Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Next set of gaps: flooring

Okay, on to the next project!

Once upon a time, we removed some walls and installed some oak posts and beams. Where there used to be walls, there exists gaps in the hardwood floor. Unsightly. Over the months, we had tossed around the idea of creating a threshold out of red oak to match the beams, but eventually, we settled on the idea of building the threshold from soapstone. After all, we've got a nice slab left over from when we made the sink top, and there's other soapstone in our design and we expect these thresholds to pull that together nicely.

Not all the floor boards are missing from where there used to be a wall between the living room and dining room - the flooring is intact where a door must have been. So, the first step was to remove the existing boards to create a clean and continuous line.

And of course, the job starts with something funky. There was a slab of oak under the post near the stairs which needed to be cut off close to the post (about 3/4" from the post). We couldn't get that close with any of our tools, so I sharpened up a 1" chisel and set to chiseling it out. Went well!

Moving on, there were some floor boards that needed removing. The old tongue-and-groove pine is a great system; the stuff is in there tight. I set the circular saw depth to 3/4" and cut down the seam of two boards, severing the tongue. Some boards were pried up, others had to be knocked out with a wood block and hammer. Most were safely removed without damage, and none of the neighboring boards that we plan to leave in place were marred. Once the boards were out, we chiseled off the tongue. Ah, a very nice shape.

Also, there is some missing flooring around the chimney in the dining room. And there must have been some moulding there at one point or another, because the flooring that is there is discolored. The shape suggests that a wrap-around inlay would look quite nice. So, we decided on a width for the inlay (sticking to existing proportions, we went with the width of a floor board), marked the floor with red china marker, checked the saw depth again, and cut away some more perfectly good old hardwood flooring. Nerve-wracking!

So now we've got the area cut out. There are some leveling issues that we'll have to tackle, but we're optimistic. Off to a good start!

- John

No comments: