Lifting Floorboards without damaging them

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by roogy, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. roogy

    roogy New Member

    I'm renovating a property and want to leave the floorboards exposed in the lounge. I need to lift some to runs cables etc. but am not sure how to do this without damaging them. Any ideas ?
     
  2. chippy155

    chippy155 New Member

    the only way i have been able to achive this is use a wide bolster and knock down one of the joins and break off the tounge on one board after the firs board is up your away
     
  3. taffy

    taffy New Member

    cut down the length using a hand held circular saw set the depth to cut just the tounge off

    dave
     
  4. bathstyle

    bathstyle Active Member

    If you want to leave them exposed after the work then have they got a tongue and groove?

    If not then it is a case of gently prying them up with 2 or more bolsters, making sure that you dont damage the board that you use to rest the bolster on. Just lay something flat under the bolster.

    Also dont cut the board with a circ saw along the joist but cut it with a handsaw once the board has been lifted slightly and wedged up, this will avoid cutting the boards next to the one getting lifted as would happen if you used a circ saw.
     
  5. panlid

    panlid New Member

    roogy, if you want to leave them exposed after lifting you will always see that it has been lifted. no matter how good you do it you will always see it. its just a matter of how much you care.
     
  6. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    So far, the consensus seems to be that you cannot do it without some damage.
    Think about this one. It is for yourself, so you have a bit more time to spend on it, perhaps.
    You will have to remove skirting boards at either end. If you are lucky, the floorboards won't be under the plaster(which will allow them to be lifted straight upwards).
    Most likely they will be under the plaster, so you will need to cut off, say 5 of them, both ends, So that they miss the wall but still get covered by the skirting(later replaced). Then you will need a straight punch to punch all the nails down through the floorboards, so they will now all be unfixed.
    You may find some nails that you can pull. Now you need two or three large screws. Screw these into a couple of now redundant nail holes in the middle board of the five(as far into the floorboard as you can without going into the joist). No damage yet ?
    Now a couple of claw hammers(or one and a jemmy) on the screws and lift the board up. Hopefully, the board will lift with the others and you have five boards out, no damage. Carefully, and I think it's possible. Sorry if a bit of a long explanation. Ignore it if you like. Some, I'm sure, will poo-poo it.

    Handyandy - really
     
  7. panlid

    panlid New Member

    excellent idea
     
  8. panlid

    panlid New Member

    or you could hang from the ceiling rose and suck them up using a strong vacuum;)





































    no seriously it sounds good to me:)
     
  9. bathstyle

    bathstyle Active Member

    Wish I'd thought of that
     
  10. panlid

    panlid New Member

    so do i gggrrrrrrrr:(
     
  11. Stoday

    Stoday New Member

    You've still got to cut the tongues.

    If the boards have dried a bit you will have a small gap between boards. Having punched the nails down on a couple of boards you can lever the gap wide enough to run a circ saw down, except for the ends. If you're lucky, the ends that you can't cut are on a joist, which stops the bottom of the board breaking away when you hit the tongue with a bolster to make the final cut.
     
  12. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    You've still got to cut the tongues.

    If the boards have dried a bit you will have a small
    gap between boards. Having punched the nails down on
    a couple of boards you can lever the gap wide enough
    to run a circ saw down, except for the ends. If
    you're lucky, the ends that you can't cut are on a
    joist, which stops the bottom of the board breaking
    away when you hit the tongue with a bolster to make
    the final cut.

    Well' this is what we're trying to avoid. If you are lucky
    the bottom lip of the centre board(the one you're lifting)
    groove will flex enough(or even split a bit) to allow you to get that board out.

    Handyandy - really
     
  13. toffeeboy1

    toffeeboy1 New Member

    I'm in the middle of renovating my 90 yr old house. I started out with the idea of carefully lifting the old floor boards, treating what beasties and fungus lay beneath then relaying boards. I ended up splintering/breaking so many of the damned things that i've replaced the lot with new. I've stained them down for that 'old' look and they look the dogs! Gonna use the decent lenghths of the old boards to make my garden furniture.
     
  14. bodget&scarpers

    bodget&scarpers New Member

    wot u boys need is a tounge splitter,and its brother the saw,the latter is a saw blade about 2inchs in diameter and on a shoe plate,with a rachet lever 2 cut across the board,u simply put ur foot on it an saw away,the splitter works the same way,but is just a circular disc,about 1m/m wide put it in the gap and just push along with ur foot 2 split the toung!
     
  15. lectureman

    lectureman New Member

    Just had plumbers in (expensive ones) upgrading my boiler and hotwater system. The plumbing was fine, but what they did to my floorboards grrrrrr.

    My approach is to use a cordless (and hence thin kerf) circular saw set to just split the tongues off where you want to lift. If you can get the whole board you want out cleared you can then just lift it out with a couple of jemmys, prybars or (my favourite) catspaws

    If you want traps to do wiring (i.e. short sections) then use one of those catspaw jemmy things (the nail lifter end) to hoik the nails out where they'll foul the saw as you crosscut (be brave - it works, with not too much danage) Then cut across the board with the blade set about 1 mm deeper than the board.

    This has all set me thinking though. Are you listening, Mr Ferm? Couldn't we do with a dedicated power flooring saw (sorry but those hand things just seem too much hard work) - blade as small as possible to do an inch or so cut, but as close as possible to ends and edges of the tool - hence keep the guard/baseplate as close to the blade as possible, and not too much overhang in front, so that you can get up to skirtings.

    Could also do with a really nice thin, shiny bolster with an edge you could shave with to split the bits right at the ends. Dangerous I know, but hell so are most chisels in unskilled hnads...
     
  16. bathstyle

    bathstyle Active Member

    Fein Multimaster
     
  17. Markybob

    Markybob New Member

    Fein multimaster, and circ saw through the nails, the tct bladeds easy handle them, use dedicated blade (and safety specs)
     
  18. themissingelf

    themissingelf Member

    Two thoughts...

    1. Prise the boards up at the edge of the room so that furniture covers the damage. Or, prise the boards up but then rearrange them so that damage is under the furniture.

    2. If you can get to the ceiling below (or basement), make a hole in the ceiling under the board/s you want to lift and push them up from underneath. Repair the ceiling when you're done.

    OK, three thoughts: If you're gonna sand them. Consider flipping the damaged boards over so the backs are exposed.
     
  19. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds New Member

    elf, your sentiments are ok

    but........

    taking lots of boards up is hard work


    boards are mostly put down good side up in the first place
    (others were rough sawn and others adzed)
     
  20. bonnie the botch

    bonnie the botch New Member

    lay a cheap brown lino with wood effect and varnish it she'll never spot it.....lol
     

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