Using used flooring for projects

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Forum topic by thebigmuddy posted 03-07-2016 12:53 AM 725 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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53 posts in 1012 days

03-07-2016 12:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak

Every once in a while I come across people giving away used oak flooring, and I was wondering if anyone here has ever made any furniture from 3/4 inch oak flooring. I know it would be a lot of gluing up, planing and sawing off the grooves and tenons, but the price is right. Anyone ever do this, and if so, how did it go?

Right now, someone is giving away 200 square feet (I would have to remove it).

-- The craftsman is his own harshest critic... Jeff (me)

10 replies so far

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1323 days

#1 posted 03-07-2016 01:25 AM

Dont use your planer to remove the hard finish, dulls the blades like right now.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1570 days

#2 posted 03-07-2016 02:00 AM

Go for it.

I have used old maple flooring. Cut off the T&Gs, glue edge-to-edge, and plane the bottoms to get rid of the grooves. Set a day or 2 aside to do nothing but pluck nails and stack.
Sure, it’s a bit of work, but when you have the time, why not?

I’ve gotten literal carloads of the stuff (maple, beech, walnut, tigerwood, bamboo, and 2 woods I cannot identify) from a flooring installer (sometimes they rip out old floors), also, plenty of new flooring offcuts and leftovers, handy for things where you would not want to use old flooring, especially cutting boards. If you heat with wood, you can chop up any flooring that’s no good for anything else and make it extra crispy.

View shastaman's profile


30 posts in 1020 days

#3 posted 03-07-2016 02:24 AM

Im planing to make a mission style bed frame from 3/4 × 5” oak flooring I have. As said above don’t try to surface plane finished wood, been there it does dull knives in a hurry.
my plan was to glue up bottom to bottom with groves together to make 1 1/2” rails, was thinking using dowels in the groves to add to glue surface.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2861 days

#4 posted 03-07-2016 04:08 AM

I’ve used a lot of prefinished flooring for projects and echo the fact that the finished side will kill planer blades almost instantly. A drum sander will remove that finish quickly (I use 50 grit). You should have 5/8” stock when it is ready to use (finish sanded off and grooves planed off).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1073 days

#5 posted 03-07-2016 04:40 AM

So Im guessing the pre finished hardwood is pretty rough on a table saw blades too?

View TechTeacher04's profile


392 posts in 1703 days

#6 posted 03-07-2016 02:23 PM

I either run the flooring through my surface sander or stand it on edge and rip the finish off with and old blade on my table saw, then plane it. The cost savings of the material is outweighed by the time and effort to pull the old floor. If it was nail per recommended installation you will break many of the boards when you pull it, the liability of damaging the sub floor or walls is also present.

After surfacing you are likely to only end up with 1/2 -3/8 thick material

View thebigmuddy's profile


53 posts in 1012 days

#7 posted 03-07-2016 02:28 PM

Sounds like a lot of work, but I’m not doing much else right now, so I may give it a go.

-- The craftsman is his own harshest critic... Jeff (me)

View jdh122's profile


1042 posts in 2989 days

#8 posted 03-07-2016 02:37 PM

One problem is how much wood you lose by the time you rip off the tongue and groove. My solution to this is to glue the boards together with the t&g in place. Let the glue dry, then rip them apart on the tablesaw, joint and then you can use them like regular boards, since the tongue is now filling the groove and you get almost full width pieces. Only problem is that you if the endgrain of panels is visible you can tell.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View thebigmuddy's profile


53 posts in 1012 days

#9 posted 03-09-2016 09:16 PM

I thought of doing that Jeremy, but I was concerned that a tiny gap would be visible. If I can find some t & g that has a nice tight fit I think I’ll do that. Do you still plane off the grooves on the backside and if so does that affect the t & g at all? Thanks in advance.

-- The craftsman is his own harshest critic... Jeff (me)

View jdh122's profile


1042 posts in 2989 days

#10 posted 03-10-2016 12:04 AM

There is a gap the first time you glue them up (and the panels glued up will want to warp too). But then after you cut them apart and joint them there’s no gap at all. You will need to plane off the grooves on the back unless the boards are used in some way so that only one side is visible.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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