Making and Installing Hardwood Flooring From a Tree

hey everyone my name is Matt welcome to my family room in this video I'm going to show you how I made it installed these ash hardwood floors now our story begins out in the woods but unfortunately when I cut down these trees that was before it's actually making videos so I don't have any video footage of me cutting the trees but I do remember where all the stumps were so let's head out to the woods take a walk and see if we can find where these trees used to be so take a little walk in the woods I'm trying to find where these trees were we cut these in the winter so the landscape was very different than it is now in the white summer so you can kind of see the first stop right there my walk around take a look at it but that tree was totally uprooted and was laying right here always straight through here there it is so hold the upward stump see I cut part of this root off just to see what it would look like so here is the other stump or one of the other stumps this tree was straight up but was actually snapped off and carbs was bleeding over into the canopy over there and you can actually see the brush from this tree is right there and a little bit over here to his branches here or all from the same tree here's a shot of that tree after I got it on the ground and this is the first tree I was talking about being pulled out of the woods in the spring we pulled another ash tree out of the woods the log that is second from the right produced my favorite floorboards here's one of the bigger sections of that tree being transported across the field we know the logs into board to this project on two different occasions if you've been following my videos for a while you might recall a video I did in January of 2015 about my friend Jim's homemade hydraulic powered swing blade sawmill in that video we cut up a few of these ash logs and the boards you produce all went into this project the other occasion might look familiar also this was from my video sawmill day that I did in March of 2015 towards the end of the day we grabbed a few of the extra ash logs that have been sitting around and milled them for my flooring the log on the mill now is the one that produced my favorite floorboards you can see how the large limb in the middle and the crotch at the end produced the areas of extreme figure in the board's we actually end up cutting these logs well past dark as the boards were cut I load them in the back of my truck and the next day I stack them to dry in my basement and while the wood is drying let's start on the room prep here are a couple of before shots of the room we wanted to remove the wall paneling pull up the carpet and possibly replace the trim we started by removing the wall paneling taping and mudding all the drywall seams and painting the walls a little while later we were ready to tackle the floors I got a nice surprise I rolled back the carpet whoever installed the carpet covered up some pretty bad pet stains that has soaked into the particle board underlayment I cut away the worst sections to buy me some time before having to pull up the rest of the particle board not good look out strongly with all that removed I could evaluate the flatness of the subfloor carpet will mask a lot of flatness deviations but wood floors not so much the slum floor looked a little off so I brought in a straightedge and oh boy the help you see is where the i-beam supports of four Joyce's and looking at the joists as they sit on the i-beam I could see the top of the joists we're not flush at the top of the i-beam this was the case for just about every joist in the floor so using a bottle Jack I jacked up each joist until is level at the top of the beam and place a shim between the bottom of the joist and the i-beam this solved the dip on the right side or the left side would still have to be shimmed to figure out the size of the shim I needed I laid my straight edge over the joist measuring the rise and then measuring the run in other words the distance from the wall to the point where the straight edge starts to contact the floor I could then lay that out on a piece of to buy and cut the shim with my tracks off most of these end up being about one inch over 52 inches I could then lay down some three-quarter inch tiny groove OSB over the entire floor I needed to use an underlayment here so the finished floor height of this room will be hanging aligned with the kitchen floor I also added some dominoes to the ends of the OSB that didn't have a time and groove joint after I had most of the room prep done I moved the pile of lumber into the room to finish drying and to make some room in the basement for drying other stuff I figured the fastest and easiest way to get the board's down into the shop will be out the window we made two piles one for the boards that were ready to be processed they had a clean edge and weren't much wider than the final width and a second pile with the boards that needed some more work first these were the wider boards that would need to be ripped down first and the ones that had to live edges the first step in the milling was to run an edge of each board over the jointer so it had a nice straight edge to work off of for ripping all these boards I moved the bandsaw out into the driveway so we didn't have to try and maneuver these boards through my shop now go through and rip all the boards down to a rough width of six inches as I was ripping I set any sizable off cuts aside I made narrower strips out of these that could mix into the floor now I can start planning all these boards down I planned all the boards to a final thickness of 3/4 of an inch and in the last pass I chose the show face of the board and made a mark to indicate the bottom of the board they take