Advice needed..SPF Flooring. Is it doable?

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I'm very interested in doing a SPF floor. I would like to use 1x4 stained in varying translucent greens. The cost of unfinished hardwoods for this is huge.
I realize the wood is very soft but for my purpose dents and marks add to the appeal. As long as the floor can be kept clean. But I'm not sure about the best way to finish it so the clear finish 'bends' and doesn't crack.
Also because of 'shrinkage' what would be the best way to put this down. T&G would be tough for me to do. Running splines is pretty easy though but will they work. Can I use glue? If I do get cracks what product could be stained green and used to fill them?
I've never put down a wood floor of any type so this could be a real adventure. It not a huge space so if it screws up covering it with carpet would be no big deal.
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One word - splinters.

the
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I need to read the words that tell me how to resolve that. I was raised in a very old dilapidated house with painted pine floors. Most of the paint was gone and I don't recall getting splinters.:)

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BAH If planed, stained, and varnished, splinters are not a problem. Yellow pine is very hard, but some of the others can be dented by hard pointy objects. I have a very soft one in my BR. Six yr with no problem. You really should get T&G, lay it tight with nails, and finish with water based urethane. T&G helps maintain the elevations of the edges, whicg minimizes the tendency to splinter. With the WB, you get several coats/day and very little smell. You can T&G on a shaper or large router, but it's time consuming and any warpage is really hard to deal with. Be sure to get T&G bits that relieve the lower edge of the grooved board. This makes sure the top edges pull up tight. The big orbital sander from HD rental makes a great finish when the mesh media is used. Wilson

to
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S*F. Spruce and fir.
Both feature hard latewood and very soft earlywood. Every annual ring is a splinter in the making. There is no answer except not to wear the floor.
Eastern white pine is another matter.

to
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wrote:

I've got an old (c.1920) home with Douglas Fir floors. They appear quartersawn and rarely give up splinters. I can only remember one or two in the nearly 10 years I've lived here. (One of these days I've got to tackle a refinish job on the floor, but that'll have to wait for all the *-&%ing! white paint to be stripped off the fir baseboards, door trim & headers, built-ins and crown moulding. Fortunately the folks who painted didn't do a great job of sanding the original varnish so it's not worse than it could be.)
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Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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Quartersawn, and not a fir. Sounds like a good rebuttal.

is a

floor.
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I select all my best 1 inch SPF to have at least the appearance of quarter sawn boards. This type of board IIIIIIIIII at least in the 1x4 size is not that uncommon here.:) Will this help reduce splinters?

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wrote:

Douglas Fir is not a fir?
As to the cut of the wood, the OP didn't state how his floor would be sliced - so quartersawing it might alleviate any splintering that flatsawn could be prone to.
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</lurk>
It is not (botanically) a true fir. The cones of fir trees (Abies) are upright; Doug Fir (False hemlock or Pseudotuga menziesii) cones hang below the branches.
<lurk>
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My assumption, and obviously it's as advertised, is that his use of the SPF abbreviation meant he was going to try and make a floor out of "whitewood" strips. For those who haven't looked, that's the stamp on the common two-by-four. Lumber pulled from such a grab bag would most definitely _not_ be quartersawn - or clear - as was your (notice the "Hemlock" reference) Douglas Fir, nor is it known for being available from old growth. Rather the opposite, it is normally taken from plantation thinnings. Ever notice how you can have heart and wane on the same two by? Up north they even make it out of Jack pine, which comes as close as any tree I've seen to being a waste of the ground it grows on.
For those who doubt its suitability as flooring, take a second look at those SPF treasures on the pile at your local yard.
SYP - Southern Yellow Pine is still used as flooring, but its density is more uniform, as is P strobus, though the latter is much softer and lighter.
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Douglas Fir is like no other fir. It is sold, marked & priced differently from SPF. The fir in SPF (spruce/pine/fir) is from softer & weaker species that are similar in strength and other charactersics to the spruce & pine that also are included in the "SPF" description.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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I put 1x12 pine flooring in our colonial homes (per the GC's spec) and ship lap the boards. A ship lap is basically two rabbets, which overlap each other. The 1x12's are run through a shaper and then the edges are eased slightly with a pass or two with a block plane along the edges. the boards are then face nailed with these 2 1/2" cut nails: http://store.tremontnail.com/cgi-bin/tremontnail/items?mv_arg & If you are careful about selecting your boards, (or have a jointer) any gaps between the boards can be minimised, or just left alone if you like the "aged" look. Easing the edges with a plane will give a shadow line which can also help hide small gaps If you're looking to blind nail and want tight fitting boards, T&G is the way to go. So far, the 3 coats of water based poly (again spec'd by GC, I personally prefer oil based) has held up with out customer complaints. Hope this helps--dave

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No jointer, but I get good results with my router . Small gaps are just fine and a shadow line would be great. I'm concerned about minimizing shrinkage. My drying method is to store lumber high up under my 10 foot ceiling in a 65 degree shop for a couple months. How long is long enough for construction grade. The lumber comes KD and this is a dry area. I really don't want to invest in a moisture meter.

Thank, it does. Can you color water based poly. I would like a yellow tint.
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I would suggest storing it in an environment very similiar to the environment the boards will be installed into. If possible, i put the flooring in the house in which it will be installed and leave it alone for two weeks or so for acclimation. So far, no major problems, even with T&G oak, etc. As far as coloring the poly, I've never done this, but you certainly can experiment and report back to the roup! --dave
wrote:

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Gino wrote:

Does Minwax make a yellow tint? They make several colors.
Josie
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Gino wrote:

Southern Pine Fir
Spalted Peach Featherboard
Spruce Paper Ficus
I can't figure out what SPF stands for. Some kind of softwood by the rest of the post.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Silvan wrote:

Spruce/pine/fir
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Gino wrote:

I realize that this isn't the direction in which you were proceeding; but would like to mention that one of the most interesting floors I've seen was done with 2x4 pieces set over concrete with only the end grain showing.
The pieces weren't glued or nailed but were kept well waxed; and although it looked new, I was told that the floor had been in use for over twenty years.
--
Morris Dovey
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Where did you see this floor?
It sounds a lot like the Ponderosa Pine floor in the Flagstaff, AZ City Hall/Municipal building - installed around 1982. When I lived in Flag, the local paper ran an article on the construction and upkeep of the floor. As I recall, the blocks were secured and then a slurry of sawdust and linseed oil was applied, much like grouting a tile surface. Seems there was also some mention of concern with the unevenness of the surface and ladies high-heeled shoes - there was certainly a shallow dimpled texture when you look at the reflection of the entryway off the floor.
--
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