Here’s a fast and easy tip for replacing or repairing a piece of wood strip flooring. The difficult part of patching a strip floor is making a clean, square cut in one piece without cutting into adjacent pieces. Most folks drill holes along a line and then chisel out the cut. As shown in the drawing, I found that using a biscuit joiner to make the cuts is much quicker and more accurate.
Set the depth of the cutter so that when it’s fully plunged, the portion of the exposed cutter at the base is equal to the width of the flooring, typically 2-1/4 in. Once I’ve decided where I want to make my cuts, I lay my square on the floor with one edge lined up with the edge of the floorboard. Then I put my knee on the square to hold it in place and mark the center of the floorboard on the square. This is my alignment mark for the biscuit joiner’s registration notch. Now I hold the base of the biscuit joiner against the square and plunge it straight down. Then I use a chisel to finish the cut. By the way, it’s a good idea to use an old cutter for this operation because you might hit the occasional nail.
David Hornstein, Lexington, MA