Vance Hough of Annandale Floors in Annandale, Va., owns a piece of hardwood flooring history representing an era of wood flooring most modern pros could hardly imagine. This wood flooring "bumper" was one of the key tools—one of the only tools, actually—that Hough's father used in his daily wood flooring career. "What a floor mechanic would do is hand-nail 200 feet of flooring in a day, then scrape it by hand using this, and then get a coat of finish on it," Hough explains. "That was considered a full day of work." The simple tool has a blade with a little hook on the end of it. Flooring pros like Hough's father would push it in front of them and pull it back, move over and repeat the process to scrape the entire floor. "In order to see where you were going, you would use kerosene or motor oil waste on the floor," Hough adds. "You would scrape it on an angle and then straighten it up." While modern pros may love seeing and trying historic tools like the bumper, no doubt most are relieved to be flattening floors these days from an upright position.
Watch a vide of Vance and Walter explaining how to use the bumper: