Some days in the world of a “floor guy” are exhausting and frustrating. Some days you are working in houses so dirty that they could be condemned and other days you end up getting stain all over your new shirt. The freedom that has accompanied starting this business years ago always makes it worth it. The hours are flexible and the appreciation of a job well done when you hear it from a customer makes the occasional long day all worth it.
The whole company (Destry, Andrew, and I) have been working for a couple of months on a large project for a church in our neighborhood. The chancel portion of the church received all brand new floors and also we installed two large radius african mahogany nosings around the flooring.
One of the characteristics of working with wood is that you never know what will happen next. The two radius nosings were built from a series of rough stock boards. The boards were planed and then cut into strips and glued together to form a curved piece. Afterwards, we still have to router, plane, and sand the product a lot in order to create the final product. In the case of this project the final sanding revealed that there were voids in some of the strips . They appeared as dark spots and were out of character relative to the grain of the wood. Simply using filler just wouldn’t work. We even used the recommendation of someone else of using dust and glue without any success.
The real thing that keeps us going in this field is when a project demands resourcefulness and creativity to solve a problem. In the end I suggested that we open the gap in the nosing and we custom created grain matched wood slivers. We glued them in and sanded them and the problem disappeared.
That’s the point of this blog. Every day we have to think with two sides of our brain in order to run an efficient high quality hardwood floor company. Whether we are working in a historic house in Portland with fir flooring or a church, we always have to think of solutions that make problems go away and look elegant. I never found that in my last career. I’m glad to be a “floor guy”.