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  #1  
Old 08-18-2015, 02:07 PM
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Dent Repair for Wood

How to remove a dent from wood



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Old 08-18-2015, 02:14 PM
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Genius, I'll sock this one away in the ole' brain (I wonder what's being thrown out to make room...). Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2015, 02:15 PM
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Interesting! I just got a house and I'm trying to decide whether to repair my hardwood floors or go with a cheaper floating floor, id be really concerned with damaging the wood with hot steam since it is old. New wood i imagine would be a lot more pliable and resilient.


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Old 08-18-2015, 02:53 PM
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What about getting the floor screened and refinished? Cheaper than getting it sanded and improves the value of the home. Plus then you know what finish is on it and can clean and protect appropriately.

Is it too worn for one of those minwax or rustoleum hardwood floor restoration products? I'd worry about the finish with this technique.

Found this link the other day and it's useful for figuring out unknown finishes so you can fix them: http://woodfloordoctor.com/_how_tos/articles/cleanpt2.shtml.
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Old 08-18-2015, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Benzasaurus View Post
What about getting the floor screened and refinished? Cheaper than getting it sanded and improves the value of the home. Plus then you know what finish is on it and can clean and protect appropriately.

Is it too worn for one of those minwax or rustoleum hardwood floor restoration products? I'd worry about the finish with this technique.

Found this link the other day and it's useful for figuring out unknown finishes so you can fix them: http://woodfloordoctor.com/_how_tos/articles/cleanpt2.shtml.

It's been carpeted for at least 40 years and underneath it's got lots of paint spills and marks and such. It needs a layer taken off for sure and re sanded/sealed/polished. There are also a ton of ring shank nails in it (most of which I got out but the ones stuck in the joists below are not going anywhere) which will shine up and may cause problems with a sander. We love the idea of having the original floor, and it is a beautiful oak, but lots of filler will be required. For reference, here are the nails I removed, still plenty left in joists:





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Old 08-18-2015, 03:17 PM
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...that'll buff out?

But seriously, maybe you can just screen it instead of sanding it down. It looks like it's got plenty of finish on it still, so you can also get someone to come in and just repair the areas with stains and revive the finish (or DIY the revival). Even if that means replacing some of the boards they can be stained to match others. You can only sand down so much before you have to replace the whole thing.

It's your floor of course but I'd start with figuring out what kind of finish it is and get a small area really clean and then restore a bit. Just to see what's possible without taking layers off. It might actually come back with a wonderful patina. I wonder if it's an old wax finish on the floor. That would be awesome, super easy to deal with and bring back up. Anyway, sanding to put poly on isn't great because poly always breaks down and needs reviving every few years before it gets too bad to repair without screening. That floor looks good to me, actually. If you've got a wax finish on it then getting the paint off would be straightforward and you'd get the wax up too but could put it back down afterward.

You may have different tastes than me though. I like the worn in look (too much time in Britain). The place we're moving into they put acrylic wax (Orange Glo) on the worn through and covered, but still unsound bits, of the floor. So I'm going to have to strip it off with ammonia or something and see what I've got. The owners were going to sand it until the floor guy got an injury and couldn't do it in time. So I figure I may as well try out some less involved solutions. But ****ing orange glo is the devil.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:07 PM
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Steam swelling damaged wood is a technique widely used by gunsmiths an luthiers, it works best on bare wood because most finishes form a vapor barrier on the wood's surface preventing the wood from easily absorbing the moisture.

I've seen it done by placing a cleaning patch soaked with water over the ding and then laying an electric iron with a larger spoon type blade atop the patch. Steam it up, and repeat as necessary. Damage with a sharp edge where the fibers have been severed don't always "heal" enough to be "invisible" for a perfect repair but lesser more generalized "bruising" responds pretty well on most woods.

The "ringshank" nails were probably added because the floor was squeaking more than they could stand and they were laying carpeting over the floor so appearances probably didn't matter. If you'll do more damage trying to removing any you could alternatively use a nail set or a punch to drive the nail deeper into the floor and then fill the hole afterwards.

You can make your own custom wood filler by mixing some fine wood dust from the floor in question with epoxy. Lots of dust and just enough epoxy to hold it together, that way after you fill the hole and sand it smooth the plug will accept stain and finish very similar to the surrounding intact wood, so you can avoid visual imperfections that some more generic store bought fillers can impart because their composition is different than the surrounding floor boards.

Looks like whoever shot those "ringshank" nails was a craftsman at heart though, looks like they were pretty darn consistent in getting each nail centered in each of the boards as they did it!

Last edited by BatteredBenz; 08-19-2015 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tbomachines View Post
It's been carpeted for at least 40 years and underneath it's got lots of paint spills and marks and such. It needs a layer taken off for sure and re sanded/sealed/polished. There are also a ton of ring shank nails in it (most of which I got out but the ones stuck in the joists below are not going anywhere) which will shine up and may cause problems with a sander. We love the idea of having the original floor, and it is a beautiful oak, but lots of filler will be required. For reference, here are the nails I removed, still plenty left in joists:





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I've redone lots of floors. Redo it. If you can't get the nails out, drive them below the floor with a punch and use wood putty on top of them. If you're in a hurry, just fill the holes with putty, sand the excess off by hand, put a dab of matching stain on the putty and put a couple of coats of oil based no-sand-between-coats poly on top. It will be good to go for a lot of years. I use Elmer's ProBond Professional wood filler for floors.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:39 PM
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I've redone lots of floors. Redo it. If you can't get the nails out, drive them below the floor with a punch and use wood putty on top of them. If you're in a hurry, just fill the holes with putty, sand the excess off by hand, put a dab of matching stain on the putty and put a couple of coats of oil based no-sand-between-coats poly on top. It will be good to go for a lot of years. I use Elmer's ProBond Professional wood filler for floors.

