A beautiful floor of hickory was the result when Charlie Griffin and his family decided to complete the floor they started for over 28 years ago.
Charlie Griffin of Logosol, Inc. and his wife Kathleen raised 6 kids on an unfinished floor.
”We built the house ourselves and ran out of funds before we could get the flooring down in our large living area. We had just the plywood for a floor for 28 years,” Charlie says. ”We never had to worry about a spill ruining the floor, or when kids wanted to screw the Christmas tree to the floor to keep it from falling. It actually made a pretty nice floor. ”
But, finally he got some time recently to mill some hickory that his brother-in-law
had given him a few years ago to use for his floor. ”We tarped it, but after a year or two the tarps blew off and water got to the lumber.” So, the lumber got weather stained. ”It looked pretty rough!”
This fall, he and his wife and some of his children started working through the lumber.
”We pulled the best pieces and ripped them into 3.5” and 5.5” pieces”. he says. ”I was worried about how the lumber would look, but we began to mill this lumber on the moulder, and some really beautiful flooring started to emerge!”
The hickory was, of course, very tough to work with. But, with patience and good tooling the hickory got milled. He used center-matched T&G side knives which allowed the lumber to be put down on either side.
”This center-matched technique allowed us to choose which side we wanted to be visible when we put the flooring down,” Charlie says. ”We could examine each board and select the best looking side and get the most out of this lumber. If a board had a bad spot on one side, we would use the other.”
A family affair
When the time came to put the flooring down, it was a family affair. His sons and son-in-law and daughter and wife all joined in the effort.
”Hickory has a variety of colors in it, from darker heartwood to the whiter sapwood, and the weather staining had black and grey streaks running through it. You also, have to understand that this lumber was rejects from a handle mill, which only uses the highest quality hickory. If a board has curly grain in it, it is rejected. So, this wood had a lot of curly in it, and that made for some beautiful flooring,” he explains.
The floor has several ”special” boards in it. Everyone in the family has picked out their favorite piece of flooring. Charlie’s is the piece that Sarah put where you first enter the room, where it will never get covered up. He tells a story about it.
”It seems that a hunter went hunting squirrels one day and shot at one and missed it. The bullet that missed the lucky squirrel was lodged in a piece of flooring and went through the planer. We didn’t notice it until it was through. It shined up nicely and now is a unique piece in our floor,” he explains. It has become a game for any new visitors to find the bullet in the floor.