Hardwood tounge and groove as project wood?

Still waiting for my Onefinity - but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to accumulate some materials to use as projects.

I’m curious if it’s a terrible idea to use tounge and groove hardwood? I was thinking of just glueing/clamping board together and doing designs into them. I’d use a surfacing bit first to take any finish off.

The price seems okay 100sqft of Brazilian Cherry for $100.

I don’t see any reason that wouldn’t work.

Depending on your carve depth you may run into voids where the tongue doesn’t seat at the back of the groove.

You could always rip off the tongue and groove and glue up that way. I’ve done that with t&g oak floor


The finishes are typically very hard and sometimes contain things like aluminum oxide to make them more wear resistant, you can cut it but it may dull the bits more quickly. I’d stick to carbide bits with Brazilian Cherry no matter what, it is also very hard :wink:


Seems like a great idea for both cost and easier glue up than flat jointed boards. Look forward to seeing what you make!


If you have a belt sander I would use that to get down to bare wood. Like Derek said, the finish on the wood is designed to prevent wear from people walking on it with dirty feet. They put very small, but hard, bits (I often see aluminum oxide (which is what is used for sand paper)) into the clear. The idea is that as the clear wears down the bits come to the surface and prevent the clear from wearing down further. It’ll be hard on any bit you use. Since your new I wouldn’t be too hard on your bits yet as you’ll likely break one.

Take a course grit sanding belt to it and then you can learn how to surface the board with the 1F. You’re going to want a surfacing bit for the spoilboard you’ll find they work great for flattening boards. Also pre finished flooring will have slight bevels on the edges. Sanding/ surfacing will remove them leaving a nice smooth board.

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Thanks for the help! Good idea using a belt sander before using my bits - I’ve already got a Whiteside surfacing bit on hand for when I goto surface my spoil board, I’ll use a belt sander on the boards before that though.

Once upon a life-time ago I used to do hardwood floor refinishing, so removing finish isn’t completely abstract to me from hardwoods… If I’m ever given the option between using an Edger again or jumping off a bridge though…i’ll take the bridge.

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Another thing to think about though, what does the other side look like? Does it have the same finish? If not, you could just carve into the back. No matter what, that’s still a really good buy, approximately $1.00 a board foot for Brazilian Cherry ( jotoba ) will give you lots of wood to mess with. Takes a really nice finish too. As someone else mentioned, irregardless of the finish, this wood is very hard on bits, be very gentle and take very little off with each pass using the sharpest bit you can find. Burn marks are a drag.

Just my opinion, I would cut off the tongue and grove and edge join the pieces. That would eliminate the possibility of machining into a gap in the joint or if the joints don’t exactly line up. Nice find

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Stuff works fine. I have been making coasters from old tongue and groove flooring for years

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I’ve used this type of material a lot since I’m such a tightwad… It’s usually great and the only downside is often the shaped back of the plank. I would sand off the finish, which was usually a 2-part varnish, and mount that down to work the backside. I’ve made plenty of boxes that way.

You can glue some pieces together using the tongue and groove to give a different look also. In this case the seam will always be apparent as the grooves are not filled completely with the tongue. Or just trim and glue-up as mentioned above.

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