Before I could truly begin working I wanted to get the subfloor figured out. The original floor was a slab of concrete that I estimated to be roughly 6 to 8 inches thick. I wanted to install pex pipe over this so I could eventually add a radiant floor system. I stretched 12mil plastic down then nailed 2×4s every twelve inches and then stretched the pipe between them. I then covered the pex with concrete. My brother and I mixed it all by hand….well actually he mixed it and I laid it:). Then I waited for almost a year for the concrete to cure before moving on to the next phase. It wasn’t until then did I check the level of the floor and realize that one corner was an inch and one half low. I had to rip a bunch of new dry 2×4s in a taper and lay them in a fan shape across the floor to make up the difference.
Then I laid down 12 mil plastic again and toped that with two layers of 3/4 OSB Tongue and Groove Subflooring. Following the advice of Charles Peterson in his new book The Ultimate Guide to WoodFooring from Tauton Press,
I glued the second layer at a 45 degree angle from the one below. I troweled out Titebond II over the entire surface of each sheet before screwing ever 6 inches around the perimeter, and 12 inches across the center. I wanted the floor to be able to stand up to the abuse and vibration of the heavy machinery it is destined to hold.
I had an idea of what I wanted to do after I was inspired from reading Charles Peterson book. So I mapped out my design on the floor, then went around the property and collected various 4×4 posts that were laying around and began cutting away….tile after tile. They were to be the center portion of room. (This photo shows the future 6×6 as well)
Each tile was cut to 5/16in thick because they were going to be jointed end to end, no grout lines. I was going to glue them down to 1/2in 9 Ply Baltic Birch Plywood. Once I had what I though was enough, about 750 tiles, I took them into the shop and squared up each and every tile on the table saw using a sliding table jig. I then glued and screwed down the Baltic Birch Plywood and placed the apron on aluminum, brass, Black Walnut and Wenge on two sides before I began to lay the tile.
I glued the tiles down using Bostiks VaporLok. I love Bostiks produces!
Once all the tiles were glued down I squared up the other two sides and finished the apron.
With that completed I could move on to the Compase De Rose. First, I had to lay it out. Then I had to cut the end off a large 300 year old California Black Oak and inlaid those sections, accented with Hickory and Gaboon Ebony, so that they would fit around the star.
I was then able to cut out the star and inlay it in using Bloodwood, Purpleheart, Curly Maple, and Wenge.
Next, I used a hollowed out piece of oak, which will eventually accommodate crushed obsidian and a sterling silver anchor, to ordain the center.
More to follow…
-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate