The end of the floor installation
The border and thresholds are now installed - the next step is to sand and finish the floor. Thanks to everyone who has offered their opinions on the finish. Your advise has positively influenced us for sure - and we are going to go with a very simple finish. I made up a small test section of floor, sanded it to 120 grit and applied a single coat of double boiled linseed oil. Everything came alive and the ray flecks and curly hard maple look amazing.
Installing the mitered corners
Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of the “miter station”. I clamped a shooting board to our kitchen island and used my large mitre plane to shoot all the mitres. The plane performed wonderfully.
We had to do some face nailing on the outermost courses of the border - the stapler could not get in that tight.
Steve and I were pretty surprised at how slowly the border went. The installation took almost as long as the herringbone did. We also realized that there were 14 mitered corners in this room - as opposed to 4 in a square space. I do not regret all the corners though - they really make the space pretty amazing.
There were a few high spots in the floor but a small smoother made very quick work of it. This should greatly reduce the sanding time.
I used some curly quarter sawn white oak for the thresholds. These were a bit tricky to install - the new floor had the tongues facing towards the existing floor, and the existing floor had the tongues facing the new floor. I ended up cutting a dado in both edges of the threshold and pushed it in place with the adjacent white oak strip still loose. It worked very well and the joints are very tight. Oh, and to add yet another twist - the threshold had to be tapered a bit to square the two floors to one another.