Tuesday, 3 November 2009

At the end of day one.

There is a particular line in one of the installation documents I found that was very fitting;

“This pattern is best left to the skilled craftsmen”

My friend Steve and I have been talking about this floor for a few years now, and when he arrived at 8:30 this morning - it was strange to be finally starting. There were several false starts. Then there were a few starts that ended badly and had to be started again. But... after several hours of head scratching and talking it through - it started to come together. 10 rows in... it fell apart... again.

after 5 rows - we thought we had it

So we had some lunch and continued to talk it through. We returned with a new strategy and thankfully - it worked. Steve changed the way he was nailing and I set up a quick workbench on the mantel and took a few shavings here and there to bring everything back into square when gaps showed up. We were both really surprised how sensitive the flooring was to the order of the 3 nails in each board. What seemed to be working was to put a nail in the middle of the piece, then one on each end. Steve alternated the order of which end he did first - and that really seemed to help. Every once in a while, I would have to take 6 shavings off a board - introducing a slight taper. Neither of us could figure out what was happening to the floor to cause this, but 6 shavings seemed to do the trick. We quickly found our pace and the floor really started to come together - for real.

taking 6 passes

the center line

We figured this would take us 2 days - and we knew we were being hopefully optimistic. By 5 pm we stopped and had accomplished much more than either of us thought we would.

My Japanese hammer was the perfect tool for this job. The domed end has just enough curvature to keep from damaging the ends as they are tapped into position.

There are 261 pieces left and after doing a quick measurement and count - I think there will be just enough.

And as I was downloading these images from Jill’s camera - I found this shot. She took this just after I finished sanding the drywall. Curiously - my back does not seem quite as sore.


Blogger Jameel said...

Wow. The floor is looking spectacular Konrad. I wonder how many flooring installers are using an infill coffin smoother to tweak the courses! I look forward to seeing the finished product. Nice Roy Batty impersonation, by the way. ;-)

4 November 2009 at 19:19  
Blogger Jim said...

That is amazing, love the pattern, so sweet Konrad!

That pic of you is priceless, print it out and date it, put it in a time capsule and hide it in that room for future explores!!


5 November 2009 at 08:51  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Jameel. I am not sure about how many infills make it into floor installers kits... but it would be one tool that would really suck to leave between two joists and drywall it in! Well... crappy for me... but good for the person who finds it in 100 years:)


6 November 2009 at 07:06  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Jim,

Yeah - I debated on posting that photo - pretty sad state of affairs - but if you cannot laugh at yourself you are doomed right? A time capsule is a good idea. We have been leaving little hints in all the rooms we work on - signatures here and there etc. But a photo would be a good one.


6 November 2009 at 07:08  

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