Process of Creating a Masonic Lodge Floor Page 1
This Lodge had yellow carpet on the floor for many years. It was covering beautiful Vertical Grain Old Growth Fir flooring.
The Lodge members had decided to remove the carpet and restore the wood floor to its natural beauty. I was happy to take on this project.
After many Masonic Brothers had done the hard work of removing and discarding the old worn and soiled carpeting my work was to begin.
The process started with a rough sanding to get to remove the discoloration of the wood. Once that was accomplished, the entire floor was troweled with a latex wood filler colored to complement the fir flooring.
Once the filler dried the floor was sanded with finer grits of sandpaper to making the flooring smoother. This sanding with finer grits also removed the filler on the surface while leaving the filler in any spaces between the boards.
I used a square buffer with a 150 grit screen for the final sanding.
I then applied a colored sealer to the floor so that the natural color of the fir was enhanced.
The detailed process of creating and painting the Eastern Star, which was the next step, will be covered in another story. Once the Eastern star was in place I put blue masking tape around the Star.
I then placed a string from corner to corner of the room diagonally in both directions. I immediately noticed that where they crossed was not in the center of the Star.
After a little bit of scratching my head, I noticed that the platform in the East was two feet wider than than the one in the West. I adjusted my string to compensate for this and then they crossed in the middle of the Star.
With these two strings drawn tight, one from the Northeast corner to the Southwest corner and the other from the Northwest corner to the Southeast corner, I had to figure out where the four corners of the white rectangle would be.
I used one of the two-foot by four-foot ceiling tiles as a square and placed it carefully against one of the strings and measured out sixteen feet and moved the ceiling tile until the sixteen foot mark on my tape measure fell directly on the other string.
I repeated this process three more times and that established the four corners.
Once I had established the four points, I drew and taped a string where the sides would be and carefully placed blue masking tape next to the string, being careful not to move the string or to stick the tape to the string. That takes a lot of patience to do.
Once I had blue masking tape in place defining the perimeter of the rectangle, I applied two coats of Ulta White paint with a paint roller between the blue tape around the Star and the perimeter blue tape.
After the Ultra White paint was dry, I fastened a string from the Northeast corner to the Southwest corner of the white rectangle and laid blue tape along the side of the string.
Since all the rhomboids or diamonds that I was going to paint black touch each other, I had to skip a row in each direction.
Once I had applied the tape in the one direction, I was trying to figure out on which side of the string to lay the tape going the other direction to make it come out right.
I took two days off to think about that. During those two days a Masonic Brother gave me a picture from a book, which is Photo 5 below and illustrates 10 triangles on a side.
I simply photocopied this picture and taped several copies together until I had a guide with 16 triangles on a side. I figured out that depending on which side of the string I put the first blue tape would determine which rhomboids were black. See Photo 8 below where I marked the ones I painted as I did them, so I didn't get lost in this busy design.
I decided to put the blue tape on the side of the string so black triangles were on the East and West sides. (Just the opposite of my guide.)
I knew that the distance between each row had to be very precise. I found a tool called a Paraguage at a Habitat for Humanity store. I didn't know exactly what a Paraguage was originally designed for when I bought it, but is was critical in exactly measuring the 12 inches on the blue tape around the perimeter to know where the string had to be placed.
I later found out that the Paraguage was a tool used to precisely set the fence on a table saw to be perfectly parallel to the saw blade. (See Photo 3 below)
Photos 8 and 9 below show the first set painted black and Photo 9 also shows the blue tape on those first Rhomboids painted after they were dry that was done to prepare for painting the second set of Rhomboids. Photo 10 shows the checkered design almost completed.
I will be working on the next page which will cover Hand painting a Blazing Star and Hand Painting Eastern Star Emblems. I will add a link here when that page is completed.