At the end of day 3 (with a little bit of day 2 in there)
The floor progressed very nicely on the second day, and by lunchtime, the herringbone field was done. Well... all the full length pieces anyway. I then doubled back and filled in all the ends of the peaks and valleys with shorter lengths. All of these shorter pieces were glued to the adjacent pieces because many of them could not be safely nailed. There was a blue line around the perimeter of the room to define where the border would start. We were careful not to nail on the outside of this blue line.
When Steve and I were discussing this floor several years ago - one of the aspects that stumped us was how to cut a clean line around the perimeter. Then we saw the Festool TS55 and the lightbulb when off. This was the perfect tool for this challenging job. It was this realization that started me down the Festool slope (did I mention I bought a Domino? :)
The saw and rail system did not disappoint. In fact, it was the easiest step so far. I was a little worried about how to deal with cutting the inside corners, but they were no problem for one simple reason. Dust extraction. Because the extractor is so good, all you had to do was look to see where the blade was cutting and when to stop. What a novel idea - using your eyes to watch the cut! I was able to “kiss the line” on the inside corners and am waiting for a friend to lend me his Fein Multi-Tool to finish it off.
Here are a few views of the herringbone with the perimeter defined (and the few inside corners left to be trimmed).
Thankfully - I did not hit any nails while cutting the perimeter. The shot above shows a nail that had been placed really close to the line. We used a nail set to bury it as deep as we could and marked it on the top. After the cut, I took a look to see how close we were. If we had not used the nail set - we would have hit it for sure. Note the blue line just in front of the cut.
The next step is the border. This has been a little troubling to be honest. We do not want something that stands out too much - we are worried about visually shrinking the room. After some samples and test borders we have settled on the sample above. It is a layer of dyed Swiss pear (looks like ebony), then a layer of 3/16" curly maple and then another layer of black Swiss pear. The Swiss pear is over sized veneer - .7 mm thick. It is going to be subtle - but that is what we are after. I figure I have to make 150 linear feet of the banding.
I am going to need more clamps.
Oh, and I am still working too. I have been applying the last coats of french polish to a Desert Ironwood filled SNo.4.