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Reclaimed floorboards (again).

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chaoticbob

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A while back I asked about the cost of reclaimed pine floorboards - my need was for some 10x3/4 inch boards to patch an existing floor, and it was looking like £35-40 /sq metre. I've now come across some 9x2 inch reclaimed pine boards at about £7.50 / sq metre. At that price it would be cheaper to replace the whole area (only about 10 sq metres) rather than patch - and it would probably look better. Obviously I'd need to reduce the thickness of the boards. I have an RP 350 bandsaw which, according to specs, can cut 9 inches but from my experience with the machine I seriously doubt it. I also have a table saw which will cut 3" OK.
If were to rip from both side on the TS and then take the remaining 3" in the middle out with the BS (or even, shock horror, a handsaw!) would I end up with anything usable? I'm mindful of similar threads in which the advice has been that the timber would warp/cup/twist when stress is relieved, but perhaps it might be different with reclaimed wood which has presumably stabilised over decades?
Any advice would be appreciated, Robin
 

profchris

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I resaw reclaimed timber in that dimension for musical instrument making, though I take much thinner slices. Whether it cups or twists is a bit of a lottery. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that half will be fine, 1/4 will move but you can just plane it to your 3/4 inch thickness, and 1/4 will go too wild to be usable. But at your thickness you might do better.

I'd use the table saw and take the middle 3 inches out with a handsaw. If it's going to move a lot, you'll know before you get to the handsaw.
 

Noel

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profchris":1add5w8u said:
I resaw reclaimed timber in that dimension for musical instrument making, though I take much thinner slices. Whether it cups or twists is a bit of a lottery. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that half will be fine, 1/4 will move but you can just plane it to your 3/4 inch thickness, and 1/4 will go too wild to be usable. But at your thickness you might do better.

I'd use the table saw and take the middle 3 inches out with a handsaw. If it's going to move a lot, you'll know before you get to the handsaw.
Try and cut with the hand saw on the good side of the rip cut, might save a bit of prep work although you don't mention thicknessing after cutting.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Good point.
I suppose if the object wasn't to deep them and use the offcuts the backs could be notched to go over the joists - a bit of work, but so's the alternative. A more solid floor and better heat/sound insulation.
 

Jacob

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chaoticbob":1rbr14hw said:
...
If were to rip from both side on the TS and then take the remaining 3" in the middle out with the BS (or even, shock horror, a handsaw!) would I end up with anything usable?
Yes no prob I've done this often. Bandsaw blade can wander off so you have to watch it carefully. But an old fashioned 3tpi rip hand saw suddenly come into its own as you can thrash away at it and it stays in the slot. Then you've got to plane it of course, but if the worst came to the worst you could put down less than perfectly planed boards and then finish off with a big sander. (or a little one if that's all you have)
I'm mindful of similar threads in which the advice has been that the timber would warp/cup/twist when stress is relieved, but perhaps it might be different with reclaimed wood which has presumably stabilised over decades?
Any advice would be appreciated, Robin
I doubt it would warp at all but doesn't matter for floor boards they are all going to be nailed down.
I use a rare earth magnet to find nails etc in old wood - works brilliantly.
 

Jacob

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phil.p":1h1sc3xe said:
Good point.
I suppose if the object wasn't to deep them and use the offcuts the backs could be notched to go over the joists - a bit of work, but so's the alternative. A more solid floor and better heat/sound insulation.
Or alternatively if too thin in parts put packing on the joists. Seen both done in old work - they didn't let anything get in their way!
 

chaoticbob

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Thanks for replies. The area is actually an upstairs landing, and the reason for wanting thinner boards was indeed to avoid steps between the landing and adjoining rooms.
Given the price of the reclaimed timber and the mount of work involved in splitting the boards I think the way forward is to notch and drop over the joists - that seems much simpler. It's good to hear that my proposed scheme of going at it from either side on the TS and finishing the cut by hand or on the BS isn't insane though! I had worried about the safety implications of making a 3" 'blind' cut on the TS - I've made similar depth through cuts, but there the sawdust has an upward escape route as well as down, and the riving knife can do its job properly. I've not yet had a kickback, and looking at videos on YouTube I want to keep it that way.
Thanks again, Robin.
 

