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Anyone Ever Make Your Own Flooring


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17 hours ago, CC_Ranger said:

 

Ex wife enjoy's it now!

SHE THANKS YOU. HER AND HER NEW MAN EJOY LAYING ON IT IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE WATCHING TV. YOUR A GOOD MAN..

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Could always plug and screw it down. Probably take a while but then you don’t need a jointer or router table. Could use different species of wood for plugs. Seen it done some and was pretty nifty looking. 

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Let me add a couple cents worth and probably repeat what others have said. But first let me add that I have considered doing some myself. I save samples of oak flooring every chance I get just to look at different styles. Even have some that are said to be sometime after the civil war.

First step is to get it dry enough to work. Not sure your climate, but in western Iowa, if you don't kiln dry it and expect to air dry  on its own, expect 5 years minimum. It needs to be dry dry. Almost dry is not good enough. Anything over 10% moisture will move. I've seen warped floors, and that is firewood. It can't be fixed.  

Tools.... unless you are just doing a closet floor, your are going to wear out several of the big box store stuff before you ever get done. If you use a router, you will need a 3+ hp. at $350 a pop minimum. (assuming you can get by without burning one up) Tongue and groove router bits are not the same as T&G flooring bits. $200 and you will need a handful. If you plan on doing a bunch, your should get a shaper instead. $1500 should get you a starter. Planer....don't even consider the $5-600 dollar home version. A commercial planer will be $2000 on up. Oh, I forgot the jointer. Again commercial quality......four figures. The bottom line with my doom and gloom, is what has been mentioned before.....every piece has to be the same. That $500 Dewalt planer is a very good machine but not good enough for a large production run. Believe me, your hand or your foot can feel the uneveness of a few thousandths.  I'll get beat up and told that you can do it for less with less. Yes you can. Just giving my 2 cents.

Wood...... oak is the way to go. (gonna get beat up again) If I were using ash, I'd go no wider than 1 1/2" planks. You can use any wood for flooring. Heck you could use Cottonwood if you want to. Oak is stable both laterally and longitudinal. I always think that history is the best teacher. Ask yourself .....why have people been using oak for flooring for a couple hundred years. In my part of the world, oak is scarce but ash grows wild. I have never seen a wood floor here other than oak. Though there are some really pretty woods that I bet would make gorgeous floors.

Ok, you asked for opinions and I gave mine, And it didn't cost a thing.

 

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17 hours ago, NY1468 said:

Could always plug and screw it down. Probably take a while but then you don’t need a jointer or router table. Could use different species of wood for plugs. Seen it done some and was pretty nifty looking. 

Unless he is willing to live with seasonal changes and gaps he is going to have to mill it, get it as dry as it’s going to be in the environment it’s going to be in and best to lay it in spring or fall When not at extremes if dryness or humidity. A floor laid  tight in winter is likely to buckle in extremely humid summer. Likewise one laid in humid weather is likely to gap come winter.

We had pine flooring in the old house, not edge jointed and stored stacked and covered. I wanted to buy KD 5/4 and my FIL bullied me into this that he had, we laid it tight, face nailed it and had it sanded . Looked good for about 6 months until we fired up the woodstove, it gapped as much as 7/8 in spots and split several boards at the nails. On the mudroom and laundry room i had intended to tile, never got it done, while the wife was out of town i got some KD 4/4, jointed the edge, laid it tight and face nailed as before, it has gapped 1/8-3/16 max but looks presentable. If i had let it acclimate it would have gapped less. 

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There are many types of Ash trees, here we have Black , White, and Green. Each have different coloring and grain characteristics. We made paneling out of Black Ash and did our living room with it, looks good to our eyes. If you do all the work yourself don't even think about time involved otherwise you will just forget about it.

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9 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

gapped 1/8-3/16 max but looks presentable.

So the floors we found under carpet were just pine and had been painted several times before carpet was laid over them. The gaps average 1/8 to 3/16ths. They were full of various colors of paint and dirt. I used an oscillating saw set at 90 degrees, one of my favorite tools, to laboriously clean out every gap before the floor guys sanded them. Sand and dirt actually wore the saw blades down to nubs. I used up several old blades but they didn't need to cut anything, just get the paint and dirt out. The badly damaged planks I fitted and replaced with some pine that had been drying for maybe four to five years in the barn loft. Those gaps have not widened so the original flooring wasn't completely dry before being laid. That's not surprising since the house is nothing special, probably another 19th century house replacing the original 1852 house that may have burnt sometime after being built. It's hard to know the exact history.

