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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have solid wood maple flooring in my home. It is 3/4 thick, T&G. I also have this great CNC machine called a GO TORCH It is intended to be used with a plasma cutting torch, but it is amazingly accurate as a CNC router, with the John Derby Router Adapter mounted to the carriage. Their larger machines (The PlasmaCAM DHC2 4'x4' table, and the 'Big Brother', the SAMSON 510 CNC table 5'x10') have their own legs and grates to lay down material, but this GO TORCH sits flat ON the material to be cut. 馃

So I got to thinking ... It is always dangerous when I get to thinking .... WHAT IF I were to fasten this GO TORCH to a spot at the entrance to my home, and route a pocket directly into the maple flooring for the purpose of a beautiful wood inlay of a Compass Rose?

I know it is a risk, as ANY error by the machine or the program could %$^&* up my wood floor, causing a huge headache. But I am pretty good with a router on the PlasmaCAM tables, and so I am thinking that a compass rose made of a variety of exotic woods that are cut, shaped and carefully placed into a pocket that is then filled with resin would be an awesome addition to the home.

Has anyone ever done this? I know there are nails beneath the surface of the wood floor. The inlay would probably be 3/16" deep at best. I believe this would keep the router bit above any nail heads that are buried into the tongue and groove of the various boards. If I find a nail head, I can replace the router bit 馃槚 and use a nail driver to bury it deeper.

I am fortunate enough to have several cases of the same flooring in my workshop. I am TERRIBLE at estimating need, so when I bought enough flooring to rip up the paper white carpeting this home HAD, to replace it with matching maple flooring that makes my bachelor pad FAR easier to clean now, I only had 14 cases of flooring left over. 馃ゴ

As a last resort, if I totally mess up the project, I could square off the error, and lay in some nice tile, or maybe a resin pour to hide the boo boo.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it too big of a project for a rank amateur to tackle? I have laid plexiglass into wood and wood into sign foam, so I am familiar with creating the design so the pieces fit. I thought about using dramatically different woods that would make the rose POP. Or I could go the conservative discreet route and use similar woods, allowing only the change in the wood grain pattern to reveal the rose.

I also thought about random circles that would have Morgan Silver Dollars embedded into the floor, or things like old soup spoons and forks, and such.

I am looking at this as a winter project, when it is too cold to work out in the shop. I sure could use a nice compass rose pattern to work from too.

The alternative would be a geographically appropriate graphic, such as a deer or two under trees, or a hunter and his dog, but I am thinking about resale value too. My home is is Franklin, KY., south of Bowling Green. That is why I quickly rejected "Welcome to the JONES Residence" as was suggested to me some time ago. I figured that would drastically reduce the home's resale value!

Joe
 

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Joe - not a crazy idea at all !
if you have the experience, skill and the equipment, I would fabricate a similar surface to practice with.
what size are you considering and how thick would the inlay be ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am assuming that the floor was nailed in with flooring nails at a 45 degree angle, put in at the top crotch of the tongue. So I don't think I can go much deeper than 3/16" unless I either bury the nails, or put notches into the bottom of the inlay.

The CNC machine gives me a 24"x24" cutting area, so the rose would fit into that, perhaps rotated 45 degrees so the longest points are on the diagonal. Then I would orient the rose to true North, just to make it authentic.
 

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not knowing the extent of detail you want to accomplish, I was thinking the graphic parts would be individually cut out of maybe 1/8" thick material and assembled into one round piece - then that is inlaid as one piece into the floor. sort of like "marquetry" projects. this is why I suggested making a prototype practice piece first - before moving into the box of no return.
if you google "compass rose images" you will eventually find a pattern that you like.
as for the other items you want to embed in your floor - I don't have any suggestions on that.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As for the other items you want to embed in your floor - I don't have any suggestions on that.
Does anyone have any thoughts on that handheld CNC router that shifts the motor and blade within a given variance, so that the router can follow a pattern that is programmed into it? I have been thinking about buying one of those routers, but I'd hate to spend the money on a tool that would collect dust for much of its life. :cautious:

Joe
 

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Joe - we have a sister forum called LumberJocks - several members here are also members there.
there has been a lot of chatter over the "Shaper Origin" = the pros and cons, etc.
for me, $2500 is just not worth the investment for numerous reasons - but it does appeal to some.
here is one sample review on it (it has 4 parts) Shaper Origin Notes #1: Intro
plus there are a lot of videos on the ole YouTube also.
 

