Kidney Stones, Cupped Floors, Wood Floor School & More

Wayne Lee Headshot
My friend Lenny Hall in action at the Atlanta school.
My friend Lenny Hall in action at the Atlanta school.

This, too, will pass ... so to speak.

I had to take some time off to get a kidney stone removed, not the best thing to do but not the worst thing to do, either. Thanks to so many people who emailed, texted and called to check up on me during the time off. All is well, and it’s time to hit it hard again.

To keep moving, I worked with two local guys. One was Joey, my old crew leader and his guys. (I posted photos on the Middle Tennessee Lumber Facebook page.) One job was as strange as it gets—the homeowner has a chandelier in the closet. Each wall in the home is a bright color and not one wall has the same color. There were bright pink, orange, lime green and some colors I have never seen in a home.

I also helped my friend Steve Seabaugh get a job in Paris, Tenn. It was a water damage job—hot water leaked, and it was on the second floor. We tore out 30 square feet, laced that in and resanded the upstairs hallway, but insurance would not allow the bedrooms to be resanded, so he had to install transitions in the doorways, as you can see here:

8 16 16 Doorway Transition Cupped Floor

With the hallway now fixed, we hope the homeowner will see the cupped flooring past the doors and ask for them to all be re-sanded.

8 16 16 EdgingMy first trip out was in Brentwood, Tenn., working with Kyle on a belt sander and two edgers. Here is a photo (on the right) of him testing the B2 after we looked over everything. He had a little chatter in the belt sander that we dressed out. Something we are trying in the Nashville area is on-site repairs for the simple stuff. This does two things for us: it keeps the contractor on the job working and we see real-world results on job-site problems. It’s my hope to grow this service more and more with the local guys.

My next trip was off to Atlanta for the NWFA install class with Lenny Hall. There we had a great mix of new and old. We had a young man just out of high school; he took a job as a floor man so he could learn a trade. In my mind and heart, this young man is doing it right. He knew college was not a path for him; at school was was running the drop saw and hand router. He’s a hard worker, willing to learn and take the time to ask questions. I see great things in his life or, as the saying goes, “the future is bright” for this young man.

The best part for me? He sees the need for safety and personal health. He had his eye protection on, knee pads, ears plugs and, when needed, had the respiratory protection ready. Start them young, teach them the skills and watch them go, that brings joy to my heart.

Now on to the “old.”

Over the years of doing the NWFA classes, I have seen great teachers come and go. The one part of the class that has not changed is the knowledge and the method of teaching the skills: classroom time, demo and then hands-on time on the panels. That has proven to be the best way for years and years. BUT WAIT … we have more. The NWFA has started the online university. With online training, the best the wood floor industry has to offer just got better. I am planning to take the online classes this fall, and my goal is like many others: to get more knowledge and find ways to improve my skills. This is what makes us all better. If you look at the class photos, you will see the panels are changing. There are factory-finish installs and the designs that come from them. There are mix-and-match colors and the different-sized boards to give them a different look. The design is up to the installer and the homeowner’s eye.

I am also happy to see many of the seasoned installers come back to learn and see the new tools, ideas and improvements. We had three or four guys in Atlanta that have been doing floors for 15-plus years. I can’t tell you how many times a seasoned floor man said, “That’s different, who came up with that idea.” This week it was the palm nailer. Two guys said they never had given it a shot, but at this class they fell in like with it. No matter how many years you have under your belt, it’s great to refresh the skills and see/try a tool.

Life is back to fast and full of fun, and I am looking forward to the next few weeks. Stay tuned for the rest of the fun.

My friend Lenny Hall in action at the Atlanta school.My friend Lenny Hall in action at the Atlanta school.

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