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Author Topic: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors  (Read 865 times)

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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« on: October 29, 2017, 09:33:14 am »
I've got a fixer-upper that I'm going to start working on.  Actually, it was a reasonably nice rental up until recently when the animals that were living there disguised as "tenants" left.  So as long as I am being forced to spend the time and money to repair the place I thought it might be a good time to update it a bit. 

Hardwood floors are always better in rentals but I don't want to spend $2K if I don't have to.  Wife reminded me we have a sawmill (love it when it's her idea) and an abundance of Red Oak trees.  So yes, I can cut some wide plank flooring but with no way to tongue & groove it I will just have to nail it down.

There's another thread with lots of good info regarding this exact subject but it's old and many of the contributors are not here any longer.  So with the tolerance of the moderators, I'd like to revisit the topic.

Question 1, how thick should I cut it?  Was thinking that 5/8 would be OK and hopefully end up with 1/2 when it's dried. 

Ideas and/or suggestions greatly appreciated. 

TIA 
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Online TKehl

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 10:17:50 am »
Can I assume there will be a subfloor underneath?  (Pretty safe bet, but...)  If so, there are good adhesives out there that would reduce or eliminate the need to face nail. 

Will also need to kiln dry the wood.

Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 11:09:41 am »
Can I assume there will be a subfloor underneath? 
  Yes indeed.  Plywood subfloor.

Will also need to kiln dry the wood.
I have a friend who has a kiln so yes, kiln dried for sure. 
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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 08:14:15 am »
In absence of any further advise/comments (and after reading a ton of Google searches), I'm going to cut my Red Oak to 1" thickness with the goal of having a 3/4" board after it's dried and run through a planer.  Haven't made a firm decision on the width just yet but I'm thinking that 8" should make for a nice board.  Plan on installing them over a 30lb felt moisture barrier, glued every 8"-10" and nailed about the same. 

At least that's the plan today.  We'll see how that changes tomorrow...
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 08:59:36 am »
8" will show more crack between boards from seasonal wood movement.  I know there are floors done from wider stuff out there, but narrow boards give you narrow cracks in the winter.  Wider stuff tends to cup more too.  For many reasons, I wouldn't go wider that 4".  5" at most.  Just my thoughts.

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 09:52:36 am »
8" will show more crack between boards from seasonal wood movement.  I know there are floors done from wider stuff out there, but narrow boards give you narrow cracks in the winter.  Wider stuff tends to cup more too.  For many reasons, I wouldn't go wider that 4".  5" at most.  Just my thoughts.
Makes sense and thank you Btulloh. 
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Online Magicman

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 01:53:05 pm »
I have laid Oak flooring as you are doing and it worked very well.  I used 1X6's and made a slight chamfer on the top edges which gave it a slight V groove affect.  I "scatter nailed" it down with a 16 gauge air nailer hitting the spots where there was wood grain and avoiding any smooth areas.  I also angled the nails back and forth so that pulling the flooring up would be virtually impossible.

Angled scatter surface nailing is also how I nailed the T&G flooring down on my Cabin Addition.  You would have to look very hard to fine a nail hole, and it ain't going anywhere.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 03:55:56 pm »
That chamfer sounds like a good idea for my cabin floof MM.  No t&g I assume.  You happy with the winter shrinkage?  What kind of subfloor were you nailing into?

(Sorry for hijacking your thread Jim.)
HM126

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 05:46:28 pm »
(Sorry for hijacking your thread Jim.)
Not a problem my friend, the more info the better !

Got a late start today but managed to get 25 - 8"-10" boards cut, each one about 12'-13' long.   Had to drag them up off the mountain, wash them, etc.  So it wasn't a real productive day but I'm happy with the aesthetics of the wood and I think it will make some very nice floors.   Got them stacked and stickered in the barn. 




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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 07:43:03 pm »
btulloh, the subfloor was 1X6 non T&G SYP.  The strength was the tilting of the nailer back and forth which also prevented the nail from occasionally just going through the flooring and missing the subflooring through a crack.

The slight V groove gave the floor a very nice look.
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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 06:04:12 pm »
Cut another room's worth of floors.  Gonna take some time but I'm picking out some nice trees for the project.  This one is as straight as they come! (Around here anyway.)   





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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 07:08:31 am »
I have laid Oak flooring as you are doing and it worked very well.  I used 1X6's and made a slight chamfer on the top edges which gave it a slight V groove affect. 
Thank you for your input Magicman.  Did you run the boards through a planer?  And how did you cut the "V" for the V grove affect?  Do you happen to have a picture you can share?     
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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 08:55:41 am »
Nope, no picture.  Skip planed the back and brought the top down smooth.  We started with 1X6's and made a pass on each side through the table saw to get the width.  I did the chamfer with a power hand planer, but a router probably would have been better. 
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Offline Claybraker

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 10:59:57 am »
A router table should be just fine.  I put down 1000 sq ft. a few years ago but used store bought  3/4 x 3 1/4 Red Oak.  It came random lengths, longest piece was probably about 6'.  That should make it easier to handle, and you could t&g on a router table also.  You'll have to face nail along the edges of the rooms, but the pneumatic floor nailers can be rented fairly inexpensively. Same with floor sanders, and final sanding will handle  a lot of imperfections.

Pro tip- go ahead and do any drywall repair, painting, etc  while you are working on preparing the flooring.

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 11:09:16 am »
I was using up to 12' lengths so without a router table infeed/outfeed, I had to resort to a handheld tool, same as I had to do with the T&G on the Cabin Addition.
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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 08:42:32 am »
Thank you everyone for your input. I've decided to buy a WoodMaster Model 718 Planer to finish my boards.  Nice machine and there is a sale in effect until midnight Nov 13th.  $3,079.00 and that includes shipping.   

Found one on ebay for $1,900 but I drug my feet and now someone else owns it.   There are a couple of others on CL but they're just too far away.  So I guess I'll have to buy a new one and pay full price.  But it's a nice machine, capable of doing many of the things I'll need to do when making my floors.   I'll add what they call the "Pro Pack" (additional $829.00) which includes an accessory shaft, molding knife holder that accepts knives up to 3 1/4" wide, a drum sander kit and 2 Rip Saw Kits with Carbide Tipped 5-1/2 Blades. 

Nice machine and capable of accepting Spiral Head Planer Knives as well.  Not going with them this time around but I'm sure someday in the future I will end up with one.  :-)


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Re: Want to cut some Red Oak for floors
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 09:18:30 am »
You will love the 718. The plastic bed overlay is also a good option, with it your feed rollers last a lot longer. If you do a lot of molding, a second molding head can be mounted on the accessory shaft. make double sided molding with 2 passes. Another desireable add-on is a dpdt switch in the leads to the feed motor to reverse the feed rollers when you uh-oh..
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