Floor advice required

I'm going to renovate an old pine floor ie sand & varnish the boards etc. but there are gaps between the boards. I don't want to lift and relay the boards so I plan to fill the gaps (various 3-5mm) I was thinking of wedge shaped pine strips glued in and levelled off but I've heard rumours of cord or rope being inserted into gaps. Has anyone had experience of either of these techniques or any other suggestions? I know this isn't exactly cutting edge woodwork but any info would be gratefully received
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JohnMBrebner wrote:

You may also want to post to alt.home.repair. Lots of flooring discussions over there.
-- Mark
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Be careful how well you fill the gaps. The boards will move with the seasons and if you fill the too tight when shrunk for the winter, they can buckle when the summer humidity comes. That is why rope is often used as a filler.
If you don't get a definitive answer here, contact someone at your local historical society and they can recommend someone that is knowledgeable about restoration. Ed
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Actually the "rope trick" is an age old and very affective method of filling the gaps. I dismantled a floor that was from all appearance built that way. I would definitely consult the home repair listserve. I'm thinking they will recommend using a natural fiber wound (not braided) rope made from probably Sisal. The floor itself was very unique and I would recommend at least testing it.
EJ
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On 14 Jan 2004 18:32:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JohnMBrebner) wrote:

I've got old pumpkin pine floors in my house (currently hidden by hideous wall to wall carpet - that was intended to get the kids through the crawling stage but has hung around for far to long beyond that).
The gaps in old pine floors are part of the charm, but for those who insist on gapless floor, some mechanics put the same material that plumbers use in a wiped lead joint down into the gaps (oakum). It comes in rolls. The trick is to set the stuff down into the gap with a caulking iron or a flooring chisel, leaving some space at the top, and then the floor sanding will fill the rest of the space with dust that should not be removed prior to coating. It's more or less the same technique that boat builders used to use in caulking seams.
Once I tear this carpet up, I'll be leaving the gaps. The kids are old enough to deal with them now.
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret) Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet Website: http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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Thanks for the suggestions everybody
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JohnMBrebner) wrote in

How is the current floor nailed down? T&G with hidden nails or perhaps just face nailed? It might make a difference.
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