Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Finishing a "Dirty Top" Heart Pine Floor
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:10 am 
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I'm in the process of building a new home myself. Getting close to having to purchase floors so that they have enough time to be milled and then acclimate in my home.

My wife and I have just about settled on a reclaimed heart pine, in a "dirty top", or whatever trade term you would want to call it. The surface will have circular saw marks, skip plane marks, or whatever other naturally occuring marks and patina from 200 years of existance in a factory or industrial environment.

My question is on how to finsih such a floor? I'm not a flooring guy by trade, but have a good bit of experience in installing and finishing solid hardwood. I built my previous home myself and did my own floors with 1600sqf of heart pine, but it was a smooth type, I drum and edge sanded the floor after instalation. How do you go about finsihing this type of flooring to leave the character on the face of the board?

I've tried to search the internet for advice on finshing original surface, or barnwood type floors, but have suprisingly found very little info.

My plan is, going off what my gut tells me to do, is after nailing down to very lightly sand with a square head orbital floor sander. I was thinking with a fine grit paper, like 150 or higher, or maybe just even a screen. Once the floors have been lightly sanded or screened, more or less to just knock down any big burs, splinters and to clean the surface some, I would clean them well, and wipe down with mineral spirits. I then planed on 3 coats of poly.

Does this sound par for the course for finsihing this type of flooring or am I way out in left field on this? Also, what would be the approach down the road on refinish? Being that I would not want to drum sand them to remove the poly, as it would remove the character from the surface? Would you just lightly scuff the existing poly and re-coat? I'm assuming I would not need to worry too much about removing the old poly and scratches, as it would just add more to the character?

Thanks for any advice or insight into this project.

Justin


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 Post subject: Re: Finishing a "Dirty Top" Heart Pine Floor
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:40 pm 
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If the old floor has some type of finish you don't have to sand it all off. However you could use a stripper and dissolve the finish then use steel wool to get most off, if you decide to apply a new, more uniform finish over the whole floor.
The reason for sanding would only be to take off over-wood, which may splinter on the edges of the strips, if all the strips aren't the same thickness.
I would plan to use a scraper to smooth the edges and then sand with 80 grit to prevent splinters. You will have to decide how you will finish it so it can be cleaned and look nice in between cleanings.
As usual there are lots of details to be worked out.


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 Post subject: Re: Finishing a "Dirty Top" Heart Pine Floor
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:18 pm 
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Pete,

Thanks for the reply. This is, or is being described to me as an unfinished floor. I will actually get to see the product this weekend. I'm sure I will have a better understanding of exactly what I'd be up against after seeing the product. It my understanding that this floor is not finished, or coated with anything. It will need to be sealed/finished in some fashion after installation. I'm also told that the milling will be persist, and ther will not be much over wood to deal with, just surface texture such as the saw and plane marks and old nail holes and such.


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 Post subject: Re: Finishing a "Dirty Top" Heart Pine Floor
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:43 pm 
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Depending on your use, especially in kitchens, dining rooms and entries, I recommend a hard film for ease of maintenance. There are matte finishes that will give the look of not having a film on the floor even though there is a coat of plastic protecting the wood surface.


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