderate.  Battery power requirements: low.  Frustration level:  Enormous.

The Fein tool is a beautiful instrument, but this was not its calling.  The sandpaper we had for the Fein tool gummed up quickly, in about 5 minutes, and would then need to be changed.  Extraordinarily frustrating.

Step six:  Entire floor with Orbital Sander on 200 grit.  Time required: 4 hours.  Sweat level: moderate. Battery power requirements: moderate.

The floor was now bare wood, light and baby bottom smooth.  It was impressive to run my hand across after I had used the belt sander and think ‘oh that’s pretty smooth.’   Then after the 80 grit orbital sander was used, I’d think, ‘wow, THAT’s smooth.’ Finally, after the 200 grit sand paper, I was thinking, ‘This is better than the sexiest pair of smooth woman’s legs I’ve ever felt.’  That’s not true, but you get the point.

Step seven: clean.  Time required: 2 hours.  Sweat level: low. Battery power requirements: none.  Frustration level: high.

There was now sawdust everywhere.  I had failed to use the vacuum attachment in steps two and four.  This was a colossal mistake.  Sawdust was everywhere.  I had taped off Matt and Karen’s bedroom, but everywhere else had a thin to thick layer of sawdust.  Before laying down layers of polyurethane, which if the the sawdust got airborne and settled onto, would hold it fast like fly-stick paper, the boat needed to be cleaned.  I got to probably 90% of it.  Karen, bless her heart, spent an additional few hours cleaning up my mess a week later, getting to all the more smaller nooks and crannies of the boat.  A month later there is still sawdust visible in a myriad of places.

Step eight: wipe down floor with rubbing alcohol to clean.  Time required: 3 hours.

Step nine: repeat.  I went through six rags coating them in sawdust that had settled on the floor.

Step ten:  Finally the first layer of polyurethane was ready to be applied.   Time required: 2 hours. Brain cells killed:  some.  Satisfaction level: high.  I wore a respirator while applying because the polyurethane has a terrible headache inducing odor that forced me to sleep outside that night.  This step, by the way, was finished after a 16 hour work day ending at 4 am.

Step eleven:  Wake up in the morning and bask in the glory of a beautiful floor.  Take pictures of your exquisite work.  Drink multiple beers in the morning toasting your success.  Then prepare for another coat of polyurethane.  The directions say to apply two coats.  Matt, in his infinite wisdom, and constant striving for anal perfection, wants four.  (In his defense, in hind sight, each layer was necessary and improved the floor markedly)

Step twelve: Lightly sand with the orbital attached to vacuum.  Wipe down with rubbing alcohol to clean.  Time required: 2 hours.  Battery power requirements: colossal.  It will be necessary to run the engine in order to charge the batteries.  This is the first time EVER this has been necessary.

Step thirteen:  Next layer of polyurethane.  Time required: 2 hours.  This time making sure, once an area is covered in poly, to ever so gently run the brush across the area.  Like tickling someone with a feather…

Step fourteen through nineteen: Repeat steps eleven through thirteen twice more.

A week worth of work later, and now we have a beautiful floor.

2 Responses to “New floors”

  1. Vicki (MOM) says:

    It looks really good, Jon!!!

  2. Dave Haradon says:

    WOW…this was a LOT of work. But I know you are proud of your efforts. I can’t wait until you get home. I have a floor in the house that needs the same treatment (smile!). You could probably make a career out of doing this in case you don’t want to go back to teaching. As to the comment about comment abotu comparing the floor smoothness being smoother than the sexist pair of woman’s legs you have felt, that seems to be a simple solution. The next time you are enjoying the company of a women, just run some 200 grit sandpaper over her body. I am sure that will go over really well (BIG smile). – DAD

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