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I am trying to refinish floors in my almost 100 year old…

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I am trying to refinish...
I am trying to refinish floors in my almost 100 year old home. I am using a 4 disc orbital sander. However, evidently the finish on the floor must be the original finish. I put on new 36 grit pads and in a matter of seconds, they are loaded up and useless. If I continue to use them the old varnish or shellac or whatever it is starts melting and sticks the pad to the floor, also ruining the backing pad on the machine.
I have tried stripping the old finish, that saves a couple of sets of pads, but it still doesnt help much.
Can anyone help me? I have already spend a fortune on 36 grit pads and backing plates!!!
Thanks,
Mike Tate
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Home Improvement
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Answered in 3 hours by:
10/5/2015
Home Improvement Expert: The Home Smithy, Home Builder replied 2 years ago
The Home Smithy
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9,623
Experience: #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
Verified

Hi, Mike.

What you need is a machine that uses blades to cut off a small amount of the floor (approximately 1/16" to 1/4" depending on the floors condition). Using sanding discs will not work as you have noticed. The older floor coatings never dry out and harden enough to sand it off.

You can rent one at your local rental yard.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago

That wont work!!! If I cut a 1/4 inch off the floor I will be into the tongue and groove!!!!!

Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Home Improvement Expert: Phil, Mechanical Engineer replied 2 years ago
Phil
Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9,726
Experience: Retired contractor, 51 years experience
Verified

Hello,

There is no easy solution with such thick build ups, especially given your experience with #36 grit paper.

I know of no easy solution.

3 or 4 passes with DADS Easy OFF Paint remover would work however, it is about 1/4 as toxic as the most popular paint removers on the market and easily twice as fast.

I have used a lot of it, be sure the room is well ventilated and that you use a rated respirator and heavy rubber gloves.

http://www.dadseasyspray.com/

It can be a bit hard to find, many lumber yards carry it however.

Given the gummy nature of the old finish any sort of power plane or rotating head cutter is going to clog up too fast, or cut deeply into the floor, posing a whole new set of problems.

I think in the end you will be stuck with using a stripper, then the standard floor sanding protocols and equipment.

...........

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