From total noob to somewhat skilled (hopefully) #5: Healing...2 steps forward... a stumble backwards

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Blog entry by JohnTM posted 09-12-2017 06:25 PM 1853 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: An unwanted and unexpected delay Part 5 of From total noob to somewhat skilled (hopefully) series Part 6: News...good? bad? indifferent? »

Quick update. Swung a hammer for the first time today… hurt but manageable pain… so i thought.

Was doing simple nail removal from pallet wood. Had a wrist brace on that helped some with the crowbar and hammer prying – helped as in allowed me to actually put pressure on “the lever”. of course things had to become “difficult” when some of the nail heads snapped off/bent into useless shapes. So, I went to the vise grip on the nail shaft removal technique. Slipped along the shaft.

Decided to do ”whack-a-mole” medium-light whacks on the end of the vise grip handle rather than just trying to pry… tap, tap, whack.. little ouch.. tap, tap, whack… medium ouch… Nails did come out for the most part. Continued for about an hour/hour and a half.

Took a break for lunch and my wrist started swelling up even though I was swinging the hammer with the non-sprained wrist, only holding the vise grip with the injured one. So much for the nail removal. Icing the wrist again… Probably 2 more days (or lots and lost o’ beer) “healing” before I play whack-a-nail again.

FWIW, I suck at swinging a hammer accurately with my “off-hand”, at least twice as badly as I suck swinging it with my “preferred” hand. Makes life interesting.

On the positive side, I made a temporary platform for my 9-inch throat bench vise to hold so I could “whack” the nails. Nothing phenomenal or even noteworthy but it was the positive note for the day.

-- John, SE Louisiana

3 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


4219 posts in 1961 days

#1 posted 09-12-2017 09:23 PM


You may find my series of blogs about working with recycled timber an interesting read.
Also there are lots of LJs that work with recycled timber, just do a search on the website.

When I first set out I used a lot of effort and tools to dismantle pallets, now all I use for the basic disassembly is a piece of wood about 1160mm long (a pallet plank) and just lever everything off.
Then removal of unwanted objects starts.
In most cases the end sections with nails in them simply get sawn off as the ends are usually damaged anyway.
All anaylyis must be accompanied by a beer of course.

have fun !!

-- Regards Robert

View Woodbutchery's profile


341 posts in 3342 days

#2 posted 09-13-2017 03:28 AM

Just remember to heal before you injure yourself again. Everyone is happier that way.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

View JohnTM's profile


49 posts in 35 days

#3 posted 09-13-2017 03:42 AM

Robert… that was a good read. Thanks. Very detailed and has a lot of info I’m learning on the fly…like how not all pallets are the same, how to realize what each pallet can actually “contribute” wood-wise, and which pallets just aren’t worth the effort to try to recycle, etc. I’m learning. Even after reading a couple similar articles elsewhere, there’s still the “experience is a great/harsh teacher” aspect. Applied knowledge is so much more memorable than just reading about something.

Woodbutchery… ya don’t know when you’re healed until you try something. But I know what you mean. At least I can walk up stairs without holding on now – my knee and ankle injuries are doing better than the wrist. Actually holding things in the injured hand is possible now – today I just learned not to hit anything actually being held IN the injured hand for now.

-- John, SE Louisiana

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