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post #1 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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new trap door in floor

OK - this is not "shop" work. Its house mods. I plan to put a lift-out trap door in the floor of our "Study" closet area. The flooring is oak strips over paper over diagonal subfloor (nothing else).

I will likely make the basic cut with a worm drive saw, because it easier to plunge cut and I don't need a large pilot hole like I would for a sabre saw.

Opening size (before trim and ledgers) is about 14.5" x 22" or even 24" .

I might pre-install (scew and glue) a precut plywood panel under the diagonal sheathing to hold everything together. I might add extra nailing in the oak strips around the cut, for the same reason.

So, if you are still with me - here is the question.

Do you have any ideas on how to make a nice edge treatment on the floor and on the removed piece (the trap door) - so that it looks tidy?

the last time I did this it was in a hall closet - appearances did not matter, so I made the trap door and never provided an edge treatment. I would like to do a better job this time - as a retireee I have the time available to do so.

FYI - reason for trap door is to make it easier for me to get to a certain sewer pipe fitting (clean out) and to restore insulation to a bunch of ducting (insulation was torn away during a seismic retrofit). There is also a minor ducting leak that I would like to fix (a hot spot in the floor gives the game away).

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post #2 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 12:45 PM
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I have three in my conservatory which was built some 5 years ago. Access to the Sewer, kitchen and bathroom drains.
The flooring is engineered oak 3mm/14mm and the edge just joins on. Under the sewer trap door is a metal gas tight cover. None of the trap doors is really visible.
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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conservatory

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Originally Posted by johnedp34 View Post
I have three in my conservatory which was built some 5 years ago. Access to the Sewer, kitchen and bathroom drains.
The flooring is engineered oak 3mm/14mm and the edge just joins on. Under the sewer trap door is a metal gas tight cover. None of the trap doors is really visible.
johnep
Conservatory, eh! That's sounds mighty fancy to this guy from Down-Under..

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post #4 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 01:38 PM
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Deck Hatch Cover

the trap door is totally woodworking !!

I am putting new wood floors in my home next month and I will be
doing the same thing.
but with a twist: since I am "Nautically Inclined", it will be in the form
of a hatch cover on a wooden boat. the lid/door will be framed as well as
the floor around it to match. [similar to the attached photo].
even though a throw rug will be over it most of the time, it will be my
personal touch to my home that is meaningful only to me.
and then - another project beside the bed, there will be the same thing
about 24"x60" that will be just a waterproof "cabinet" to hold some of
my guns. sort of like a "in-wall safe" only it will be in the floor.
it will take some engineering to work around the floor joists, for sure.
if you gonna cut a hole in your floor, you may as well make it pretty !!
please share your project with us when you get started.
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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 04-07-2020 at 02:26 PM. Reason: found better example photo
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
I will likely make the basic cut with a worm drive saw, because it easier to plunge cut and I don't need a large pilot hole like I would for a sabre saw.
worm drive will cut out 1/8" flooring and require trim to make it look good.

use a multitool to cut out the flooring. can cut off the t&g tongue between the flooring strips without scarring the floor. temp nail a straight edge on crosscut sides and plunge cut with multitool. cut thru flooring only, remove flooring, cut subfloor out with a flange around the edge. reassemble flooring on plywood, drop in opening. done. no finish work to do

i've done a lot of wood floor patching over the years. the invention and popularity of the multitool for plunge cutting is really useful (and amazing)
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a plunge cutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ogre View Post
worm drive will cut out 1/8" flooring and require trim to make it look good.

use a multitool to cut out the flooring. can cut off the t&g tongue between the flooring strips without scarring the floor. temp nail a straight edge on crosscut sides and plunge cut with multitool. cut thru flooring only, remove flooring, cut subfloor out with a flange around the edge. reassemble flooring on plywood, drop in opening. done. no finish work to do

i've done a lot of wood floor patching over the years. the invention and popularity of the multitool for plunge cutting is really useful (and amazing)
Well, it just so happens that I do not have a multitool, but I do have a Cordless Speed Saw Rotary Cutter. I am on my 2nd one (Ryobi 18V), so far used only on drywall and plastics. I do not have a plunge jig for it, I need to see if that feature can be arranged.

I don't care for the oscillating tool, which I think is what you are referring to. And I already have too many Ryobi tools !!

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Last edited by kiwi_outdoors; 04-07-2020 at 03:08 PM. Reason: I made a mistake
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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I also have a 5-1/2" Ryobi 18V saw, great tool. I just measured a test cut - it's kerf using a Diablo carbide tipped blade is only 1/16" That should be fine for a simple approach to the trap door. With some test cuts, and also finishing the ends of the cuts with a hand saw, and can likely make a pretty good cutout.

Also, likely, I will need to go under the house at least once for two pilot holes (on the same side) and a location sketch. I can get close to where I will be by measuring the setout on my VISIO house plans.

Long hatch dimensions will be parallel to joists.

The hatch will be above the sewer trench, which was not fully backfilled - that will give me vertical room to contort myself as I squeezle thru the hatch. So I need to locate the hatch in 2 dimensions (for the sewer, for the joists, as well as being inside the closet footprint.

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post #8 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 05:42 PM
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A suggestion John .......





Use Soss hinges rather than the exposed type. I like the pull rings, but not the hinges. Just my thoughts.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking no hinges, - just lift out - then it's less in the way of the under-floor and above floor operations

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post #10 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 08:03 PM
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If I understand this reasoning correctly ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ogre View Post
worm drive will cut out 1/8" flooring and require trim to make it look good.

use a multitool to cut out the flooring. can cut off the t&g tongue between the flooring strips without scarring the floor. temp nail a straight edge on crosscut sides and plunge cut with multitool. cut thru flooring only, remove flooring, cut subfloor out with a flange around the edge. reassemble flooring on plywood, drop in opening. done. no finish work to do

i've done a lot of wood floor patching over the years. the invention and popularity of the multitool for plunge cutting is really useful (and amazing)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi_outdoors View Post
I also have a 5-1/2" Ryobi 18V saw, great tool. I just measured a test cut - it's kerf using a Diablo carbide tipped blade is only 1/16" That should be fine for a simple approach to the trap door. With some test cuts, and also finishing the ends of the cuts with a hand saw, and can likely make a pretty good cutout.

Also, likely, I will need to go under the house at least once for two pilot holes (on the same side) and a location sketch. I can get close to where I will be by measuring the setout on my VISIO house plans.

Long hatch dimensions will be parallel to joists.

The hatch will be above the sewer trench, which was not fully backfilled - that will give me vertical room to contort myself as I squeezle thru the hatch. So I need to locate the hatch in 2 dimensions (for the sewer, for the joists, as well as being inside the closet footprint.

The reason is to leave a flange of subflooring on which to rest the finish floor. After cutting the finish floor, then cut a 1/2" smaller size opening from the subfloor. That way no addition support pieces will need to be cut and attached. Two 3/4 finger hole will allow you to pull the assembly out without any additional visible fasteners.

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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-07-2020, 10:37 PM
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I did this recently.

I cut the original floor with a circular saw close to corners. Then finished each cut into the corner with an oscillating tool. You could use a jig saw or sawzall.

For the hatch.
I made one piece of subfloor from 3/4 inch plywood.
I made a second piece slightly smaller under that which fit inside the 2x4 blocking I installed on the flat around the edge of the hole in the floor.
If you planned ahead, you could cut over a joist on each side and have support there without losing width of your hole.
I didnít but no big deal to sister some blocking underneath.

I laid my laminate flooring over it to a staggered pattern and then cut it after carefully marking each piece.

Then to open I used two pull rings made of brass that were recessed and folded down flush. I used a hole saw for the recess.

I didnít use hinges. It lifts out.

To the original question.
I protected all sides of the hole and the door with thin angle aluminum with 1Ē sides after marking and carefully routing a recess for the aluminum to sit down and flush with the floor top. (Think Sheetrock outside corner protection) glued with construction adhesive on top and sides. To floor and subfloor.

Turned out nice sturdy and the metal to metal protects all the wear points.
I was also worried about the laminate edges getting damaged.

Mine is for a sewer connection that I canít get under the crawl space to.


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post #12 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 08:11 AM
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For the floor boards on my boat I used those suspended ceiling boards like in most office buildings for my first layer of insulation. For my second layer I used the rolled aluminum insulation. It's prime purpose was to prevent any chips and duct from the ceiling boards from dripping pn my engines. Not shown in the photos, were 2"diameter washers and screws to hold the insulation (boards and aluminum) in place. Each floor section was 3/4" ply screwed to 2x4 framing and then covered with the 1/4" teak and holly. For the edges, I used 1/4 teak strips so the edges of the ply were protected. Each section rested on 2x6 rafters with ledger strips run from front to rear. The 1/4" teak strips are most noticeable looking at the finished floor - they appear as cross grain dark lines.
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post #13 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 08:21 AM
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I dont remember if the framing was 2x4's or cut down to 2x3's. They were the original pieces that I reused. The original floor was made of removable floor boards covered in carpeting. The boards had to be relatively easily removable because my engines were below the boards.

