|Saving the original wood floors has been the biggest challenge of the whole Greyshade Estate project to date, but it was also one that had to be done now or probably never. The logistics of it all once we fully moved in would have been nearly insurmountable. We would have had to put all our stuff in storage and tent camp in the backyard for a month or two. We’re tough people but I’m really glad we didn’t have to be that tough. As described previously the first step was to demolish the old tile, cementboard backing, mildewed carpet and cheap MDF baseboards. Then we removed the hundreds of screws, nails and staples that had been used secure the tile backing and carpeting. This was a big risk because the only thing we knew about the floors was what they were like in the master bedroom. For all we knew the rest of the flooring might have been ripped out and replaced with plywood. As it turned out we already saw the worst of it under the bathroom addition but all those patches will be inside closets eventually. The only other patches were a small one in a bedroom (shown post sanding next to the broom) and a large one were the original floor furnace used to be in the living room. This patch sagged whenever I stepped on it. You see it in the picture with the large dark area of the floor. That dark area turned out to be asphalt stain, one of the most hard to remove finishes ever put on floors. Next came the longest phase of the process, research. I knew almost nothing about floor refinishing four months ago. One of the first really good pieces of information I found was the video below.|
The first thing I figured out after this video was that I certainly had tongue and grove hardwood flooring. The second thing I figured out was that no tool rental place in town has ever heard of a Clark EZ-Sander. In fact, only one store had orbital floor sanders. Several people warned me that drum sanders will leave lots of dips and can leave gouges in unpracticed hands. The majority of people I spoke with who had refinished their own floors regretted it, but on our budget professional floor finishing was out of the question. I had a lot to think about.
In 2010 a family of four sold their charming little condo in the increasingly fashionable neighborhood of University Heights. With the money they bought a stripped out house in East San Diego previously owned by human smugglers. Their goal was a radical change in lifestyle that would allow DIY Makerism, self reliance, alternative technology, permaculture, and urban homesteading into their lives in ways their HOA would have never allowed. The ideas that lead them to take this plunge came from the steampunk movement as it was during a brief shining period when art and philosophy seemed at least as important as brass, and great essays, speeches, and letters were written. These days they don't worry so much about what people call "steampunk." They call what they're doing the Greyshade Estate.
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