Demanding Sanding

Spring/early summer of 2016, and I’ve been doing some sanding. OK, a LOT of sanding. But before I get into that, here are a few things Clare’s been up to while I kick up the dust.

When I mentioned to Clare that I thought we should make all the duplex electrical outlets (okay, receptacles!) into quads, she took it in stride and commenced to wiring up a storm. Now, there’s no way we’ll ever run out of places to plug things in (ha!). Then she took care of some more lighting fixtures. Installing lights over the doors makes the outside look even more finished:

Code requires a light over every exterior door...
...fortunately, code lets you pick nice-looking fixtures!

And, since it’s spring, time to start lots and lots of seeds. Every year, I’m very concerned about the basil. Because basil is very, very important.

mmmmmmm... futurepesto

When we framed Nerdwood, the timbers sat out in the elements for many months before they were covered by a roof, and many many more months before the outside walls were done. This caused them to weather to gray and/or brown, which looks pretty good on the outside, but on the inside, we thought it would brighten things up to sand and finish the exposed framing. Of course, there is lots and lots of exposed framing.

After doing some research, I ordered a 6″ random-orbit sander made by Bosch that got very high marks for usability and durability, although some said that using it on the highest setting was like wrestling an angry badger. Or robot. This turned out to be true. I started by sanding the posts and beams on the second floor, then finishing them with linseed oil. Linseed oil is great to work with, you can use one coat, and it will last a very long time if the wood you are finishing will not be subject to much wear.

Guess we can't dance on the posts

Once those were done, we cleared everything off the second floor and removed the temporary plywood decking:

The deck was stacked - behind the house
Careful where you step...

Now it was time to fire up the ol’ Bosch. Well, the new Bosch. Good thing the weather was cool for the vast majority of the sanding, because I had a lot of gear on my head:

All Clare heard me saying was "Mrrrffllf flrrml flooof bloofin."

The posts and beams were cut with a bandsaw (portable sawmill), but the joists were cut with some kind of buzzsaw – in other words, a circular saw. Sanding really brought out the saw marks, which we really like the looks of:

It's rustic!

They’ll be a bit darker when they are finished, but the saw marks will still be accentuated. All this sanding took quite awhile, especially since I couldn’t do it for more than a few hours at a time without getting the “Vibrating Palm of Death.” But eventually, every post, beam, and joist was sanded.

One morning in the middle of all this excitement, we showed up at Nerdwood and our neighbor Diesel was there to see what all the fuss was about:

"Hey, guys! Mind if I snack while I watch?"

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