For this project I have experimented with various wood thicknesses and found that the thinnest wooden coffee sticks on the market work the best. They are the easiest and fastest way to cut if you use an Exacto knife or better yet, Miter Shears.
I started by cutting a 10x10in base for my flooring out of thick cardboard. Then I placed one uncut piece of a coffee stirrer down and decided on the length of each plank. I went for 1" but you can vary the size to whatever you like best. I marked the 1" sections using a ruler and made sure to leave room for the round ends that need to be cut off. Then it was a matter of cutting the pieces using the Miter Shears (ordered via Amazon). Easy Peezy!
In no time I had 140 pieces of wood planks cut out!
Tip: Don’t throw out the rounded cut off pieces. They can be used as drawer pulls and decorative elements in future projects.
Before you place the pieces make sure that the ends are clean. You can always sand the ends a bit for a clean fit.
I used Aleene's Tacky glue to adhere the pieces to the cardboard and it worked very well. After you have all wood pieces placed, cut off any extending edges. Then place the finished floor under some heavy books and let the glue dry overnight.
Now let me tell you about Miter Shears
Miter Shears cut through a variety of materials like wood, molding, wires and rubber. You might be able to cut thin sheets of metal, but heavier metal and stainless steel can not be cut with this tool.
Another huge benefit is that you can cut angles. The adjustable slider on the scale surface allows for a 45°-135°cutting range, which comes in very handy when you need to make baseboards and need angled cuts. I quickly made some cuts just to show you what can be done.
Hand held Miter Shears are ideal for the miniaturist, since they take up so little room and can be used at a moments notice. I keep mine in a drawer, that's how little room they take up and it saves me from having to use a miter saw that takes much longer to cut with.
When working on such small wood pieces it just does not make sense to bring out heavy-duty machinery. Heck, you can cut these pieces using this tool while watching TV. No wood cutting dust and no mess!
When I first figured out how many pieces of wood I needed to cut, I thought "Wau - my hand will hurt after this. However, after cutting 140 pieces I can say that the comfortable ergonomic handle and anti-skid cover did their job. I did not experience hand fatigue at all. Now I have to also state that the coffee stirrers I used were very thin, when I cut thicker pieces, I do need to lean in and that's when a strong grip comes in useful. I lack that strength and will for now stick to thinner woods until I find a more suitable tool for those tasks.
The shears have a blade that looks like a very heavy duty Exacto style blade. To change out the blade you just remove the screws and change out the blade. This assures that you can make very clean cuts with every new project. On a side note, if you see fraying on your cut pieces it probably means that it is time to change out the blade.
Now that the floor is placed, it is time to think about what stain color to use. I will post another update on the next step soon.
Everyone will be in awe of your handmade flooring and I’ll bet you are itching to see what other more intricate designs you can come up next. I am already planning new floor designs.