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That is awesome! That is just about what I had in mind. Gosh, I wish I could do beautiful work like that!
Joe - you would be surprised at what you can do when you sit down and "think it out".
there are only five (5) simple templates needed and the rest is pretty straight forward .
you can probably cut out all the parts on your CNC..
if you are really interested in this project, make a full size paper pattern and transfer parts 1,2 and 3 onto MDF and make some duplicates out of cardboard and put them together. (sounds like a rainy day project to me).
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Hi, I think John is right. Cut and assemble the pieces about 1/8th thick. Use the five patterns to cut the pieces out. Select your hardwood, lay it out without glue. Then you can use a router on a jig that's straight, flat and is wide enough to span the diameter of the circular rose That way, using a broad flat bit, all you have to do is cut a recess for the assembled pieces, including any underlayment you might use to pre assemble the rose. The sled in the picture is made of aluminum, but if your rose is, say, 60 inches in diameter, you will need aluminum pieces 72 inches long at least. Those are likely to bend slightly from the weight of the router, so I'd reinforce them by adding some straght ply to the sides with screws every 6 inches or so. Trusses if you will.
399146


Or you could just use four strips of very flat ply to create the guide, and a couple of short pieces to connect the two L shaped pieces together. Either way, the height setting of the bit will determine the depth of the cut. It will be pretty easy to control the router if everything is pre assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am REALLY liking this idea. I have other projects on the front burner now, so it may have to wait, but it would be a good winter project, for sure. There is a WOODCRAFT store in Nashville. I may go down there to select the wood planks. I WAS going to do a design using a lot of exotic woods, like that beautiful plum wood and the black woods, but I think the home would be more easily sold with a traditional wood selection such as in the photos above.

I CANNOT assume that the nail driver for this flooring buried ALL of the nails successfully down to the tongue. I will use a Rare Earth magnet to find the nails. Glued to a string and dragged along the edges of the boards, it should become obvious where the nails are. The magnet will jump to it.

Since I am going to inlay a design, I GUESS I could just drill a 1/4" deep 1.2" diameter "ring" into the wood around the nail with a circle saw, and chisel out the plug. I can then take the nail down with a Dremel grinder, and let the inlay cover the pockets left behind? Should I pour some resin into the pockets or use wood filler to remove the small air pockets beneath the inlay?

I know one thing. Once I start cutting into this maple flooring, there is no turning back! o_O

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To determine how deep you can route... slip a piece of paper into the gap between the floor boards, down to the tongue... the floor may have been sanded, thus reducing the surface slightly.
Good point! However, if I am going to go after the nail heads aggressively, I think I can just find them and sink them deeper by hand.

Gosh, wouldn't it be handy to come up with some miracle wood eating liquid? You could place a drop or two onto wood, and it would eat down through the wood like acetone on foam, EASILY exposing the nail heads without further damage to the floor! The problem with using a tool to get down BELOW the nail head is that the tool will hit the nail before it can bore that low.

Don't you think it would be BETTER to sink the heads deeper, rather tan to grind them off? Without the heads, I fear the flooring would rise on the nail shafts and the inlay would suffer the movement.

The older I get the more I realize how little I know about the world!

Joe
 

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consider which operation would be easier to adjust, if the rose is too large, or too small for the recess. would it be easier to tweak the recess, or the rose. in my opinion, with the CNC, it would be much easier to recut the assembled rose on the CNC.

i have done this several times making large clocks, where the wood had to fit snugly inside a steel ring. you literally can remove thousandth's of an inch at a time. probably can't do that with the recess.

where i am going with this, is to recommend that you oversize the rose (or undersize the recess) slightly, to allow for this fitment.
 
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