Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ouch, crap! My finger!

After Ashley's Graduation, Michael went home and I stayed behind to spend some extra time with my family and to help my mom with some home improvement projects. During the past week, we managed to install a hardwood floor in the living room. Here it is...a work in progress:

This was achieved by hand nailing the boards rather than by using a pneumatic cleat nailer, which might have been smarter given the injuries to our left index fingers that occurred during the course of the project (more on that in a minute). They make a manual cleat nailer, but it's almost impossible to use and the pneumatic ones are prohibitively expensive to buy. You can rent them for approximately $70/24 hours, but it probably still would have taken us several days to lay the floor, so we would have spent quite a lot to rent one, too. A lot of our time was spent finding just the right boards to complete a's a lot like a puzzle. They come in random lengths, and it's important that your seams not match up exactly with those on the previous row or two, so you can imagine that you could spend a fair bit of time finding just the right combination of boards to complete a row. You can cut them to fit, but then you end up wasting wood, which we were loath to do. Because we were so frugal with our wood, we probably have almost enough left to do the next room, too (yay!), so our plan is to lay out most of our rows ahead of time and then go rent the cleat nailer and just nail, nail, nail. That way we can get the most out of our 24 hours.

As I mentioned, there were some injuries during the laying of the floor. My mom managed to drive a nail set into her left index finger. My major injury occurred when I was holding a board in place while nailing it and I missed the nail and hit my finger, which drove the edge of the board into the pad of my index finger. OUCH. Both of these injuries bled profusely and, although we each dripped blood all the way to the sink we managed to not bleed on the new floorboards. Kudos to us.

Anyway, here is the finished product:

Isn't it pretty? I'm so excited that it's done! Let's not talk about the other, larger room that we haven't started on. Today I am clean and dressed and I have makeup and jewelry on and I'm not covered in splinters and sawdust. I'll think about THAT tomorrow, just like Scarlett.

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