Removing build up or having it re milled

Q: We recently were able to salvage 500/700 s/f of maple flooring from our local school that was being torn down to build a new one. The question is, is there a tool to remove the build up that accumulated between the joints in the floor.

For the last 30 years the floor was covered by carpet. This stuff is like concrete. The floor was originally put down in the 1900’s. the boards are 13/16 thick and just under 2-3/4 wide. I would prefer not to have the T and G remilled, do they make a special scraper for T and G.

A: I am not aware of any tool designed to remove such old finishes or adhesives that have seeped between the boards to contaminate the tongue and groove joints. There are tongue and groove bits you can get for routers or shapers. Perhaps one of proper size would work for you, to remove the mess. Or a table saw. Either way, it will be a time consuming job if you can’t just use a hand scraper or sharp chisel and have the stuff chip off.

That is the rub. You may have gotten this cheap or free, but you will pay somewhere along the line. Also, when it is re installed, it will likely take considerable professional sanding to get the floor flat. You will pay again. Difficult to say if it is worth it or not, but it seems a shame to just throw the stuff out, doesn’t it?

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