Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Refinishing hardwood floors Previous Next
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 636
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 2:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was going to tackle this myself, but I've been talked out of it. Anyone in metro Detroit have any recommendations on whom to hire?
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 401
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 3:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rawk, people have tried to talk me out of it too. Are the people talking you out of it at all handy? Most people I meet nowadays can't fix a running toilet. I say if you fancy yourself pretty handy, pick your smallest room and give it a try. What you learn there you can apply to the rest of the house. Just my opinion.
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Yelloweyes
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Username: Yelloweyes

Post Number: 116
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 6:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I did it my self...Not to much to it...Johnlodge gives a good recomendation. Doing it yourself will save a lot of money.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 6231
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 7:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Do it yourself, it's not that hard. Use the search, we just had a thread about this recently, lots of pros and cons in that one.

Would you hire someone to paint in your house? Personally I've refinished 5 rooms at my house, all at different stages of my renovation.

Go for it...
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 233
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 8:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a good recommendation for the person (a friend) who did our maple kitchen floor. He lives in the Points. Contact me at john_doe395@hotmail.com for information.
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Gambling_man
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Username: Gambling_man

Post Number: 991
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 10:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rhymes, refinishing a hardwood floor that is already in decent shape isn't all that difficult. Take your time, and read directions......
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Jiscodazz
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Username: Jiscodazz

Post Number: 15
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 11:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kim Berg out Grosse Point did all my floors. Workmanship and price was great. I definitely recommend him.
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 238
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 11:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jiscodazz, mine too; he is who I was referring to. Small planet, no?
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 1346
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 12:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I had a really good guy redo my floors, but I lost his contact info...sorry.
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Udmphikapbob
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Username: Udmphikapbob

Post Number: 308
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 12:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

forumer Alexei289 is in the flooring/finishing business...can't vouch for his service, but i do know he does refinishing.
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Mattric43
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Username: Mattric43

Post Number: 123
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 12:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I refinished my floors and it wasn't that bad. I did my living and dining room in a weekend and it ran me about $200 I rented the sanders from the Depot. I'm sure if you had more time you could definately find a better price on renting then I did. The rental cost about $125. Just take your time and like Gambling said read the directions. Good Luck.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 644
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 12:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not that handy, to be honest. What I'm afraid of: The floor are in great shape for a 107-year-old house. Just scuffs, no gouges or major blemishes. I'm scared schittless of destroying them. I dunno, it's a 2,200 square-foot house, and I've been told it will cost about $3,000.
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Mattric43
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Username: Mattric43

Post Number: 124
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 1:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All you have to do is a light sand if it doesn't have any major blemishes and then sain and seal or just seal. If there is nothing wrong then why are you even touching it if you don't mind me asking?
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 651
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 1:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cuz it has about 60 years of wear and tear on it, so it's uneven in places. The only reason I'm looking at doing it now is because I don't have any of my schitt in there, so I wouldn't have to haul everything out of a room to do it if I did it right now.
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Mattric43
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Username: Mattric43

Post Number: 126
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 1:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I see. Good idea. It's honestly not that hard you just have to pay attention to what your doing and don't rush.
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Soulhawk
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Username: Soulhawk

Post Number: 300
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 7:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dude, you can rent a sander from Home Depot. It is really easy, and does not take that long. Save some money and have some fun; do it yourself.
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Why
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Username: Why

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 11:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As a realtor I've seen $500,000+ houses RUINED from the rent-a-sander Home Depot jobs. It is extremely easy to dig ruts and gouges in a floor with those heavy drum sanders. What you think are minor errors are highly visible to others, especially in larger rooms. Do yourself a favor and pay for the professional. Or, if you're looking to save money, have the professional strip them and stain/finish them yourself. I've seen botched ceramic baths with unevenly spaced tiles and horrible grout jobs in otherwise beautiful homes......beer buddy roof jobs that you could see sunlight though.....I could go on forever.

The Metro Detroit area certainly has it's problems with the housing market, but prior to this, quite frankly, I remember blaming the new local Home Depot for all these weekend DIYer's for lowering some property values.

