Would it be ideal if I could rip strips of old flooring as long as each individual crack and taper them perfectly to fit, end to end? Yes.
Is it essential that I rip strips of old flooring as long as each individual crack and taper them perfectly to fit, end to end? No.
Could I fill each crack with different widths of wood, depending on how big the gap is? Yes.
And once the floor is shellacked, is anyone going to notice that the strips aren't continuous-- other than me, that is? Not at all.
I have some old floorboards, handily nailed up as blocking around the doorway to my bedroom. So what's stopping me from slicing off what I need from there?
So Monday afternoon I pried one off and hied me and it down to the basement workshop and the table saw, where I cut a selection of filler strip widths. And did not to slice my fingers. And after I got home from choir practice, I nailed the now-slenderized floorboard-blocking back into place.
Tuesday evening I was very naughty. I took one of the wood strips, one that had come from the groove edge of the board, and determined that, once cut to length, it would be perfect for my widest gap, just outside the bathroom door. And it was, for about half its length. But then the crack narrowed and the piece wouldn't fit. I got out my grandfather's plane (which I'm sure needed sharpening) and went to work on it. And went to work on it. Around 8:15 PM I felt overwhelmingly frustrated and sleepy and decided to lie down on the bed for just a little rest. And, since it was cool in the house, why don't I just pull the quilt up over me?
You guessed it. I conked out and fell asleep. Until nearly 8:00 Wednesday morning. In my workclothes. With lights blazing upstairs and down. Poor dog didn't get his evening constitutional and nobody got fed.
Much as I hate losing the income, I was glad I didn't get called in to work that day. I wasn't looking forward to tackling that filler strip again, but it had to be done. Besides, I got nearly twelve hours of sleep. What was my excuse?
It took some more planing. And some sanding. And more than a little doing other things that did need to be done, like cleaning out part of the back garden. And finally, at nearly 2:00 AM last night-- ta-da! I fitted my first wood filler strip in a crack in my 2nd floor hall floor. Used Tite-Bond wood glue, and I'l leave it to dry 24 hours. The websites say to glue the piece only on one side, to allow for movement. I tried, but it didn't seem like enough. On my head be it.
But here it is. Looks real purty, don't it? That slight rise at the end is over one of the nails. It'll come level when I sand the floor.
I would have done more, but first I have to figure out the best way to split the 7/8" thick slices lenghwise. That'll give me more strips per board and keep my hall from feeling like a bed of nails while I'm waiting for the glue to dry.