OK, so now that the kitchen challenge is all over, I guess it’s a good time to post a blog regarding kitchen items … or… hold on… um – oops. too late.
Oh well, I guess I’ll blog this anyways.
So, the plan is to make a bread board. for the time being, the design shall remain unseen and will reveal in details as this blog series will progress. The board is primarily made of hard maple that I am recovering from bowling alley floors (I still have about half a lane from building my workbench) with possible accent from my recently sliced applewood that is dry and ready for use.
I wanted to dedicate this first post to how I recover the lumber from these floors as they are fully loaded with twisted hardened steel nails which in the past I had a hell of a time getting out but now that I’ve gotten smarter I figured someone might find this useful, so away we go:
Step 1: Relieving the Boards
To begin, I found that it’s impossible to take the nails out while the boards are still attached to one another and it’s easier to handle the nails from a single board. so first step is to relieve the boards from one another. The easiest way (for me) to do this is to use 2 wedge type tools to systematically spread the top board apart starting at one end pounding 1 wedge in, then as the board slightly pulls apart, pound 2nd wedge further ahead into the board, as it lifts the board more, the 1st wedge will come loose, take 1st wedge, and pound it further ahead along the board – rinse and repeat until you get to the end, and the board is slightly lifted off the lamination:
Once the board is slightly released, I can freely slide my nail puller bar in the open space, and by pushing down, fully release the board from the lamination starting at the far end, moving along it’s length, I push down on the bar with medium force trying not to break the board, but just release it slightly until I get to the end – if it’s not fully released, start from the beginning again now that it’s a bit looser – applying a bit more force until it just pops out clean:
Step 2: Preparing the nails to be pulled
Now that the board is on it’s own and in porcupine mode, we can deal with the nails as they are only going through 1 board, and we have access to both their tip, and head.
The easier way to do this is not to try and pull the nails from the head at this point, but to pound on their tips (from the underside) so that half the nail with the head will be pushed up from the board giving us better access to the head for pulling it out in the next step:
Step 3: Out you go
Now that the nails have been pound upwards, we can lay the board flat (well, not fine woodworking flat – but you know what I mean) on the ground/workbench to pull the nails out.
What I found out was that if you’ll try pulling the nails simply using the hammer/nail puller, the angle created by the hammer will be too steep and will mostly cause the nails to break in half (these are hardened nails – they DO NOT bend – they SNAP). to overcome this issue, I found that placing a spacer (3/4 material) under the hammer head to lift it up will cause the pulling action to pull the nail STRAIGHT UP (mostly), reducing the chance of the nail to break. I can say that after starting to use the spacer, 99% of the nails pulled out easily in whole. only a few nails broke – and I believe it is because they were weak, or had been pound unevenly:
The few nails that either broke off, or were broken to begin with did require to be hammered out with a pin punch, using the techniques described above – there were only a handful of broken nails compared to ~100 whole nails that were pulled.
The result (I actually have double the quantity of lumber cleaned out at the momend) after planing and jointing (still need to rip to width last edge) is this:
Lots of lumber waiting to be glued back together.
As I mentioned – I have double the quantity. the problem is that while planing the other half or the boards, my planer broke down- UGH talk about timing. with my recent interest in machining and what it entails, I took the planer apart, and found that the sprocket that drives the chain that turns the feed drums broke in half. the interesting thing is that (A) I could not find the broken half of it, making me think it was broken when I bought it and was somehow still functional until it just gave up traction now and (B) this is the 2nd gear in the last 2 days that I found broken on my machines – both as it seems broke for the previous owner. I called and ordered the part and in the mean time – planing the rest of the boards with my handplanes.
I don’t mind jointing by hand, I actually like it. I don’t mind thicknessing by hand in general, but for something like this – where there are lots of small boards that all need to be planed down to the exact same thickness so that they can be laminated in staggered fashion without leaving gaps – I really would prefer to run them all through my planer in a batch. oh well. a step back, but not too bad.
Next, glueing it up (yes, it’s a lot of lumber, and yes- it’s big).
P.S. I’ll blog my fix to the planer when I get the part, so if anyone is ever running into issues with the rollers not feeding – you may find it useful as well.
Thanks for reading,
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.