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post #14 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 09:54 AM
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Hatch Cover Lift

Tony - that is what started my "stint" of working on expensive boats.
I had purchased a vintage 30' Chris-Craft cruiser and the previous owner
had replaced the aft deck engine hatch covers with regular 3/4" plywood
and painted it (the top side only) and it was soft and spongy.
the marina where my boat was berthed was on a military base in PR
and it was full of "live aboard" military retirees of the upper ranks.
as I was replacing my hatch covers, the other boaters admired my work
and asked me to start doing mahogany and teak projects for their boats
because being a live aboard, they had no tools or shop to work out of.
(and they had scads of dollars they didn't know what to do with).
so in the three years I was at that marina, I think I worked on 42 yachts
in one form or another. and that is one job I really loved the most.
the inconvenient part was my house was a 90 minute drive from the
marina. so I had to take some very serious measurements from the project
to my shop, cut it, finish it, and take it back to the marina on the weekends.
so, making a simple mistake in measuring or design was not an option.
for most deck hatch lids, I used a 1/2" stainless carriage bolt that sat flush
with the deck with lock nuts on the bolt to act as a lifting handle.
here is a crude example: but you can see how simple it is and no trip hazard
or recessed handle to collect dirt and debris.
of course it is probably not appropriate for a residential application but
works quite well on a boat. I still have a big handful of the brass and stainless
piano hinges in 4 ft. lengths left over from that era.
new trap door in floor-hatch-lift.jpg

.

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post #15 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Lennyzx11

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post #16 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 12:22 PM
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Access to the sewer cleanout... Remove the cap then thread in same size pvc adapter and extend the pipe to and through an outside wall. Creating an outside cleanout for easy clean access. The mess will always be outside.

Gary

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post #17 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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remove cleanout?

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Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
Access to the sewer cleanout... Remove the cap then thread in same size pvc adapter and extend the pipe to and through an outside wall. Creating an outside cleanout for easy clean access. The mess will always be outside.
Yes - relocating the Master Bedroom cleanout to an exterior location is my primary goal. Most likely its frozen and the threaded plug will not come loose (I tried once a few years ago). So I have been watching Youtube videos on using "snap cutters (chain type) and using a new "Diablo Steel Demon" Sawzall-type blade.. Both approaches work well. Then I can extend on the remaining pipe stub that would be left behind after cutting of the stuck plug.

The hatch is near a lesser cleanout. In any event, I really want a hatch to deal with the ducting.
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
................so I had to take some very serious measurements from the project
to my shop, cut it, finish it, and take it back to the marina on the weekends.
so, making a simple mistake in measuring or design was not an option.
for most deck hatch lids, I used a 1/2" stainless carriage bolt that sat flush
with the deck with lock nuts on the bolt to act as a lifting handle.
here is a crude example: but you can see how simple it is and no trip hazard
or recessed handle to collect dirt and debris.
of course it is probably not appropriate for a residential application but
works quite well on a boat. I still have a big handful of the brass and stainless
piano hinges in 4 ft. lengths left over from that era.
Attachment 387057.
I also made numerous trips back and forth to the boat - test fitting one row of hatches at a time. My sailboat was up for sale at the time so we continued living on it till this boat was finished. The 2 boats were at different marinas about 20 minutes apart. While I was doing this work on my new to me power boat, I had retired from mt offshore job and sold the shop. Part of the deal with the new owner was that I had access to the shop anytime I wanted for personal projects - no work for hire. Of course we also agreed that I would not affect his production either.
You got me beat though on the handles for lifting the hatches. I needed 14 of them at either $35 or $50 apiece, cant remember which. I think this salon area (living room) was around 10' x 12' - I remember my total cost was around 1 grand. Most of the hatches were only supported on the sides so they rested on rails and could be slid from fore to aft. I left a total of 3/16" gap for the boards, so if they were all up against eachother the most you would see would be 3/16" That was not even noticeable with the dark color of the teak strips. BTW, the hatches were fairly heavy to lift up and down while underway. It required both hands while my GF was steering up above. I set an egg timer in the wheel house for checking the engine room below the hatches at 1 hour increments while underway.
It was a 1986 boat in rough looking shape when we bought it. Most of the mechanical systems were OK and the physical 'look' of it was pretty bad. We paid 25K and I figured it would take another 25K to get it to look like I wanted it to. It came out to almost exactly 25K when I was done. Did a lot of work along the way. We traveled about 4 1/2 years and 5,000 miles on it. Then returned to Houston area and sold it for 50K. Rare moment indeed that you ever get your money back. Sold it and bought the RV, God, I miss having a boat.
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 03:17 PM
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oh yeah - anything over a buck when you sell a boat is considered a WIN !!

I don't want to jack the O/Ps thread - maybe we need a separate "Nautical" forum ??

John

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post #20 of 25 Old 04-08-2020, 10:46 PM
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take a survey and see how many boat owners are here? Maybe surprised?

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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