Published on 9 January 2013
“Are you the London floor sanding man?” I had just entered a recently renovated warehouse in South London and I was being greeted by an earnest looking, chiffon clad lady, flourishing a fake smile and with tan to match. “You’ve come to sand my consulting room floor haven’t you?” she continued. I looked across the open expanse of the ‘consulting room’ and my eyes rested upon a lovely, but worn, old oak floor made up from solid wooden floorboards. “That’s me,” I replied, trying hard not to engage her at eye level. “This is a really good solid floor, you know, I am sure that with a good sanding and the right varnish and sealant it will come lovely,” I said without still being quite able to look her properly in the face.
“I’m not expecting hoards of people to wander across the floor,” she added looking thoughtfully. “I only take one or two consultations a day, so a light, natural looking floor varnish would be just perfect,” she added.
I wandered around the room, stroking my chin which, I hoped, gave off the impression that I was a professional floor sander. Bona Naturale is what you need; it preserves the true nature of any wooden floor while giving it durable protection,” I quoted verbatim from the Bona catalogue and with a brisk “I will take you word for it” she bounced out of the room and left me to start sanding the floor.
I had brought with me a Lagler Trio floor sander hired from a North London floor sanding hire shop and a selection of Lagler floor sanding discs taken on a sale or return basis. I had also had a tin of Lecol wood filler left over from a previous job, as I noticed that there were one or two small areas that would need filling before I started sanding. So I mixed up the Lecol filler with a little amount of wood sawdust and filled in the joints, helping to preserve the natural look of the old oak flooring. Once I was satisfied that the floor was properly filled, and the filler had dried, I attached some 60 grit Lagler floor sanding discs to the floor sander and got down to work. The room was empty of any furniture so the were no issues about residual dust, but, any case, the Lagler had a first-class dust collection system which meant sawdust would not be a big issue.
Following on from the 60 grit discs, I finished the floor with some 120 grit discs and then I gently rubbed the back of my hand against the smooth floor as an acid test that the wooden floor was finished to perfection. It was, and I was satisfied that floor was now ready for some Bona Naturale floor varnish. I noted from the Bona literature that I could apply two coats of the varnish with a Bona roller and there was no need to prime or seal the floor beforehand. I made a mental note to remind the lady that Bona Naturale was very resistant to scuff and marks and had some impressive environmental qualities. With a drying time of around two hours, I decided to arrange to meet the lady back here around tea time so she could inspect my sanding and varnishing work firsthand.
At just after five the door flew open and in came the lady clad in different chiffon outfit but still bearing the same beaming smile. Her smile remained fixed as she looked down out the freshly sanded and varnished floor. “My”, she said, “this really finishes my consultation room, my clients will feel completely at ease here,” she added. I asked her if she wanted a hand bringing in the furniture now that the floor was completely dry. “Oh no thank you”, she replied, “I am not having any furniture in here, I am just going to scatter some cushions and perhaps some bean type bags around, so that my clients are able to relax whilst I am consulting them,” she answered rather cryptically.
I busied myself packing away the Lagler Trio sander and gathering up the unused sanding discs, thinking to myself, “I wonder what sort of ‘consulting’ did this flowery looking lady does?” With all my floor sanding tools and equipment bundled together I started to wheel them down towards my van. As I left the building I glanced over my shoulder and was rather relieved to read the name plaque on her door, which exclaimed in bold letters – Lavina Braithwaite-Johnson – Life Coach and Consultant. Hmm I thought, I think she has probably found her true vocation! Anyway off now back to North London to have a look at another floor sanding job in the Capital.
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