Unfortunately I can't drive them in as they have a fairly large head, and drilling doesn't seem to get anywhere. I have a good set of Milwaukee carbide bits that hardly took the metal down. The only way I was able to get these out was to go into the basement and knock them up (which is why the ones left are stuck in the joists). The actual refinishing of the floor doesn't bother me at all, and seems pretty straightforward.


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Old 08-18-2015, 10:20 PM
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Unfortunately I can't drive them in as they have a fairly large head, and drilling doesn't seem to get anywhere. I have a good set of Milwaukee carbide bits that hardly took the metal down. The only way I was able to get these out was to go into the basement and knock them up (which is why the ones left are stuck in the joists). The actual refinishing of the floor doesn't bother me at all, and seems pretty straightforward.


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Maybe your girl friend can?

PS the nails you've got are not ring shanked the are hardened spiral shank, they where probably coated, they are mostly used for things like building pallets and trusses, almost always shot from a pneumatic gun because they are nearly impossible to drive hand nailing.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:23 PM
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Maybe your girl friend can?

PS the nails you've got are not ring shanked the are hardened spiral shank, they where probably coated, they are mostly used for things like building pallets and trusses, almost always shot from a pneumatic gun because they are nearly impossible to drive hand nailing.
Yeah referred to as nortwist here great job removing them.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:31 PM
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Yeah referred to as nortwist here great job removing them.
The 3 1/2" ones they use for pallets are coated with an adhesive that heats up from the friction when driven and when the pallets are oak, no one is ever removing them without destroying the board.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:33 AM
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It's been carpeted for at least 40 years and underneath it's got lots of paint spills and marks and such. It needs a layer taken off for sure and re sanded/sealed/polished. There are also a ton of ring shank nails in it (most of which I got out but the ones stuck in the joists below are not going anywhere) which will shine up and may cause problems with a sander. We love the idea of having the original floor, and it is a beautiful oak, but lots of filler will be required. For reference, here are the nails I removed, still plenty left in joists:





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The grain and figure of that flooring is extremely good, to get that dense coverage of excellent boards like that you'd have to buy three times the coverage and pick the 1/3 best of each to come close to what you've got there. It's very nice
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:35 AM
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It's been carpeted for at least 40 years and underneath it's got lots of paint spills and marks and such. It needs a layer taken off for sure and re sanded/sealed/polished. There are also a ton of ring shank nails in it (most of which I got out but the ones stuck in the joists below are not going anywhere) which will shine up and may cause problems with a sander. We love the idea of having the original floor, and it is a beautiful oak, but lots of filler will be required. For reference, here are the nails I removed, still plenty left in joists:
How did you get those nails out? There are no catspaw marks and using one of those would have been out of the question anyway of course. I'm guessing you had access to the underside to bang every other row out enough to pull them easily. That's the way I've seen it, 8 inches between rows. The nails in joists need to be counterset and filled, of course. Shiny heads not allowed. But I'm guessing you know that.

The battered man is correct. Heavy dents often involve a bit of fiber tearing, and are not ameliorated fully with steam. But the steam method works well often enough to be worth a try. Sometimes it works very well but I've never seen it as perfect as in the OP photos. I suspect the older the dent, the less likely it will be improved.
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:23 AM
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How did you get those nails out? There are no catspaw marks and using one of those would have been out of the question anyway of course. I'm guessing you had access to the underside to bang every other row out enough to pull them easily. That's the way I've seen it, 8 inches between rows. The nails in joists need to be counterset and filled, of course. Shiny heads not allowed. But I'm guessing you know that.

The battered man is correct. Heavy dents often involve a bit of fiber tearing, and are not ameliorated fully with steam. But the steam method works well often enough to be worth a try. Sometimes it works very well but I've never seen it as perfect as in the OP photos. I suspect the older the dent, the less likely it will be improved.
Sometimes the bigger picture is harder to see, the old guys aren't the ones putting up the YouTube videos.The nails never should have been removed, all of them should have been driven deeper. The nails were put there for some reason maybe a noisy squeaky floor. Now not only are the nails removed so the floor is back to what probably caused it to be renailed down like it was but pounding the nails back up through could only have loosened things up even more than before the nails were originally driven. It's a lose-lose

Removing the nails completely didn't really help anything from a cosmetic view point because there are still holes to fill. And now if the floor does get noisy that will need to be ignored of fixed some how also!

Kind of reminds me of the scene from the movie COLORS with Penn and Duvall, The story of the old bull and the young bull standing on the hill looking out over the herd of cows. The young bull says " I'm gonna run down there are **** me one of those fine young heifers, and the old bull says, " I think I'll walk down there and **** all those fine young heifers!" I suspect TBO got the idea nail heads were a problem and maybe when figuring out what to do about it started to see what could be done about it. Started fooling around to see if a nail could be removed, and it just ran from that point to where it is now. Just maybe never thought why the nails would be there or if he did what could be the potential results if they were removed.

Get a good punch, even have one made by a machinist, have it hardened and tempered make it the size of the nail head. get one of those seats on casters, a three pound drilling hammer and a good glove for the hand holding the punch. Scoot along and drive every nail at least a 1/4" deep. Bang one good shot, you don't want the punch walking around on that nail head bending it sideways, that just makes stuff worse, bigger crazy holes.


Last edited by BatteredBenz; 08-19-2015 at 03:42 AM.
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