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I think I would notch with a simple jig and a router.
Have you checked which way the joists run?
Will you end up with more notch than full board?
 

Noel

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chaoticbob":1bdxl6av said:
Thanks for replies. The area is actually an upstairs landing, and the reason for wanting thinner boards was indeed to avoid steps between the landing and adjoining rooms.
Given the price of the reclaimed timber and the mount of work involved in splitting the boards I think the way forward is to notch and drop over the joists - that seems much simpler. It's good to hear that my proposed scheme of going at it from either side on the TS and finishing the cut by hand or on the BS isn't insane though! I had worried about the safety implications of making a 3" 'blind' cut on the TS - I've made similar depth through cuts, but there the sawdust has an upward escape route as well as down, and the riving knife can do its job properly. I've not yet had a kickback, and looking at videos on YouTube I want to keep it that way.
Thanks again, Robin.
If you decide to resaw raising the blade height in 2 or 3 increments is a lot easier on the saw/blade and yourself and just as quick.
 

Jacob

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And make sure you can switch off with your knee or other organ, without letting go of the workpiece. If it starts binding you can't let go or it could get forcefully flung off. :shock:
 

chaoticbob

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Thanks for further replies. In reverse order (ish):
Jacob: Table saw is a Bosch site job so probably around the same weight as the boards, which adds to my feeling of insecurity. It does have a knee height cutoff switch though. You'll have forgotten, but you Freegled a woodie jack plane a while ago which my wife picked up. It's getting a good workout on this project!

Noel: Thanks, that make sense - I can push the work through faster with lower DOC, so not much slower than one swipe and less scary.

Phil.p / lurker - yes the boards run in the conventional direction, ie perpendicular or orthogonal to the joists.

Lurker: I was going to saw and chisel the notches but shall try routing - I suspect that sawing/chiselling might actually be faster though.

Simon : Gumtree, it's a one man reclamation outfit in Derby - collection only. They're not sold as floorboards, just lumps of wood. PM me if you want further details.
Think that's it - apologies if I've missed anything out and thanks for advice.
Robin
 

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AndyT

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That looks like a scaffold board to me. If it's got cement mortar on it, you'll need to get it off before ruining any blades on it. People generally suggest wire brushing or a very coarse belt sander.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Scaffold boards? Have they metal ends or can you see the holes where they've been pulled off? If so, if you use any kind of saw you will likely ruin it on hidden nails and stones. If you try to saw the notches and knock the waste out with a chisel you'll be there for ever because of the knots and the grain will be all over the place. Use a router, though you might ruin a cutter.
 

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AndyT":2ijba6mr said:
That looks like a scaffold board to me. If it's got cement mortar on it, you'll need to get it off before ruining any blades on it. People generally suggest wire brushing or a very coarse belt sander.
Good advice.
On the odd occassion I've had to clean concrete or mortar off timber (usually tamps) I usually find quite a bit can be removed by hitting the opposite face with a hammer. Obviously not the face you want showing, nobody likes a floorboard full of hammer rash. Then I use a old beater chisel as a sort of scraper. Anything to minimise the sanding as the dust is super nasty.

Notching for the joists definitely sounds easier than resawing and will probably result in a better finish unless you have access to a thicknesser to finish the reaswing off nicer. I'd also combine the mentioned techniques if the timber allows it, remove the most you can with saw and chisel and finish with router. As Phil mentioned though, scaffold boards can be vey knotty so router all the way might be one better.
 

Jacob

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have to say Rob - just buying some floor board will be a lot less bother and cheaper if you value your time at all. Gregorys - Tansley. They deliver for a fiver or so.
 

chaoticbob

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Yep, that dawned on me today - widest they do is 8 and 3/4, that'll do. I go around the houses and forget where I started.
Thanks, Rob.
 

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