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For whatever reason, a song that my parents adopted as their own back in the day ran through my mind today. As I tried to decide on … Floor Sanders.

You thought I would wax poetic about the old Rogers and Hart lyrics, maybe?

For the uninformed, Rodgers and Hart were an American songwriting partnership between composer Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and the lyricist Lorenz Hart (1895–1943). They worked together on 28 stage musicals and more than 500 songs from 1919 until Hart’s death in 1943.

The song was Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.

I’m not even too sure about the lyrics … but the title fit where I was today as I tried to figure out the next step in my Great American House Restoration.

For those of you who may have read some of my blog entries here recently, you know that I have a front sitting porch … with a hole in the roof … many holes, actually.

I have had the stupidest bird … ever … on that porch. And I had swept it more than any self-respecting porch deserves.

You also know that for whatever reason, my enthusiasm spread to the living room … where I painted the walls in a color best described as Happy.

And for far longer than I would have liked, we have removed carpet, taken up stick-on tiles, been surprised by some old, old linoleum … and hand scraped at the gunk under it all. Between an $8 tool meant for window glazing, a feeble small hand belt sander, and a miracle tool with lots of attachments, and some stripper that did not work … not to mention a blister or two … I have decided to break down and do the job correctly.

Now we are at the stage of the process where I have to finish the floor … which has good hard wood under it all … by sanding it down. The plan is to then put some polyurethane on it … and enjoy the way it all looks together … wall, trim and floor … with the furniture I plan to put in there.

At least that’s the plan. But …

The first word … well, part of it … Which?

Which type of floor sander would Be the right one for yours truly?

So I began my quest today to make a choice.

I had done a little research online and by asking some folks about this whole process. It seems that there are two types of sanders that rise to the occasion.

The Drum Sander which has sandpaper on a drum … and an Orbital Sander which has sandpaper on round disks.

I learned that the man who helps me doing yard work knew about sanding … you will remember him as Santa Claus … and his Monkey

And as it turns out, in a prior life, he sanded gymnasium floors for a living. His health does not allow for rigorous work like that now … but information was there for the asking.

So I asked.

He told several stories all of which featured the Drum Sander. He extolled the virtues of the Drum Sander. How it was heavy-duty and the Right Tool for a floor.

So I decided the Drum Sander was best.

Then Linda allowed as how back in the day, she had used an Orbital Sander to single-handedly sand three rooms in a house. It was, she said, flexible and could reach into corners and near walls as the Drum Sander could not.

So I decided the Orbital Sander was best.

Then I talked to another friend who assured me that a Drum Sander, although it was heavy and cumbersome, was the Breakfast of Champions as far as sanders went … and nothing else would equal it.

So I decided the Drum Sander was best.

Saturday night while out with Jeanne the Bat Lover and the Cast of Characters, I was told that a Drum Sander would no doubt gouge my floors and an Orbital Sander would do the job handily. And I was told exactly the ins and outs of guiding an Orbital Sander.

So I decided the Orbital Sander was best.

Flash forward to today. And I was Bothered. After all, I had gotten a lot of conflicting information about which kind to use. Maybe cost would be a consideration. So I set about going through town to several places that might have sanders for rent.

First I went to a local Tru-Value Hardware Store. And talked to a man who was Very Helpful. He explained that they had Orbital Sanders, Drum Sanders, and Edging Sanders for the places the Drum Sander could not reach.

He quoted various prices, but suggested that the Drum Sander might do the job best. Another man there said the Orbital Sander would be best. Neither was available until tomorrow, though.

I was still Bothered. Bordering on Bewildered, though.

So I decided the Drum Sander was best, maybe.

At that point I went to Home Depot. They didn’t do Floor Sanders, but they had a nice deal on Carpet Scrubbers if I was interested.

I wasn’t … and where were they three carpets ago?

On to Lowe’s down the road. They only had an Orbital Sander. But it was a nice Orbital Sander. And it was an inexpensive Orbital Sander.

So I decided the Orbital Sander was best.

One more stop in my fact-finding quest … the Tel-Power Industrial Equipment Rental place. Now these guys would know their stuff, I was thinking.

On entering, they listened to my request then looked at the four sanders sitting on the floor. As one they said “Drum Sander”. And I looked at the Drum Sander which was smaller than the other Drum Sanders that were available.

They assured me that although I could get an Orbital Sander, I would not be pleased with the results.

And I thought back to the floor … and the layers of gunk that had been removed … and the layers of black stuff that have been mostly removed … and the great effort that has been done so far … and the blisters.

And I decided the Drum Sander was the best.

On the way home, I started to think “but what about the edges? and the gouges? and the weight?”

So here is where it stands right now.

Tomorrow … whenever I can get the truck from Texas Linda … I will go to the last place and get the Drum Sander. The smaller Drum Sander.

For the edges, I will follow this up with an Edge Sander from the first place … if I have to get something else.

For the gouges … well, it’s an 80-year-old floor … what’s another gouge?

For the weight? Well what are friends for, right?

But Bewildered, Bothered and not sure Which would Be right … I am going ahead anyway.

Considering how much I am not a do-it-yourself-er the word Bewildered seems to fit me the best of all.

Wish me luck tomorrow.

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