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Question:

Hi,

I am interested in becoming a part-time floor sander. I checked web sites but cannot find a dealer carrying floor edge sander and drum sander in New Jersey. Can you tell me where I can find a good company selling this equipment? Thanks.

Harry

Answer:



Dear Harry

By all means DO try a career in this business, it's quite rewarding if you love wood like I do. And I sure do recommend a sander or two. The Clark is a great machine and has a long history in North America. They took over the American Lincoln floor machines company, and have made their machines based on this old venerable model. It's similar to the machine I use, and mine is about 30-40 years old and still going strong. Alto now owns the Clarke machines at http://www.regalequip.com/Alto/clarke.htm. I would highly recommend their American 8 floor sander.

But there is an alternative, and that is the Galaxy Floor machines, which are copies of the old Clark, (the Galaxy 506) and are made one at a time by a real machinist right here in Toronto. They finally have a web site at http://www.galaxyfloormachines.com. Both these machines may have to shipped to you directly, but I trust both machines, the Galaxy 506 and the American 8.

If you are at all serious about staying in the hardwood floor business, you must have a powerful and heavy machine, and only 220 Volt machines will do. They weigh over 200 pounds so that they don't chatter across the floor when you fine sand. It's no so much a matter of speed, (they ARE twice as fast) as the fact that you won't get paid for jobs that have chatter marks all across the floor. You can always dismantle these machines into two 100 pound loads. I hope you are a big guy.

All houses have 220 volts coming to the main fuse panel these days. I live in a 100 year old house and this has been upgraded in the 60's, as most houses have. If you go into your main fuse panel you will see two big wires coming in from the street. Test them with a 110-220 voltage meter and I'm sure you will see what I mean. All electric stoves and electric dryers run on 220 volts, so in most house you can hook up your cord with an adapter to plug right into these receptacles. You are gong to have to have a few lessons from an electrician, about how to do this until you get the hand of the many variations of this. You need about 30 amps at 220 V to run these machines.

It took me about a year of full time work, before I had the knowledge to do work on my own. You should really consider working for a well-established firm, before you start experimenting on customers? floors and electrical systems. But I will be here whenever you wish to ask anything about wood floor.

Be sure to read some or all of the books I recommend available in the search box at the top of this web page.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. How To Sand Wood Floors Without Leaving Machine Marks

2. How To Chemically Strip Wood Floors without dust!

3. Should I sand the wood floors myself or hire a pro

4. Plank Floor: What Special Considerations This Type Of Floor Raises

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors