This was a tremendous project and such a positive impact on me as a hardwood professional. The idea was to create a floor with a traditional feeling. To achieve the traditional feeling we used traditional techniques. Hard maple trees from Thronville, Ohio were cut and processed with a bandsaw mill. The boards were taken to Holmes County, Ohio where they were turned into tongue and groove flooring measuring 8", 7", 6", and 5". The flooring was installed by blind nailing with the pneumatic nailer as well as replica 18th century cut nails installed by hand (over 1,000!).
The flooring was installed in completely random widths. There is no discernible pattern between the 8", 7", 6", and 5" boards. The cut nails were driven into the home's floor joists providing a tremendous amount of holding power. The floor was finished with a linseed oil and wax which added depth and helped to define the bandsaw marks. The color was selected to match existing wood work in the home. The floor completely transformed the home.
The maple was taken from the farm in Thornville to the lumber mill in Holmes County. The 1" thick boards were planed down to 3/4", squared, ripped to the appropriate width, and tongue and grooved. The mill did a great job.
The cut nails add such a neat touch. They were acquired through Tremont Nail Company in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Tremont operates out of the same nail manufacturing mill they first opened in 1819 and still uses some of the same equipment from the mid 1800's. These particular cut nails are called boat nails. The middle of the nail is wider than the top and bottom.
The combination of the aesthetic attributes of the floor along with the knowledge of the floor's origins 50 miles away, merge to create a truly unique and traditional floor. To read the article I wrote for Hardwood Floors Magazine follow the link below: