*DISCLAIMER* This post was written in October 2017! That's why this post seems to be written more recently.
I tried to rent the sander from Home Depot, but after driving to the east side of Asheville they were out of the paper I needed for the sander they were going to rent me. I ended up going to a tool rental company in Weaverville that I hadn't heard about yet! So much closer. It was also more affordable than renting at Home Depot. I got the right paper and headed to the house! After a very frustrating evening figuring out the sander and how to change the paper, we finally got into a rhythm.
The lighting in this post are credited to the electricians who left us one room with electricity, so our overhead lighting is now a lightbulb clamped to the wood stove chimney.
The living room floor is crazy uneven, so the drum sander did as much as it could on the first few passes. We went through a shit ton of 36 grit sand paper because the adhesive would heat up and gum it up. Eventually we got there! We followed the 36 with 60, 80, and 100.
The drum sander doesn't get the side of the room, so we went at it with my small orbital sander with 40, 60, 80, and 100. We had to not only use the small orbital sander on the sides of the room, but to get to the uneven parts of the middle of the floor.
As we repeated this process with the bedroom floors, we started to get CHATTER MARKS. This is very, very upsetting and difficult to hide when staining/finishing. We stopped the process and did some research - in the end we think the house was vibrating with the sander causing the marks. We didn't get any in the living room, so we also think that the machine was sanding differently in the bedroom where it is way more level than the living room.
You'll also notice that we decided to tear off the beaver board from the walls to be able to sand/finish the bottom of the walls best. We made the executive decision that we are going to pull off the beaver board (and the bead board behind it) to make sure there is no mold behind the walls and add in insulation where needed. This was all kind of happening simultaneously with the sanding project.
SO - We will continue the saga of us learning out to refinish wood floors. There is hope!
Erin + Aaron