The $500 savings here and there is NOT worth it. You or a potential buyer may not have issues with these "flaws" but when selling a professional home inspector will have no problem with heavily highlighting what is wrong.
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 4974
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 2:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I see Why's POV. I'm sure any of us who are somewhat handy can do a decent job but if your home is a decent investment, why not trust it to a professional?

When I bought my home, the floorboards needed some serious work, some replacement boards as well as sanding and I just didn't have the time to do it. After I hired the pros to do it, they also told me just how thin my floorboards were getting in certain spots. Now if I had done the job or called in some amateurs, I might not have realized it and totally ruined certain sections of the floor by stripping it too much. I knew the pros only skimmed off a miniscule bit off the surface of the wood because I saw just how far they went by looking at the baseboards.

So if you can afford to, I'd hire the pros to do it. Spare yourself the grief and go do something fun & frivilous.
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 256
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 12:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good points Why and Smogboy. Currently I am working on replacing about 40 or 50 square feet of oak flooring with some wood that I scavenged. Now that its installed, Ill have a pro sand it down for the reasons mentioned above. I know my limits, so its money well spent. Good luck Rhymeswithrawk, and let us know how it goes (photos would be cool: before/after).
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 421
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 1:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why,

Do you think doing this job yourself will only save you $500?

Does anybody have a rough estimate on what it costs to have someone come refinish hardwood floors on a square foot basis?
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Mattric43
Member
Username: Mattric43

Post Number: 130
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 1:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First of all because he stated before that there are no major blemishes there is no reason to get the drum sander. That is for really tearing into the wood for major blemishes. I agree though that if he needed major work or was considering the drum sander to go professional because to many people do ruin floors by putting gouges and making them uneven. All he needs is the sander that has four orbital sanders on the bottom (can't think of the name at the moment) It is very easy, will turn out great unless you don't pay attention and take your time and save you a decent amount of money. Seriously Rhymes I would be happy to show you my floor and even assist you if you would like. Let me know
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Mml665
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Username: Mml665

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 2:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Generally expect to pay anywhere from $1.50 per sq ft to $3.50 depending on who you call. This for refinishing. There are companies that may even be cheaper but they normally deal in new construction and may not be used to working in older homes that require some finesse. I am a professional painter and I didn't do it myself. The truth is yes you can try to refinish your own floors, but you cannot do it as well as a professional. Heck many people think that they can paint as good as a professional, but can they prep the job as well as I can. 99% of the time the answer is no. So I would say do yourself get some estimates and go from there. The equipment involved requires a skilled hand. I tried the buffing sander once almost took it through the wall. I would recommend having it drum sanded, have them apply 1 if not two coats of filler, 1 coat of sealer and two coats of polyurethane. You can use the waterbased urethane but you won't get the depth in the finish also the color of wood isn't as vibrant with the water based. If you go the water based route request BonaKemy I can verify the name for you, or with poly urethane go the Fabulon route. Both are available at Ericsson Floor. Keep in mind the polyurethane takes longer to dry and the fumes are something awful but the finish is worth it. As for the waterbased or latex they dry quicker and have very little odor. If you need any other info let me know. As I mentioned I am a painter I know how to stain and varnish ver well and I didn't even tackle this myself.
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Beavis1981
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Username: Beavis1981

Post Number: 522
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 8:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rhymes- If you could give me an idea of the job-size,install/refinsh,speci es of wood, type of finish I could give you a estimate and refer someone.

MMl- now they have "emulsion" we use for a sealer coat. It gives the look of oil with the ease of water.
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Mml665
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Username: Mml665

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Beavis ehhhhehhehhhhehh! Sorry couldn't resist. When they apply emulsion can you topcoat it with poly? I know when I had my whole house done I made the mistake of coming back inside after a couple of hours and the fumes were just awful. I lasted maybe half an hour and my eyes were burning, but the floors look nice.
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Capnhook
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Username: Capnhook

Post Number: 42
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We've done 2 houses now and used a company recommended to us by friends. We paid 2.5 / ft2 which included the sanding down, patching nail holes, color and a few coats of poly on top. Patching and feathering in boards cost extra and was based upon the amount of work. we got multiple quotes the first time and then went back again the second to the same company. hope the price info is useful. We had someone do it and moved out of the house so they could get in and out. If I had done it myself on nights and weekends, it would have taken forever room by room.
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Long_in_the_tooth
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Username: Long_in_the_tooth

