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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm a new to this site and somewhat new to woodworking, though I love working with wood and would like to do more in the future.
I had a large red oak tree in the back yard that I cut up into 1" lumber and it has been drying in my basement for the past year and a half. The wood was properly stacked and has dried well and I have about a 100 beautiful red oak boards; planed and ready to go. :thumbsup:
My plan is to use these board to make an accent wall in the basement. I have some questions and would appreciate suggestions on how to best do this.
1. The planed boards are about 3/4 in. now and are a little over 8 foot long with varying widths (4 in. to 12 in.).
2. The edges of boards have not been cut straight yet (tried some). I'm not sure what the best way to go about this to make perfectly straight cuts. I tried using a straight board clamped down to the board I'm cutting and circular saw. I'm not getting the best cut and there are gaps between boards.
I attempted to do an 30 degree angled cut on the boards to see if that would "hide" the cracks between the boards better, but I'm still not 100% happy with the result. There are still cracks and the surface is uneven (uneven depth of the boards in places from one to the other). The edges of the boards are sharp (because of the angled cut). I was thinking about sanding down after I have it all up, but I'm not sure how well that will work, plus that may be quite a bit of sanding and this is hard wood. :eek:.
I'm thinking about taking it down and cutting straight angle again. Any suggestions on the best way to make perfect cuts?
Should I be trying tongue and groove or any other method to make a smooth finish and better joining?
Would it look ok having cracks once it stain/polyurethane on the wall and are there methods to make it look good with cracks?
Should I worry about wood shrinking/expanding? As you can seen in the pictures I put up plastic for vapor barrier from the wall (there's insulation and exp foam board behind concrete walls as well).

Here are some pictures. Thanks for the input!





 

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I'll try and get back to post more later tonight. This is just a reminder for myself, but hopefully I'll have some reasonable suggestions when I get more time.
 

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Trying to butt straight edges together like you are doing is difficult. A couple of suggestions:

You could tongue and groove the edges and put a slight chamfer on each edge. The chamfer will conceal slight irregularities.

One method I've used rather than tongue and groove is to cut a groove on the edge of each board then put a spline between the boards. This process for me is easier than milling a tongue and groove on each board and it helps, like T&G with keeping the boards aligned.

For the ends, about the best thing you can do is 45 each end, overlap them then sand them smooth.

I'm a bit jealous at you having so much lumber. Rather than the project you are doing, I'd use it for fine furniture and use some cedar or other already milled wood for the accent wall.

Just my two cents.
 

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Even if you get the edges perfect, it will never stay tight due to expansion and contraction through the seasons.
Look at red oak hardwood floors this time of year.
I'd put a slight bevel on each edge and use a solid oak spine so when it does open up, you still see oak....not biscuits or whatever Is behind the wall covering.
You want to create the same look as a tongue and groove board
 

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Even if you get the edges perfect, it will never stay tight due to expansion and contraction through the seasons.
Look at red oak hardwood floors this time of year.
I'd put a slight bevel on each edge and use a solid oak spine so when it does open up, you still see oak....not biscuits or whatever Is behind the wall covering.
You want to create the same look as a tongue and groove board
And if you finish the spline the same as the outer board, the gaps aren't noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much for the great responses! I will see if it's worth for me to invest in a router/table at this time of if I can find one that I can use. Question: where would I get red oak splines or is that something that I can make myself out of my lumber (don't know if I'd have the tools for that either)?
I agree that this wood is nice and may serve better for other projects, but it only cost me $120 at the mill and few days of back-breaking pleasure hauling the logs/boards :). I wish I could trade someone for pre-milled cedar planks or something else that would work better for my wall.
 

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Thank you so much for the great responses! I will see if it's worth for me to invest in a router/table at this time of if I can find one that I can use. Question: where would I get red oak splines or is that something that I can make myself out of my lumber (don't know if I'd have the tools for that either)?
I agree that this wood is nice and may serve better for other projects, but it only cost me $120 at the mill and few days of back-breaking pleasure hauling the logs/boards :). I wish I could trade someone for pre-milled cedar planks or something else that would work better for my wall.
Cut your splines from your existing stock. If you don't have a table saw, you're sort of screwed.
 

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I'll try and get back to post more later tonight. This is just a reminder for myself, but hopefully I'll have some reasonable suggestions when I get more time.
Figures. Every time I try to save something for later and say so, I end up not getting back to it in a reasonable time frame. I'll echo what the others said, though... some tongue and groove would be my choice but I'd use that wood for something other than lining a wall. It's awfully nice wood.
 

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That is some nice looking wood. I would suggest getting a couple router bits and a router. Then put a tongue and groove on the edges and also a small 45 deg bevel. I would consider attaching them at a 45 deg angle and stagger the ends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you guys for all the replies. I did end up breaking down and getting a router and router table and had a friend help me with tongue and groove. Much better! I started from the bottom this time, too. :thumbsup:
I should have plenty wood left over for other projects after I finish the wall, so hope I can make you guys feel better and put at least some of the wood to "better use".
Now that I have a router that will give me an excuse and opportunity to experiment with furniture. I can do my own trim, too! :yes:
I'll post some pictures later.
 
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