Wood with Wes

The hardwood flooring for our first floor is being cut this week! Blaine and I are excited for it to be installed soon.  

Knowing that the floor will inevitably get scuffed, scratched, and gain character over time, we wanted something hard but not crazy expensive. Also, I wanted a species relatively light in color with minimal contrast.  

Inspiration – Untreated flooring at the 1805 Woodlawn Plantation.

Locally harvested white oak is what we chose for its hardness, color, understated grain, and clarity.  

Generally anything from red oak on down is considered “hard”.

Note, the white oak won’t match the existing pine floors upstairs, and that’s okay! Historically, cheaper woods were used in private spaces like our upstairs bedrooms.

As for the width, we chose 3-1/4 inch – again for something simple, understated, and not to draw attention to itself.

Our white oak lumber arrived at Bond Brother’s Hardwoods in Ridgway, IL already kiln dried and rough cut into 1 inch thick, random width pieces.  This is called 4/4 (or four quarter) lumber.

Our rough cut four quarter boards.

Since we want 3-1/4 inch width flooring, the first step is to trim the random widths down to 3-1/2 inch planks.  (The additional 1/4 inch width is to allow for making the tongue later on in the process.)

Wes sends a board thru the trimmer.

Trimming the random width boards into 3-1/2 inch planks.

“Hoss” oversees the process.

Uniform 3-1/2 inch width planks.

Next, the planks are planed down to 15/16 inch thick.  Also, any knots or imperfections are cut out at this time.

This hump in a plank will disappear once planed.

Each plank goes thru the planing machine one at a time.

Finally, each plank goes through the molder machine, which simultaneously cuts on all four sides of the wood.  It does the final planing down to 3/4 inch thick, adds the tongue and groove, and makes a relief on the bottom of each floor board.

Internal blades of the molding machine.

Molding machine in action.

One of our finished floor boards! 500 more to go. 😀

Here it is flipped over to see the stress relief on the bottom.

The final flooring product is ready to be packaged, shipped, and installed at our house.

Besides quality hardwood flooring in a variety of thicknesses and widths, Bond also makes v-groove paneling, many different kinds of moldings, trim pieces, bead board, ship-lap, butcher block counters, stair treads, handrails, and the list goes on. Basically, if you have in mind a particular species and dimensions – they can make it! If you have your own old barn wood or other salvage wood material, they can turn it into wood flooring, paneling, or other product ready for installation!  They even make tables and other furniture pieces. I think I’ll be back here in the future for more than just wood flooring!  😉

Happy weekend,


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