Tuesday 12 February 2013

Staircase challenge: week 5

We are still progressing with the stairs, just one step at a time... HA!

Saturday morning we were starting to sand the entire staircase for a nice smooth base for the paint to go onto and the sander made a kind of hudududud. The pad was oscillating, just very slowly.

We like to fix things, we don't take things to a repair man, we take them apart ourselves (carefully and methodically) We buy the parts we need on Ebay, they rarely cost more than £1.

Top Tip -  A blank sheet of paper acts as both a notepad and a holding station for the screws or other little bits.
A few minutes googling told me the most likely cause of death of a sander is the carbon brushes for the motor. Now it has been a long time since I took apart a motor (I went through a few teenage years of taking stuff apart, or painting stuff, sometimes I'd take it apart and paint it) So another quick google of an exploded view of a similar model, so I knew what I was likely to find, and then I got my tools out.

My little helper sat and took photos of me taking the sander apart, she is 6 and a chip off the old block, though I dare say, she'd still prefer I played with Barbies more.

I checked the brushes, they were fine, I took the motor apart to clean all the dust and debris out of every crevis, I fixed the problem with the sticky trigger switch. I put her all back together and she still wouldn't run properly. Sometimes power tools just die.

We certainly got our moneys worth out of her, she was the first sheet sander we owned, she helped us with floors, with stairs, not least with the walls, and one of our more domestic chores of sanding down the sewing machine.

So long, and thanks for all the oscilating. (does that work, um, no, not really)

So we stopped in at Screwfix to buy a shiny new sander. In a case! and with yellow buttons!! (also has variable settings, is slightly more powerful, has velcro style attachment for sandpaper and also clips and still has dust extraction)

In the mean time we spent the weekend sanding the spindles to a perfectly smooth finish, neither of us have any fingertips left.

We still need to finish off the sanding the flater sections with the new sander.

Now I'm off to see how the others in the challenge are all getting on (I dare say they have got further than us and our 5 weeks of sanding) I might have some paint on by next week... might.


  1. Ohhh, new toys! Err...tools! Spiffy looking sander there :) I bet it sands faster and better than the old one.

    I've started to put out cookies and milk hoping to attract a Brownie or two to help me with the staircase

    1. Still not had time to play with the new sander yet, err, yeah, I mean use!

      I can't believe that we are on week 5 already, I am so tired of sanding, if the brownies show up please give them my details. thnx.

  2. Wow, that's some pretty impressive sanding! I can't believe it's already week 5 either. Can you imagine how long we'd all have unfinished staircases if we weren't dueling?!

    1. Our spindles and banister were easy because they are so plain. Though they were covered in sawdust/PVA filler.

      In November John and I decided we would have the stairs finished by Christmas.... HA, HA!! I know I would have moved onto something else if we weren't duelling.


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