I came in to furniture making as a very young man.
Basically I started at the bottom of the food chain.
As a result I didn’t get to start with perfect.
My workshops have been a constant slow evolution.
There have been many, from sheds to simply outside, right up to industrial units.
As long as I had my bag of tools I made them work.
The good thing about this I suppose, is the experience gained.
All the good things didn’t come at once, but I do know what bits I like and what I don’t.
Concrete floors are shite for example.
In my current workshop I wanted to start getting things right. And the floor was one area that wouldn’t be overlooked.
A good floor might seem like nit picking over luxuries, but a good wooden floor is something I’ve craved for, for a very long time.
When you’re stood on the thing all day you notice a difference.
In the industrial unit, the vast space was lovely.
But that concrete floor made working hell.
Concrete lets the cold in to your joints. It ages you…makes you moan a lot and you’re always having to adjust to ease your seized back.
Wooden floors don’t do this.
Wood is also much kinder to dropped tools.
Flooring for The New Workshop
The workshop I’m in now is as old as time itself, so there’s certain requirements that have to be made.
It’s best for the whole thing to stay breathable.
This meant that we couldn’t just go bang a concrete floor down and skim it with wood on top.
Instead we went with joists, and insulated under and between with glass slag. It’s made from recycled glass, and gets compressed so the whole thing is rock solid, breathable yet doesn’t allow water to rise.
The joists then take the final floor covering.
It always seems like kitchens cost a bomb, just because they can.
It’s hard to see the value in the mass produced stuff.
Floors are the same.
The workshop needed a strong floor, but the prices we were getting on boards were stupid.
It was working out cheaper to buy a load of rough sawn oak and planing it all up, than to go with some skimpy engineered flooring.
Scaffold Boards For Flooring.
Then my old man opened his mouth.
To put you in the zone my old man is basically Snape from Harry Potter. He even dresses like him.
We were using scaffold boards placed across the joists whilst we worked on the base.
“shame you couldn’t just use those… sigh…” he mumbled.
Bloody perfect, I thought.
I rang around and found a guy who knows a guy who’s brother works at McDonald’s. We managed to get a full van load of old scaffold boards for pretty much knack all.
Apparently the scaffolders have to get rid of them every two years or so for health and safety, so there’s tonnes of ’em.
I expected a few headaches turning a van load of scruffy boards in to a tidy floor, but they went down surprisingly fuss free.
Never underestimate a good nail.
The trick was in the fixings.
I wellied the boards down with some big old clasps. The proper ones.
Some of the boards were badly cupped and weren’t going sit nicely without a bit of extra attention.
This was easy (if a little messy) to deal with, by running some relief cuts down the length of the underside with a circular saw.
That gave them more than enough flex to get them sitting nice and flat.
Overall, the biggest ball ache was getting those metal clips out of the ends of the boards.
The finished floor is solid.
It has absolutely no give and I’m dead pleased with how it looks. The plan was to hire one of those massive floor sanders and skim it all up, but I think I’m going to leave it be.
If you’re looking for a new floor, definitely consider this. I’m even thinking of using it in the house.