[QUOTE="creepydrawings"]Okay I have some questions...
I am in the process of acquiring a large amount of quarter/rift sawn white oak boards. They will have a visible surface area of 5" when finished and are 1" thick. Most of the boards will be long.
1) I plan to use a tongue and groove router to turn them into flooring. Is there any place where I can get a guide or tips on how to do this efficiently and with great results? I am determined to complete this personal project, even if it ends up looking somewhat rustic, but the better results I can get, the better of course. Oh and should they be end matched?
2) Is it necessary to plane both the top and bottoms of these boards prior to installation or should I just worry about the tops? Should I even bother planing them at all or just let the floor sander handle it all? Do I need to create stress relief channels on the bottom of the boards? If so, can you recommend the right bit for that?
3) Finally, I will be getting this lumber 'green' so I will need to dry it. About a month ago I got some of the same stuff which had been drying outside for like 2-3 months. When I got it the moisture meter seemed to read somewhere around 18% for most of this wood. However, when I got it I brought it inside my house and stacked it with stickers in the spare bedroom. After just a month the average I am getting is now about 9%. I have not noticed any real problems at all. The door to the room stays shut and it seems to be the warmest room in the house. I also have the ceiling fan on, like 24/7. Is this a good method for drying wood and is this almost like having a kiln? Would it be advisable to use this method even for wood which has just recently been cut? I live in the Mid-south and around here I am worried about insect infestation. Those damn wood boring worms and termites seem to be everywhere. If I pretty much 'need' to keep it outside for a few months before bringing it inside my living area then I might be forced to use some sort of borate based insecticide to pre-treat the wood.
if you get quarter cut white oak, the radial dimension change for 20 -5% would be about 6% or from 12. % - 5 % in normal seasonal change you would expect about 2% movement or a few mm per board so board width is important. If you put it on dry it will gain a few mm per board so you risk buckling. If you put it on at about 8 % , there will be small cracks between the board that the t&g should cover. It is common to put a small 1-2 mm bevel so the sharp edges don't cause trouble in the dry winter. Sometimes the boards are cut more narrow but the 5 inch boards look good. They got away with it wide boards in the days before central heating as homes were porous and the humidity didn't go so low.
2. One inch is thick so you would have to cut deep relief channels to make a difference. You could just run them over a blade set up 1/4 inch or so.Its probably not worth the work as the board should be flat. Good quarter cut board should be consistent and you can reject any boards that warp , twist etc.
Unless you have an exceptional sawyer, I would want to thickness plane the boards to start them at consistent thickness. It would be hard to put in good tongue and grooves without planing the boards.
Planing off the fuzz from the saw on both sides might also improve their fire resistance. It will also let you see the wood to match up the boards and possibly reject or strategically place some unusual boards.
Good quarter cut clear oak should not need jointing. You can cut board to width and hold 4-5 together on edge to pass throuth a thickness planer.
I almost forgot, if there are knots, I usually cut them out before moving the wood inside for the final drying. Knots pull the wood around them into cups and other distortions. They make better firewood than flooring.
3. I have air dried a lot of wood without any problem. Kiln drying does speed up the process if you are in a hurry. One inch oak would need to dry covered in a shed or garage for 3-6 months in non freezing conditions. Good air circulation by natural air movement or the use of fans or both is important. With an expected 70% humidity average, the wood will dry to about 12% MC. If you can paint or wax the ends of the logs before cutting you will prevent some end checking but with quarter cut the loss is less.
When the wood is down to 12% you won't get it any drier unless you bring it into a heated building where the humidity is about 40% so it will dry down to about 8 %. In the north homes get drier in the winter 30% humidity for 3-4 months will get the wood to 6%. A few days won't dry 1 inch oak so the key is patience.
Time your drying to put the flooring down when it's about at 8%. If you leave it at higher humitity than about 45% it will expand again within a few weeks. This applies to non heated or non air conditioned buildings.
The humidity is higher in the south which works in your favour as it is change in humidity that causes the dimensional changes.
I am not knowledgable about the insects in the south. It was an interesting point that a hot kiln will kill them off? The kiln people in your area probably know if their kiln gets hot enough to do that job.
Let me know if this was unclear as sometimes I ramble or get incoherent.