Author Topic: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly  (Read 2112 times)

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Offline Sarjsmith

  • Posts: 8
Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« on: February 21, 2018, 06:45 AM »
 I purchased a Rotex 150feq to refurbish a small 1970’s Parkett floor and redo our stairs ( as well as other small furniture projects)
I started today and it’s taking a long time to remove a very very hard varnish (dates from the 1970’s). I’m using p40 granat to start, speed 6  ‘hard’ setting.
I’m an amateur, have some diy experience. But a bit less than a square meter has taken 2hrs!!
Could I be missing something or is this just the way it is with such a hard varnish (it reminds me of a very thick layer of yacht varnish!)

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Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1832
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 08:58 AM »
How thick do you think it is? It should be going much faster than the rate you have so far. Are you using the Rotary mode or the random orbit mode? Is the paper loading up with the varnish or is it staying pretty clean? Try the Rotary mode and the fastest speed you can use without loading the abrasive with varnish. Breaking thru the skin is the challenge.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3521
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 09:12 AM »
You might want to give this video a good look.  Larry lays out some techniques that you may not know about.  Be sure to let the tool do the work.  Also set the dust extractor suction to 1/4 to 1/3 full power. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 130
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 09:24 AM »
Heat gun and scraper can also remove the old oil based varnish. Then the sanding will be that much easier.
- John

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 593
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 11:26 AM »
The RO150 is about useless for sanding hardwood floors. Yes I own an RO150...

What you need is an "Edger" like a Clark brand, and a REAL hardwood floor sander. You can rent both of them. Most of the rentals are drum sanders, and starting with 24 grit you will be able to shred the floor in a very short time.


Offline Sarjsmith

  • Posts: 8
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 12:05 PM »
Thanks everyone for taking the time, Gregman and Sparktrician, Thanks for the pointers and the video was really good, confirmed I was doing most things correctly.
Bnaboatbuilder I wanted to avoid the heat gun 😉. Peter_C, I was originally going to hire a floor sander, but hubby put me off with stories off his attempt to sand a floor with one, many years ago!!
I went back to the supplier and got some p36 sanding discs, following Larry Smiths tips I had another go and it went a lot quicker.
To be honest if I’m going to do the bedroom as well, I think I’m going to have to get over my fear of the belt sander😂.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 776
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 12:33 PM »
@Sarjsmith You might want to take a look at renting an orbital floor sander from your local rental or home center. More forgiving than the drum sander but because it usually has four heads it goes faster. Here's a link from Lowes but most places have these available. You'll still need to do the edges by hand.

https://www.lowes.com/projects/build-and-remodel/refinish-a-hardwood-floor/project

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1017
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 02:26 PM »
@Sarjsmith  You should really look into renting a U-Sand machine if you can find one in your location.  I'm a DIYer and I tried a drum sander as well as the large oscillating sheet sander.  The drum sander was way too difficult for me as a first time user and the large oscillating sander just didn't seem powerful enough for stripping the finish and leveling.

For me the U-Sand had a short learning curve.  With four 6 inch sanding pads, it's powerful and I had no issues (with coarse grits) grinding off old finishes and leveling high spots.  One of the benefits is that you can sand very close to edges pretty much eliminating the need for an edging machine.  The first time I used it was to refinish and level a small floor that was very uneven and I was able to smooth it out to a glass flat finish without much difficulty.  I also used it another time to level and sand 500 square feet of newly installed oak flooring with great results. 

The website has videos and tips as well as a rental locator function. http://www.u-sand.com/

Good luck!

Mike A.
   

Offline Sarjsmith

  • Posts: 8
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2018, 02:04 AM »
@mike_aa @rvieceli , thanks guys, I’m in Germany so should be able to access something similar to your recommendations. Shame Festool don’t make a big floor sanding machine, it would probably float across the floor while doing the full works😊

Offline Rob Z

  • Posts: 706
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2018, 01:51 PM »
That floor will look very nice once you're finished.

Here's an idea to consider, it's decidedly low-tech, what about using something like a Stanley #112 scraper plane?   You said it's a small floor so maybe it wouldn't be too much to tackle with a hand tool to get the layers of finish removed before going in with the Rotex. 

I recently bought an old #112 and I am surprised at how  quickly it removes the junk and coatings on old wood. At about the same time, I bought an old oak workbench, primarily to get the antique Record quick release vise that was attached to the bench.   I started scraping the surface with the #112 and was amazed at how quickly it cut through all the crud and got down to nice , bare oak. 

Edited add:  I missed your note that you had success with the new sanding disks and help from the video!   [smile]

BTW, I really like the look of those parquet floors.  There are areas here where I used to work  and it seems all the houses from the 1940's and 1950's had parquet floors and for the most part, most have held up really well even with 60+ years of use.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 01:58 PM by Rob Z »

Offline Sarjsmith

  • Posts: 8
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2018, 04:09 PM »
@Rob Z ,ha, I said success, but I meant it was a bit faster🙄 I’ll look into the Stanley 112 scraper plane and see if it’s available here. I’m really looking forward to when I can finish the floor😊

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 796
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2018, 04:30 PM »
Possibly start with Saphir P24 and work your way up from them? These usually make a quick end to old surfaces.

Offline Sarjsmith

  • Posts: 8
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2018, 04:37 PM »
Wow! @Gregor, I hadn’t seen these even existed, I’m pretty sure my local store doesn’t have them!,
Have just ordered some, hopefully they‘ll see that varnish off😉

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 593
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2018, 05:27 PM »
If you are going to continue using the RO150 you need to keep it moving more. Don't do blocks, as shown in your second photo, but make your passes as random as possible. Whether you can see it or not you are going to leave waves, which means thick and thin spots when you apply the finish. This is where the larger wider foot print of a Hummel belt, or a drum sander does a better job of flattening the wood. A large 20" (50cm) floor buffer with sandpaper on it does a good job of leveling too. The buffer can be a handful. Watch a few video's if you are going to try one and start in the middle of the floor to get the hang of it. Those three padded random orbitals offered at rental departments could be an option.

Buffer


(The RO150 doesn't even work well as an edger, except on maybe soft wood. If you can't tell I am not sold on using, one of my favorite Festool's, the RO150 for floors.) The difference switching to a 7" (18cm) edger is truly amazing.



If pulling the baseboard is easy to do without damage it will make it easier to sand and finish. On the other hand there is a risk of damage, while removing them. Most refinishers will leave them in place. If the baseboard itself needs to be refinished, well...

I would recommend troweling the entire floor with filler, between sandings.


There are fillers you can get in Europe that are banned in the USA. This is a common water based one in the USA.


What kind of finish do you plan to use? Best to screen between finishes with large buffer mentioned above. Put a scuffy pad above the screen. 

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 796
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2018, 02:40 AM »
Wow! @Gregor, I hadn’t seen these even existed, I’m pretty sure my local store doesn’t have them!,
Have just ordered some, hopefully they‘ll see that varnish off😉
P24 is extremely abrasive. Don't keep the sander in one place (or you'll dig a hole, fast) - always keep moving.
Don't push hard or you'll get deep marks.
Most likely you won't have to sand all the surface away with P24, the other <P40 ones will still do quick work with what is left by the P24 - and you'll have to go through the grits to return to a smooth surface anyway.
So also order the ones between 24 and 40, you'll need them.

Be careful with P24 if you havn't used that stuff before (a friend described P24 + rotex mode as 'similar to an angle grinder'), do some experiments on scrap to get used to it to prevent future sorrow.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 02:44 AM by Gregor »

Offline Sarjsmith

  • Posts: 8
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2018, 04:17 AM »
You lot are great! Loads of advice and ideas, thanks for taking the time.
As the revealed wood is looking so nice, I’ve decided I’m going to have to do all the floors😳
That’s about 100 sq meters, so I’m going to have to get to grips with the  drum sander.
The Rotex is a great bit of kit and is going to be really useful for the other projects coming up. I’ll come back and bore you with some pictures when the first room is done😊

Offline Sarjsmith

  • Posts: 8
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2018, 11:06 AM »
Just coming back to thank you folks once again for all your great tips and advice. I’ve finished the floor, hired a floor sander(it was a lot easier than I expected) and finished off the last sanding with the Rotex. It’s going to have a hardwax oil on when the rest of the room is finished.

Offline Rob Z

  • Posts: 706
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2018, 11:42 AM »
Looks great and nice work you did!

I've never been brave enough to run a large floor sander  [eek] and always subbed that work out . 

Offline Sarjsmith

  • Posts: 8
Re: Parkett floor refurb going VERY slowly
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2018, 12:07 PM »
Thanks Rob, I was reluctant after hubbies stories of gouging furrows in a wood floor with one, but I watched a trillion videos about how to use one and it went really well.