NWFA Hosts 2016 Advanced Training School

By Megan Lhamon, NWFA

Last month, NWFA hosted the 2016 Advanced Training school, led by Regional Instructor Toby Merrill, at our St. Louis headquarters.

“This was a great learning opportunity for students – there’s no better place to try new things than at an NWFA school,” says Merrill. “It was very unique that the students were able to execute these projects from the design process all the way through applying the finish, trying new techniques and using new tools along the way.”

This training event was specialized in that each group of students was able to work on an actual jobsite, designing, installing and finishing some permanent floors in the NWFA office. Here are some highlights from each office remodel:


OFFICE 1 – Stephanie Owen

  • Using random width white oak students distressed the floor by running it through a wire brush machine and gave it more texture by pillowing the edges.
  • Students planed the wood to varying thicknesses to give the floor a more rustic and unique look.
  • Students chiseled decorative mortise and tenon joints randomly throughout the floor for a unique touch.

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OFFICE 2 – Penny Key

  • Students cut the floor into the pattern using an existing parquet pattern. The bowties had to be hand-cut to complete the pattern.
  • Students wire brushed and trowel filled with a wood flooring paint to color the springwood. After it dried, the excess paint was lightly sanded off, then a stain was applied to replicate a weathered wood look.
  • The corners were cut into a shell pattern and hand carved to create a realistic dimension. Each shell was then painted.
  • The entire floor was also glazed with a glitter additive prior to the top coats being applied.


OFFICE 3 – Debbie Edgar

  • Wide plank white oak was installed on a diagonal with a quartersawn/plainsawn repeating pattern. The maple was installed in a starburst pattern.
  • Students burned the edges of the maple planks to create a blackened/charred edge profile.
  • Students then routed in a radius of aluminum and walnut to separate the 2 floors
  • The floor was finished with some reactives and penetrating oils to achieve a very unique look.



  • Using Brazilian Walnut (Ipe), maple and wenge, the students designed a pattern to be installed at the foyer of headquarters.
  • Prior to installation, it was necessary to create a ramp from the door to the offices, raising the floor from 3/4” to 1-3/4”, where the students mixed floor patch and leveler to achieve this.
  • To make the parquet pattern, the students used trued (square to the blade path) set up with the table saw sled to cut 100s of precision cut pieces.
  • Students used geometry to figure out where to place each cut’s stop blocks and index screws to make precision adjustments to the calculated cuts.
  • Gang cutting (cutting groups of boards at once) made production efficient by multiples, saving a lot of time.
  • Seven different species of wood were used to add color and diversity to the floor without using stains or reactives.

NWFA would like to personally thank our students, instructors, and Partners in Education for helping to make this school such a success.

Eric Brungardt
Chuck Burkhart
Jared Fitzgerald
Shawn Garcia
Christopher Garcia
Patrick Guidera
Mike Piccirillo
Aaron Schaalma
Luc Theoret
Robert Wallace

John Geyen
Lenny Hall
Randy Harris
Wayne Lee
Toby Merrill
Nick Motto
Tim Nathan
Steve Seabaugh
Ben Totta
John Travelin

Allegheny Mountain Hardwood
Basic Coatings
Beno J. Gundlach Company
CDC Larue Industries, Inc.
Clarke American
Delmhorst Instruments
Easy Grove Tools
Endurance Floors
Fortifiber Building Systems Group
Franklin International
General Finishes
Hardwood Industry Products
Lägler USA
Mannington Mills
MAPEI Corporation
Middle Tennessee Lumber
Motto’s Hardwood Flooring
Rubio Monocoat
Seabaugh Custom Floors
Somerset Wood Products
Square Scrub
Super Max Tools
Timbermate Group
Totta Hardwoods
Wagner Meters
Walk on Wood
Weyerhaeuser Company
WOCA Denmark

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