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Old 09-16-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


Here is a short "how to" I'm sure many are already familiar with. After trashing a piece of door trim I am planning to use by trying to back nails out the way they went in, I remembered something I read.

Rather than backing them out, pull them on through. Finish nails are designed for a one way journey. A bench vise works well for this.

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Old 09-16-2010, 10:22 PM   #2
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


thats a great old tricklinesman pliers or nippers work well too

but with the lead paint issues today you may be better off getting old trim out of your house

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Old 09-16-2010, 10:27 PM   #3
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


Thanks Tom. The addition was built in 1990 so it think that trim is safe. The rest of my house was originally an ice house of unknown vintage, moved to the current site and built into a house in 1939. Did they use lead in clear finishes, lacquer and such?
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


No lead in the clear finishes-----usually shellac--food safe--
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:38 PM   #5
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


it was used in everything,the safest way is to test it or just assume it is on houses built before 1978
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:08 PM   #6
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


I use vise grips in reverse. The rounded edge makes for a good pull. For stubborn nails I will use a small piece of wood for backing as so I will not damage the wood I am trying to save.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:37 AM   #7
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


and for the more stubborn nails

http://nailkicker.com/joomla/
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:41 PM   #8
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


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it was used in everything,the safest way is to test it or just assume it is on houses built before 1978
i agree
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:05 PM   #9
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


A lot of times I would use a drift pin punch and drive the nails out the back while it was still nailed in place. As Jim F said, you don't want to drive the nail back out the front.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:17 PM   #10
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


Medium size end nippers. You don't need any other tool for leverage. You don't need to pound anything with a hammer. Fastest way hands down. I would put it to the test any day.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:35 AM   #11
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


There is a tool for that known a carpenters pincers and are usually difficult to find. They are plyer like and designed to grab the nail firmly. A smooth rolling set of jaws protect the wood and pull the nail out the back using leverage. The best ones I've found I got from Lee Valley tools years ago. Just used them a few weeks ago and along with a wide thin prybar I saved all the trim from 5 doors to use again.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:51 PM   #12
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


I was justing wondering if there is a way other than paint and varnish removal, to clean up baseboard molding , this is in an old house, and it is the top or cap molding that I removed, I thought that there might be a router bit of some type that would fit the molding so I could clean it better or is there a lathe machine that has a piece that would adapt to the shape of the molding to shave it better
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:09 PM   #13
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


If its an old house strip the wood and keep its original historical value. Don't reshape it. If you strip the rest of the base board they won't look the same
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:54 PM   #14
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


Channel lock pliers used backward can also work for pulling finish nails out through the back.

Or is that the front? The part against the ...substrate.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:39 AM   #15
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How to remove old finish nails and save wood.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
A lot of times I would use a drift pin punch and drive the nails out the back while it was still nailed in place. As Jim F said, you don't want to drive the nail back out the front.
+1. Worked for me when removing old weatherboards prior to having my house resited.

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