Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I acquired some oak flooring from an old hotel, and I'd like to use it for projects. It appears to have been finished with varnish or polyurethane. Can I just run it through my planer to remove the finish, or will that mess up my planer? Thank you.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
I acquired some oak flooring from an old hotel, and I'd like to use it for projects. It appears to have been finished with varnish or polyurethane. Can I just run it through my planer to remove the finish, or will that mess up my planer? Thank you.
I similarly had a bunch of oak and pine molding that I originally asked the same question about. The answers were varied...but now that I have done it I have no regrets. Short of hitting 1 nail which had me spinning a couple of my JET spherical's blades. I did not even seem to witness much of any dulling. I was generally putting through 2.5" boards and on quick calculation probably close to 500 ft. of them. One suggestion was to use the whole feed so I did continually go from one end to the other in feeding. Taking off at least 1/32" was also suggested so I was actually cutting below the poly. For me the time savings certainly would have covered the price of a set of new blades...if I needed to. I didn't. Hitting the nail I also was inside looking and discovered there was very little crap build up on the blades at all. Over and above that I would give your rollers and maybe blades a cleaning before starting and give your input/output trays a good waxing...and then have at it....you will be fine.

I should add that along with the people who said it was a bad idea...was my planer manual. :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Check and triple check for nails. You may want something like this. Relatively inexpensive insurance against hitting a nail or three that weren't readily visible. Certainly cheaper and less time intensive than having to replace the cutters on your planer. The buildup of any finish on your machine can be cleaned.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
29,471 Posts
I acquired some oak flooring from an old hotel, and I'd like to use it for projects. It appears to have been finished with varnish or polyurethane. Can I just run it through my planer to remove the finish, or will that mess up my planer? Thank you.
The finish on the flooring will quickly wear out the planer knives. Depending on the cost of the knives for your planer it may not be cost effective to surface the wood You might surface some of them to see how quickly the blades wear down to give you an idea of the cost.
 

· where's my table saw?
Joined
·
32,666 Posts
The "no dulling to blades" post here:
I similarly had a bunch of oak and pine molding that I originally asked the same question about. The answers were varied...but now that I have done it I have no regrets. Short of hitting 1 nail which had me spinning a couple of my JET spherical's blades. I did not even seem to witness much of any dulling. I was generally putting through 2.5" boards and on quick calculation probably close to 500 ft. of them. One suggestion was to use the whole feed so I did continually go from one end to the other in feeding. Taking off at least 1/32" was also suggested so I was actually cutting below the poly. For me the time savings certainly would have covered the price of a set of new blades...if I needed to. I didn't. Hitting the nail I also was inside looking and discovered there was very little crap build up on the blades at all. Over and above that I would give your rollers and maybe blades a cleaning before starting and give your input/output trays a good waxing...and then have at it....you will be fine.
I should add that along with the people who said it was a bad idea...was my planer manual. :)
And the contradictory post here:
The finish on the flooring will quickly wear out the planer knives. Depending on the cost of the knives for your planer it may not be cost effective to surface the wood You might surface some of them to see how quickly the blades wear down to give you an idea of the cost.
I suggested planing 1/32" or below the finish to reduce abrasive contact which seemed to help.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
29,471 Posts
The "no dulling to blades" post here:


And the contradictory post here:


I suggested planing 1/32" or below the finish to reduce abrasive contact which seemed to help.
I think if it were me I would install it like it is and sand it with a floor sander and refinish it. It will need to be sanded anyway. The floor sanding paper is coated to help prevent the finish from building up on the paper.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
4,800 Posts
Yup, experience is always the best knowledge source. Is polyurethane (or dried glue) harder than oak? I run stuff with dried glue through my jointer and planer without a thought 😳.

You might not even need to take off a 32nd - you’ll figure that out. Anyway, have a fresh set of knives to install when you‘re done. 😉. What planer?

He’s not using it for flooring Steve.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
The more modern ceramic alumina fortified flooring urethanes would dull blades.
Maybe I am picturing it wrong...but if you take a hand plane and start on one end of a urethaned board and travel to the other, the wood curl is only going to have urethane on the side the blade did not touch. Is a planer or even a jointer not going about it similarly? The blade, set for 1/32". first strikes the board's end beyond the urethane on the surface and as it rotates, does it come back up through...no...the blade never gets closer than the 1/32" and thus never touches the surface....and the next blade coming through is also hitting nothing but the wood scalloped out by the blade in front of it. Shreds shorter than the whole board not signifying a cut but a break....like the hand plane again ...sometimes that curl breaks due to some other physics and not necessarily the blade coming up through the surface.

Is this wrong?
 

· where's my table saw?
Joined
·
32,666 Posts
I think it depends on the direction the cutterhead is rotating. If it's coming down on top of the surface then it will cut into fresh finish.
If it's coming up from underneath a previously cut surface it will lift off the wood, and cut only a small amount of the finish.
I honestly don't know which direction my planer cutterhead rotates? DUH!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top