Back in the old days before we had multiheads and multidirectional sanders we had to make sure that we did a great edging job. The edger man would go first with 100. Then the drum man would do the final cut with 100 or 80. We would then hand sand the butt ends and some of the long ends with 60 grit to eliminate the difference in scratch pattern from the edger to the drum.
On natural colored jobs, this was not necessary. But with anything darker than that we would have to do this for every job. This was always the worst part of the job, but to eliminate edger marks we would have to do it.
In the area where I live now, there are quite a few 5/16” thick wood floors. These floors are so thin that you are unable to use a multihead sander or buffer to eliminate the scratch pattern difference between the drum and the edger. If you attempt to do this the floors blow up. Meaning you tear the tops of the groove off because they are wearing so thin. This causes unnecessary filling of the floor and damage.
What we have found out is that we go back to the old school method and eliminate the buffing and hand sand these floors. We are also able to eliminate water popping the floor because the sanding is rough enough to take the stain in its intended color.
Recently, we had a wide plank heart hickory floor where we were unable to get the dark tones the client wished for. So we did not use the multihead sander, but we hand sanded the entire 2,500-square-foot home. This kept the scratches, so the color came out perfectly. We have found one sander that does this same task but have not purchased yet. Stay tuned for the results.