Need to cut floor board in-place...

I have to remove a length of floor board to access underneath. This will require me to cut the floor board.
- What is the best way to do this neatly? i.e., how do I get a saw started so that it only cuts the one plank that I want to cut. - Will a sawz-all type tool work? (if so, how do I get it started)
Note the floor board is hardwood that is about 4" wide by 1" thick
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Greetings,
Start by drilling a large hole. Insert the jigsaw / sawzall blade into the hole and cut up to the edge of the board.
Hope this helps, William

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<< Start by drilling a large hole. Insert the jigsaw / sawzall blade into the hole and cut up to the edge of the board. >>
Helps to shorten the blade so it won't cut into the subflooring.Just put the blade in a vise at the lenghth you want and smack it with a hammer to break it off. You can even do it at an angle so the blade will have a sharp point for a plunge cut. HTH
Joe
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Well, problem is that I want to *replace* the board when I am done... so if I drill a large hole then i am left with the same large hole in the floor when I replace the baseboard.
What I am looking to do is to just cut the board in place so that I can remove it and replace the board so that floor still looks good when I am done.
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Greetings,
Is it under carpet? Is it painted? Since you will be cutting at a joist, why do you care if the circular saw slightly nicks the adjacent boards? Not knowing all the details here are a couple of additional suggestions:
a) For a few dollars you can buy a brand new section of floor board from Lowes to put back when you are done. b) You could use a circular saw to cut the floorboard out and fill in the crack created by the sawblade with bondo or some sort of wood putty.
Hope this helps, William
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This is high quality hardwood floor -- not under carpet. Would prefer not to create more nicks than necessary

Not unless they stock 150 year old floorboard...

Seems like a hack relative to the quality of the flooring
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Tell us the reason for the hole.
wrote:

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Greetings,
When using a jigsaw if you cannot make a plunge cut, you need a hole. If you can make a plunge cut, no hole is necessary. No hole is necessary for a circular saw, but you will probably nick the neighboring boards.
Hope this helps, William

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blueman wrote:

The few times I've done it I've used a plunge cut to rip the board lengthwise to allow the pieces to be (sometimes gracefully) levered out.
Take a look at:
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/remodeling/article/0,1797,HGTV_3659_1560606,00.html
BTW I wouldn't use my best blade for this. Normally you know exactly where the nails in the hardwood are but since you need to go just a hair deeper than the thickness of the flooring it is still possible to hit nailheads in the subflooring and their locations are unpredictable.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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Is it posssible to do a plunge cut with a reciprocating saw (or jigsaw). The reason I ask is that the board is probably too narrow to use a circular saw plunge cut without half-slicing through adjacent boards.
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Just remove the whole board.
I don't know why you are doing this, but if you need to access below the flooring, you are also going to have to get through the subflooring, and when you put it all back together, you are going to have, at best, a major squeak. Before doing that, I would try to get access from below; patching a ceiling is relatively easy.
blueman wrote:

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Greetings,
Mr. Brown is probably right about removing the whole board -- unless of course several feet of it runs under a bathtub, etc. I would never make a hole in the ceiling when removing a single floorboard would do. Prying up a floorboard should take five minutes. Nailing it back in should take about the same. Ripping a hole in the ceiling will make a mess, you will need several coats of mud to patch the hole. Each coat will require time to dry and sanding (more mess). You will then need to repaint.
Hope this helps, William
PS: There is a place for ripping up the ceiling. Some jobs requiring a large amount of access (8 feet perpendicular to the floorboards) and then ripping down the ceiling is the only way to go.

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I've done this with a circular saw, but a high-quality jigsaw like a DeWalt might do the trick as well. Some jigsaws will do a plunge cut so that you don't need to drill a hole first to get the blade started in the cut. And if you don't have these tools, you can rent them at Home Depot.
Either way, for a straight cut you need to set up a fence to guide the saw -- don't try to do it freehand, or you'll probably be unhappy with the results, unless you are experienced.
So draw a line where you want to cut, set up a fence to guide the saw during the cut, and then make your cuts.
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I think a lot of the replies came from guys not realizing that the OP is cutting through finished hardwood flooring. Anything thing he does is going to show.
Forget about the jig saw or sawzall. A circular saw witha very thin balde (PC SawBoss) will create the minimum damage. I usually don't say this but maybe using an expert hardwood floor guy is in order. He can remoive the boards with minimum damage & reinstall; he might even have access to some "old wood"
Going in through the ceiling might be a better option.
I own an 80 year old, hardwood & tile throughout. I would be very reluctant to saw throught the hardwood.
cheers Bob
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I'm making some assumptions here.This is blind-nailed tongue and groove. And that you are starting from the baseboard. The crosscut is the stickler here. If you can take it out to a joint would be much better.
Try to determine which edge of the board is the tongue side. This edge will have the nails if they are blind-nailed.
Using a circular saw, make a 45 degree cut lengthwise a half inch in from this edge. (As you plunge the blade in, the saw must move sideways some.) To be sure you understand the direction of the angle; the bottom of the board will narrower than the top after your cut. This cut should clear the nails and leave the tongue in place to hold the groove of the adjacent board. Cut almost up to a joint. Then use a handsaw or saber saw to cut flush to the joint and to the end at the wall. The board should now be free to pivot up and out; disengaging the groove from the adjacent tongue.
This is not a perfect solution. You have removed some wood. The board will have some clearance in the saw kerf now. If you fully engage the tongue and groove again, you must fill the gap in the kerf after face nailing the board in place.
You can fit it tight on the kerf side but I've found it looks a little out of place to fill the "normal" joint. The advantage of this arrangement is you can glue the saw kerf and use no nails.
Another method I've tried without much success is to use a utility knife to cut the tongue off the adjacent board. This might work better if the boards had shrunk or they weren't tightly fitted to begin with.
Why do you need to remove this board?
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I'm pretty much in agreement, Andy, although if he can get to an area where he can remove baseboard that is relatively close to where he needs to go, it is <sometimes> possible to start there and pry up enough to be able to "pop" two boards at the joint and then work one's way along to where one needs to go...depending on the baseboard you can sometimes also sacrifice another half inch or so to get some more "wriggle room" for this maneuver...
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