Zach Christie and his brothers weren’t supposed to be the contractors on this job. “A funny thing is, they ended up going with the cheap guy at first ... and the very first day, he was like, ‘This is just too much for me,’” says Christie, who along with his brothers, Matt and Jason, run Christie’s Hardwood Flooring in Honey Brook, Pa. The floor was the attic of a home that dates to the 1800s, and the owners were turning the space into a bedroom. The inch-thick boards were never intended to be used a finished floor and were comprised of a mixture of white oak, white pine and chestnut (“From that area, whatever trees were around are usually the species that are in the house,” Zach explains.) The boards hadn’t been touched since the home was built, and some areas had as much as ¼ inch of overwood. The Christies replaced boards with old flooring found from other projects or bought at mills, epoxied cracks and plugged old holes to keep the historic look, then starting with cross-cuts with the big machine before sanding at a 45 and then the usual sanding sequence. “The first day when we got the field sanded with just the Hummel, they were like, ‘Wow, we didn’t think you’d be able to get it flat,” Zach says. They ended sanding with a multi-head, then coated it natural with waterborne finish for a stunning transformation. “It was definitely one of our favorite projects for the year,” Zach says. —K.M.W.
Abrasives: Norton | Edger: American Sanders Super 7 | Finish: Loba Prime, Loba Easy Finish | Sanders: American Sanders Epoch HD and HydraSand, Lägler Hummel | Vacuums/Dust Containment: Festool 48C, Oneida Vortex/Cobra