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Author Topic: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice  (Read 2382 times)

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Offline Georgia088

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Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« on: December 24, 2017, 05:24:05 PM »
Just curious for those of you who have completed the entire process of cutting oak into flooring what all you did. I have cut maybe 200 sf of oak into 1" planks. I cut most of it slightly over 4" wide. I will def have to rip them again on a table saw bc of the curve/warp/wave of the wood. Is this normal? I've been pretty pleased with my homemade mill lately, but the planks are far from perfect. They all looked great when I had them cut into 1x12s before I cut them down to the 1x4ish that they are now. They also all had a split near the center that occured nearly immediately after I cut them. I didn't quarter saw bc it is too much flipping for my manual mill.  im just curious if it is normal to have to rip them with the table saw off of any other mill after sawing them to widths on mill?  Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season!

Thanks!

Offline paul case

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 05:33:42 PM »
I saw quite a bit of flooring from time to time. Trailer flooring, barn flooring and house flooring are all different size. I assume by you making 1x4 you are talking about house flooring. I do not make oak flooring into finished product, but rather I sell to folks that do that. They stick it and air dry and then kiln dry before further processing. I am not sure what it is but they figure they will have a % of loss during drying. More so on lower grades of lumber and certain types. I have learned not to try to make hi dollar lumber out of low grade logs. Very good grade oak logs sometimes do not behave while drying. I am guessing that you didnt end seal your logs or lumber to keep the ends from drying too fast.
It is a learning process.

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline Georgia088

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 05:39:00 PM »
No, I didnt end seal. This tree just recently fell, and I sawed quickly after. Do you have to seal if you are sawing quickly after?

What widths do you normally cut oak flooring. I am really just trying to learn. I'm actually going to put this in my kids playhouse. I figured wider wood cup or split worse?  How long do you normally cut? These are all about 8' long.

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2017, 05:57:51 PM »
End sealing is to prevent the log from drying out on the ends before it is sawn,  AND the lumber from splitting on the ends when it dries.  Stop moisture loss from the ends so the board can dry out through its faces and sides instead of from the ends.

Have you dried the lumber or what's your plan for that.

What kind of flooring are you going to make- T&G?
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2017, 06:22:40 PM »
You just discovered the reason so much flooring is sold in short and narrow runs these days, it's how the defects are removed from the final product.  I learned the same lesson the exact same way when I did my first flooring run.  The good thing is with 1 x 4 you should be able to make a lot of the bow / wave issues go away between ripping them square and during installation.  Pneumatic floor nailers can do wonders when installing less than perfect pieces of flooring.  I would think for a playhouse it will come out just fine. 
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Offline paul case

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2017, 07:19:11 PM »
I actually just saw the lumber and sell it to a flooring mill that dries it and mfg's it into flooring. They buy 4/4 which is sawn on a band mill on 1.25''. I guess the boards would be a little less than 1 3/16'' thick? They buy various widths and lengths but require me to seperate species and lengths so I saw my pieces from 8' to 10' long.

As for a tree house floor, I guess you arent going to plane them and maybe not put poly on it, or even if you do, they probably wont need be so perfect, since it probably wont be heated and cooled except by the seasons. Put them down the way you sawed them to go. 4'' boards even will shrink some but will not have as big of cracks as wider boards.  I hope we get to see pics of the final product as we like pics.
 :christmas:

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2017, 07:56:37 PM »
About 8 - 10 years ago I had access to a dead WO which I cut down, dragged it to my manual mill, sawed it to 1 x 6s x 12s, air dried it for a year, put it in my dry kiln and dried it to about 9%. I was through lifting that tree so I took the dried lumber to a hardwood plant and they ripped it to 4" and about 6' long, T&Ged it, yielding about a 80% recovery. I had someone else put it down in the upstairs of my house. It still looks great. It is wider and longer than the commercially done downstairs flooring and has interesting "defects" done by artistic insects. I much prefer the upstairs job. There will be some waste on the edges and length so be prepared for it to be narrower than 4" Do you plan to do it all your self or cheat a little bit like I did? When it is over and done it will be GREAT and give you a warm fuzzy feeling when you can say "I cut this flooring".

Bob
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2017, 08:52:47 PM »
Georgia, I've done it once but will not do it again too much work. I felled the oaks, milled to ether 4" or 6" wide, air dried, and planed. I did not attempt to fit them with a fine seem. I broke the top edges with an electric hand held planer. When fit they have a "V" at the seem that hides any gaps. Countersunk, screwed and plugged with cherry plugs. Sanded and finished. Looks good and has been fine for 30 years. Frank C.
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Online TKehl

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2017, 10:41:25 PM »
Not much I can add. 

