Creating Wood Flooring Planks from Fresh Lumber

Full disclosure before I make this post.  I do not know what I am doing in this process.  I am doing research and learning as I go but I want to share my experience here in case it might help someone learn from me and any of the mistakes that I make.

What I am trying to accomplish is the creation of my very own wood floor.  I plan on using my own trees from my own property.  I am still in the process of choosing which species of wood.  Choosing the wood will be one of the keys to making my own wood flooring planks.  A lot of people say that oak would be my best choice but I am kind of looking for something a bit more exciting.  Thinking maybe black walnut or something similar.

From what I have read, it takes some serious time to dry out the wood so I will probably find someone with a kiln to help along the process.  The area that I am flooring is a small space of only 10’x5′ so I feel that my goal is within the realm of possibility.  After the boards are cut out of the tree I plan on hand carving and scraping the boards with my chisels and other wood tools.  I plan on carving out the tongue and grooves for the boards with a router.  I know this might seem like a bit of overkill for such a small area but the location of the floor is a real center point of the room and I think it will be a great conversation starter to have our dining room table centered over top.

This process is probably going to take me a year to complete because of the learning curve but I think it will be fun.  I have decided that I will give the installation a shot as well.  I am going to hand nail the entire thing instead of using a stapler hooked up to a compressor.

The one portion of the project that I think I will subcontract out is the finishing.  I have seen several wood floors that are absolute trash because the polyurethane finish was applied unevenly or incorrectly which caused it to look cloudy.  Cloudy urethane is a travesty that covers the original beauty of the wood.  I want the wood grain to bleed through loud and clear and I am willing to pay the professionals to have that done.  The company I am looking at for the job is Wood Floor Refinishing Novi.  I linked to their Facebook page because they have a lot of pictures of some of their previous work.

I really need to get this project off the ground pretty quickly if I want to get it started before the snow falls for the season.  Hopefully I can make a trip up next weekend to pick out the tree.  If I do, I will shoot some pictures and post them as an update to this post.

Do you have any experience with wood working?  Comment below if you have any tips or suggestions.

Tree House for Grown ups

Obviously when you are into trees the way that we have been for a lifetime, you have probably come across a few tree houses here or there.  We have always dreamed of building a grown up tree house.  I believe the first time the thought came across our mind was back in 1989.  We were waiting on a pretty nice tax return that year and thought that it would be a pretty awesome investment to build one on some property that we had.

Being the late nineties, this was long before the popularity spike that has come along just recently. When we first saw the show Treehouse Masters we were absolutely floored that such a show exists.  The owner of the company is a bit of a goofball but in my opinion he makes the show that much more magical.  Pete has a special way of envisioning each and every project that he works on by first finding the right tree and then sitting out in the woods to sketch out his plans for the tree house.  He really does have vision when it comes to figuring out how to best incorporate things into a tree.

While we still have not built our dream tree house, we are on our way to crossing that threshold in the air.  We have been putting away a few dollars here and there and we are getting closer every year to making our dream a reality.  Since becoming such large fans on Pete and the show, we have decided that we would really like to hire him for the project.  We would love to just move forward with the project but we made a pact not to use credit for anything that was not completely necessary.

On a positive note, we are in touch with a company that has offered to donate the wood for lumber.  The companies name is Waterford Tree Service, they mentioned that they get all types of different species and they also suggested a local company that would turn it into lumber for us at a reasonable price.  We are still trying to decide on what type of wood so if you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment.

We are not very high maintenance people but we do prefer to have some of the 21st century conveniences in our castle in the sky.  A bathroom is a must and believe it or not we are hoping to have WiFi if at all possible.  I have seen them do that before so I imagine it won’t be a problem.

Until next time….

Photographs

To me, trees are one of the most amazing things that nature has created. They are so majestic, each one is different, no matter the size of the tree. I love taking pictures of trees, however the picture never fully captures the true essence of the tree but I still love the pictures, I just love the real thing more. Nothing is more sad to me when a tree needs to be cut down or when people plant trees near things and the tree cannot grow to its fullest potential. When I see trees that are bent because of power lines or when I see a tree that has grown into a metal fence, I realize that most people do not know what they are doing when they are attempting to landscape their properties.

Plants, bushes, flowers, shrubs, trees and the like are best when they are left to themselves but most people plant them to close together, the reason being (I think) is that they want it to look good now and don’t have the patience to wait for nature to do it’s thing and grow into what it should be. Which is fine if you can be OK with that, its just that I am not. I never cut back my plants at the end of summer, I let them be their natural selves and just do what they do. To me, this is when they are the most beautiful. So to see trees planted where they cannot grow to their natural height makes me sad. These trees are everywhere, just pay attention to your surroundings when you drive to work, or back home, or when you are just out and about on your errands, you will see at least one tree that was planted in the wrong spot or that maybe a building was built just a little too close to a tree.

I know that I am probably in the minority with my thoughts on this and that most of you that are reading this are probably thinking that I am a silly person, but that’s fine. We all have our things, this is mine. But here you are anyways reading this so maybe there is a small part of you that feels close to what I feel about trees. Maybe. The only thing that I can to help the situation is to make sure that when I plant things is to plant them where they can grow naturally and help others realize the potential of plants in this way. Whether they do it or not is up to them but at least they know that there are other options out there and they do not have to do things just one way.

I do realize that trees will get in the way from time to time and will need to be cut down but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. That is why planting trees is very important and why I do it whenever I get the chance. There are companies out there that just go around planting trees, just like there are companies that go around cutting down trees.  I hope this post helps you realize that trees are important and that we need to take good care of them.

Patty