Our bowling alley of a kitchen, added onto the house in 1910, measures 12 x 40 feet, stretching the width of the building. Every inch of the floor was covered with mastic tile adhesive and tar paper left behind by flooring the state tore out as part of the asbestos removal in 2010. For the last three months, we—though mostly Kevin—have been removing all the residue by hand with a heat gun and scraper (The Smoking Gun).
While I spent a few hours a day on it over the course of a few weekends, Kevin devoted about 60 hours to this grueling task, reserving time at the end of every workday to clear out some kitchen floorboards before heading back to our apartment in Ipswich for dinner.
Yesterday at 5:40, he texted me this shot after he’d removed the last of the mastic.
Sanding today was a joy by comparison, he said. And here's a shoutout to anyone who's sanded and knows it's a joy on par with root canal or colonoscopy prep (neither as bad as mastic removal because they don't take as long). Kevin rented the gear from Home Depot at noon and by 6:23pm texted me this shot of a fully sanded floor. He'll make a second pass Friday, return the machines Saturday, and seal it Sunday. Stay tuned.