LumberJocks

Milling flooring from hardwood cutoffs

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by CB_Cohick posted 05-29-2015 08:26 PM 816 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

460 posts in 717 days


05-29-2015 08:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple milling flooring

I have gotten into the habit of raiding the cutoff bin at the local lumberyard about once a week. Sometimes there are some interesting pieces, today I snagged some ipe that I imagine will end up as a cutting board. I have gotten aromatic cedar I used to make a box for LOML. There is generally always red oak and poplar if I need some of that. Today I also was able to get a fair little pile of maple. My thought was that I should be able to get one of those flooring tongue and groove router bit sets and if I mill the maple as I collect it, over time build up a big enough stock to do some flooring. Reading through the various forums, the hive mind seems to think this is a bad idea. Reasons include: 1) You need a shaper and a power feeder for that. 2) You will burn up your router. 3) Too much effort, not enough return. 4) It’s not cost effective. 5) The dog will start pooping in your shoes if you try it. OK, maybe not #5, but those are all pretty good arguments otherwise. I am still inclined to give it a shot anyway. What is the grand-daddy of all reasons not to mill my own flooring that will steer me clear of disaster?

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.


4 replies so far

View jsuede's profile

jsuede

69 posts in 690 days


#1 posted 05-29-2015 09:33 PM

I’m no expert but I doubt I’d call it a disaster or a stupid idea. I have put down a couple thousand feet of hardwood in my lifetime. I agree that reason 1-4 are pretty accurate statements.

On a router table it would take at least 3 passes per edge, just a small room would be hundreds if not thousands of linear feet.

All the pieces have to be dimensioned perfectly on all 4 sides or it creates a cascading problem in the form of gaps and/or misalignment across the floor.

The relief cuts on the bottom do help when a sub-floor is not level on a small scale (ie nailheads and lumps of paint).

A patchwork of species could be hideous or really cool, lot of effort to experiment with that effect.

I’ll never finish a floor again if I can help it. I had to hand scrape about 75 sq feet in Georgia after it orange peeled on me on a final coat. You just simply cannot beat a factory finish.

I installed prefinished #3 oak in my current home, only $2 a square at auction. I lost about 20% per box being it was seconds, but still pretty damn cheap.

My cat shits in my shoes no matter what I do, so I’m not scared of #5

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2325 days


#2 posted 05-30-2015 07:29 PM

Milling in small batches is not a good idea. On the other hand, it is possible to do what you’re thinking of, but it will be a lot of work. A shaper would certainly help, as would a power feeder.

Here's the tale of a guy who did a similar project using red gum eucalyptus...

I recently made about 500 lineal feet of cypress tongue and v-groove paneling using a router table and a bit set I got from MLCS. Overall it came out good but was a lot of work. I’m still working on finishing the room and when done I’ll post it as a project here.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

1195 posts in 1579 days


#3 posted 05-30-2015 08:35 PM

I think I agree with the others about the shaper and feeder. Otherwise you would be doing it for the love of doing it which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I venture to say that’s what most of us are doing here anyway.

My first thought was about the likelihood of having short lengths.
I actually did my whole house with 2’ cut offs of birch. Others may hesitate doing this but it saved me $2k and it looks great. I have to point it out to people about how it’s done as you don’t really notice with all the staggered joints.

Maybe just play with it and run some to get a feel for the stress on the router and the longevity of the bits?

-- Greg Simon

View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

460 posts in 717 days


#4 posted 06-01-2015 02:48 PM



I think I agree with the others about the shaper and feeder. Otherwise you would be doing it for the love of doing it which isn t necessarily a bad thing – I venture to say that s what most of us are doing here anyway.

My first thought was about the likelihood of having short lengths.
I actually did my whole house with 2 cut offs of birch. Others may hesitate doing this but it saved me $2k and it looks great. I have to point it out to people about how it s done as you don t really notice with all the staggered joints.

Maybe just play with it and run some to get a feel for the stress on the router and the longevity of the bits?

- gsimon

Doing it for the love of doing it is an accurate assessment. Thanks everyone for your input. I’ll keep my eye out for a deal on a shaper :-)

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com