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Author Topic: Another wide pine flooring question  (Read 18513 times)

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Offline shinnlinger

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Another wide pine flooring question
« on: January 06, 2011, 07:27:26 PM »
Hi,

Lots of bits in the archives on this, but I plan to lay some 8-24 inch wide pine floorboards at some point in the relatively near future and am still open for input.

Here is some background: I don't have any money so I am going with these pine boards that I milled between 1-3 years ago.  They have been stickered under tin in the fields until last week.  They are now stickered on the main floor of the house that I am currently building which is usually  55 degrees during the week and 75 on the weekends when I am up there working and feeding the woodstove.  For added measure I put a tarp over the pile and have a dehumidifier running under the tarp.  I can borrow a moisture meter, but I'm going to lay it when I am going to lay it if you know what I mean, the boards seem pretty light and dry, but that is question #1:

If they are +/- 10% moisture content when I lay them over pex tubing tacked under the OSB subfloor, should I butt them as tight as possible as we know they can shrink alot or how much gap should I leave?  Is there a corresponding resistance with a multi meter that can tell me moisture content????

More background, the boards are rough sawn and I plan to rip a bit off to ensure they are straight and parallel edged with a table saw.  I then will then cut a dado on the edges that I can slip ripped pieces of 1/4 plywood splines into.  To attach, I plan to  toe screw into the joists with headless finish screws (I have a ton, thats why) into the spline much as you would use flooring nails.  I plan to only screw one edge of the boards to allow movement and figure I can face nail with Tremont's or masonry's or screw and plug later if I need to.  Once it is all down I will rent a big random orbit sander and sand the whole deal level .

What do you folks think so far?  What would you use to finish the floor with?  What about filling the occasional knot/ worm hole?  Epoxy?  Wood filler?  Would you place the growth rings up or down?

Thanks for the input. 

Dave
Shinnlinger
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 07:49:36 PM »
I am impressed with the plan, albeit several unknowns.

I would ask, however, what is the "big random orbit sander" and have you used one to take rough sawn lumber down.
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Offline laffs

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 07:54:30 PM »
i  used 4-5" on a floor and just face nailed it with flooring nails. i think it was right around 12 percent, might have ended up with 16th gaps. I've seen it screwed and plugged and that looked good too. i  think if your going to spline it would be a waste time as you'll probably end up with a gap regardless. maybe use some type of grout on it in the future?
i  used to buy it from the mill i used to work at, at 12 percent and without failure always shrank.
Brent
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Offline shinnlinger

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 07:59:09 PM »
I am wondering if the spline is overkill also.  I don't mind the gaps and I know it will shrink, but a spline reduces the depth of the crack by 2/3rds and gives the possibility of blind nailing.

A big floor sander is the plan and I hear the new random orbits are the ticket. 
Shinnlinger
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living in self-built/milled timberframe home

Offline beenthere

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 08:41:56 PM »
Splines won't stop the cracks from board shrinkage, but have the potential to keep adjacent boards at the same height (if one wants to curl and the next one doesn't). I would spline for sure, and hope the spline doesn't splinter off an edge.

I'm interested in the big random orbital sander. Model no. ?  or link?
south central Wisconsin
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Offline D Hagens

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 09:12:07 PM »

 The orbital sanders are awesome! :) :) Dusty but they all are but it's easy to use and far less trouble then the drum sanders. :)
 I had an employee that's never seen one give it a try one day and his job turned out perfect. Like I say very user friendly. :)

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 09:24:43 PM »
My next Dutch barn project is going to have a more or less conventional threshing floor with wide pine planks. In a Dutch barn, only the threshing floor is planked, and the side aisles for the oxen and horses are dirt. This barn will have a complete sill and recessed plank system framed the way it would have been originally, with the addition of planking in the side aisles. We are going to lay all of the planking and then sand the entire floor, sills and all. Basically, wall to wall threshing floor. :D
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 08:09:27 AM »
I heard or read somewhere recently that all lumber that is flat sawn with the annual rings going from edge to edge try to straighten out when drying. This forces them to cup.
If you lay the boards with the center of the tree up this would make them crown in the middle, if the above statement is true. I would ask an experienced flooring installer these questions.

I would butt them up tight as possible.

And if you find the above statement to be true then you might consider putting the boards down with the center of the tree down as you are nailing them to the joists along the edges. This "edge" nailing/screwing should hold them down if they are going to crown.

The longer you can let the lumber acclimate to the room where it will be installed the better. Air drying is consider, usually, 20% moisture content.

You could use a scale and weigh the lumber to try and determine it's moisture content.

For example, let's say you stack up three pieces of 1x12x10' so that would be 30 bdft, on a standard bathroom scale. Dry pine is suppose to weigh 2.2 lbs at 20% and 2.05 lbs @ 12%, + 1.95 lbs @ 8%. (If my numbers are wrong, someone please post the correct numbers). So 30 bdft x 2.05 would be 61.5 lbs, a number you could see on a standard bathroom scale.

I'm not sure if this would work or not, I've never tried it but it might.

Good luck with your project.

Jim Rogers
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Offline pesaventoc

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 08:34:33 AM »
Although it would take time, would you not make the wood more stable by adding longitudinal relief cuts and back priming the under side with sealant similar to what you're going to finish the topside with? I plan to lay a wide plank floor in my cabin this summer and was curious. 
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Offline Tom

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 09:11:52 AM »
There is a good reason for keeping the pith sideof the board down.  It is a phenomenon called Shelling.  Shelling is when the unattached end of a growth ring comes loose and separates from the board.  It leave splinters and sharp things sticking up in the walking path. 


