Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Just The Plane Facts

NOTE:  This blog and photos may not be shared or reproduced without the express written consent of A Building We Shall Go!

Copyright 2013 A Building We Shall Go!
All rights reserved


Yesterday, we told you about preparing the sub-floor for the pallet wood we reclaimed.
Today, we will tell you how much time and effort it has taken to make
these undesirable things
look slick!
Finer than a frog hair split 4 ways!!!
(Flower Boy's words)

To tell you this was an easy task would be a fable.

After the pallets were torn apart and all the nails, staples, rocks and other metal were removed,
the planks were ran through the planer
Planing the wood makes all the planks the same thickness, as well as, restoring the wood to it's natural state.
This took several passes.
As you can see from the photo above, after going through the first pass, the wood is still quite weathered.
In this photo, you can see the plank going through the planer, looks better after more passes.
I got so good at 'catching' the wood, Drewman was sending them through 2 boards at a time.
Not all the planks were taken to their natural wood. 
Some have only a bit of the weathered removed.

Ailey loved playing in the wood shavings.
We gave the shavings to our neighbors to use as bedding for their sheep.

The pallet planks then had to be ran through a jointer.
The jointer squares up one edge so the plank can be cut down to size.

The next process was to run each plank across the table saw.
We have five widths of planks.
2", 3", 4" and 5"

Next, the plank ends were cut to make them square.

The finished product!

KUDOS has to be given to Drewman.
He collected every pallet.
He has taken every pallet apart, with our help.
He has done all the planing, jointing and cutting on every single board.
The things a boy does for his momma!
That is Just The Plane Facts!

Copyright 2013 A Building We Shall Go!
All rights reserved



41 comments:

  1. How long did just the prep to the planks take? And how many did you do during that time? Do you have any advice on where to get the pallets for free? LOL, sorry for all the questions. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prep time for the planks took the most time. Tearing the pallets apart was easy, once we figured it out. Removing the nails took the most time of all. We spent several weekends doing nothing but prepping pallet wood, and Drewman's entire spring break. Drewman also took pallet wood to wood shop at school and worked on it there.
      How many did we do? The number of planks, I couldn't count. We didn't count the number of pallets taken apart either. We do estimate over 100 pallets are down on our floor, but we took many, many, many more apart than were laid on our floor. Why? Some of the pallet wood was damaged, stained, broken or too thin.
      Where to get pallets? We gathered for months! Drewman actually had a pallet pickup route weekly. We collected pallets from anyone and everywhere. If we saw a pallet, we asked if we could have it. People would ask what we wanted them for. When we would tell them, they would look at us like we were crazy. We NEVER once thought our floor couldn't be created and that it wouldn't be the most beautiful floor EVER!
      Good luck,
      Rancher Girl

      Delete
  2. Anonymous11/13/2013

    What about tongue and groove? If not, how did you hold the edges down?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did not tongue and groove the planks. We top nailed every board, as explained in the blog post "Pioneering". http://abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com/2013/04/pioneering.html
      Although tongue and groove could be done, we chose to top nail because we wanted that "look" on our floor.
      It took the three of us to lay the floor. One nailed while the other two made sure the planks were tight to laid flooring.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous1/26/2014

    I am thinking about doing this same project in my house. I am a single ambitious woman and will be doing most of the work preparing the pallets alone. I don't have a planer, are the real expensive and are they hard to use? I am very determined and a hard worker but am not sure how big of a planer to get.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate you being a single ambitious woman, as I have been there myself, but this is not a project that can be done alone. It took the three of us to properly prepare the planks and lay the floor. Laying the floor could not be done by a single person. The planks must be pushed and held in place by one or two and nailed by another.
      The planer we used was borrowed from Drewman's shop class. Any planer will be a two person operation. One to feed the planks and the other to catch the planks.
      We are in no way discouraging you from doing a project like this, but we believe it can not be done by a single person. Even professionals provide more than one person when laying hardwood flooring.

      Delete
    2. [ahem] It can be done by a single person, but that single person must persevere. I happen to already have all the tools. For the planer, I put something even with the outtake side, removing the need for a "catcher." I use a stop block for the miter saw. Cutting the pallets apart? Easiest part for me, for some reason. Face nailing, like they have done for centuries, is far easier than putting down tongue-n-groove! It would be nice to have help, but sometimes you just gotta take a deep breath and DO it. Ask me how I hang my own kitchen cabinets...

      Delete
    3. Christine,
      YOU GO GIRL!!!
      BE PROUD!!!

      Delete
  4. I am a single middle aged female and am working on a similar project for a 12 x 12 ft kitchen. I am working mostly by myself so far. but have not gotten too far into the tearing apart of the pallets. I am having trouble manuvering the pallet to cut it with the saws all after I get the ends done. I have an awesome dad with a wood shop and planer so I might get away with getting this done with the help of one of my kids. Thanks for posting all the info!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it took two of us to maneuver the pallets to get the sawzall in between the boards to cut them apart. Not an easy task.

