hardwood flooring

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Working on my first house, the Orchid...haven't gotten to the interior yet but thinking ahead I was planning on doing hardwood floors using popsicle sticks, any handy tricks to making the round edges square? Or just dremel or snip each one by one?

My floor is slightly under the front door entrance right now. Directions say to ensure its level with doorway, but it seems better to have it be a little lower to allow room to install the flooring. 

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I'm no help, Kris; I either scribe my floors directly into the wood of the kit: 

KathieB's views:  the bar

or else I cut lengths of iron-on wood veneer and split it to width and iron it onto the floor:

parlor 2.JPG

I have also been known to cut and split the siding strips that come with some of the kits;

KathieB's photos:  the master bedroom

and I have used the vinyl "wood" flooring strips from Greenleaf:

livingroom

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I had around 300 sticks when I did my floor and unfortunately there is no speedy way to do it.  Basic wire cutters will work but they will leave a bit of a beveled edge due to the pressure of the blade.  The tool mentioned above looks like a great option if its available to you.  

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Another option would be https://www.amazon.com/TruePower-Speed-Cut-Off-2-Inch-colors/dp/B000VWHTUG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1537294125&sr=8-3&keywords=miniature+chop+saw  It is a little pricier than the Easy Cutter, but not much, and it could help speed up the process a bit.  Hard wood floors can be tedious, but are worth the effort, IMO.  (And I agree that having the floor slightly under the front door now is a good thing. The sticks will add depth.)

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1 hour ago, Debsrand56 said:

Another option would be https://www.amazon.com/TruePower-Speed-Cut-Off-2-Inch-colors/dp/B000VWHTUG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1537294125&sr=8-3&keywords=miniature+chop+saw  It is a little pricier than the Easy Cutter, but not much, and it could help speed up the process a bit.  Hard wood floors can be tedious, but are worth the effort, IMO.  (And I agree that having the floor slightly under the front door now is a good thing. The sticks will add depth.)

I love this tool too....they have one at Harbor Freight Tools.

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I've used bamboo placemats, just cut to size or sometimes peeled off the backing and cut and glued.

banboo.png

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7 hours ago, CTYankee79 said:

Working on my first house, the Orchid...haven't gotten to the interior yet but thinking ahead I was planning on doing hardwood floors using popsicle sticks, any handy tricks to making the round edges square? Or just dremel or snip each one by one?

My floor is slightly under the front door entrance right now. Directions say to ensure its level with doorway, but it seems better to have it be a little lower to allow room to install the flooring. 

I have gotten craft "popsicle" sticks at Walmart that were square-ended and the same cheap price as the regular ones.

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I just cut the rounded edge off with snips.  It was tedious but you will love how it looks when its done.  

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I use my Micro Mark Miter Master to snip those ends when I'm making wainscots or "country" doors.  I haven't used the sticks for flooring because so many of them were crooked when I used them in my other projects.  Definitely line them up to check straightness before doing all that cutting!

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On 9/19/2018, 7:11:43, 1martinimomma said:

I used this tool when I made the floors in Granville.  Works great for cutting the popsicle sticks.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004P3SRI0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

That is a beautiful floor. Did you do anything special to get the darker coloring between the planks?

I have The Chopper, also, but it doesn't work very well for 1/4 scale. But when I move on to my next project (1/2 scale) I'm sure it's going to make my life so much easier.

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7 hours ago, kokomo said:

Did you do anything special to get the darker coloring between the planks?

Thanks!  I am pretty happy with it.  Took me a whole day to make it. 

I think I mixed wood putty with a stain, smeared it into the crevices, then used a rag lightly dampened with paint thinner to clean up in excess.  After that dried I applied another coat of stain to the entire floor and then put on several coats of poly.

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1 hour ago, 1martinimomma said:

Thanks!  I am pretty happy with it.  Took me a whole day to make it. 

I think I mixed wood putty with a stain, smeared it into the crevices, then used a rag lightly dampened with paint thinner to clean up in excess.  After that dried I applied another coat of stain to the entire floor and then put on several coats of poly.

That was brave of you to try that on your floor when it took you so long to make it. I'm going to give it a try myself because I really love how yours looks. Thank you!

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You may have to sand the floor again after you put on the wood filler, before applying the second coat of stain.  I sanded it after gluing it to the backing, sanded it after the wood filler, sanded with steel wool it after the first coat of poly. I remember thinking if I keep sanding this floor any more, I am not going to have any wood left!  LOL

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I have an easy cutter and love it!  It's especially handy for cutting skirting and scotia etc to meet at corners etc.  So saying I think mine could do with a sharpen which I'm not sure how to do.  The other way I've done floors is with real wood vaneer.  I bought an auction full of offcuts which I've used for a few years.  It's thin, easy to cut and makes a gorgeous floor.  Here's one of mine...

large.IMG_20180409_142645-Optimized.jpg.gallery_62950_7053_127756.jpg

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Here's my 1:48 dining room floor that I'm not too happy with. The Chopper just doesn't cut accurately enough for this scale so I had to trim all of the pieces again after I had already cut them on the Chopper. The color is not what I wanted either. After staining I sponged black acrylic paint on the floor and then wiped it with a damp sponge and was horrified when I saw that I could see each little Xacto knife prick where I had to use the knife to pick up the pieces and put them in place. My fingers were just too fat to pick them up by hand. So I'll try your method next time, Colleen. I think yours looks way more realistic. Black was just not the smart thing to use in my case. I also sanded mine so many times that I thought I was going to wear a hole into the floor. It's easy to do!  lol

 

Rebecca, I'm in love with the color of the floor in your second pic. What kind of wood did you use and what color stain? Just gorgeous!

