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Newbie - Advice re Thicknesser / floorboards

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isv

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Hi,

I'm really getting behind on some refurb work on my Victorian house and want to invest in some tools to give me a bit of a boost :D

I want to remove the carpets in a few rooms and get back to the bare pine floorboards and apply a nice wax/oil finish. Unfortunately, the floorboards have been painted with a quite horrendous gloss paint... so I have a plan:

Take the boards up, flip them over (removing all nails!) and pass through a portable thicknesser (like a Dewalt 733). This way I don't have to remove the paint, but simply put a smooth finish to the other side of each board.

I will then re-lay the boards and apply a finish. I am hoping that a thicknesser will be able to make the surface of each board nice and smooth so no further sanding is required.

I am also thinking about using a router to put a tongue and groove finish to each board, making for a tighter fit (and I accept I'll be making the boards slightly narrower as a result).

Am I being realistic? Would investing in a combined planer/thicknesser offer any benefit over a simple thicknesser? Thanks.

Alan.
 

pip1954

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hi they could be tounge and groove already when you sand it leaves a smooth finish as in from board to board height wise,
the boards could be hard to get up and break a percentage of them.
pip
 

Stormer1940

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You may want to invest in a metal detector for finding hidden nails so you don't screw your planer knives up. Also you don't really want to remove too much of the thickness of the board because it could make them flimsy.

As above. What makes you think they aren't T&G already?
 

Saxwood

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If you punch all the nails as deep as you can prior to barring them up you'll find they will less stubborn to remove, if you put them through a thicknesser you may find the glossed side causes a problem with the feed roller, maybe, try one i guess, could be loads of work for little return if the boards are not good quality timber and hopefully they are T&G already :wink:
 

RogerBoyle

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Very bad idea

1. the boards are tongue and grooved and you will damage them or the hidden services getting them up
2. the tongue and grooved boards are made so the tongue and groove are off center so you have a thicker section to the top to allow for planing this down
3. Punch all nails down 5mm min and hire out two floor sanders one to sand the main area and the other to get right up to the walls and corners very quick and easy to use

There are other reasons as well Like the boards will have cupped slightly and unless you mark and number then exactly you will never get it to look as good as it was...
You stand to damage the ceiling plaster on the rooms below as well

Roger
 

marcros

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Personally, I wouldn't let them anywhere near to my thicknesser- I dread to think how many set of blades you would get through. Even the ones on my house which I assume that the previous owner lifted, sanded and stained a delightful orange colour have no end of nails in them. Ones that I have seen under carpets have huge gaps, so these have been relaid when they were done. They still dont look great, and dust collects in the small gaps. I like the idea of bare boards, I dont like the reality.

Have you thought of a decent quality laminate- there are some good deals on some good stuff out there and you could have it down in no time at all.
 

isv

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Well I just checked, and the current floorboards are not T & G... Does that change any of the current advice greatly?

I don't want to sand the boards insitu as I'll have paint dust everywhere, was hoping that once I had de-nailed them they would run through a thicknesser easily enough and I'd then re-lay one at a time (but I'm not qualified in this area)....
 

RogerBoyle

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isv":2oakpppp said:
Well I just checked, and the current floorboards are not T & G... Does that change any of the current advice greatly?

I don't want to sand the boards insitu as I'll have paint dust everywhere, was hoping that once I had de-nailed them they would run through a thicknesser easily enough and I'd then re-lay one at a time (but I'm not qualified in this area)....
No not really LOL

Roger
 

vally bar

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No it makes no difference, in fact they are probably nailed with steel brads you will never punch them through the boards. I would seriously forget this idea.
 

RogerM

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Wot the others said. You will inevitably find the odd nail or piece of grit embedded in the wood which will wreck your planer knives in no time, plus all the other disadvantages already mentioned. If you don't want to go down the floor sander route, how about a decent belt sander with extraction to clear the worst of the dust? However, I guess you are unlikely to need to own a floor sander, so best to hire one - they can have quite decent dust extraction these days.

edit: Take a look at Mick's response below. I would regard this as the definitive answer!
 

RogerP

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Weird this fashion for bare boards. Reminds me of school days except the head's room which was, of course, properly carpeted. :)
 

mickthetree

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I purchased old floorboards from ebay and laid them, sanded them and they look fantastic. Only removed the largest nails. The sander eats the rest.

My advice:
- Leave the floorboards exactly where they are.
- Make good and screw down any loose boards (please please check you are not in danger of screwing into pipes and wires first!)
- Seal the doors up with plastic sheeting and hire a descent extractor and buy a good face mask.
- If they dont hire extractors with the sander, buy one instead of a thicknesser (or get one secondhand off ebay then sell it when you are done).
- Hire an industrial sander and sand them properly. Across the grain with a course grit paper (60 or 80 grit). You will cut through any paint in no time at all. This will devour the wood if you hang around on any spot so keep it moving.
- Move down the grits to 180 grit, then sand with the grain on the same 180 grit.
- I removed the skirting boards first and sanded to the edges using an additional edge sander, then put the skirting boards back.

I used a rubbish finish on mine, but spend some money on something good like osmo hard wax oil.

Hope this helps. Any other questions do ask.
 

isv

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Mick et al,

Thanks for the advice, sander + extraction is the route I'll take!
 

misterfish

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I'm sure that's the right decision. I would also suggest that if you are hiring a floor sander that you completely empty the room, get yourself and the tools in the room. Use masking tape to seal all the gaps around doors as the dust is good at escaping through small gaps. As others have said make sure the nails are punched down blow the surface of the floor - protruding nails will tend to rip and destroy the sandpaper. Wear a boiler suit and use a decent mask. Also it's worth looking for YouTube type videos showing the machines in action and how to use them properly to get a good finish.

Misterfish
 

kostello

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when you are sanding................

if you can seal all the holes as best you can and can have a big fan blowing out of the window you will create negative air pressure in the room so air will be sucked into the room through any small gaps rather than being able to drift all around the house
 

neilyweely

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I do quite a few floors at work. I would start by going diagonally across the floorboards, starting in a sensible position to allow me to finish near the door. We use clarke alto ez8 sanders, but tbh they are only average in terms of performance; a good hired sander may yield better results. When you have removed the bulk required then begin to finish with a finer grit and with the grain.
However, what we do now as a matter of routine is to hook up an extractor to the dust bag point which seems to pull almost ALL the dust into the can. We use an extractor on a trolley, tied to the back of said sander so that it follows me around the room whilst i work. I think I am safe saying that the small sanders we use to finish isolated spots produce more dust than the great big trolley sanders we use to do 99% of the work. You would be well advised to hire/buy an edging sander as they do save a lot of time; I know some folk think they can get away with using a normal belt sander round the edges, but you can't really. Other than that, Mick has covered it all, I think.
What size is the room? What sort of finish are you looking for? We tend to use Sadolin PV67 all the time now as it is so easy to apply and so hard wearing. Available in Gloss (eurgh), Satin and Matt (mmmhhhh....). It is ballroom/ bowling alley varnish. Nuff said.

Whereabouts are you? I am in Bedford and we have got a few trolley sander thingamajigs. Could save a few quid in hire fees, although they are not really that expensive. I think you could consider buying second hand off ebay and then selling after you have finished; we got ours for peanuts (£200 and £60 spring to mind; both sums less than a weeks rental.)
HTH
Neil
HTH
 
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