Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Is this worth trying to correct - Chatter?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:22 am 
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Here are the vital stats:
- Red Oak Floos
- Two rooms existing (Foyer and kitchen) were refinished
- Three rooms new with unfinished red oak installed and finished
- Not quite sure on the type of sander used. Looked like it was probably a belt sander, but can't be sure, since I wasn't really paying close attention. I know it ran on 220v, since he had to tap in directly to my electrical panel.

Came into the house after last night after the final coat of poly was applied and dried, and noticed what appeared to be sanding marks across all floors. Basically wall-to-wall perpendicular to the grain and generally spaced about 1-2" apart.

Based on my research here and elsewhere, it would seem to be and example of"chatter".

Here are the best pics I could post. Obviously, this is all much more visible to the clothed eye, especially when light from the windows reflects off the surface:


http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w648/aycaramba55437/Wood%20Floors%20Refinish%20-%202017/20170108_092342_zpsy3qujuvz.jpg

http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w648/aycaramba55437/Wood%20Floors%20Refinish%20-%202017/20170108_092216_zpssge0isur.jpg

http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w64 ... nr2lys.jpg

Flooring guy is coming back to my house in just a little bit. I don't expect that I'm going to have a wealth of feedback by then, but any thoughts would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this worth trying to correct - Chatter?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:46 pm 
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Here's an update. Met with the owner (he also performed the work). He confirmed that he used a drum sander. Tells me that there is always some bit of variation when sanding with it, and while he concedes that there are noticeable machine sanding marks, he says that's pretty much what to expect. He did not think it was bad. Also says that he doesn't consider this to be chatter, as that is going to be deeper and will be noticed in the stain. He also says that the fact that it occurs in every room equally reinforces the fact that its just normal sanding marks.

He's telling me that we shouldn't expect the same look as pre-finished wood, and that any time you sand on-site, you're going to get some of these sanding marks.

He says he didn't use his other sander for finish sanding (disc sander?) As that would've closed the grain and not given a good staining result. We do agree that the stain is currently uniform in appearance.

He's not recommending a re-sand, as he doesn't think that he can guarantee a better result. He has offered to buff it and apply a matte finish poly (we currently have satin). He says that will cut down the reflections and reduce the noticeability of the sanding marks.

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this worth trying to correct - Chatter?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:22 am 
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Here's another update, in case anyone is interested...

I've got another company coming out to take a look at the floor to give an estimate on the cost to refinish everything. Also looking to get a professional opinion on whether the marks we have are normal or not. My gut says "not", and everyone I've had look at the floors in person or by photograph says "not", but I'm not an expert, so I do have doubts.

I'm honestly not looking forward to doing this again, given the hardship of not being able to live in 1/2 of my house and having to live in a hotel again for 2-3 nights due to the fumes if we refinish. Depending on the feedback, we might see if the original guy will re-do it (though he says he doesn't think it will be any better) or just seek a partial refund to have someone else give it a shot.

What really bothers me here is that this appears to be textbook example of chatter, with marks every 1 1/2" or so, but the owner disagrees. But when I look at it, I can just imagine that drum sander very slightly bouncing along the floor as he sanded, creating the marks.

Talking to him, he threw every excuse I found on the internet:
- It's normal for a drum sander
- It's the wood (red oak)
- It's the sub-floor (except this is throughout the entire areas he refinished, and this is a 15 year old house with 2x12 flooring joists. Pretty solid.)

Anyway, hoping there are some experts on this board that are willing to provide their perspective. It's pretty sickening to think how much money we spent to get something that is disappointing.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this worth trying to correct - Chatter?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:17 pm 
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Well, at this point, I guess this will become a running journal of my experience. Had two other contractors come out today to give their opinion and estimate for any potential fixes.

Contractor #1:
Claims 37 years in the business. Looks at the floor and agrees with the original contractor. Notes that there are sanding marks, but doesn't think they are too bad. Says that he'd stick with what we have, and doesn't think he could guarantee that he could do it much different. Says that using a drum sander and not cross screening was the right process.

Points out areas where he can tell that they hand sanded, and thinks that the general quality is pretty good.

Contractor #2:
Family-run business that's been around for about 70 years. Guy who came by looks at the floor and says it's totally unacceptable. Says he doesn't see any evidence of original contractor sanding at a 45-degree angle, which they would do when refinishing v-groove floors so that they would match the new wood that was installed. Notes that he can see the old finish in the grooves. Notes that the sanding marks are very noticeable. Took photos and plans to share with the owners to get their opinion so he can report back.

So, at this point, I've got two completely opposite opinions. More confused than I was before. I guess we'll see what contractor #2 has to say when he has more information. I've got a 3rd one coming by on Thursday, so maybe that will be the tie-breaker.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this worth trying to correct - Chatter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:02 am 
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So it's an existing floor that had a bevel or micro bevel of sorts so this area and the new was sanded then finished.

Here's a video that shows pretty much the same situation. I spent six weeks with these guys and never saw what you have. From new construction to 30's era Detroit bungalow homes.

Granted it isn't major but you're the customer.

Video at page bottom


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 Post subject: Re: Is this worth trying to correct - Chatter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Very good information...thanks for that. It seems to make sense. Looks like a mix of poor technique (maybe a missed step by not first passing over at 45 degrees) with a potential problem with the sander. It's interesting that the video show the crew cross screening the floor before staining. Our guy told us he specifically avoided doing that because he didn't want to close up the grains and affect the finish, since we were going with a darker finish (Duralast 1/2 Coffee Brown, 1/2 Gray) on red oak.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this worth trying to correct - Chatter?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:22 am 
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Figured I'd keep updating this until resolved, in case anyone else finds themselves in the same situation.

Talked with the original contractor yesterday. He has come around to agreeing with others that the sanding marks are not acceptable. He tells me he has purchased a new machine and will use that to sand everything down and refinish the floors. I recognize that there's a risk here, but he seems to be committed to getting this job done right and I doubt that it will come out worse than what we have.

My hope is that, between our keeping a closer eye on the progress and his knowing that we're watching closely, we'll end up with a more acceptable finish. And frankly, while my wife would have been happier to get a refund out of him equal to what it would take to re-do the floors with another contractor, I don't think I'd be able to get that much out of him.

Of course, this means another 4 days of living through the refinish process. Not terribly excited about that. Especially since we've finally been able to get rid of most of the fumes in the house. Our only saving grace is that it is supposed to be unseasonably warm here next week (40s-50s), so we should be able to be more aggressive about ventilating during and after the process. We weren't able to open the windows much last week when the temps were below 0. That made for a couple days of headaches, and wasn't much fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this worth trying to correct - Chatter?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:58 am 
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Final update and resolution to this one:

The original contractor ended up coming back and redoing the floors. Sanded all the way down and started over. He did end up purchasing a new sander, so though he never admitted that his old sander had a problem, I guess actions speak louder than words.

The floor looks much better, with a few sanding marks here and there, but generally, we're quite happy with the result. I guess the lesson here is that you should trust your gut and seek a 2nd or 3rd opinion to confirm.

And a thanks to Ken Fisher for the reply and additional information. It was good to have a confirmation of my suspicions.


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