 

IMG_0013.JPG

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Wow, Toni your floor is beautiful.  I am just in awe how perfect the cuts look to me.  You might see every imperfection, but the rest of us don't.  I can't believe this floor is 1:48 scale, that's just amazing.  You should be so proud of the work you put into this floor.  I love the black highlighting the pattern of the floor.  It enhances the pattern and makes it stand out.  I am going to keep this floor pattern to use in the future.  I think you are being way too critical of your work, but we all do that. 

I am not sure what other cutter you could use that would be more accurate than a razor blade.  Maybe, someone else who works in the smaller scales could chime in and help you.  Perfection when you are working at this small of a scale is just almost impossible.  I understand your not happy with the outcome, we are our own worst critics, but I bet everyone else that sees your floor will say it's perfection.

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Toni, for picking up tiny bits of wood that small I wet a finger and use that to pick up a piece; much less likely to leave a ding than knife tip or tweezers.

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1 hour ago, kokomo said:

Here's my 1:48 dining room floor that I'm not too happy with. 

Rebecca, I'm in love with the color of the floor in your second pic. What kind of wood did you use and what color stain? Just gorgeous!

I LOVE your floor!  Seriously - the attention to detail, especially at 1:48 scale is incredible!  As far as my floor goes, not sure of the wood as it was in a packet of vaneer scraps that I bought off a local auction site.  Not sure if it's a native NZ timber or what.  However the staining I actually used chalk pastels, scraped into mod podge to stain.  So I just kept adding to the colour till I was happy with it.  Then of course it was sand, polyurethane, sand, polyurethane etc.  I used a clear poly.

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Oh, thanks guy. That's so nice of you to say. I know I'm overly critical of myself, that's true for sure, but inside my head that floor looks so much different than how it came out in real life that I can't help being a bit disappointed. But I am learning and next floor I make I'm going to try the wood putty w/ stain method. And I'm *not* going to prick the planks with an exacto knife. lol

Colleen, the cut from the chopper blade is just a teeny tiny bit off so that the end result is a strip of wood that is wider at the bottom than it is at the top. I thought maybe I was using a dull blade but I replaced it with a new one and it still did the same thing. Maybe the blade bends a little, or has a little play, while it's cutting? I don't know.

Holly, I tried wetting my fingertip but then the planks won't come off of my finger when I go to put them into place. haha

Rebecca, how did you come up with the idea of putting chalk into mod podge? I think that's brilliant and it sure does extend the limited color range of wood stains. What a good idea and with such excellent results. These are the types of ideas that I wish I could come up with myself. Thanks!

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43 minutes ago, kokomo said:

...Holly, I tried wetting my fingertip but then the planks won't come off of my finger when I go to put them into place. haha...

You can use a toothpick to help get the piece off of your finger & into place...

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56 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

You can use a toothpick to help get the piece off of your finger & into place...

I certainly can try that. Anything is going to be better than an exacto!

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6 hours ago, kokomo said:

Oh, thanks guy. That's so nice of you to say. I know I'm overly critical of myself, that's true for sure, but inside my head that floor looks so much different than how it came out in real life that I can't help being a bit disappointed. But I am learning

Rebecca, how did you come up with the idea of putting chalk into mod podge? I think that's brilliant and it sure does extend the limited color range of wood stains. What a good idea and with such excellent results. These are the types of ideas that I wish I could come up with myself. Thanks!

I know what being overly critical of your own work feels like!  I'm exactly the same.  Plus photos show us close up views that we would not normally see when looking at it from the normal distance.  I would love my work to be perfect - I try, I certainly try.  I guess though that even though I will continually try to get things 'perfect' - unless I let go off unrealistic expectations, things never will be.

As far as the idea of chalk into Mod Podge - my daughter taught me that.  I think she came across it on Youtube!  I really love the technique - we have some amazing native timbers here in NZ so I have tried to colour bass wood etc to achieve the look of Rimu and Kauri.  Fortunately I now have Rimu and Kauri supplied by our National Miniatures club!  But still - the technique is so easy and enjoyable because of the colours you can achieve.  With my latest - the apothecary, I just stained the floors with paint - wiping off afterwards.  All the different effects required!

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On 9/18/2018, 2:12:14, Debsrand56 said:

Another option would be https://www.amazon.com/TruePower-Speed-Cut-Off-2-Inch-colors/dp/B000VWHTUG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1537294125&sr=8-3&keywords=miniature+chop+saw  It is a little pricier than the Easy Cutter, but not much, and it could help speed up the process a bit.  Hard wood floors can be tedious, but are worth the effort, IMO.  (And I agree that having the floor slightly under the front door now is a good thing. The sticks will add depth.)

Oooh, a mini miter saw! I love it. 

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