Monday, July 16, 2007

Stand by Your Geek: Laying the First Planks

It took until this afternoon for Bruce to lay the first planks and glue them down.

Yesterday morning, he finished filing the doorframes so that the floor would fit underneath them. Carpet has some give in it, but the wood floor will not. And Bruce would rather have the floor fit under the doorframes than around the edges. Since wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity, space has to be left between the wood and the wall for that to happen and Bruce'd rather have that space hidden by the doorframe.

While he was at it, Bruce found imperfections in how the contractors put up the doorframes. They are not noticable with the casual glance but he fixed them anyway. "I'll know they're there and it will bother me." Yep. Geek to the core.

Yesterday afternoon, Bruce pieced out the first two rows that extend the length of the hallway. This involved some cutting at an angle because at the end of the hallway where I was standing to take the picture, the hallway expands outward to make a half-hexagon on the side where Zoey is standing. This accomodates N.'s bedroom door (pictured), the bathroom door and my office door. The corner between my office door and the master bedroom comprises an angle the straight line of the planks hit.

In this picture, we are looking down the hallway from the master bedroom door, through the living room and at the 2nd master suite at the end of the hall. It is quite long.

One reason that beginning to lay out the planks took so long was that the pieces in the boxes of wood are of different sizes, so Bruce counted out the number of each size in order to make sure not to come to a point where all he'd have left are small pieces.

I think it would have worked just as well to lay them out randomly. I suspect that is what most people do. But Bruce said: "I don't want to box myself into a corner." Figuratively, of course. He doesn't like surprises!

This morning Bruce did more cutting and piecing, so that he could lay out about 5 rows of the planks straight across the entire hallway from master suite to second master suite.

The glue is spread out using a large trowel with darts cut out on the edges, so that the glue is spread as stripes. These stripes match notches on the bottom of the planks. This provides a better "grab" between the glue and the plank, so that the boards will not shift.

Blue painter's tape is used to tape the planks together while the glue dries. The floor can have "light use" after a few hours, but it will be 24 hours before furniture can be put on it and normal use can resume.

In this picture you can the flooring that has been set on the glue to the right, and the pieces, together like those of a puzzle that are still to be put on the glue to the left.

I have not been much help in this process.

Bruce is in "quality control" mode, and he does not really want anyone else to touch the work, because he knows what he is doing.

So I have been working on my power-point presentation for the New Mexico State Gifted Conference. Lily has been sleeping on the daybed in my office while lending her moral support. Every now and then, she and Zoey will rouse themselves and check out the work Bruce is doing. Then they return to keep me company.

It is frustrating that I can do so little to help. But Bruce's perfectionism will not allow it. And although I am also frustrated by the intensity of some of his methods, I breathe through it--as much as the glue smells allow!

The perfectionism may take a little longer, the results will have a quality that no contractor can duplicate.

You can see the concentration, here.

Look at the intensity of effort!

He is so focused. So intent on getting it absolutely right!

I gotta love my Geek!


christinemm said...

Wow your new floor is going to be GORGEOUS!!

Lill said...

I'm sure the effort Bruce puts forth and the patience you're practicing will be worth it, Elisheva. The wood is beautiful. I've found that it's not possible to help my geek do anything, except for making sure that he remembers to eat and drink by plying him with things he can eat without stopping. Kind of like how I am when I'm writing. LOL. Havers, can there by writer geeks?

Shine On,

Beth: said...

wow. Those floors are going to be fantastic!