      Delete
  5. I use a skill saw and just cut the stringers off the pallets so i don't have to pull the nails. you lose a few iches off each board but you save yourself dozens of hours in work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,
      You may save yourself time with your process but will cost yourself much more in planer blades. The nails will gouge chunks out of those blades. We missed a few nails and had to replace blades. They are very costly!

      Delete
  6. Did you guys plane both sides?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we did plane both sides.

      Delete
  7. How did you minimize the risk of shrinkage once your floor was laid? Hubby (industrial arts education major) says it would need to be aged in a dry place a couple of years before you started the work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have had no shrinkage on the floor and we have lived in the new house almost a year. We did, however, use all old/aged pallets. We kept thee planks in the garage and house prior to laying them. This may have helped to keep them at a constant temperature.

      Delete
  8. I'm curious as to what height you planed your boards. I'm just starting this project (meaning I'm having all kinds of fun with the sawzall!) and I'm going to make my next step planing....just curious as to what height you chose.
    Thanks for blogging all of this!! It helped me make the decision to move forward with this project even knowing the amount of time it'll take.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We planed the planks at various thicknesses. The thickest being 5/8 and the sub floor is also 5/8.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous3/29/2014

    Excellent job!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aren't pallets treated with formaldehyde and methyl bromide? This makes them toxic for use in the home doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not all pallets are treated. Those that are have defined stamps/marks on them. None of the pallets used on our floor were treated. All the planks were tested and cleared prior to working the wood. There are many articles available to tell you how to test the wood and define those pallets that have been treated.

      Delete
  11. I was just wondering if you could lay the flooring down and sand it with a big push sander that hold while standing instead of running them through the planer? Would this get you the same effect? Also did you only run through the jointer and he table saw because you wanted to make your own width and not use the existing width of the boards?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We took each plank down to natural wood so they could be tested. If you place them on the floor then sand them, this can't be done.
      Pallet wood planks are not square nor are they the same width. The jointer and table saw allowed us to square the boards and make them uniform. If this isn't done, the boards will not fit tightly to each other. We have no gaps or cracks in our floor.

      Delete
  12. Thank you. Also could you tell me roughly the square footage you were flooring?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have the exact measurement, but our floor is between 500 to 600 sq feet.

      Delete
    2. Can wood planks be used that have small cracks of slight splintering on the ends?

      Delete
    3. Garrett,
      We did not use any planks that had cracks or splintering. We cut all splintered ends off and made sure each plank was square.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  13. Awesome floors!! I was wondering, do you know what kind of wood the pallets are made of. Are they hard wood or soft?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caraway,
      Thanks! We do LOVE our floor!
      The majority of the planks in our floor are hardwoods.
      We collected pallets for months! Even after preparing the planks, when we got ready to lay the floor, many of the planks couldn't be used because they were warped, twisted or bowed. They simply would not lay flat on the floor.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. Did you guys tongue and groove the slats or just nail them butt together?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mwbaldwin05,
      We did not tongue and groove our floor. We love the look of the top nail and butt joints.
      It did take three of us laying the floor to make sure there were no cracks or separations between the joints.
      We do LOVE our floor!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  15. I've seen this project on several different sites and one issue that I haven't seen addressed is what was done about the original nail holes. Did you use wood filler? I can't imagine you just left the holes in the boards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,
      Yes we left the original nail holes. We love the look of them, as well as the knot holes and imperfections of the wood. The epoxy finish helped to fill the holes. We did not use wood filler.
      Our floor is perfect for our ranch lifestyle. WE LOVE IT!!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  16. Thanks for sharing your step by step process! You have given us much to consider, as we are prepping our pallet wood to use on our ceiling!
    Thanks Again:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Cindy!
      We do love our floor!
      Good luck with your ceiling!

      Delete
    2. Beautiful floor. I'm doing the same in my lake house. Can't wait to see how it turns out

      Delete
  17. Can you share the brand and size of planer and joiner you used. There are so many sizes and brands on the market. We figure if the brand and size you used worked for you it would for for us. Your flooring is Incredible.

    The flooring in our last home was reclaimed gym flooring. I reclaimed each plank from the gym, then cleaned all the tongue and groves before installing over 2000 sf of the flooring in our home. It was a monumental task but the end result was beautiful. Like you, lots of nah sayer but the end result was just astounding. I can't wait to lay pallet flooring in our new home.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raven,
      Our son planed and jointed all our boards in shop class. I wouldn't know the brand or size, but I am sure they were commercial size. He did bring home a small planer to finish up some boards, but don't know what the size or band was. I'm sorry.
      I too had a reclaimed gym floor in a former home. It was the house I raised my boys in. I loved that floor too! Yes! Tons of work to prepare that floor too, AND plenty of nay sayers. I will add, that floor was one of the selling points to that 1920's historic home!
      Good luck to you!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  18. Great project! I'm thinking about making a deck out of pallets and this was a great inspiration. Thanks

    ReplyDelete