A labour of love - restoring old woodblock parquet

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Jacob

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Looks really good! Nice to see stuff recycled.
How viable could it be to make up your own blocks with off-cuts or by recycling other boards, with a good thicknesser planer and TS?
 

imageel

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You could apply this technique to any materials you have to hand or can source. Obviously the workflow would need to be adjusted to suite but bear in mind with the size blocks I ended up with 10 sq m is 665 individual blocks - i.e. a lot of repetitive work so the workflow is important to get right!
In my case it took a couple of months of trying different techniques to achieve an optimal workflow and tbh a lot of the faffing was around the non-obvious challenge of logistics -
I only have a 4 x 5m workshop and it's pretty cramped with a 10in planer thicknesser, 6in joiner, Kity bandsaw, massive 1m2 spindle moulder (bought on these forums from Wallace) large woodworking bench, metalworking bench, metal lathe, 6 in table saw so in reprocessing these blocks I needed sufficient space to have an infeed and an outfeed stack + free working space and some for safety.
So in my case this limited me to processing stacks of around 166 blocks or ~2.5sq m and I also required floorspace to enable me to stack the blocks on the floor side-by-side so that I could coat with paint stripper, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight before cleaning off all the crud.
For sure re-purposing another source material would negate this constraint, however ultimately space or lack thereof would limit your manageable batch size.
 

Jake

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What was your bitumen like? I've seen some that is really nasty and thick looking, but the ones I used for this ( Woodblock floor | UKworkshop.co.uk) had a thin and crispy coating which was really easy to scrape off with Bahco scrapers and a chisel ground down to size at the tip for the groove.
 

imageel

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I have blocks from 3 different sources, - lifted from the original house + 2 ebay purchases and they are pretty variable,. One of the ebay lots were mixed sizes, containing maybe 25sq m of blocks matching the size of the originals in the house and the rest were a longer but similar width variant that I've used for the borders. TBH amongst them all there's huge variability, some have fairly thin 1-2mm and others 4 or more mm of bitumen with concrete from the oversite attached, so some I pre-prepped by applying some heat from a torch and scraping as much as i could off prior to running through the thicknesser.
I discovered to my cost what happens when HSS blades hit concrete...
Also all of these blocks are plain with no tongue or groove, so sides were easy aside from the incredibly abrasive dirt encrusted lacquer on some.
 

Jake

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That pre-prep was definitely the worst bit for me, and yours was a ton worse with all the size variations - really nice result and hats off for the perseveration, it's a great look well worth it when finished..
 

baldkev

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Good job, looks fab.
defects under the old varnish like this one that appears to have a dark water stain on it, so prepared to chop it out and replace -
Get some oxalic acid, it usually removes stains and weathering
 

imageel

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What was your bitumen like? I've seen some that is really nasty and thick looking, but the ones I used for this ( Woodblock floor | UKworkshop.co.uk) had a thin and crispy coating which was really easy to scrape off with Bahco scrapers and a chisel ground down to size at the tip for the groove.
Just re-read your post and noticed you'd recommended Snickers flooring trousers and their bean-bag knee pads - after some independent research I too chose those - and I concur they are brilliant!!
 

imageel

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After a bit of a clear-up in the garden I started to have a sort out of the area to be laid with the remaining prepped blocks, the area is open-plan and covers a total of 55sq m encompassing a living room, sun lounge and a kitchen. I only have around 14 sq m of blocks prepped, but need to lay these such that I have room to start processing more of the 'raw' blocks. This view encompasses the approximate area they will cover with the prepped blocks stacked in the middle -
20220327_165858.jpg

In the back, standing against a wall is a 2.5m length of solid oak kitchen worktop with a cutout to accept a flush fitting induction hob... Unfortunately whilst routing the rebate for this I slipped and trashed the piece..... :eek:
Also whilst clearing out this area I came across a prior labour of love - an unfinished loudspeaker project that got abandoned when my extension works commenced some 5+y ago. This was what I recovered after a thorough hoovering and clean-up, probably a topic for another thread!! -
front-2.jpg

For anyone interested it's based upon a design called the LX521 by renowned engineer Siegfried Linkwitz who sadly passed away in 2018.
/Ed
 

imageel

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Factual correction, that was a picture as built back in 2015, this after cleaning up a bit is the speaker today!
20220327_165649.jpg
 

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julianf

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Can I ask you how you physically laid the parts on the floor?

What I mean is it looks like you're pretty gap free, which must be as a result of both accurate cutting and also laying.

For standard tongue and groove chipboard floor I've used those clamp ratchet strap things to pull them together but obviously this isn't applicable here.

Did you just place them by hand? Knock them in with a hammer? Cramp?

Basically just wondering how you got it as gap free as it looks!

Thank you.
 

imageel

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@ Jake - For the just floor two coats of Bona whitening primer and then two coats of Bona Traffic HD Extra Matt - the whitening primer takes some of the edge off the tendency for Baltic pine to adopt a yellow/orange tint when sealed.
If you are referring to the the loudspeaker then that is plain old Morrels high gloss 2k ...and a lot of polishing with 1200 grit wet & dry and a 3M automotive product Finesse-It to get a near piano finish.
@ Julian - As purchased the blocks were all deformed in some sometimes minor way - principally shrinkage along the grain such that the ends were almost serrated and embedded in dirt, and often the sides which while fairly straight were rarely square to the base or top so in processing these as I described the blocks were then uniform in size - testament to that was the fact that I replaced in total 4 blocks that subsequent to laying I noticed defects in so then chopped out and seamlessly replaced with a good one - I only documented the two in my post.
This enabled me to simply lay these on a 2mm bed of adhesive and achieve an almost gap free result, some variations were inevitable as a result of minor imperfections in the concrete upon which they were laid and errors on my part not ensuring they firmly abutted each other.
No tools aside from a wallpaper scraper and the combed adhesive spreader were used to lay the blocks - once an area was spread with adhesive the blocks were simply placed onto it and given a firm press to ensure good contact with the adhesive and the adjacent blocks.
I have a further ~54 sq m to lay and out of the batch I've already processed and I have around 14 sq m left so will document in an additional post the setting out and laying of those plus a super easy technique to make incremental cuts on a chop- saw which I developed when replacing chopped out blocks that were adjacent to the borders.
 

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