Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Hard Days Night

For the last 5 days, a friend and I have been working to get 7 pieces of furniture ready for painting or staining.  Each piece will be finished differently, and for varying reasons, I did not feel like we could skip the stripping/sanding step on any of them.  YUK.

The stripping is complete on 4 of the pieces.  Today I needed to sand (hopefully finish sanding) them - two shelves, one library table and one telephone table.  Here are the before pics of most of them.

Shelf # 1 Before
Shelf # 2  Before
Library Table Before (This table is now disassembled into 9 pieces)

It was about 25 degrees and snowing heavily when I started working around noon so sanding outdoors was out of the question.  I was using an orbital sander so sanding indoors was also out of the question.  The best option was sanding in the garage.  I put four layers of clothing on top and two on bottom and started my quest.  Everything went fine for the first two shelves on the 4.5' x 6' shelf I started with.  Then the strangest thing happened.  The "hook & loop" (kind of like velcro) that holds the sanding disc in place stopped working like it is supposed to.  If I even hinted at lifting the sander the sand paper would begin to shift off center and relatively quickly would spin completely out from under the sander.  This really sucked.  I had to turn off the sander each time I wanted to move it to a different surface.  That sucked.  I could only sand on flat surfaces that were at least as big as the face of the sander. That sucked.  I could not sand most edges or any of the parts that didn't meet the criteria (flat and large).  That sucked.  It all sucked.  Every minute of it.

I spent 5 hours doing this and now after I move it all back into the basement, I have to spend what will likely be another 5 hours hand sanding all the edges, etc. tomorrow.   That sucks.

I have been using this type of sander for like 15 years, and I am stumped.  The only thing I can figure out is that the cold temperatures prevented enough heat to be generated from the friction between the sander and the wood to hold the sandpaper in place.  In reflection of times I have sanded in warmer weather, I seem to remember that sometimes there is so much heat generated that I have a hard time removing the sandpaper from the pad on the sander.  So it is possible that what I was experiencing was the opposite of that.  I Googled "using orbital sanders in cold temperatures" and read through any number of articles on sanding techniques, but I did not find any information about this very sucky situation.

I know that this furniture will be lovely in the end.  But can a girl get a break????  I think this day calls for a Jimmy Johns ham sandwich and salt & vinegar potato chips......and wine.

Is anybody out there?  Does anybody care?  

Make something wonderful today!  (#&*%!#$@)


Milia said...

Can I say how glad I was that I wasn't there for that part? Give me wallpaper removal any day. Also, you can see one of the disassembeled legs from the library take in the first picture. I am so excited to see what that library table is going to look like when it is done.

stephanie said...

I'm out here and I care, but I don't have anything to say about your project.


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