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recycle T&G flooring??

magneticanomaly

Titanium
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Location
On Elk Mountain, West Virginia, USA
I have acquired a pile of old 2 1/4" wide random-length (10" to 48")T&G maple flooring from a house I am tearing down. I would like to
1, de-nail
2. rip off tongue against fence on table saw
3 rip off grooves against fence on tablesaw
4. lightly plane off finish from tops of boards
5 plane off "corrugated" bottoms to get flat surface and uniform thickness

line up, stack up, and glue faces together to create roughly 2" thick counter- or bench-tops

Question 1, "Am I crazy?", I already know the answer.

Q 2, has anyone here done it and been satisfied with the result?

Q 3 Best glue to use?

Q 4 I like the idea of pre-drilling the piecs so I can stack them on threaded rods, to provide more glue-clamping and reinforce..but the random lengths seem like they would make locating the holes to line up difficult. Worth it/not worth it; ideas about hole location?

Q 5 -n...What else should I know?

THANKS!
 
Sounds not very fun. Doable yes, but oh man.

Are you jointing AND planing the faces? I would. Then you’re down to what, like 5/8” thick, by 1-1/2? That’s 4 operations per piece, minimum. Then trimming ends, layout, etc? Oof.

But if I were doing this, and trust me, I wouldn’t, I’d work in small groups, say 5 or 6 layers, maybe fewer, then glue groups together. Then you could joint and plane each group, re-squaring the edges before gluing the groups. If you have access to a timesaver, you’re golden, but if you’re flattening by hand, it’ll be brutal. I’d use a scrub plane then finish with a no 7 or similar. Maple is hell.

I’d use PVA glue but open time isn’t great, so maybe build a jig to hold everything in line and have the clamps all ready and pre set to thickness.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!

JP
 
clamp your boards together, take a square and make a mark across the top (bottom, whatever) across the entire unit. Set a fence and a low bar for hold down/stripper on the drill press far side of bit. silver sharpie a point on the press table pointing at the bit from near side. you only measure the initial spacing (2 feeet, 5 feet, whatever you like) and the first board center. The fence holds center from initial edge from then on. board comes off table, align point mark to line on board, shoot. when done with that board put it back on the table in order.
the inside holes can be way over clearence because they do not have small pressure points.

I like the idea. reduce, reuse. tree gave its life for it...
 
Lessee.....material is free, titebond glue is cheap, your time is? fun?

Possible extra cost factor: early/premature sharpening for the planer and jointer knives. Finish and embedded grit, loose rust and slag from nails is hard on them. Extra belts for the widebelt sander. For glue, planed faces are better than sanded. Unless you use epoxy, in which case sanded is better. I would absolutely not use urethane (Gorilla glue, e.g.) With "aliphatic resin" glues it will be difficult if not impossible to glue up more than a few layers (6 to 10?)at a time before the glue starts drying in patches or the stack starts sticking fast. Epoxy could allow a complete glue-up in one and done. I have had fewer failures in maple glue-ups with titebond than with epoxy. But much is down to prep and technique. No sanding - knife finish only for traditional glues with faces prepped flat and clean. Do sand, coarsely, for epoxy.

The nail edge (tongue) will have splits back under it that either compel extra width reduction, or thickness reduction or both.
Or, you can arrange the glue-up stack so that all the holes & small splits are toward one face (the bottom).

BTW, so long as the strips are full length (so as not to confuse sorting when gluing up), there is no particular reason that all materials have to be the same thickness. IOW, if after jointing them flat, a group cleans up both faces at say, 5/8" thick, set them aside, and keep planing. Maybe the next group will clean up at 19/32", etc. in a stack of some 40 to 50 layers, 1/32"'s can make a difference. Certainly over planing them all down to 1/2" to clean up only the worst.

Other than that, practice normal orientation of growth rings and such per your favored method of wood movement accommodation beliefs. :)

I've participated in, shall we say, "interesting" re-purposings of archival flooring materials on government jobs.
 
Lessee.....material is free, titebond glue is cheap, your time is? fun?

Possible extra cost factor: early/premature sharpening for the planer and jointer knives. Finish and embedded grit, loose rust and slag from nails is hard on them. Extra belts for the widebelt sander. For glue, planed faces are better than sanded. Unless you use epoxy, in which case sanded is better. I would absolutely not use urethane (Gorilla glue, e.g.) With "aliphatic resin" glues it will be difficult if not impossible to glue up more than a few layers (6 to 10?)at a time before the glue starts drying in patches or the stack starts sticking fast. Epoxy could allow a complete glue-up in one and done. I have had fewer failures in maple glue-ups with titebond than with epoxy. But much is down to prep and technique. No sanding - knife finish only for traditional glues with faces prepped flat and clean. Do sand, coarsely, for epoxy.