about seven hours of playing off these boards and it was extremely boring after all the planing I put the boards back into the house and called it a day the next day I worked on this project I started by squaring up one edge at the jointer Dima was kind enough to help me with the milling for a few hours on this really hot day next we took all the boards and ripped them down to the final width the main floor boards were ripped to a final width of 5 and 3/4 of an inch and I also managed to make some narrow ones that were five and a half four inch and three inches wide out of those off cuts they saved now with all the floorboards milking some blanks we can start at the tongue-and-groove I use the table saw with a dado blade to cut both the tongue and the groove to keep the groove centered you turn the board's and four end and ran them through a second time I made this groove a quarter inch wide and 5/16 of an inch deep now for the top half of the tongue I have the blade set to remove a quarter inch of material here and I'm running the board's vertically which should give me a more consistent thickness tongue due to the feather boards then if I ran the board's flat on the table this is because most of the board's are not flat they have some bow and the feather boards flatten them out next year and the bottom of the tongue for this cut I raise the blade a bit so when the tongue fits into the groove only the top section contacts the top of the mating groove and now the last step in the milling process creating the relief cuts on the bottom to get started with the install I rolled out some rosin paper over the floor this will help me to keep for clean since it's easy to sweep up debris and make the board slide together a bit easier you could also use felt paper or something like aqua bar here for the first row I started with a narrow width floor board I use my chop saw to trim the ends of the boards and cut them to length I set this up so I was always cutting with the groove towards the fence that way when the end of the boards but together they'll line up perfectly since any error in the squareness of the cut will be cancelled out to get the board straight and measured out from the wall at both ends and snap the chalk line when installing the first row I place the boards on that line so if the wall is doing anything goofy the flooring would still be straight I also left with expansion gap of a lot of half-inch between the boards and the wall and his first row gets face nailed down I didn't feel like we're moving the door jambs to trim them down so the floor underneath them so use a flush trim saw on top of a piece of flooring to cut them to length and this is what a lot of the install was like I have my board selected and cut and I would work the tongue until it fits into the groove properly sometimes they got lucky and didn't have to do any adjusting here's an example of something I had to fix occasionally when we were running the tongues sometimes the board would lift up a bit leaving a little bit of material it wasn't really a problem if I noticed it I would just run the board through the table saw again but the tracks I made fixing the ones I missed really easily one of the things I didn't do when installing the OSB was screw it all down I figured for sanity reasons I could just finish screwing it down as I went I screwed them into the joist and it's made a noticeable difference in the rigidness of the floor and took out any squeaks from the loose nails in the subfloor as they work my way along I would cut and lay out a few rows of flooring to stagger the seams I use an offcut along the far wall so I wouldn't have any short boards as you walked into the room and as I was lighting this out I was really trying to maximize the yield of my boards and leave each board as long as possible so I had a few seams as possible in the finished floor I also added dominoes so the ends of the boards to help keep them aligned something worth mentioning is this install took me about a month this was a very tedious process so I would come into the room to work on it from time to time for maybe an hour so until I just got bored of it that kept it somewhat fun here's my fastening strategy I first used a flooring nailer to nail the flooring down these nails are great because as you strike them to drive a nail the forest closes up any gap between the board you're nailing in the previous board now since OSB doesn't have the best nail holding power and since the four and hours and shooting nails long enough we go through the OSB and into the subfloor I came back with my 15 gauge finish nailer and nail through the tongue these nails were long enough to go all the way through into the subfloor now on to the last few rows this is where it starts to get interesting as they got closer to the wall it became more difficult to strike to nail it this was the last row I can use the flooring nailer on for the rest of the rows I got creative with wedges to force the bores together as I've nailed them with a finish nailer where I got even closer to the wall I use a pair of opposing wedges to force the boards together it was at this point that I had to remove the heater because it was in the way this also revealed the last bit of wall panel and I had to remove and now for the last row I refused to width drop the men and my pry bar to press them against the previous board once I got the whole row fit I came back with a nailer and nailed them down as I was prying them together so I'm getting started filling all the voids with epoxy and some tint and I got mostly before done about 3/4 of the way lots of what we'll defects to fill there everywhere the last little bit of the install was to add some of these decorative bow ties to some of the cracked boards I