Recommend table saw for hardwood floor installation

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Hi All,
Plan to install approx 800 sq.ft of unfinished hardwood strip flooring on the main level of our home. It seems a table saw and a circular saw are the tools I need to rip and cut the strips. Would you recommend an entry level table saw? I have no experience with woodworking tools. And I don't plan to do a do a lot of woodworking in the future either (except maybe build a simple book case or cut shelving for the garage).
Also, is it worthwhile spending upwards of $100 on a circular saw for cutting solid hardwood flooring? Please recommend and/or share your experience with different brands. I don't mind used tools either. Thanks in advance.
- Joydeep -
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I disagree. You need a miter saw. We had hardwood floor installed and our contractor used a miter saw throughout. You need to make relatively precise cuts, including angle cuts.
i
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joydeep snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Ambitious project. :-)

Incorrect. A circular saw is incapable of making the precise crosscuts necessary to produce the tightly fit end-to-end joints of a properly laid hardwood floor. You need a miter saw, or a radial arm saw, for that.

No.
Which means that you don't have the knowledge, the skills, the tools, or the experience to do a proper job of this yourself, and you should hire a professional to do it for you.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Boy am I glad I've ignored advice like that over the years. It's not bad advice, mind you. It's never bad advice to tell someone without a clue to hire a professional or go get a teacher. It just isn't much fun for the person seeking to instill himself with cluefulness.
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wrote:

stand by my recommendation that making and installing 800 sf of hardwood flooring is *not* a task that should be attempted as a *first* woodworking project.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Who ever said a thing about <making> the flooring??? All he was asking about was tool of choice for installing w/ question about the few strips that might have to be ripped to fit at the edges...
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Amen to that one!
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joydeep snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

An ambitious job.
Forget the circular saw. It will be worthless for the job. I suggest a chop saw (aka miter saw). For ripping the edges I would suggest renting a good table saw or radial arm saw (fitted out right the radial arm saw could do it all, but you will spend a lot of time changing it over from one job to the other.
Remember you are going to have a lot of end cuts and only a few rips to do.
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Joseph Meehan

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wrote:

and most of those ripped edges are going to be hidden by the baseboard so they dont need to be all that precise.
randy
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On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 12:58:20 -0700, "xrongor"

They actually make some miter saws that can convert to a small table saw for ripping. To me this would be an excellent candidate for your needs. If I were doing it full time though, I'd have a portable bandsaw for the rips and curves, and a really good portable chop saw station with sliding stops and all.
JP

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joydeep snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes, you should get yourself a brand new Delta Unisaw with the best fence fitted and many extension tables. When you are done with the job, send me the saw and I will see to it that it is disposed of properly.
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Hmm.... A Powermatic 66 will do the trick....
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I might suggest that you look into installing pergo or another brand of laminate flooring instead. It's a lot easier for do it yourself.
I'm not an expert on hardwood flooring, but I know enough from watching friends that it's a very difficult job.
On the other hand, laminate flooring is almost idiot proof. You could get by with only a circular saw for doing laminate. A mitre box would be ideal, but if you were careful, you could use a circular saw, as the cut ends only go against the wall and are covered with molding. Of course, the mitre box would be good to do that molding :).
But I cut a lot of my pergo with a circular saw, simply to avoid dulling the $80 blade on my mitre saw. Laminate flooring is very hard on saw blades.
If you are still hell bent on doing hardwood, start off by doing the smallest room. You might pay more for materials, but you'll get a hands-on feel for what you're getting yourself into.
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But, it's pure junk.

Installing it is rather straight forward even with no prior experience, assuming a reasonable aptitude for this kind of work. The OP is well advised to either used prefinished hardwood or to hire a contractor to finish the floor for him.

Agreed.
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Mike Marlow wrote: ...

The cuts unless doing something fancier than simple strip flooring are really the minor issue--they can be done w/ a hand miter box w/ a decent backsaw for those that show and a skill saw for those that don't.
The rest of the rig--power nailer, straightener, etc., are the key--he'll have to rent these and learn to use them effectively.
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I agree, the Pergo is garbage. Good thing it went down so easy and is not nailed, that will make it that much easier to replace this spring after only 3 years. I remember telling SWMBO "This is just cardboard with a sticker on top". Should I remind her of that?
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Not if you ever want to... well you know... again.
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I know some people hate laminate, but it's not junk if you buy the quality stuff. Very durable, withstands spills well. Installs easy. If you don't like the look, I can respect that, but it's a quality product that wears well and is very durable.
I've seen a couple amatuers attempt to install hardwood flooring, and it did not come out well. They particularly had trouble doing the last few courses near the wall. When you can't get the nailer between the studs (since the drywall is up), it's difficult.
I think you overestimating the typical amateur here. I've seen bungled up jobs. I don't know the original poster, but it seemed he had very little experience.
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| I know some people hate laminate, but it's not junk if you buy the | quality stuff. | Very durable, withstands spills well. Installs easy. | If you don't like the look, I can respect that, but it's a quality | product that wears well and is very durable. | | I've seen a couple amatuers attempt to install hardwood flooring, and | it did not come out well. They particularly had trouble doing the last | few courses near the wall. When you can't get the nailer between the | studs (since the drywall is up), | it's difficult. | | I think you overestimating the typical amateur here. I've seen bungled | up jobs. | I don't know the original poster, but it seemed he had very little | experience. | Be careful what you write. This amateur installed his own hardwood floors after kicking out the professionals who either ignored or did not know the rule about starting at the "feature" and ending up at the opposite wall.
In my case, the pros started at the opposite wall and got to within 6 inches of my archway before realizing that the wood strips would not fit in the strip. As well, the installed a 4 inch bullnose instead of a 6 inch with the result that the curved portion of the steps did not meet properly with the straight part. The only thing they did right was have the curved portion sublet to a stair manufacturing company.
By the time I was done fixing their stupidity, I had ripped out the bullnose and replaced it with proper 6 inch and cut and "Frenched in" a thin filler strip to finish their screw-up. If you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't see it
I now have over 2,000 square feet of excellent flooring and a serious compressor to show for my effort. Now I can even do my own spray painting (very limited ability here)
The pros did, however, pay to fix their error.
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PDQ
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I installed an oak floor with a circular saw. The primary difficulty is rips but there are not very many of them. Actually, there really isn't a whole heck of a lot of sawing to do overall.
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