Saturday, July 11, 2009

The new barn gets an old floor.

I had intended to mill the wood flooring from our salvaged barn timbers, but that was before I found the deal-of-the-century at a local estate sale. I lucked into some wide plank paneling that had been drying in an old-timer's shed for 30 years. These were all 'character' boards, complete with the knots, staining and wormholes that tell a much more interesting story than flawless premium lumber. They look right at home in the rustic barn. By installing them upside down, the square edges were up, and it looks just like regular flooring. I was able to get enough to do the whole loft of the barn for about 25 cents per square foot! After two days of planing and shimming to get the timber floor joists leveled, I put down 3/4" plywood subfloor using screws and Mean Green Adhesive, followed by a soundbarrier layer of Homasote 440, then finally the plank flooring. The board widths varied from 6" to 11", so I alternated each row between narrow and wide boards. I toenailed them with a finishing nailer just to hold them in place for now. Here is the rough product:After the whole floor was down, I went back and face-screwed through all the boards and into the joists. Then, plugged the counterbored screwholes with 1/2" mahogany plugs. Finally, rented a floor sander to clean and smooth out the surface, then applied 3 coats of shellac (diluted 2:1 with denatured alcohol). Here is the finished product: And a close-up of the plugged holes. The darker mahogany is a nice contrast to the lighter pine boards:

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