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Old 09-07-2019, 10:27 PM
223shootersc 223shootersc is online now
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:16 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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Today I kept pushing on getting the stairs closer to completion. The plan is to use those weathered scrap pieces of oak planks from a flat bed trailer. Just need to be cut to fit and cleaned up a little bit. No rhyme or reason there. Hopefully this wood will work as I have pictured in my head for the treads.



Three planks are split, which doesnt affect anything for the intended repurpose. More character with a rustic touch. I cleaned up the split with a sander then used epoxy and glued back together.

These planks look much worse than really are. They are very solid and just need a good cleaning using a pressure wash or bleach to get the wood grain back visible. Right now they look like rejects from Barnwood Builders.



Then clamped the two pieces together and let the epoxy do its magic.

Over the years I have used epoxy for many things with good results. My preference is the slowest curing time. This gives a decent amount of working time allowing the epoxy to soak into the surface and make sure everything is well covered before it starts to set up.

I also realized you need to stir the two part epoxy every bit of two minutes, if using a 30 minute or longer cure time to make sure it is well mixed. This is especially true when working with polyester resins. Unfortunately doesnt always leave for much working time.



The first thing to do on these other planks is cutting a clean edge. Here is a near zero cut just to remove the scabby edge back to a clean grain. The back side is cut at same angle as the stringers are set.



Here are eight of the treads cut to the correct width. Next will set up the compound miter saw and cut to the right length. Then sand off most of the old black grey patina to a mix of it and clean wood.

After cutting these treads, gave plenty of time for the epoxy on that split plank to cure. Unfortunately it broke apart soon as I removed clamps. There was almost no contact area between the two pieces.



This time I used a sawsall and very narrow blade to cut between the two pieces while clamped together. This removed all of the high spots leaving much more contact area. You see I also added a little bit more clamping force to make sure there is plenty of surface contact for the epoxy to adhere to.

This is the last piece needed to use as treads on stringers that were welded in place yesterday. Then build the landing and first step which will finish off the stairs.

One of these planks had an especially hard spot that was almost impossible to cut thru. I tried 7 different carbide saw blades before finally getting the angled cut on back side made. It took incremental passes of less than 1/2 inch before finally making the cut all the way. I did find another quick way to start fires tho.....

All of these treads will get sanded over and remove most of the dead surface. I dont want them to look like new oak planks. But right now they look a little too ugly. Maybe by the next post here, these will be cleaned up and have a coat of clear urethane slopped over. Not to look fresh, just slightly distressed and rustic.

UPDATE
Had a few minutes to kill and curiosity got the best of me. Sanded down one of the planks to see what would look like. Wiped on some Tung oil, that soaked in really fast since this old wood is so dry. I might sand some more off to get it a little lighter shade of dead wood, dunno yet.



You can see the difference with the sanded plank and the ones underneath.

Regardless if I leave it like this or take some more age off, will be satisfied either way. Over time when a wear pattern develops, will lighten up a bunch.
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Last edited by fordtrucksforever; 09-09-2019 at 10:57 PM..
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:25 AM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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I went ahead and sanded down all of the planks. First used a 7 inch air grinder with 30 grit flexible disc. Then followed up with a dual action orbital sander with 80 grit paper. Did not want to remove the rough saw cut marks or all of the patina. Just enough to go thru the thin decayed layer and down to solid wood.




This is the first coat of satin clear urethane. The wood soaked it up fast. You can see some dry looking areas where it soaked in deep. I am pleased with the results. Especially the contrast with the fresh clean cut wood grain on front of tread.

Some of the planks were left sunny side up. The grain is more open and weathered, but still has a great rustic look I was hoping for.



Here you see those wood planks with a scrap piece of tile on top. I have enough of these tiles to do one level of flooring. They measure 9 x 48". Not too far off from the real deal.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:02 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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Work is coming along slow and steady. Just long as there isnt a bunch of problems causing me to stop or go backwards, everything is good.

Last week I had some trouble with using the mig welder. Seems the gas solenoid was not working. Got back to shop and everything was fine. Didnt think too much of it. Yesterday I tried again using the mig welder to finish up on the stairs. I had already tacked everything together using an arc welder last week.

Yet again the solenoid was not working right. I kept trying to get the valve to purge gas and sometimes it would work. Loosened up the line from regulator and let it leak out a little. This helped a lot better, but not right. I was at least welding again. About half way thru, noticed the regulator was frozen up solid. Now I know whats wrong.

A few weeks ago I swapped out an empty CO2 bottle with this full one from the welding supply store. It is the largest you can get and weighs over 165 pounds when full. The tank holds 50 pounds of liquid CO2. You know that evil greenhouse gas that is causing the next ice age, err global warming, uh climate change... Anyway its a real pain to move around. Anyway I realize now this replacement bottle had a siphon tube going all the way down to the bottom inside tank.

This allows liquid CO2 to come out instead of gas. Then would freeze up everything it passed thru. Well at least I managed to get the welding done so it wasnt a wasted trip out here not getting any farther on the stairs.



It took long enough finally committing to build stairs. The oak planks worked out great for treads here.



These treads are sitting in place now waiting on bolts to secure them down. Maybe should buy the hardware to make that happen, I guess.



From the upper floor looking down. I am really pumped about getting this going. The landing and first step still have to be done at bottom. Plans for that happening are for the next trip out. But first I have to fabricate some type of framework. And see what is in the scrap pile that might work.



Moving on to some other work needing to be done. The plywood subflooring is anything but flat in a few places. Several pieces are slightly thicker on the ends. Guess sometime in their previous life, must have been sitting in water. The only way I could figure to remedy the difference in thickness, is just sand the highs down.



Really very little time to do it. This big old commercial grinder was fitted with a 7 inch 30 grit flexible disk. Didnt take any effort to shave down the high edges to blend flat with surrounding plywood. Well it did take some effort to hold on to this big grinder. It is definitely a handful when running.



Only a few minutes and all flat now. In the near future when far enough along with other things, I can lay down that scrap tile which was rescued from some of the remodels I worked at.

One other thing I wanted to do is hang a ceiling fan upstairs to get some air circulating up there.



This fan worked out great. Especially for the price. No complaints from me. It was salvaged from that house a friend of mine is currently remodeling before moving in. I am very well pleased with this. There is a ton of cosmetic work that will take a long time to get completely finished in this cabin, but it will happen. But installing things like this fan help me see what the end results could look like. Not too much longer it will be time to focus on the electrical requirements like will be needed here very soon.

Anyway that is whats happening with the cabin build right now. The next trip out, I should have most of the stairs completely finished except for cosmetics, when I make the next post.

Cost out of pocket for the last two work outings is about $45. That breaks down as $30 for 250 3/8 x 2 1/2" carriage bolts, and the remainder for a quart of polyurethane and a nice new paint brush. No I dont need 250 of those bolts. But it was either about $0.030 an piece for 60 that are needed, or $0.12 a piece in bulk.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:24 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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Over this weekend I have been trying to figure how the first step and landing will work utilizing scrap materials in my surplus pile.



Last week I got the stringers welded in place. You will notice on the lower right, where the date is seen in red, the stringers stop and drop straight down to floor. There is a 24 inch rise before the first tread is bolted on. I have to build a landing in that empty space then a 1/4 turn for the first step to be set.



With a vague idea finally materializing in my head, I started cutting up some scrap piecess of 3x6" box tubing with plasma cutter.



Cut a section lengthwise from both sides.



All that effort for just these pieces of channel. Wah hoo!



But still had to cut some more pieces.



Drill holes in other pieces....



And had to drill more holes in a couple of these pieces...



Clamp them together and then a little bit of welding....

So now I have fabricated a framework from several pieces to build the landing. There was plenty of different ways to do this. And I chose this way. My next trip out you will see how everything goes together and what the results are. I hope it all fits. In my head I see the end result. But sort of difficult to post that here just yet.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:15 AM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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I was scheduled to work tonite, but everything got cancelled. So the store remodel is officially finished and will have a grand reopening in a couple of days. Yee haa! Just hope to be 100 miles away in the other direction.



Spent today furthering the component build of parts needed to finish this set of stairs. One more closeup of an angle piece welded to one of those channels. (You know it didnt really happen unless there are pics, right?) I hope it works. Can you picture what the stairs will look like and where this part gets welded?



Finished cleaning up last of the needed treads. These wont be cut to size and finished out until the framework for landing is welded in place and some more measurements can be made. Then make them look like something else besides well seasoned fire wood.



I ran out of planks wide enough for the first tread. The others that have been cut are slightly narrower and shorter, just for the landing. So this is another broken plank that was epoxied back together today. I took more time preparing the two pieces making sure they would stay together the first time glued. I could have used a few more clamps, but didnt have any other ones big enough.



Dunno to toss the scrap in a dumpster or burn it in the rocket stove I havent built yet. Hate to just waste for the sake of a clean working space. Hmmm, maybe not a good idea to have all of this really dry powdered saw dust piled up under the welding table. Whats the worst that could happen?



Here is the same plank as pictured above that was epoxied back together earlier this afternoon. I am very pleased with how it looks after getting sanded and a coat of urethane. This is the first step seen and is visible soon as you walk into the room. You might be able to see where the split was. I mixed dead dust from sanding the old scale off planks with epoxy to make a filler.

Hopefully I get out for another work day tomorrow, but not likely. If not then wont be until next week. Will follow up when it happens. Then you get to see how the stairs look after everything is finished.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:42 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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One more post on what I have gotten done here. A few modifications and slight change on what I still had not fabricated yet. But this should be everything needed to finish the stairs, then bolt down those nice rustic treads.



These are all of the steel pieces made from that scrap tubing and pallet rack parts to finish the stairs. Doesnt look very impressive or useful. Kinda looks just like a pile of junk really.

Sure hope I havent forgotten anything. Some of these parts will be cut to size before welding in. I only have measurements of overall length and width for size of the landing to work with. So not enough specifics for a made to an exact fit on these pieces here at the shop.

Anybody wanna to guess what the green piece of sheet metal is going to be used for?
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:15 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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Finally had some progress. That pile of scrap metal pieces did the trick.



First thing was to get this piece set in place and make sure of level and square.



From there everything else gets measured and cut to fit. It is starting to look like something now.



It is now welded in and very solid.



The other day I cleaned up these pieces of oak. Cut all the same width and finished the edges. Left the length until I knew what size was needed to fit. These last treads are still raw. They will get two coats of polyurethane in the coming days.



Now the stairs can actually be used. Much easier than climbing a ladder every time.



This worked out very good. Unfortunately the bolts I ordered did not show up on Thursday as promised, so the treads just sit and wait. Not to be stepped on for now. Or at least very carefully.



Next thing was finish the upper floor at top of stairs. Its about 30" x 36". That green steel panel in last post was used here.



From the top the last thing that got done before calling it a day.



The next thing is to close this all in. There is a good amount of storage space under the landing to take advantage of. This might be a good place for some discreet slide away drawer to hold the unmentionables. If Beta Bob ever gets elected to anything, well its smart to have some things out of sight.

These stairs worked out great. I ran out of those scrap oak planks. Used the last of those 3 x 6 box tubing pieces that got plasma cut every which way to make this landing.

So the cost for building these stairs was zilch nada nothing out of pocket. Granted a lot of time went in to figuring out how and with what to make it happen. But thats half the fun. And something you cant put a price on.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:25 AM
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exceptional work on the steps,the epoxy does give nice results..I'll bet that 30grit was a bit aggressive to work with..50grit is as coarse as I go
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:46 AM
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I'm really enjoying watching your efforts. Great job!
I dont envy you when it comes time for finishing work like painting. Between the varied materials and lots of little nooks and crannies, it's gonna be work! God luck, and keep on keepin' on!
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:42 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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Today I finally went back to the welding supply store and exchanged that CO2 bottle for one without an internal hose to spit out liquid. So thats one problem solved.

Next thing I need is some input from you. My green thumb in interior decor does not exist. But with some outside suggestions, I might be able to fake an attempt of choosing some decent color array here.



This is what the treads for stairs will look like. They will dull over slightly, but the natural oak wood is what I am working with. The wood floor will be very close to matching these planks for treads.



The framework here for stairs will need to be painted. I just dont know what might work. Either do basic white to brighten up the surrounding or a darker color to blend more with wood finish.

I am more into something comfortable that doesnt follow whatever the current trends are. The keep it simple stupid works for me. Things dont go out of style if there were never in style.

The back wall will be sheetrocked, textured and painted some shade of off white in semi-gloss. Mainly for the ease of cleaning.(other ideas here???)

Maybe with a brighter white for the framework here to possibly match interior trim. That keeps it simple. There is other trim that will stay natural oak color, just dont know how much and exactly where.

Anyway any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Sometimes just a second opinion can broaden my narrow minded ideas.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:11 PM
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I'd go gloss black enamel on the stairs. Should help accentuate the wood and not clash (or disappear in the background of the sheetrock.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:09 PM
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Not much to follow up on this trip out to work. Just finishing some of those things I have been posting about.

I tried to leave yesterday fairly early, but had people stopping by throughout the day, and didnt get going until after 5 pm. Sometimes I should not answer the phone or open the door. Oh well...

So started working after dark. Pulled the small dinosaur belt driven Honda generator out of the container and it fired up on first pull as usual. Needed to get lights on and the a/c going. It was a little hotter than usual, along with high humidity and already muggy outside.

The 3/8 x 2 1/2" carriage bolts that were ordered two weeks ago finally showed up on Wednesday. Time to put them to use. All of the holes were drilled out in treads and then bolted them down. The landing needed a small tweak, then was right.

I believe there were 136 holes that got drilled out. Half in steel, others in wood. Old very hard 2 inch thick oak. Used the small Ryobi impact driver with a 5/16 bit, then followed up with a 13/32 in the drill. That impact driver was way hot, after all of the use. Not smoking stinky hot like it was going to die, buy too hot to handle from non stop abuse.



Not much to see other than getting this all posted. The screws look really crooked in the pic, dunno why.



Treads pulled down nicely. The bows and warped pieces sitting flat now. With the stairs mostly done, I can take everything apart again, so the framework can be painted. Need to put the finish on those other treads too. Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend, not...



With the stairs done I got to put up more sheetrock. Now three of the four walls are covered. Almost enough to start tape and bedding. Then maybe decide how much of a texture I want. Or just an excuse to cover over imperfections.



One thing I am stoked about is getting some real lights up. These are just temporarily hung for now. I wired them in, but not how they will be when finished. Just wanted to get away from tripping over too many extension cords. Not to mention accidentally cutting any of them.

These lights are led and each panel is 18 x 24 inches. Barely 1/2" thick. The produce natural outside type lighting. Brighter than standard incandescent, but not real bright like in some offices. I have 8 of these and installed six so far to get an idea of where to mount and if need to buy more.

Some bright lights are blinding if you look at directly, but these dont have that affect. The color is not real white and not yellow like older bulbs. I think that 8 may be enough, or no more than ten. I want plenty of light, just not so bright that it causes me to squint the eyes. So far so good.

I also added a temporary 4 ft led florescent looking shop llight in kitchen area. I needed some decent light in there since thats where all of the tools are kept for the time being. It puts out 5000 lumens and is very bright white. For now it works just fine.

Dont know yet what will be in the kitchen as permanent lights, but thats still a ways down the road. Sorry nothing really jaw dropping or exciting this post. Sometimes you gotta keep working on the same thing until completed. Takes time and patience.
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:42 PM
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I'm guessing that you need the stairs because it's underground. I've seen a few underground shelters and they are all very wet. Think of that possibility when you do the interior work.

If you are doing this above ground I hope it's summer there so you can tell how hot you'll be if you lose power.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tblount View Post
I'm guessing that you need the stairs because it's underground. I've seen a few underground shelters and they are all very wet. Think of that possibility when you do the interior work.

If you are doing this above ground I hope it's summer there so you can tell how hot you'll be if you lose power.
It's all above ground. It will probably get hot without power. But that's why windows exist. People survived the last 98% of their years on earth without climate control.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:47 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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This last summer it was very hot outside. Al Gore explained to me the reason for this...Anyway the ground temp covered with dead foliage in direct sunlight was 154 degrees. To me that is HOT! Surrounding area of just white sand was much cooler at 136 degrees. OK that is still hot. Underneath the cabin with ground in constant shade the temp was 86 degrees.

During a normal afternoon outside in the open, ambient temp was 103. Even tho the cabin had been closed up for a week, inside temp was 91 degrees. The air was very still, but not humid as compared to outside. With some circulation the temp dropped to 88 degrees.

After installing a small temporary A/C, it took about 30 minutes to drop temp down to the low 70's. This little window unit can run off the solar panels I already have and will install in the near future when far enough along to make good use of them.

The main reason for solar panels is to power all of the led lighting and to run a 12 volt pressure pump using a rain water setup I have going in.

