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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a lumber inspector at one of the largest sawmills in Michigan. I know ALOT about wood but little about woodworking.

I purchased some rustic soft maple that I handpicked myself out of our
latest runs. At work I ripped it to width and planed it to 3/4"at for flooring. I know
soft maple has little shock resistance and will dent but this floor is for a remote cabin in Michigan's upper peninsula.



I have around 900 lineal feet to tongue and groove on my router table. What type of bit does somebody suggest for this job? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

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The ones I told you about are carbide tip bits they should be able to do the job, and they can be sharpened. The router you use would be my biggest concern that many feet of lumber you will need a good unit ( up in the 3 hp range )and you will need router table with enough table surface to be able to control the length of the lumber
 

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Hi Scott and welcome to the forum. You have a few choices to make. You can go for square tongue and groove like this set Router Bits, Saw Blades, CNC Router Bits, Shaper Cutters & More . Or you could go with tapered fit which is more common for flooring like is near the bottom of this page. Router Bits, Saw Blades, CNC Router Bits, Shaper Cutters & More

You will want to register the back side of your floor boards on the router table when you groove them and mark either which side goes up or which side goes down. There is a chance that the boards may not be be even from board to board after they have been laid for a while, so when you know that they have stabilized you will need to sand the surface flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a good enough router but will need to make the table longer. What lengths should I cut my stock to? Right now they range from 6-10', mostly 10'.

Chuck, what do you mean by "register?" I have in mind the faces that I want up because of their character. Are you saying that I will have to mark the better face so they will all install the same way?

Money is an issue so I will likely have to go with a single piece bit.
 

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Scott, most flooring has a relief in the center of the bottom. I do not remember the reason for this but it was important for some reason. As far as the bits go I suggest you purchase Whiteside for this job. For 900' you will need at least two sets of bits and I would suggest three sets and returning the third set if not needed. If you want to try and get by on one set them you should buy a quality sharpening set like this one from Trend. (about $50) If you are near Detroit come see me and I will show you how to use it. You can email me by clicking on my name.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does the shape of the groove matter much? Square or not?

Go wings!! I'm about 20min west if Lansing.
 

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Scott, when I say register one side against your router table I mean rout the tongue or groove from one side that has been chosen to be down on your router table. In other words, bad side down. Just remember to make sure and mark that side.

One of the reasons for tapered grooves is that wood swells and shrinks. With a taper you'll get it close.
 

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If money's an issue, try Yonico. I've never used this brand myself - yet - but for flooring for a cabin, using softish wood likely to get character marks, you might check out the PILE of ceiling this guy did with the cheapest bits I've seen outside of Harbor Fright --

Matched Tongue and Groove Flooring Router Bit Set - V- Notch - Yonico 15227 - Amazon.com

I'm about to build a shed outside and am sorely tempted to try my hand at tongue and groove. Using pallet wood, in fact, which might be harder than the pine I originally wanted. I've had a pine floor and it marked up a LOT - I liked it.

Carbide does come in grades, like anything else. I found a page that gives a quick look at the grading system. High priced bits are likely to use C4 carbide, lower cost bits likelier to use K20 or the costlier K10.

http://just-wood-routers.com/router-bits/carbide-grades.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, next question. The cabin is quite a drive from home. Once it is routered is there a timeframe needed before install?

So, a little review.

Tapered tongue and groove, carbide bit single or two piece, poor side down.

I don't have much experience with routers just dabbling here and there so this is quite a big jump for me. I really appreciate all of these replies.
 

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Scott I had to replace a porch floor 140 boards x 14' long=1960 lin feet. The lumber yard wanted way too much so I milled my own. I didn't use the router although I thought about it instead I used a simple wobble dado blade and a couple of feather boards. Once set up I ran the grove first then adjusted things and ran the tongue. It was quick easy and cheap. IMHO 900 feet does not warrant the expense of a tongue and grove set that you will only use once. A tip for when you are laying the floor is to use a miter saw set on the floor. When you cut the boards to length do not support them on the end but let them simply rest on the floor. This way when you cut them there will be a slight angle which will produce a tight end joint. What you don't want to have is two boards with a 90 degree cut butting up against each other.
 

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Scott; Hi. Is this material going down over an unheated crawl space? Plywood subflooring is considered to be a fairly effective vapour barrier, but you might want to consider installing over a single layer of 30 minute tarpaper, or other recommended underlayment. I always understood the underside relief cuts as being a precaution against cupping and/or splitting(?)...
You're renting a mallet operated floor nailer I'm
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes I plan using tarpaper. Yes I will be using a flooring gun. The cabin is built up off of the ground about 4' for snow clearance and critters. So it will just be the subfloor over airspace.
 

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I would leave at least 1/4" gap between the flooring and the walls Scott. I've seen one case where the flooring buckled in a seasonally used cabin where the flooring was installed tight to the walls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Does using a v-notch bit for flooring matter? I'm looking for the wedge tongue with a v-notch and having a hard time. From what I understand, the v-notch is meant for paneling. But I thought it might help relieve stress in flooring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes, Chuck I planned on leaving a 1/4" gap if not more on the edges. Maybe more because of the extreme temperature and humidity changes in the upper peninsula.
 
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