Thread Number: 8718
Speaking of Floor Polishers
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Post# 96765   4/21/2010 at 23:09 (3,591 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Look at THIS gnarly beast!!

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Post# 96812 , Reply# 1   4/22/2010 at 12:25 (3,591 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

Reminds me of the "souped-up" vacuum cleaner on an episode of the 80's British sitcom "The Young Ones" that actually ate the floorboards. :)

Post# 96865 , Reply# 2   4/23/2010 at 03:14 (3,590 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Looks like what they are talking about is the device shown "floor surfacing" machine--a floor sander.Since hardwood floors would be common in those days-these machines would be used to remove the old finish(very coarse paper sanding drums)and nicks scratches in the floor-then use finer paper for a smoother finish before applying the new floor finish coating.And these often had a suction and bag for catching the dust-the machine shown doesn't have a dust bag.Also these machines ran from 220V.On some occasion if the wood floor was covered with tile--that coarse sanding drum could be used to grind off the tile-today that is not considered safe since the tile could have asbestos or other toxins in it.

Post# 96971 , Reply# 3   4/24/2010 at 21:18 (3,589 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        

caligula's profile picture
You got that right, this "surface" machine is a sander not a vacuum cleaner.

I made the same mistake when I was ten and fell in love with this machine. If I wasn't so fascinated with Electrolux's and Kirby's, who knows, I may have become a carpenter. If that were the case there would have not been a Vacuum Cleaner Collector's Club, but a sander and power tool club. However, I must add here that vacuum cleaners and power tools do share one thing in common. James B. Kirby! When Jim Kirby developed an upright that he called the 'Broomstick' in 1910 he was helped with three men. I forget the first names, but they were messers Black, Decker and Lamb. Black and Decker went on to perfect power tools and Lamb, of course gave us the Lamb motor.

In a few weeks I will have all my files that are in storage, then I will be able to check facts that right now are commited to memory.

Alex Taber

Post# 97105 , Reply# 4   4/26/2010 at 18:26 (3,587 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        
And Alex....

portable's profile picture
I recall that there was an ad from the 30's that featured a Black and Decker motor in one of the Kirbys. I think it ran in Electrical Merchandising Magazine. I may never find it among my stuff, but some day......

Post# 97110 , Reply# 5   4/26/2010 at 19:25 (3,587 days old) by 1926700 ()        

i would NEVER be able to use that BEAST! thats just too big, its bad enough using a kirby classic III, beacuse its so wide. i coulnt even fit that into my house nunless use it.

Post# 97129 , Reply# 6   4/27/2010 at 00:52 (3,586 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Many tool rental places rent floor sanders for professional use or DIY use.They are expensive to purchase unless you are a flooring contractor.A smaller floor sander called an "edger" its a disc sander-that is used to sand room corners or close to walls and other areas the large drum sander can't go.You have to be careful using these-do not let the drum spin on the floor unless the machine is being moved-otherwise the drum will grind a low spot on the floor-the coarse grit paper on this will remove finish and wood quickly.The machines are designed so they can be used by average folks with some training.My brother bought a used one at auction-he needed it becuase he bought some wood floring salvaged from an old hotel that he installed in his house.When you use these devices you start with the coarse paper-then go down to finer paper for the final finish sanding before applying the floor finish.The sanding "opens up" the wood pores so it will absorb the finish.Despite these having a bag---if you use one-you will get fine sanding dust all over everything-you have to block off the areas of the house or building where the machine is being used to keep the dust from spreading.Some contractors have a remote bag sytstem for their sanders-a long hose goes to the machine(s) than outside to a truckmount or dust collctor unit outside the work area.The dust can also be unhealthy.-esp if you are a floor contractor.

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