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Hand made 2x10 T&G Flooring

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Project by Tony Strupulis posted 06-05-2010 12:19 AM 3028 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This should probably go on the HomeRefurbers side, but I think of it as more of a woodworking project. I needed about 800 square feet of 2x decking to span the log joists on 48” centers in my log house. Not being happy with the quality or appearance of the 2×6 T&G at the home center, I decided to mill my own out of 2×10s.

I cherrypicked the straighest boards and the ones with the most character. This was a lengthy process. I figured about 1 out of every 4 boards in the bunk met my criteria. And the guy running the fork lift wasn’t going to get down another bundle until someone else bought the rest.

I began by ripping the rounded edges off the 2×10s on the table saw. That left me with crisp edges for a tight joint on the top (floor) side.

Next, I milled a 1/2”x1/2” groove on both sides of the board with a router and a stack of slot cutting bits. I shimmed the slot cutters just like you would a dado blade to get a tight joint with the splines. I ran a 45° chamfer bit on the edges of what was to be the ceiling side of the boards.

I ripped sheets of 1/2” CDX plywood into 1” strips for the splines. Each board had one glued in a slot to form a tongue. I went through a couple gallons of Titebond I.

The boards were installed by sledge hammering them in place, then counterboring and pre-drilling for 3” or 3-1/2” (can’t remember) deck screws. Two screws in each joist I crossed. I plugged the screw holes with plugs I made from scraps. I made sure the plug matched adjacent wood – hem fir, spruce, red sapstain, blue sapstain, etc.

I sanded the boards using a DeWalt belt sander with a sanding frame. This turned it into a planer of sorts. I couldn’t have been happier with the performance of this machine with the sanding frame. The first pass was at 50 grit, perpendicular to the grain. This worked like a scrub plane to flatten it.

Next, I filled the gaps between the boards with a putty I made from the dust from the sanding operation mixed with water based Varethane. Then I sanded the entire floor with 80 grit, going with the grain to get a perfectly flat finish.

The final step was to sand out the scratches with my 6” random orbit sander using 120 grit paper.

The finish was four coats of water based Varethane.

I’m very happy with the result and even happier the job is done!

-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com





16 comments so far

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1220 posts in 2226 days


#1 posted 06-05-2010 12:34 AM

a lot of work… and a great result… any concerns about contractions and expansions? Wood shrinkage, etc? Interesting how it is floor and ceiling. Really nice.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Splinterman's profile

Splinterman

23057 posts in 2112 days


#2 posted 06-05-2010 12:37 AM

Hey Tony,
Great job and finish…well done all round.

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

240 posts in 1874 days


#3 posted 06-05-2010 12:43 AM

I had concerns about expansion/contraction. They do move seasonally, which is acceptable. I haven’t had any boards split or buckle, so I consider it a success. The “grout” I used in the gaps between the boards turned out to be an expensive experiment which failed. When I run out of things to do, I’m going to pull it out and put in a flexible log house chinking caulk.

Thanks for the compliments.

-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#4 posted 06-05-2010 12:44 AM

Hey Tony
Looks great ,what a tough job. I was wondering about the same thing as Dusty ussally any thing over 8” I would put 3 screws an plugs in.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

240 posts in 1874 days


#5 posted 06-05-2010 12:48 AM

3 screws seemed like a continuous attachment across the width, which I think would promote cracking. Think of it as a raised panel floating in a frame or a breadboard end – you really only want to attach as little as possible.

-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#6 posted 06-05-2010 12:54 AM

It would be a lot of screws. I must have missed the part about it being a flooting floor. All said and done it looks great Tony

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Broglea's profile

Broglea

669 posts in 1842 days


#7 posted 06-05-2010 01:19 AM

Wow that’s a lot of work. How many hours did it take you to complete?

I love it!

View 1SGTBob's profile

1SGTBob

73 posts in 1666 days


#8 posted 06-05-2010 01:38 AM

Tony
This has to be one of the most ambitious projects I can think of, great job. I to would like to know how many hours/days you have in this

-- Bob "Every breath I take as a Free man was paid for with the blood of an American Soldier"

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

240 posts in 1874 days


#9 posted 06-05-2010 01:51 AM

I probably had a couple weekends and the evenings in the middle figuring out how to make the planks and get them all milled and assembled. Seems like I took a week off work to install the flooring and do some framing. I left out some steps in the sanding process. I easily had 8 weekends and evenings worth of sanding time. I’ve never been accused of working fast.

-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1712 days


#10 posted 06-05-2010 02:42 AM

Looking good! Why didn’t you just use a T & G bit set for the router? Curious. I have located a couple of sawmills and was thinking of doing the same thing. Might be asking some questions about the project. We put down laminate and we hate it. Waste of money. Like one guy said when I worked for a flooring retailer, It’s like walking on cardboard.
Edit: went back and re-read the thread. I see how you did the T & G. Great idea!

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

240 posts in 1874 days


#11 posted 06-05-2010 02:51 AM

Couple reasons against the T&G router bit set. I wanted the wide plank look and when you do the router bit set, you give up some overall width to get the tongue. I also think the plywood splines are stronger.

-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com

View jim1953's profile

jim1953

2678 posts in 2593 days


#12 posted 06-05-2010 05:54 AM

Great Lookin Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Julian's profile

Julian

880 posts in 2277 days


#13 posted 06-05-2010 02:34 PM

I like everything but the waterbased finish. It makes the floor look muted and fake compared to an oil finish.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1712 days


#14 posted 06-05-2010 09:09 PM

Thanks, Tony. What type of wood? You say that the boards were 2 X 10; is that rough cut? Did you plane them? What were your final dimensions of the boards? I’m asking questions as I might get a wild idea to do this in my own home. Nice thing about 2 X 10’s, it doesn’t take long to finish a room.

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

240 posts in 1874 days


#15 posted 06-06-2010 05:19 AM

I used #2 S-P-F stud grade lumber from Lowe’s and Home Depot. I like the spruce from HD. It has more color and character. Lowe’s lumber tends to be hemlock fir and has a distinctive pink hue to it. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t get the hem fir. I don’t really like the color as well.

I did not plane them. I sanded the floor side to level the boards. The finished width is probably 1/4” less than the starting width of the board.

If you decide to go forward with the project, i can give you some specific pointers. Let me know.

-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com

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