Post Number: 35
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 11:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

some advice to home re-muddlers.
there are many things that you can do on your own.
floors being one of them. but, after 20+ years in
the building trades, and after doing a dozen or so floors myself, i would highly recommend hiring a
professional. they are in and out and do the job right the first time.
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Beavis1981
Member
Username: Beavis1981

Post Number: 530
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 11:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mml- putting oil over emulsion negates the use of emulsion in the first place. You typically don't want to combine regular oil and water. It can be done but you often have to wait days if not weeks in between coats. We use the emulsion/water combo on naturals. Modern water base is especially helpful on maple due to the uv blockers. When stain is involved you have already sealed with oil so you can use just water-base. For exotics we use dura-seal quick-dry oil poly with either bona or glitsa water for the last 2 coats. Hope this helps, heh heh heh huh huh metallica rulezzz!
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Softailrider
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Username: Softailrider

Post Number: 29
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 6:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know somebody who caused an explosion in his house refinishing his wood floors . He didn't provide enough ventalation in the house and the fumes exploded from the pilot light in the furnace . This was in a 4500 square foot house , not in some little bungalow . His homeowners policy covered over 100000.00 damage to the property. He's lucky that nobody got hurt during this episode . Be very aware of the fumes created when refinishing and staining .
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Courtney
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Username: Courtney

Post Number: 133
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 9:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.hammerzone.com/arch ives/security/fire/spontaneous _combustion/urethane_shavings. htm

Urethane dust spontaneously combusts. No pilot light needed for that type of fun!
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Diehard
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Username: Diehard

Post Number: 40
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 4:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My husband and I did ours a few years ago, about 800 sq. ft. of pretty badly wrecked floors. It was a pain in the butt, and there are a few nicks and flaws here and there, but sure I'd do it again. We figured out that we spent about $500 total, and it would've cost somewhere between $4,000-$5,000 for a pro.
It took us about 2 months from start to finish, and it was late fall by the time the polyurethane went on. That was a cold couple of days while we let it dry (had to open all the windows or risk a 'splosion.)
The worst part was keeping our cats from running across the wet floors.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 426
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 4:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's funny, all the professionals recommend hiring professionals for everything.

Hmmmm....
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Long_in_the_tooth
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Username: Long_in_the_tooth

Post Number: 36
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 5:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Duh!!
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1892
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 5:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Experts agree: experts are expertier. :-)
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Parkguy
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Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 3
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 6:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Years ago my wife and I attempted the job on our downstairs oak floors. We did a passable job, but there are a few wavy spots and places near the walls where I went a little too deep. When it came time to sand the upstairs, I hired a professional. 1) It is physically very difficult to use a huge sander. 2) The cost of rental and buying sandpaper for the machine basically equalled the cost of hiring it out. Rental sanders are not the same as the ones professionals use, and I ended up gumming up tons of sandpaper. 3) Our old floors were finished with shellac, rather than varnish, which is not uncommon in older homes. That is what caused the gumming up, along with an improperly-sized sander motor. 4) I had no problem actually refinishing the floors. These days, water-based polyurethane is available, so fumes aren't as much of a problem. It can be applied with a large pad-like tool, and goes down very easily. I re-coated the living room floors a couple of years ago with no problems. So, if I were doing it again, I'd hire a professional sander and then apply the finish myself.
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Beavis1981
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Username: Beavis1981

Post Number: 531
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 6:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Park- Varnish is just as bad... On most "historic" jobs we have to sand with 16 grit open coat first because the varnish heats up and gums up everything else.

As for this idea-
I'd hire a professional sander and then apply the finish myself.

NO! Bad idea! You could possibly apply regular poly but I would not attempt anything else. A LOT can go wrong with applying modern finishes.
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Smogboy
Member
Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 4996
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 7:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quite frankly I applaud all of those people that want to give a go at a DIY project like this. It's admirable and maybe if I had the time (yeah, I could make the time if I REALLY wanted to) I'd give a go at it too, but quite frankly I know for the time & effort, the pros could bang this job out. That's the reason they're the pros.

For the time & expense, I've got bigger fish to fry- even if it's just kicking back & relaxing and that's got to be worth something too.

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