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.