How to Make a Wood Floor From Raw Wood

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Hardwood floors add warmth and beauty to your home. Weather it's the new generation on laminate floors, traditional hardwoods or hardwood floors that you have taken from the woods and made yourself they will add value to your home. With the proper tools and a bit of hard work you can make your own hardwood floors from trees you have harvested yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Saw mill with a gang saw available
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Table saw

Prepare the Material

Take the hardwood tree to the saw mill to have them cut down into rough planks. This needs to be cut to 1 1/8-inch thick.

Send them through the gang saw and have them ripped a full half inch wider than the size flooring you want. Most saw mills can do this for you at the same time.

Prepare the wood to go to the kilm to be dried to a moisture content of 8 percent. Some saw mills can do this for you or you can find a local trim supplier that may have a kilm. Your other option is to air dry the lumber, this option will take a long time before you can use the flooring.

Surface and Straight Line the Lumber

Take the dried lumber to your shop and send it through the jointer. Set the fence to 90 degrees to the jointer table. This is done with the wide side running against the fence and the narrow side against the bed of the jointer. Make multiple passes removing a maximum of one eighth of an inch per pass. Repeat this until you have a straight flat surface without any hit or misses on the side against the bed of the jointer. Next, place the wide side against the bed of the jointer and the new edge against the fence. Run this side the same way as you did the last side.

Take the lumber to the planer and run it with the wide-jointed edge facing down to the table of the planer. Make multiple passes not removing more than an eighth of an inch per pass down to a final thickness of three quarters of an inch.

Run the lumber through the table saw for the final width of the hardwood floors. Use feather boards and hold down rollers to get a true straight cut on the lumber.

Mill the Flooring

Set up the shaper or router table with a tongue and groove cutter. Adjust the fence and cutter height using a scrap piece of material, adjust the cutter height and fence position until you have it set up correctly to run your flooring. Run all of the flooring through the machine on one of the long sides and one of the ends. Keep the good side up as you mill the material.

Switch the cutter out to run the opposite side. Use the scrap material from the last step to set up the cutter. Run all of the flooring cutting the opposite side and end. Keep the good side up once again as you mill the flooring.

Cut the bottom of the flooring for stress relief. You can use the router or shaper with a relief cutter to do this step. Set up the cutter per the instructions that came with the cutter.

Stack the flooring in your house for a week to let it acclimatize to the house's humidity level. Your flooring is now ready to be installed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use feather boards and push blocks while you run the flooring through the power tools.
  • Sticker the lumber before it is kiln-dried to help keep it straight and true.
  • Use your safety gear and follow the directions that came with your power tools.

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