we did sand everything down. didn't put any new varnish on in DeBasement, but should tonight. looking ahead, I don't like the idea of pulling every blinkin' wire separately for a 6x1 speaker system, two coaxes, Ethernet, video feed up from the theater amp, and a partridge in a pear tree... so I picked up another 500' spool of wire on my way into work. now it's going to be purple and white behind the walls, in the conduits.
12 gauge stranded. take your Monster (tm) cable and twist it in knots, guys, copper is copper. if I built a micro-ohmmeter again (whipped one up in the 70s because I had plans) each connection would have ten times the resistance as the cable. minimum.
did vacuum up the loose dust left after we swept Monday night.