DELETING THE DAMAGE

Because tongue-and-groove boards are locked in place, removal involves cutting out the middle of each damaged board. The easiest way is to bore a 1-in.-dia. hole through both ends of each damaged board (photo 1). Then use a circular saw to connect the two holes (photo 2). Follow these steps to safely make the plunge cuts: 1. Adjust the depth of cut to the thickness of the floorboards. Plug in the saw and put on eye protection. 2. Pull back the retractable blade guard with your thumb. Then hold the nose of the baseplate on the floorboard and lift up the rear of the saw. 3. Align the blade with the right edge of one of the holes. Make sure the blade isn't touching the floor, then squeeze the trigger and slowly lower the spinning blade into the board. 4. Grip the saw firmly with both hands and guide it in a straight line until you cut into the right edge of the hole at the opposite end of the board. 5. Move back to the first hole, align the blade with the left edge and cut to the left edge of the second hole. Pry out the middle section with a hammer and chisel. Chop out the remaining edges, being careful not to damage any surrounding boards (photo 3). The "tongue" piece will be nailed in place, so break it out in small pieces. Then pull out the nails with a hammer or locking pliers. The existing floorboards have a tongue and groove milled on each end and along the edges. Chop off the tongue exposed by the board you just removed so you can slip in the new board (photo 4).

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