intentionally left I installed four of these and made them all different sizes I cut these out of an african blackwood turning blank next I went over all the seams with some wood filler to fill any gaps between the boards and I could start saying the floor I rented this large pad sander for this since my boards were pretty level and clean as is I didn't have much material to remove to smooth everything out this pad sander is pretty gentle so I didn't have to worry about the standard digging in like a drum sander wood or swirl marks from an orbital sander also since it randomly oscillates you all necessarily have to stand with the grain I started with 60 grit and then moved to 80 grit I later went over the whole floor with my random orbit sander using 120 grit using my random orbit sander for the final grit a lobby too got close to the floor so I could see any defects or issues I might have missed with the large sander the one issue with this large sander was the dust collection wasn't very great we'll leave a layer of dust on the floor which killed his standing efficiency I took care of that layer of dust with a leaf blower before we getting started with the finish I went over the entire floor it's a rag dampened with mineral spirits to clean up any remaining dust and debris to contain the fumes I hung a sheet of plastic in the doorway to the room taping all the way around it with duct tape the finish I chose to use is a two coat flooring finish system from glitter this type of finish is known as a Swedish finish or an acid cure finish it is an extremely durable finish but the downside is it has some really crazy fumes this doorway is the only place where air from this room and the rest of the house can freely mix since this room is not on the HVAC system the sheet of plastic did a really great job of containing the fumes to apply the finish I chose to use a roller at my applicator and I used some tape to make sure there was any loose material on the roller the first color of this finish system is a seal coat this product has a hardener that gets mixed into it to activate it I started applying the sealer by first cutting the edges with a brush and then applying the finish to the field with the roller just like any other project finishing is always an awesome experience because it really brings the wood to life like I really get to see what does we're going to look like and I was so happy so I went over the entire floor it took me about 15 minutes or so to cover the entire floor with the finish and it was incredible so I worked my way back to the door and I had just enough finish to cover the entire floor I shut the door and allowed to drive for a few hours and I came back and opened the windows and door to allow the fumes to escape a few days later I was ready to apply the topcoat I gave the floor a light sanding and wiped up the dust with lacquer thinner then I was ready for the topcoat I applied this the same way did the sealer I cut in with a brush and use a roller to cover the field working back to the door again I had the windows and door closed to keep the dust out until the finish had dried for a few hours if I show some of my favorite places on the floor so that's cool I like that and there's one of the bowties right there with a crack this is awesome I like this one a lot take it then there we go that's cool I like that a lot everything from this one log they had all this crotch figure and this compression figure is just amazing I have that kind of scatter throughout the floor it's the double butterflies there's another one from that log that's another one of my favorites and then the last butterfly is right there and it's more crotch figure here so I'm really really happy with the way this turned out just incredible looking so here we are a few months after I finished the floors and they look incredible I absolutely love the way they turned out and I'm just so happy with them I especially love of course my favorite floorboards I have the mixed into the floor I put them in prettiest 46 spots that I knew wouldn't be covered up by furniture so I guess I'm here and over there and all over the place now one thing I didn't mention in the video itself is I actually ran the flooring in two batches just to kind of keep my sanity and to really get it a little bit more of a closer approximation to how much material would actually need so I made the first batch which was 300 square feet and a second batch was about a hundred square feet and I ended up with about 30 or so square feet left over and this room itself is about 325 square feet or so now a big THANK YOU to my wife for all of her help making the flooring and installing it she was extremely helpful and – this guy – because you were in there you were in there helping – and of course a giant thank you – Dima as well for all the times he stopped by it – give me a hand making the flooring and installing it thanks again Dima on the link to his channel in the description and up in the cards as well now a really cool thing with this project is and I didn't realize it as I was doing it is it encompasses so much of my videos of my prior work that as I was going through making the video just like video after video after video I could reference so if you haven't seen some of those near interested in those take a look at some of those related videos I'm sure you'll enjoy those as well so that's about it for this one thank you as always for watching I greatly appreciate it give any questions or comments but anything I showed in the video with the install the milling or the trees or whatever please feel free to leave me a comment as always I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have until next time happy woodworking

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