With the hearth tiles grouted and double-sealed, and the fire back in place, things are ready in the lounge room to lay the secondhand floorboards we got way back in February.
The first step is to put down some underlay. It’s got plastic on one side, as a vapour barrier, and a thin layer of foam on the other, to give a bit of cushioning. Our boards are a bit uneven underneath – tear-out from when the nails were originally driven through. The underlay helps also to soak up those inconsistencies.
The boards are in pretty shocking condition, so each one needs to be cleaned up. Dirt and sand is crusted along the top edge of most of the tongues, quite a bit of the tongue and groove got split during removal, and some parts of the boards are just unsalvageable. While we’ve done a rough lay-up, we don’t really know if we have enough boards to do the whole floor, post clean-up.
It’s slow going, board by board. We’re not nailing them down just yet, just seeing if they’ll fit together.
On the side, we need to test the nail gun to see if it works. It, too, is secondhand, from the US.
Here’s a new one down at the local hardware for $750. No thanks.
The air fitting that it came with wasn’t compatible with our hose, so we changed the hose interface on the end. Nail gun, postage from the US and new fittings came to $160 all up.
It also came with some nails. Once the air fitting was fixed up we thought we’d give those nails a try.
Well, it sure does drive a nail. The first attempt put two nails in. It was so quick I was a bit confused as to what had happened at first.
The second attempt (using a much lighter touch on the trigger) went in fine, but split the wood. I’m thinking they’re too wide for this job, and something finer is called for (it’s a framing nailer, after all, not a floor stapler). While it was a very short piece of wood I was testing on, we’ll be putting these nails in close to the ends of the boards and splitting it like this is unacceptable. Have to find out if the magazine will accept smaller nails, or can be swapped out for a different magazine.