An old carpenter told me this.  When outside, the upside grain forms a cup and will hold water, whereas the board laid with the bark-side to the top will shed water.  I think that the real reason is just a way of remembering to keep the pith down and the bark up, but it does make sense.



Do a search for Shelling and you will find several posts on the forum
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Offline shinnlinger

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2011, 01:01:47 PM »
I will "unshell" or put pith side down as has been suggested and I think I will freehand 3 or 4 passes with a router on the bottom side to help relief stress.

Now what do you guys recomend for knots and finish????

Dave
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2011, 02:15:45 PM »
I had some voids in areas of the red oak flooring in my house when I refinished them (I think one spot was shelling).  I filled them in with two part epoxy before sanding.  Still holding up just fine.  Used an oil based poly intended for gym floors...I've noticed some peeling of the finish along the joints, especially if it's in a spot where the dogs claws frequently scratch them.

Offline laffs

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 06:23:18 PM »
http://www.epoxyproducts.com/data810.pdf

if you read at the bottom of the page this stuff is in pittsfield nh
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Offline trailman

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2011, 09:13:25 PM »
my thought is maybe shiplap the edges would be better than splining together. i bet the shrinkage would be less noticable. ...another friendly board meeting on the form.b :P

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2011, 09:31:50 PM »
putting the pine on in-floor heat you'll want the m.c. to be very low 6% to keep it from shrinking so much small kids can fall in the gap. the wider the flooring the more you must face nail to keep it from looking like a roller-coaster 8" put in 2 face nails 16"4 nails ect. relief cuts on the back will help some. on the perimeter of the floor i would leave at least a 1/2" gap on all 4 sides for expansion.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2011, 05:44:19 PM »
I am really with the shiplap the edge


you should plane the boards first as you will sand forever without

face nail those wide puppies or you will be surfing in the room

look into Zinsear(spell) "puppy proof" 2 part epoxy urethane floor finish
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Offline Thehardway

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2011, 08:34:53 AM »
All good ideas, here are a couple more.

Have you considered nailing down as is, letting the cracks open up a little and then chinking them with a traditional oakum type caulking (hemp, cotton, or jute rope fiber and pine-tar)  I realize this is not a look everyone would go for but it is traditional for wooden boat decks and can be very durable.  You would want to do all sanding first as this stuff would clog your sandpaper.  Do a few searches on Oakum deck caulking and you will find some pictures how to do it and what it looks like.

I did a floor with pine boards once without T&G and without ship lap.  Just top nailed them over plywood subfloor to joists with 8d finish nails.  I got cracks about 1/16th as mentioned previously.  When I sanded I tried a random orbit vibratory sander and it wouldn't touch the floor, the paper kept plugging up and it only sanded the high spots. I ended up going to a drum sander.  It was much quicker for me.

Another possibility is to let the floors acclimate and dry before sanding.  When you do sand let the saw dust fill the cracks and then apply a oil finish like BLO that will harden in the sawdust and fill the cracks.  All of these methods would leave you with a somewhat primitive but authentic looking floor.
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Offline shinnlinger

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2011, 07:12:27 PM »
Well Hardway has suggested the direction Im headed.  No spline. My thought is it will be alot more work but not necessary any better result to spline.  I will still clean up and parallel the edges on a table saw (Maybe the mill) perhaps back cut a few.  

Still need to look into shelling, but a local floor installer recommended cup down (pith up) on the wide boards and pith down on the 8 inchers and get them as tight as possible as there gunna shrink.  For the record, he said he wouldn't do this if he lived in the south.  I may put strips of rosin every 6 feet or so to create some air space and paint a dark color strip under where each seam will be on the OSB/paper.  Probably will use my pnumatic ring shank to put it down but will try soaking the heads in coke to get the shine off ahead of time.  Will use my finish toe screws on the joists.

leaning toward installing on a diagonal just because and to keep the runs down and will drum sand the whole deal 40/60/80 and then buff with 80 and 100 grit screens

Thinking Tung oil will get the nod (carlise water lux?) with a perhaps a coat of BLO on first to maybe save me a buck.

Shinnlinger
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34 horse kubota L-2850, Turner Band Mill, '84 F-600,
living in self-built/milled timberframe home

Offline JimMartin9999

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2011, 07:59:47 PM »
Shinnlinger
When you look at the end of the board, the rings go up in a smile or down in a frown.
"Frown down" is easy to remember.

Thats the easy part.  I am planning on a red pine floor over subflooring, too.  One question I have is why extra wide boards.  I assume they will be random widths.  Wont that result in irregular cups?  And rather high cups on the widest boards?
 
I am planning on 4" and 6" boards.  Is there any disadvantage to that, aside from the extra cost of milling t&g?
Jim

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Re: Another wide pine flooring question
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2011, 08:51:54 PM »
Good question, Jim, one that has been rolling around in the back of my mind for a while also (as I get ready to start work on my daughter's new house).  I'm currently cutting siding (live edge at 4/4) and 2X6's for the walls our of pine freshly fallen (by the power company making way for their poles), and I was thinking about pine for upstairs floors.  I've heard lots of talk about wide-plank flooring but for the life of me, can't figure out why anyone would prefer it over easier to make and work with small and intermediate widths.  Someone want to wade in here and tell us what advantages and disadvantages there are for each?  Assuming, I guess, that there are a lot of variables that we'd each like to know the effect of: wood type, drying method (air, kiln, combination), width and thickness, T&G vs lapsiding vs no molding at all... If it's "just for looks" or just to be different or just to keep up with the Jone's of the world, I'll opt out of that race.  Ok, maybe "looks" is still in the running, but I'm more interested in ease of production and installation combined with squeak-free and durable with color, shine, smoothness and overall beauty further down the totem pole.

Comments that will help us who are new to flooring?

Lj
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