End Grain Floor

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Blog series by Nate Meadows updated 04-10-2013 02:35 PM 22 parts 82522 reads 382 comments total

Part 1: Beginning

05-12-2012 11:26 PM by Nate Meadows | 14 comments »

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 i...

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Part 2: More Tiles

05-12-2012 11:46 PM by Nate Meadows | 5 comments »

After finished the star, minus the obsidian inlay I moved on to collecting and cutting 6×6 tiles. These tiles were cut at 3/4 of and in because they were going to have a 1/8 grout line. (The grout is going to be granulated cork by the way!! This allows the wood to move through each session without any damage. I thank Charles Peterson again for this floor saving tip!) Once I cut about 1500 tiles I took them into the shop to be squared up on the table saw. Note: It is very easy ...

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Part 3: Islands

05-13-2012 04:09 PM by Nate Meadows | 5 comments »

The theme of the floor is that is resembles an old sailing map. It gets deeper than that as the map itself is one of the mind. As I laid the tiles I also wanted to inlay the landmasses and islands with them in order to save tiles. (I hate wasting wood) I would still have to cut up some of the glued down tiles but that is life! On some of the islands, I was not sure where I was going to place them so very tile had to be carefully removed. I would place the burl down, trace around it, hand r...

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Part 4: Islands and Landmasses cont.

05-14-2012 02:14 AM by Nate Meadows | 6 comments »

The next land I inlaid came from an old growth Redwood Burl that my parent-in-laws gave me. It used to be a table. They bought it back before I was born (so pre 1981 :) ) up in Oregon. It was over 44in wide. I planned on using this as the entry way to the room as well as the largest land mass on the map. It is what I call the Land of Beginning. This is were talent and skill reside….on the map I mean! The burl first had to be cut down… several ways. I did no...

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Part 5: More lands

05-14-2012 02:28 AM by Nate Meadows | 6 comments »

Before I moved on to more lands I needed to trim up the internal lines of tiles. I was laying them very close to the metal knowing I would later come back and add the grout line with the Festool Track and Saw. With that completed I was free to move onto the Land of the Celestial Though. This burl I got from (One of the best wood places I have found and the kindest people I have every met! Chris and Catherine Cook truly treat me so very encouragingly.) Anyway, the burl is...

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Part 6: Fleur De Le

05-14-2012 02:56 AM by Nate Meadows | 2 comments »

Once I had completed 85 to 90 percent of the tile work it was time to add the Fleur De Le to the Compase de Rose. My brother gave me the bucked end of a Juniper that he was using for a fence post that truly inspired me. I drew up a Fleur de Le that fit it and matched the Star or Compase de Rose. I used Camatillo, Ebony and Cocobolo for the inlay process. I was a little rusty on my inlaying and actually had to do the ebony twice. I will not show you the first attempt. Just know that my ...

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Part 7: Final Lands

05-14-2012 04:57 AM by Nate Meadows | 11 comments »

As I finished laying the final tiles I ran into a major problem. Somehow on my journey around the center of the room I moved about an inch off. When it was time for the to tile sections to meet I had some adjusting to do. It turned out ok, but if it were anything other than a shop floor I would have ripped up everything that was not square and started over. That is my perfectionism coming out. My wife however, convinced me to accept the defect since it is just a shop floor. (I have learned so...

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Part 8: Border

05-14-2012 02:14 PM by Nate Meadows | 16 comments »

With all the small tile work done it was time for me to begin work on the border. I had been collecting Katalox lumber from over time and letting it acclimate to the shop as I worked on the tile. I still had to lay down the Birch Plywood and Resaw it before I could work with it. I wanted to cut it at 5/16in thick and laminate it to 1/2 in Baltic Birch plywood. This wood extend the beauty of the wood as well as give it more stability. First I had to resaw it all on my Lagun...

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Part 9: Apron-Large tiles

05-14-2012 07:40 PM by Nate Meadows | 4 comments »

With the border complete I could now focus my attention on the apron…the area beyond the border. Here I wanted to do large 10×10 Pine tiles and then incorporate smaller one inch Hard Rock Curly Maple strip tiles that would mimic the grid square designators on the Old Sailing Maps. My father built, or I should say, is still building after 20 years, a timber frame mansion for my mother and he had quite a few left over sections of pine timbers. I saved a few and put them in my barn...

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Part 10: 1st Scroll Work

05-14-2012 08:16 PM by Nate Meadows | 16 comments »

Before I could glue down the apron I needed to cut out the letters of the compass and get them inlaid in the Black Oak tiles. The last time I used a scroll saw was in high school for my guitar but I recently just got an Excalibur 21 thanks to a friend at General International. Theres no better way to learn than to do so I drew up the letters that I wanted and ordered the wood I thought would look best from At first I was going to use Claro Walnut but the blank ended up to small...

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Part 11: Marquetry Inlaid Sailing Ship

05-14-2012 11:42 PM by Nate Meadows | 63 comments »

With all the tile work done its was time to move on to the details. The first inlay that I decided to work on was the Old Sailing Ship. I searched high and low for a good scroll saw, marquetry pattern that would work, but as many of you know, there just isn’t that many out there. The ones that are out there are not suitable for this project. So I had to find a picture and make my own pattern. It took awhile but I finally found one I liked on the web. I made my pattern and used patternre...