There is still one section of container, the big swing doors, that have not been closed in and insulated yet. With these doors open to access rest of cabin, only three of the exterior walls that are insulated have any benefit.

With three inch thick preformed poly iso foam 4x8 ft insulation panels on the outside of exterior walls, roof and floor, heating and cooling will not be a major problem. Lat winter when well below freezing, aka, really cold, it took a small kerosene heater to run for about an hour, to keep it tolerable for the night. But not all of the exterior walls had been finished out yet either.

My thoughts when digging the septic system, is to add some piping under the drainage field. It is in a well shaded area. I am hoping that a large manifold made up of smaller pvc pipe, may work decent to circulate air thru to cool down a little bit.

Being under the drainage field, with the water sifting thru and some being evaporated may drop the underground temps enough to make this effort worthwhile. I have to go very deep to get any real advantage in temperature drop for recirculating air. So maybe this idea might be worth the effort. Tell me what you think...

I am aware it wont do much for the humidity, but helping to drop air temps with minimum use of A/C can yield substantial savings in electricity when relying on the grid for power.

If I can get a decent temperature drop if this idea works, then maybe run water thru it with small tubing and circulate in a heat exchange, like evap coil for A/C. Even tho it might not drop the temp that much can still remove some moisture from the air.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:56 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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Wow that sux. I ran out of batteries for my cheap little old Sony camera the last time out. So had to shut down all construction. Since without pics it didnt really happen That is a lot of work which would have to be redone...

Ok back to reality. I did get the stairs finished enough to start working up there now. My plans are to start laying down the flooring. But what my choice is may or not work out. Dont know since the wood planks are currently in use somewhere else.

Somewhere out there is this old corrugated steel building that is about 10,000 square feet in size. It is full of stuff that will soon need to be cleared out and disposed of. Either sold, scrapped, donated or require a hazmat team to remove in a hot situation. Dunno just yet.

Inside there is this old mezzanine that will have to be removed, since it doesnt make the local fire department happy. Built of 5 inch round pipe, steel bar joists, and lots of more than one time re-repurposed lumber from an old house, two or ten.



It is over 12 ft to the top and is completely full of old equipment that I have no idea of what a lot of it actually is.

The flooring on top of the bar joists is very old hard yellow pine tongue and groove. That is what my focus is here.



This sure isnt very pretty to look at or may not be worth the effort to remove and use. But I trust my instinct for this stuff. It hasnt let me down so far. This wood is old and been reused several-many times. Now it will be removed from here and reused once again.

The wood is split and the tongue and groove have been broken off on a lot of the pieces. But I still think should work out.



This wood is not that hard to remove, since only a few nails were used to hold down in place. But still is time consuming and labor intensive.

After getting wood to come up and remove enough of them, I was hoping if flipping them over there would be good unbroken edges and usable for most of the planks.



Here are the first few pieces flipped over laying on top of the other still nailed white planks. Me thinks it will work good or even better that I had expected. Maybe a light sanding and a whole bunch of satin polyurethane. Might even spray a few dozen coats. Or just brush on real heavy. Time will tell.

There is a bunch of old commercial and industrial equipment that I dont have a clue what is/was used for.



Curiosity got the best of me so opened one old crate and found this. It is very heavy. Maybe someone might know what this is? Could be a good prop for some Flash Gordon or Frankenstein movie?? Or for a remake of Science Fiction Theater?
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:41 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is online now
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I know there are a lot of people following this thread. I really do appreciate it too. It is your interest that keeps me posting the updates and progress I have made regularly. Please if you have any questions or especially suggestions about something I am doing, dont hesitate to offer your input. I am limited to what is stuck in my brain mass. A very narrow range of what I think of doing, based only from my own experience. Even tho YOU might think your idea is inconsequential, may just help me realize something I have not thought of before. It not only helps me out, but everyone else that is reading this thread. So please dont be afraid to post your thoughts.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:06 PM
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That old T&G is a good score. Old growth materials are in high demand for a reason, quality. Maybe run them through a planer/drum sander and see how they come out? Or lay them as a floor and surface sand it? If you have some that lost the tongue or groove you can remill them on a router table (though they will be narrower. You can buy spline in flooring stores to butt groove to groove if reversing direction is needed.
Iím sure many of us here enjoy your thread. Itís inspirational and kudos for keeping us updated regularly.
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