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How to harden soft (white) pine boards

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Wardner
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I am building an apartment in my antique (1780) hand-hewn barn loft. I have several thousand board feet of new old stock white pine boards. Probably milled in the '60s. At 16', they are long enough to span the bays. Width ranges from 16" to 20".

Want to use these as flooring. Is there some chemical that will "case harden", if you will, the surface yet leave the grain visible. Was also thinking about running them through something like a large metal forming set of rolls. I'd welcome other ideas.
 
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Ellis Kinney
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I know there is a chemical that hardens partly rotten lumber. I don't know the name of it, but it would probably google up. It might be worth a try. Ellis
 
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Jim in Ma.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You could use something like West Systems epoxy.
Regular polly will make it look yellow so I would not use that.
You need to seal it so if something gets spilled it won't stain.
Or - leave it unfiniched. At the museum I work at we have an old meeting house (chirch)built in 1789 that has a white pine floor Never been painted It still looks fine.
 
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Zachary Hoyt
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I was told recently that Minwax makes a product for that, but I imagine it would cost more than it would be worth for a job that size. I never heard of hardening lumber but would like to do it if there is a cost effective way. What I really need at the sawmill is log straightener.
Zach
 
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colophil
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Wardner, Go to Schroeders log home. I think there web site is loghelp.com, they have a product called liquid wood may be what you are looking for. I would just put a good floor finish on it myself. Phil
 
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GeneMO
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What would just a couple of coats of good polyurathane do.

I remember reading that the indians hardened their arrow shafts with heat. They also would use fire to straighten the shafts.

Gene
 
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Bret4207
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you run them through rolls you'll just crush the wood. I don't know of anything that will harden the wood, but they are finishes that are hard. Best bet is to visit a commercial flooring finisher and bend his ear.
 
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Ivan in Mich
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Minwax makes a hardner that works on soft wood or wood that I would call rotten. It works very well and I have seen vases turned after it was used and you could not tell it had been treated. I don't know if it would work in your case as the wood has to been sumerged in it overnight and as was said it could get real expensive.
 
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farmerjohn
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

However it is probably virgin pine which is much tigher grained and harder that anything milled in the past 50 years.
 
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tomtirediron
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Turned a baseball bat out of Ash one year in high school. Industrial Arts teacher, also a former triple A ball player told me bats were flame hardened by scorching surface very lightly. Don't know if it would work on pine but might be worth a try.
 
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Hound
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Just put an ash floor down in my house. Ash quite a bit harder then pine to start with thou. I put a polyurethane finish down that had aluminiun in it. I only did half the floor at a time. I couldn't get over how hard it made it feel. After a year, hardly any marks in it.
Hound
 
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Kerry N.S
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:46 am    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Did our kitchen floor(pine boards) with 3 coats varathane, wore off in 6 months. Won,t use varathane anymore. Did my wifes shop floor with linseed oil and thinner just keep rolling it on every time it soaked in, then just linseed oil and a dryer in the last coat. It has been on 10 yrs with heavy usage and still good. Mid wax is also good product. Good to ask around.
 
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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:44 am    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've been a professional cabinetmaker for 40 years and there is nothing you can do to harden pine wood. It's not uncommon to use a soft wood wood for flooring though. You just can't expect it not to dent like a oak or maple floor. The best thing you could do is use a tung oil floor finish and ignor the dents marks that are to come. You can re-apply the tung oil from time to time to clean up the scrape marks but nothing is going to make the floor not dent. Even if you coated the floor with fiberglass resin the wood will dent and then the fiberglass would separate from the wood leaving a air pocket that would look really bad.
 
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CH(upstate,NY)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I agree. When we built our Adirondack camp we just stained the plywood deck and applied 3 coats of tung oil. been standing up to sand and wet feet for 20 years. Going to recoat or install reclaimed pine or hickory next year.
 
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Bus Driver
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: How to harden soft (white) pine boards Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Increasing their dent resistance is not possible-- on a practical basis. Putting o a high gloss polyurethane finish will make the dents stand out visually. So a penetrating finish that creates no gloss is the best choice. The tung oil may build up on the surface if applied too heavily. Regular Minwax might be a good choice. 2 or 3 coats to start and recoated as desired.
 
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