Reclaimed Tongue and Groove Pine Flooring Advice

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Northern posted 08-12-2011 06:47 PM 6394 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Northern's profile


12 posts in 2503 days

08-12-2011 06:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router planer help reclaimed

Working with my Dad to refinish some 3/4” thick pine flooring of varying lengths. It’s 4 3/8” wide. The plan was to chop ends off with chop saw, plane a little off the top (some are varnished other are not), clean old varnish out of tongue and groove with router (not recut T/G).

Planing with the Ridgid 13” thickness planer has been OK, not much snipe, although like others have said, the extension tables are “interesting”. I am contempmating taking them off once we get rollers. For now, they seem sufficiently level given the amount of snipe. We are still working on getting accurate thickness (read on here about jointing the face first before planing) etc, but our big problem and debate is the router stage.

Short pieces are no problem, it’s the longer ones we are having issue with. My dad has a router table setup, and we are moving the board, not the router. We have guides clamped on, but the cut side is slightly thinner, so we have tried to compensate with our clamped on guide, and with the long boards it really makes it hard to control left/right movment. We hope to pick up some rollers, but I am not sure that will solve the side to side motion. My dad thinks we should cut the boards to 6’ ( the ” long” ones are between 8’ and 10’), while I think we should clamp the board to the work table and make a guide to move router along the board. The rooms these boards are going in are between 12’ 2” and 12’6” long and about 8’5” wide. Would cutting the flooring shorter make the finished floor look really bad?

Also, any tips for moving long pieces through a jointer? Besides using rollers of course.

3 replies so far

View jerkylips's profile


416 posts in 2593 days

#1 posted 08-12-2011 08:49 PM

this may be a dumb question, but is there a reason for not nailing the floor down & then sanding it?

View Northern's profile


12 posts in 2503 days

#2 posted 08-12-2011 09:06 PM

Not a dumb question at all. Trust me, if anything is dumb here it is me, lol. Part of the problem is we have a lot of other reclaimed wood that does need planing (bought brand new one) like yellow pine that used to be a coal bin and a frame from the old cottage. When it came to the flooring, I guess we fell victim to that old saying about trying to solve every problem with a hammer, in our case a planer.

That would definitely work, we can lay the unarnished stuff, and then concentrate on the tongue and groove cleaning on the previously varnished stuff.

We are living in here too, so dust is a concern, but if we move everyrthing out and put plastic on the door it should be ok, right? Do you recommend a belt sander? We have plenty of palm sanders, that’s for sure. Thanks Jerkylips

View mnguy's profile


193 posts in 3421 days

#3 posted 08-12-2011 09:37 PM

Sanding in place after laying the flooring sounds like a much better approach than planing the old finish off. You would need to sand the floor after you layed it even if you planed the finish off, so why not save a step (and some wood thickness).

The issue with almost all solid hardwood flooring is ‘overwood’, where the boards don’t quite meet up exactly flush where the edges meet. You can feel these little mismatches with your hands and your feet. This is why prefinished solid flooring has little bevels on the edges; the bevels hide this mismatch. You need to sand the floor at a diagonal to the grain with a floor sander to remove this overwood. Then you sand with the grain over a couple grits to remove the cross grain scratches. Belt sanders and pad sanders can be handy for the corners and detail work, but you need a big, heavy walk-behind floor sander, trust me. I recommend finding a local store that rents floor sanders that also does sanding themselves; they can give you excellent advice on equipment and technique.

Oh, and you’ll have a lot of dust, regardless of how good the dust control on the floor sanders are. So do poly off the rest of the house, and don’t forget to plug up any air vents in the room, too.

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