The nail edge (tongue) will have splits back under it that either compel extra width reduction, or thickness reduction or both.
Or, you can arrange the glue-up stack so that all the holes & small splits are toward one face (the bottom).

BTW, so long as the strips are full length (so as not to confuse sorting when gluing up), there is no particular reason that all materials have to be the same thickness. IOW, if after jointing them flat, a group cleans up both faces at say, 5/8" thick, set them aside, and keep planing. Maybe the next group will clean up at 19/32", etc. in a stack of some 40 to 50 layers, 1/32"'s can make a difference. Certainly over planing them all down to 1/2" to clean up only the worst.

Other than that, practice normal orientation of growth rings and such per your favored method of wood movement accommodation beliefs. :)

I've participated in, shall we say, "interesting" re-purposings of archival flooring materials on government jobs.
You will be money ahead to buy new wood.... Perhaps peddle this wood off and buy some bowling lanes. Pin decks are maple.... or perhaps if your attached to this particular flooring glue/ nail it directly to several layers of plywood to form a good solid work surface. Otherwise the grit etc. is unforgiving on tooling!
 
Thanks for the sage and kind advice! The denailing will be the most laborious part, cut nails but not too many of them. The ripping to remove T&G I am comfortable with...the T&G ends I will leave. Whether I actually attempt this will depend largely on whether the little nameless green Chinese planer that I recently hauled away, actually works.

Pre-staging each layer solves the problem about tie-rod holes, thanks.
 
I'll throw in a different take...

Plane only the bottom of each and glue them up with the tongue and groove. Sand the finish off after glue up using your belt sander and 50 grit. Make three layers like this and then glue the three together to get the thickness you want. Shift them a bit so the t&g is staggered in each layer. I'd glue the t&g with yellow wood glue and do the layers with epoxy.
 
Some sage replies so far. One problem not mentioned is the uneven surface on the finished floor side of the material. Years of sanding and refinishing will take their toll and therefore all boards must go through the planer or widebelt with the bottom side down. Once the top surface is uniform then they can be flipped and the bottom run through the planer.
If you are only going to process enough to make a reasonable sized workbench the project is not overly crazy and things will progress fairly quickly. I would not add bolts, very little to be gained and you will have so many laminations the top will be very strong with just glue.
So far you are overly hopeful that 2-1/4 flooring will yield a 2” thick bench, more like 1-1/2 when all is said and done. Glue ups in sets of five or six boards is a good idea, then joint and glue two of those together etc etc.

I respectfully disagree with Stephen about Urethane glue, it is an excellent product however good old yellow glue will do just fine for this bench as well.

I would be inclined to remove nails, thickness plane until happy and then glue up with tongues and grooves still as original. Saves a few steps and you can just run the small laminated sections through the planer to remove tongues and grooves.

Good luck
 
We regularly glue up thick slabs of new lumber using white glue. Often up to 12 or 15 board without problems. A couple of things we do to help avoid issues. We use tight bonds white glue it sets up a little slower but more importantly we work fast. What we do is lay all the boards out on a flat surface with the to be glued surface up edge to edge tightly. We prep a glue spreader just a scrap of Masonite with grooves cut on the bandsaw. We then pour glue straight out of a 5 gallon bucket on top of the panel of wood and spread it with the glue spreader. We then tip all the boards up and into the next board then clamp. We used to quickly toenail with finishing nails to prevent slipping around but that does add time a second person can be helpful if nailing. What has eliminated the toenailing and has been one of my best investments is a manual clamp carrier rack. Just really heavy duty clamps hanging off a rack because they don't bend when you clamp normally the boards don't move.
 
Titebond Extend will give you a little more time for your glueup than TB Original. Also, a heavier glue spread helps, but can get messy. For lots more time, Plastic Resin glue, a catalyzed urea resin, is good. But wood and room have to be at 70 deg F or above for proper cure.
 
Clear or other slow cure epoxy, the type river tables are made with. But finish must be removed as wood floors are usually waxed during their lifetime. Stuff is 100% solids and no need to plane the bottoms. Amazon has several pneumatic nail removers that work awesome, but they may not fully swallow a cut nail. They look sorta like a nail gun but have a long tube with a 16 penny stroke plunger that punches the nail out without buckling it. Tube may not swallow full length but it still may blow the nails clear through because they hit so hard.
 








 
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