Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No measuring

Today I got half of the "short" side of the hall laid.

It's taking longer than the "long" side because there's much more cutting involved. Tomorrow the trimmer is coming to give Dixie a pedicure, then I need to go to the grocery store, so I might not get finished with the floor til Thursday.

I'm not as wiped-out tired tonight, so I thought I'd write about how to cut without measuring. This is a pretty common trick, so you might already know it - but if not, it's a lifesaver.

Let's say you need to cut a rectangular piece of flooring into an L-shape, to fit around a door jamb.

First, slide the flooring up against the door jamb and make a mark. This shows you how wide the L piece is going to be.

Next, hold the flooring up so it butts* into the corner / the next piece of wood - it won't lay down on the floor because the door trim is in the way, but you don't need it to. Make a mark here - this will show you how long the L will be.

Use a speed square to mark straight lines. If you were careful when you lined up for the two marks, you will have a perfect cut - no measuring necessary.

I usually do the cut across the grain on the miter saw, then finish the rip cut along the grain with, sigh, my circular saw. (A table saw, a table saw, my kingdom for a table saw!) Because I've marked on the top and I'm cutting from the top, the cut piece won't quite fall out on its own. A hacksaw or a coping saw will finish the job pretty quickly.

You can do something very similar when cutting off the ends of flooring boards, too. Let's say you're working this row from left to right - you have a board or boards filling up most of the space from the left wall, and you have a little space to fill against the right wall. So the board you want to cut needs to have the RIGHT side cut off. If you flip the board 180 degrees - so the tongue is touching the tongue of the previous row - you can make a mark based off of the boards on the left you've already laid. Cut the mark, flip the board back around so the cut side is against the right wall, and you're golden. Remember when you're marking to stick a little spacer against the wall to allow for expansion.

Does that make sense? This blog is going to either drastically improve my writing or make me give up in despair. Describing home repairs is excruciatingly hard!

*Heh heh, heh heh. I said "butts." Heheh, heheh.

1 comment:

  1. It's not fair that small narrow things take just as long or longer than long wide things...

    Congrats, it's looking really good.