sanding/restoring old hardwood floors
Why set the nails? What a good way to ruin an antique looking floor. I can see a reason to set sharp 6p nails or similar as it will tear apart sanding paper, but older cut nails will not, unless there is something I am missing here.
Here's a before and after of the same situation you may be in...
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1.) they'll tear the paper,
2.) if you do sand a nail, you'll remove the grit of the pare on that part of the drum and make "lines" on the floor because you'll have a highspot on the paper from sanding a nail.
3.) you can damaged a drum and ruin a good machine therefore affecting you progress on the job and future work.
4.) if a nail is loose it may come up ****her from the vibrations of sanding and buffing.
5.) If you do happen to sand a nail, and not all of them equally, you'll have new looking shiney nails all over the floor, and no matter good of a sanding job you've done you'll see the few shiny nailheads glaring at you..
so, punchem and leave them alone, do not fill them..