For plank widths above 5″ other widths should be mixed in

Q: I have the opportunity to purchase about 6000 linear feet of wormy ash planks that range from 4 to 10 inch wide. I would like to use about half in a home I am building.

Couple of questions. I have always been hesitant to go above a 6′ width on boards, so if I rip I lose about 20% of the total. Second the mill can not do T&G on butt ends. Given all this, should I just have it milled to 6′ and less? All the boards are 8″ so if I need to T&G the ends I guess I can just set up a router on site. But some people seem to feel the butt ends do not need to be secure.

A: The old rule was that for widths above 5″ other widths should be mixed in. No end matches? Sounds like a country mill. They never end match up where I am in this rural location. I would definitely use adhesive on the ends of the planks. You could also counter bore, screw and dowel the ends, though that may be more work than what you want and also not the look you want.

Follow-up: I think I will just mix some widths but not go above 6″. I probably can set up a couple router tables to deal with ends or as you say glue.

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