Yes, the wider the boards, the more they will cup.  Best to put the "bark side" down if plain sawn.  That way any rise should  be in the middle of the board instead of the joints. 

Are you going to just but them against each other?  It would work just fine.  There will be some shrinkage as it drys, so it depends how fancy you want it.  If you do want to interlock, shiplap is much easier and quicker to pull off in a home shop than tounge and groove.  Two passes with a dado blade on a tablesaw and done.   ;)
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Offline Georgia088

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2017, 12:46:39 AM »
To be honest, it's for a play house for my kids and I'm impatient. I have it stickered  and air drying now, but I will probably be putting it down before it has a chance to dry properly. I still would like to get it fairly straight and plane it.

You say cut a straight edge and rip the other. What's the best way? Chalk a line and cut? Attach a straight board to it to run down the fence of table saw? Something else?

Kellog-
Yes, I plan to do it all. It's just my hobby I guess.

Pc-
I will add pictures, but I'll admit I'm not a super wood worker. I like rustic (probably bc it's as good as I can do anyway :D). But I enjoy doing it and I doubt the kids will care.

Tkhel-
I will probably just butt them. I thought about shiplap, but for a playhouse I doubt I go that far. I wouldn't mind doing some like that for a later project though.

Merry Christmas!

Offline paul case

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2017, 09:00:34 AM »
In my opinion, a bandsawmill is a good straight line rip machine.

Hey,
Every project is or should be a learning experience, so have fun, do what you want, and if it doesn't satisfy you do it over til it does.

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2017, 10:18:01 AM »
Hi Georgia88!  I am in the process of drying some Red Oak for floors in one of my rental properties.  (http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,98418.0.html) I have about 400 sq feet stickered and drying outside and have another 600 sq ft left to cut.  I'm cutting mine 1" thick and fairly wide with the hopes of ripping them down to 6" wide.  (Keeping my fingers crossed on the cupping issue.)   I have the rest of the trees staged and ready to be milled but I realized the necessity of having a kiln and took a detour to get that built.   Yeah, I seem to have trouble staying focused.   :D

Anyhow, I bought a Woodmaster 718 (with Pro Kit) so that I can rip the boards into exact widths and then plane them down to 3/4" boards.  I bought the Woodmaster specifically because I can perform all of the necessary steps with one machine.  I found a used one on eBay for $2,200 and it came with a whole bunch of molding knives as well.    I don't plan to make T&G this time around and will just fit the boards together as tightly as possible. 

I'm just doing this for the fun of it and have no expectations of going into business selling hardwood floors.  But any money saved by doing this myself is money that I can deduct from the overall cost of this "hobby" and eventually see a break-even point.  In the meantime, I'm having a good time and I'm learning a lot.   

Good luck!

Jim
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Offline woodjunky

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2017, 12:41:25 PM »
It seems that for flooring, you need straighter stock. When it comes off the mill, it should be straight-ish. From there the stacking, and stickering is important to having something that resembles a straight board when the board dries......

Offline Magicman

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2017, 01:07:29 PM »
 

 
I straight-line edged all of the Cabin wall paneling and flooring on the sawmill after it had dried.
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Offline Georgia088

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2017, 09:41:55 PM »
Thanks for all of your input! So, ideally it should be sawn, dried, ripped to size, cut to however it will be used (t&g, shiplapped, etc), and then put down and finished?

Mm-
Is that some of the waste that came off of your boards  after it was dried?

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Offline Magicman

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2017, 08:53:13 AM »
Yes, that is the pile of edging that generally went from nothing to ~".  We stood about 6 boards hump side up, edged, flipped them over, and edged the other side.  LINK  Also scroll down to Reply #376.
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Offline fishfighter

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2017, 12:02:36 PM »
Not using as flooring, but for wainscoting and cabinets. Water oak. Boards were sawed 4/4 and most were 12"+ air dried for about a year. After that, I put them back on the mill and resawed. To get a very good straight edges, I past the boards on a edger. Then planed them down to true 1" stock. For the wainscoting, I past the boards on a tablesaw with a dado blade for ship lapping.

 

 
 
Doors

 

 

Cabinets and kitchen island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It takes a lot of work and even more wood chips/dust that is put out then a saw mill can. :D

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2017, 12:30:01 PM »
That is pretty wood AND work. Is that a cat sleeping in the cabinet in the last picture? Nice.

Bob
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Offline fishfighter

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2017, 01:29:27 PM »
Bag, don't own a cat. ;D I'm a dog person. ;D

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Process of turning oak into flooring for hobbiest/novice
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2017, 04:47:46 PM »
OK. That bag's got cat ears. ;D
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