7/15/2006

Beetle juice

I woke up at 8:30 this morning to return the floor sander to K Wood Products, which is the hardware nearest our house. We kept it under $175 in rental fees and sandpaper, but just barely. The gentleman that works there (possibly the owner) is going to start looing for picture rail molding for me, which is awesome. They have a sample on their board of woodwork that they stock, but he said that because it's not that popular, they didn't reorder when they ran out. Hopefully I'll be hearing from them soon.

We didn't get to bed last night until after 2 am. We wanted to get the first coat of shellac on the floor so that it could dry overnight. It didn't turn out perfectly, but I'm satisfied with it so far. We'll need to put on at least one coat of amber shellac, then use clear as "build coats". Even with just one coat, the floor has a nice sheen and color. It's still a little too yellow for my taste, but the second coat thould take care of that. The only bad part is that there are lap marks and slight unevenness where I had to refill the applicator. There are more towards the south end of the room, where I started, than at the north end. I think at the beginning, I was putting it on too thin, and it dried while I was refilling the applicator. Towards the north end, I started to be a little more generous with the shellac, and there are fewer lap marks, and the color is richer. I've tackled a few spots with denatured alcohol and steel wool, and the color has smoothed out, so now it's just a matter of doing that everywhere there's a mark. I'd better go get some kneepads...

South end

North end

Surprisingly, we didn't have too much sawdust floating around. The sander did an excellent job of picking up its dust, so almost all of the mess was from the little orbital sander. I think that next time, I might get brave and rent a drum sander, but overall I'm satisifed with how everything has turned out.

In case you're curious about the title, "beetle juice" is Shayne's name for shellac. It doesn't sound quite so glamourous that way, but it is accurate, since shellac is made from the secretions of the female lac beetle. The resin is then harvested off of trees, supposedly without harming the beetle.

4 comments:

Marg. said...

Ooooo! Pretty. And it'll only get better, too. :)

Greg said...

That looks very nice! What sort of applicator did you use?

Di said...

The shellac was applied with a faux lambswool applicator, and the cut-in work was done with a synthetic bristle brush. It's super-easy to apply, but it dries insanely fast.

Jocelyn said...

lovely coloring. I recall when we sanded our kitchen floors, we had a pretty late night too.

I'm glad the beetles aren't harmed...