When the wood furnace was in operation gaps would show in every door and in some trim. This year on the heat pump not so much.

One of the last rooms I need to strip to the studs probably has the same flooring as does the upstairs hall. The hall I definitely want to to strip the paint off, the bedroom will probably get carpeted again. Stairs need new steps. All going to be a retirement project.

Master BR I put a T&G plywood floor when I remodeled it 20+ years ago. I may be tempted to do a wide plank pre-finish but I'd probably be doing it for the eventual new owners so likely new carpet.

As Das706 said: it needs to be completely dry. The pre finished oak I put down has never shown gaps nor buckled.

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On 4/16/2022 at 9:26 AM, vtfireman85 said:

1 year per “ of thickness, general rule of thumb, and thats ambient moisture, so the dryer the drying location  the dryer the wood. A dehumidifier will help if locals makes that realistic. Paint the ends up in good shape to slow the drying at the end. Stack neatly and sticker heavily . Ash tends to want to curl and cup. You want to have it quarter sawn or you will have a nightmare on your hands. 
 

personally I would cut and split the ash, use the money you save in fuel oil to buy prefinished T&G 

1B2EC5E3-3B49-416D-B4A0-B649005427B7.jpeg

And now I know what "quarter sawn", means...

I have heard that term my whole life, and never knew what it meant.

THANKS!!!

Mike

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1 minute ago, mikem said:

And now I know what "quarter sawn", means...

I have heard that term my whole life, and never knew what it meant.

THANKS!!!

Mike

Same!

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Lots of pine floors in old houses in the south.  Back when virgin pine was being cut you could get good flooring from the old heart wood of pine logs. It's very different from New growth pine. 

Not many of those old houses left.

Thx-Ace 

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2 hours ago, acem said:

Lots of pine floors in old houses in the south.  Back when virgin pine was being cut you could get good flooring from the old heart wood of pine logs. It's very different from New growth pine. 

Not many of those old houses left.

Thx-Ace 

My second floor is 2 1/2” thick laminated southern yellow pine, 3 layers forming a T&G v groove on the underside (ceiling below). Its been  routed out between the boards with a mahogany strip in between, fills the gap and stops the dust getting between and filtering downstairs. 

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8 hours ago, acem said:

Lots of pine floors in old houses in the south

That southern pine is a lot tougher than the white pine we have in NE. The very old growth is long gone - taken for the British ship's masts or used long ago. Any pine with a diameter of more that 24" was considered the "King's Pine", and could not be taken by the colonists. Very old houses, 17th century, have very wide plank floors but none wider than 24" 😉

That old growth was very slow growth and very strong. All the new stuff we have is fast growth and quite soft.

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I knew it was quartered but not then sawn at 45 degrees, more waste

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34 minutes ago, hardtail said:

I knew it was quartered but not then sawn at 45 degrees, more waste

Less cupping and curling 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/19/2022 at 1:55 AM, mikem said:

And now I know what "quarter sawn", means...

I have heard that term my whole life, and never knew what it meant.

THANKS!!!

Mike

...and a lot of portable mills.....like mine....it is virtually  imposssible to carve it up to quarter  saw it....You need a breaking down bench..or a gee whiz    band saw set up....

Mike

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This house was built in 1886. 
The only hardwood floors were the “formal “ areas. Really not even that much. The hallway floors are hardwood-upstairs and down with the down stairs floor they laid in a diagonal pattern for a boarder, then straight for the field. At the base of the stairs it was a diagonal pattern in a rectangle with the inside straight. The dining room and pantry are hardwood. The rest of the floors are softwood.

The upstairs I sanded the softwood and put polyurethane on them, but the  upstairs hall we replaced with true pre finished oak- I actually think it was a Bellawood product. 

Unless your house has consistent humidity control, your floors will move with the seasons, especially with wood heat. 
You can “fix” a heaved floor, my dining room floor has been fixed.

If you have a damp basement, you’ll be best to correct this before doing anything with your floors. I am just wrapping up my basement project now, we had a poor man’s concrete floor, barely 2” thick at its thickest, and broken up by a halfass contractor who tried to put a drain in… 

The amount of water I’m getting out of my drain now is astonishing as I didn’t think I had a wet basement as it was only wet after a heavy rain, but was damp. 
 

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