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Part 12: Leviathan Part 1

05-25-2012 02:17 PM by Nate Meadows | 6 comments »

Originally I was going to blog the Leviathan in one section, but I have realized that it would be a terribly long blog as the project is not even done yet. So I will break it up into sections and it will be easier to understand and follow, especially for me:)!! The first step was to draw something up. I researched on line and studied old maps and there really was no standard. They ranged from huge octopuses to sharks to weird fish looking things with arms. There were plenty of Sea Monsters...

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Part 13: Leviathan Part 2

05-25-2012 03:04 PM by Nate Meadows | 6 comments »

While the Epoxy was curing on the Mother of Pearl, I started cutting out the body. I started with the lips which I cut out of Tulip. (I have to admit, the mouth looks creepy here:) ) I then started cutting the body out of the Snakewood. There was a small challenge here. I had to break the body up into section so that it would follow the pattern on the Snakewood, otherwise as the body of the Leviathan bent and curved the pattern would not follow it. I actually messed up on the first se...

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Part 14: Leviathan Part 3

05-25-2012 03:36 PM by Nate Meadows | 24 comments »

Hmm, where was I…O yes. The red material had arrived and so I laid it all out on the table to decide which one would go into the eye. There was Redwood burl, Amboyna Burl, Red Mallee Burl, Roble Burl, Red Swirl Resin, and Red Sea Coral. I chose the Red Sea Coral not just because of its color but because it came from the sea and I am sentimental, I thought it would be cool to have it in the “SEA Monster” :) It was a bit disappointing because when I sanded it flu...

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Part 15: Leviathan Part 4

05-31-2012 01:58 PM by Nate Meadows | 8 comments »

So, after completing all but the eye of the Leviathan, I was very unhappy with the rest of his body…he looked more like a baby…especially when compared to the ship. I had do change it up. I am comfortable doing this. As an artist it is important to remain fluid and flexible. Things change, something might not work or may even work better or an idea may come out of thin air and inspire brilliance…of course you have to be on guard as it can also spell disaster. So anyway, I...

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Part 16: Leviathan Part 5

05-31-2012 02:48 PM by Nate Meadows | 17 comments »

With the plans all drawn up, I can finally get to work! (no, it was really a fluid process, work a little here, draw a little there, especially when it came to that tail!) I cut out all the sections on the next piece and lined them up on the Snakewood. In order to have the Snakewood pattern follow the cure of the body of the Leviathan, it was important to line up the pattern with its spine. I glued the pieces together with HotStuff CA glue…my favorite glue really, along wi...

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Part 17: Leviathan Part 6

06-03-2012 09:39 PM by Nate Meadows | 29 comments »

First I must apologize for my previous blog. There are times when I should not write! at that was one of them! I left of saying that the silver and gold I ordered had arrived. I neglected to get any pictures of the gold wire before I put it in but it was 5/16in long 21gauge solid gold wire. I inlaid it into the corner of the Red Coral of the Sea Monsters Eye. I wanted the eye to have a sparkle from standing height. I chose gold because it will not tarnish and will always keep that sparkle!...

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Part 18: Leviathan Part 7

06-18-2012 04:23 PM by Nate Meadows | 10 comments »

My intention was to complete the Leviathan in this run but just a warning…it will take one more installment. Once the glue had set for 24hours I was free to play with the parts. I laid out the monster as I wanted him and then began to construct the ocean around him. Once I was happy with the lines, I grabbed my dremel and attached it to the Stewart Macdonald router base (the best base in the world for inlay work!!!) I used an down spiral 1/16 wide solid carbide bit. ...

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Part 19: Water around the Lands

06-18-2012 06:00 PM by Nate Meadows | 12 comments »

After I finish the Leviathan I will start working on the Sea Gulls. However, before I can do that I needed to get the water around the “Land of Celestial Thoughts” inlaid first as one of the wings of one of the Sea Gulls will overlap that land. I am using Inlace Granules. (Turquoise and White) I poured the Turquoise first and then followed it with the white to simulate the waves braking as they roll in towards the land. I had to put plugs into the grout expans...

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Part 20: Leviathan Part 8

06-28-2012 03:39 AM by Nate Meadows | 22 comments »

This should be the final set on the Sea Monster until final sanding and finishing! I received the Transtint Black Dye, a brand of dye I am very familiar with and highly recommend! So I started laying the night! I finished the sky and moved on to the water! Once I finished the dying I went back and filled in some lines that I had either forgotten or had found air bubbles in the Inlace. Overall, I am very happy with the way it has turned out! I will need to apply dy...

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Part 21: Sea Gulls

12-05-2012 03:03 PM by Nate Meadows | 43 comments »

It has been so long since my last blog and I want to thank all of you for your patience! Life has a way of getting in the way of our plans. There is that saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” Well I was planning on getting to the Sea Gulls much sooner than this but…well you know. So I have finally started. I think I have already told you there will be three; all at different sizes, representing different heights. This will hopefully give the viewer...

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Part 22: Hardwood Floor Magazine

04-10-2013 02:35 PM by Nate Meadows | 57 comments »

I wanted to share with all of you what I got in the mail the other day! Hardwood Floors asked to do an article on my floor now and one when it is completely finished. I am totally blown away were I find myself today! When I started working on the floor, I had no idea it would lead to anything like this…leading to making new friends and having so many people take interest in it. Now I just have to get back in the shop and finish it:). I am still working on the electrical, its a big job b...

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