Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: oak flooring as source of "hobby" wood?

  1. #1

    oak flooring as source of "hobby" wood?

    A local guy has a box of unused oak tongue & groove boards for flooring at a super cheap price-per-board-foot for oak (about $8 for 20 sq feet of 3/4 inch). I'm not at all interested in it for flooring, but only as an inexpensive source of hardwood for small projects using hand tools. The "finished side", the "micro-bevel," and the "tongue and groove" are irrelevant to me and would likely just get cut away. I'm a bit familiar with oak's general characteristics for planing, chiseling, sawing, etc, but is there something I maybe need to understand about oak that is specifically employed in flooring? Maybe I should snag this deal? maybe I should spend the $8 on a pint instead? I'm eager to be educated! Thanks.

  2. #2
    First of all, it's probably red oak so that would have me turn it down. Then by the time you mill off the micro-bevel, finish, and the grooves on the back, you've got boards that are less than 1/2" thick, short & narrow. And if you don't have carbide cutters, the factory finish will destroy your knives in short order. So you'd be paying close to a buck a BF for some very marginally useful, less than desirable wood. And then you'll really need to spend the $8 on a pint.

    I've been down this road with trying to use up some leftover unfinished white oak flooring & it just was not worth the all the trouble. Sorry to be such a downer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,181
    I have a bunch of unfinished Bubinga flooring left over from our kitchen. I keep telling myself I'm going to do something with it, but after 10 years about all I've done is make shop jigs and fixtures with it.
    I also have some left over pre-finished Brazilian Ebony flooring that is hard as rock, without the finish. I haven't done anything with that either.

    I'm not saying you can;t use it, just that you'll be doing a lot of extra work to make it usable.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    Posts
    385
    I have used it to make an outdoor swing... various jigs... small boxes.... planter boxes... etc...

  5. #5
    Thanks, guys. I think I'll buy that pint! I'm not broke, after all, just cheap....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southeast MI.
    Posts
    179
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarke Davis View Post
    I think I'll buy that pint!
    Probably a good choice.

    I've used wood like that & pallet wood for projects before, But as others have pointed out it takes a lot more work to get usable pieces.

    I've had good luck looking through the free section of C/L !
    Found some nice old longleaf pine that was listed as free firewood.

    Doug
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Elmodel, Ga.
    Posts
    325
    I used a good bit of red oak flooring to build furniture for my family. Once I cut off the tongue and groove, planed off the bottom, I was left with stock that was just shy of 5/8". It worked for me and the furniture looks great. It's not "fine furniture" by no means, but it is nice and my family likes it.
    Personally, if it's a great deal, I wouldn't pass it up. Makes a great "utility wood" in my shop also.
    SWE

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,051
    I have a small stock of oak flooring like that which a general contractor friend gave me awhile ago. I've used it for general utility after milling it to remove the grooved backsides...leaving nominal .5" material to play with. I'm not a fan of flat sawn oak grain in general, so I don't do much with it for things like furniture, but it's been good for small projects.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,485
    I was doing some shop cleanup this weekend. Had a pile of oak flooring that have had for some time (years) - it was free. At the time I thought for sure I would use it, but as others have noted it never was worth the hassle when the time came to build something.

    Decided I wanted the space instead, and cut it up to use as fire starting material in the woodstove...

    So I am in the camp of buying that pint...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,181
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    I was doing some shop cleanup this weekend. Had a pile of oak flooring that have had for some time (years) - it was free. At the time I thought for sure I would use it, but as others have noted it never was worth the hassle when the time came to build something.

    Decided I wanted the space instead, and cut it up to use as fire starting material in the woodstove...

    So I am in the camp of buying that pint...
    I have been doing the exact same thing this week. Getting rid of all the shorts and offcuts I've saved through the years. I haven't burned the leftover flooring just yet.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  11. #11
    It makes good zero clearance inserts.

  12. #12
    Thanks for all the advice. An $8 pint is going to be a pretty good pint. I'm sure I'll enjoy it!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Carrollton, Georgia
    Posts
    1,701
    Thin material shouldn't be that much of a drawback. Oak glues well leaving full 1" or 1-1/4" or thicker after gluing up. It could make nice table legs or aprons or for fixtures or jigs. Plus, it's dry and should be pretty defect free. I would think it would make fine "hobby" wood if you don't mind the little bit of extra effort to get it clean and usable.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
    Posts
    2,852
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarke Davis View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. An $8 pint is going to be a pretty good pint. I'm sure I'll enjoy it!
    8 bucks? I'd get both. On the way back, stop for that pint. I can think of several uses for any kind of hardwood of that dimension. Yeah, will take some work, but personally I wouldn't let 8 bucks of that much wood go by. I think I have 8 bucks in change in my truck's ashtray.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •