Monday, March 15, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I'm making haste slowly on the 2nd floor hall crack filling, piece by piece, bit by bit.

The other day I tried scoring the thin filler strips with a utility knife to split them in half lengthwise. Uh, no. Wood grain is wood grain and it splits where it will. But a scrap wood board set next to the table saw fence allowed me to cut the strips in two, as long as I started them from one end and finished them from the other, to keep my fingers away from the blade. And yes, I use that plastic guard thing that came with the saw.

The first thing is to clean out the cracks. I tried using a dental tool first, but soon found that the angle of an ordinary five-in-one tool works the best. Scrape, scrape, scrape, vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Scrape some more, vacuum some more. Until finally I can see the surface of the floorboard's tongue.

Then I look over the different widths of filler strip I have and figure out which size will work best. Cut the right length using the hacksaw in the mitre box, spread on the glue, fit the strip in the crack, then tap it in with the rubber mallet.

Or not, if I've miscalculated the fit. Then I have to pry the piece out, wipe it off with a wet rag, then use the plane to remove whatever I need to. Or maybe that's time to select a different size.

Then I take the next smaller size, cut it to the right length, and do it all over again. And again, until the crack is too narrow to accept anymore wood strip. I'm trying to butt the pieces closely but not too snugly end to end with each other. If you don't look at it too closely . . .

It's fiddly work, but I think the final effect will be very pleasing. I made some good progress Friday night, and even more last night and early this morning. What hampers me the most is the cramped conditions of my hall. What with miscellaneous tools (contained and loose), wood strips, glue, wet rags, vacuum cleaners and yards and yards of extension cords, it's hard to get at the gaps that need filled.

So each evening I do what I can, clean up the mess completely, go to bed, and start the process over the next day.

It's coming along.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

You do realize that I'm going to feel like a slacker now as I put the next two coats of finish on my floors with the gaps still in all their glory. ;)

Seriously though, your floor looks great! Love the attention to detail!