Varnished flooring as lumber?

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Forum topic by dpoisson posted 12-31-2012 09:00 PM 878 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 2909 days

12-31-2012 09:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: flooring jatoba tongue and groove

Howdy, I was wondering if anyone has ever used flooring as a source of lumber? I got hand of some jabota flooring, t&g and varnished. I was wondering if there was anything to do with it? I don’t have my own planer or table saw, but might have access to one. I’m guessing I have to make absolutely sure there are no tacks/nails in it before putting them in the planer.

Anyone ever do something similar (I find it hard to imagine that this hasn’t been done before).

I read that the varnish can be harsh on the blades. is that true?




6 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29220 posts in 2333 days

#1 posted 12-31-2012 09:09 PM

Planers hate nails. Maybe if you have a belt sander you can take the finish off. Don’t throw it away. There is always a way to use it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Tennessee's profile


2872 posts in 2509 days

#2 posted 12-31-2012 09:17 PM

Planers die trying to knock off nails. Planers also will dull much faster taking off a finish. But jatoba is not cheap. The problem is the T&G will always show, and if you cut all those off, your planks will be narrow. Still, I’d never throw away jatoba…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View MNgary's profile


298 posts in 2412 days

#3 posted 12-31-2012 09:48 PM

Have the pieces been installed and removed or are they excess from a job site using prefinished T&G ?

As for removing varnish, consider a chemical stripper.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View dpoisson's profile


190 posts in 2909 days

#4 posted 12-31-2012 10:11 PM

MNgary: No way I’m stripping all of that jatoba ;-)

The T&G I wanted to remove with a table saw and the ends T&G, remove with a miter saw (which I have!). The planks will be narrower, but I’ll glue them up to make bigger boards.

These are surplus from a jobsite. Some are from missed nailings (some of the ends exploded when they attempted to nail them in place), while others are simply extras they had on hand.



View Don W's profile

Don W

18707 posts in 2562 days

#5 posted 12-31-2012 10:19 PM

I’ve used reclaimed flooring for all kinds of things. I’ve used used (pre-installed) and left overs. It depends on what your going to do with it.

Its great for backing some cabinet projects. And if the project is to be poly’ed or varnished, not need to strip it, just sand it like your adding another coat.

I’d strip what you need with a sander. Belt or drum sander will work.

It dulls planer blades, but for the price of jatoba, it would be worth a $30 set of blades.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2422 days

#6 posted 12-31-2012 10:33 PM

I used my dewalt planer and had great results with prefinished hard maple flooring, my problem came from grit embedded in the finish, dinging the blades which left tiny lines in the planed wood. Figure one set of planer blades per 1000 feet of flooring, if the flooring is cheap then you are $$ ahead.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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