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Removing 18 gauge brads from Oak

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Forum topic by Douglas posted 1139 days ago 1669 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Douglas

284 posts in 1164 days


1139 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m trying to save about eight pieces of red oak that were pinned together with 18 gauge brads in door frames. Those little nails break off 50% of the time when trying to pull them with pliers. They’re too soft to hammer the heads out, not that there is very much in the way of heads on those. Any tips or suggestions for the best way to get these out, especially the ones that are broken off?

-- Douglas in Chicago - http://dcwwoodworks.com


20 replies so far

View learnin2do's profile

learnin2do

866 posts in 1456 days


#1 posted 1139 days ago

The pliar/hammer tool from …oh, wait…I don’t think they have that store anymore -sharper image, but I think they sell them other places – that is the only tool I have ever had luck doing that with. – I guess the angle is right or something. – it is awesome for that and carpet removal!

-- christine

View philip marcou's profile

philip marcou

262 posts in 1201 days


#2 posted 1139 days ago

As you say, they usually break off if you try to pull them-if there is enough to pull on. I suggest you cut them near to flush then flush them with a file which will give a nail punch something to centre on then just punch them below the surface: since it is Oak you can fill the holes with slivers of Oak which will look entirely natural.
I have recently done just that with some reclaimed timber and saved much time and frustration.

View David 's profile

David

81 posts in 1238 days


#3 posted 1139 days ago

try wetting the wood real good to make it swell a little. put vice grips on brad ans twist just a little back and forth using very little pressure. keep the wood wet. get a very large drink of your choice it will take a while. It took me a day and half to get a broken bolt out of a water jacket on my old cummins engine one time. It cost a case of beer but saved me about $3000.00 for a used block. soaking wood is how i put marbles in my bull whip handles.
good luck.

-- David, Center,Texas

View BobTheFish's profile

BobTheFish

361 posts in 1156 days


#4 posted 1139 days ago

I agree with the hammer down till flush method, and use another nail slightly smaller or about the same size as a pin set to knock them out. Even if you use a same size nail, the act of hammering down (combined with the fact that you’ll be using stiffer nails, most likely), should change the hole enough that the new nails would be easier to pull out..

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saddletramp

994 posts in 1243 days


#5 posted 1139 days ago

I have one of these: http://www.nailextractor.com/ and although it’s not perfect, I’ve had pretty good luck with it. Oh, it always seems to work better if you start from the back and pull the nail

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1673 days


#6 posted 1139 days ago

Pulling brads out of hardwood will almost always be an exercise in futility – they have an incredible “grip”.

I either cut them away, or clip them flush and use a nail set to drive them below the surface so I can use a filler to hide them.

If you cut them away, be careful. Cutting them with a carbide blade doesn’t seem to be a problem, but I doubt if a regular steel blade will do very well.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View rsdowdy's profile

rsdowdy

105 posts in 1800 days


#7 posted 1139 days ago

Thats a great question! I have alot of pallet norwegian spurce (I guess spruce is spruce) and it has small nails that need to be removed. Seeing that I was just going to use this wood to pratice skills with I was just going to chomp off the ends and nailed areas, but, I’d like to see what answers people come up with!

Good question, thanks for asking it and thank everyone who answers!

Royal

View rmoore's profile

rmoore

313 posts in 1239 days


#8 posted 1139 days ago

Woodcraft sells an extractor for screws. The smallest is 1/4 inch. You cut out around the screw/ nail then fill the hole. http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2000983/2009/Screw-Extractor-14.aspx

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1957 days


#9 posted 1139 days ago

Been there, done this. Many times.

I use tempered hardboard on all my bench tops so that when it gets used up, damaged I replace it and the bench looks new again. I hold the hardboard in place with brads, usually more then I need to. When I rip the hardboard off I have to remove the brads.

As long as the brads are sticking up a bit I can get them out with a small diagonal cutter (real small cutter), better know as a wire cutter. If the brad has a little head on it you can close the cutter on it so that you pull on the head using the tip of the cutter as the fulcrum (lever) point. If there is no head I carefully squeeze the cutter biting into the brad being real careful not to cut through it but enough to grab it, then again, lever it out.

Looks like yours are sticking out enough to try this.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1957 days


#10 posted 1139 days ago

Here’s what I consider small diagonal cutters.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1243 days


#11 posted 1139 days ago

Curt, that is just what the extractor ( http://www.nailextractor.com/ ) does but with less damage to the surrounding wood.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View rsdowdy's profile

rsdowdy

105 posts in 1800 days


#12 posted 1139 days ago

I like the looks of that nail extractor Bob. Anyone else have good/bad experience with that tool? I expect alot of my hardwood will be reclaimed wood at first so am curious about these different removal tools/efforts. Would hate to mess us a set of knives trying to save 1.00 worth of wood.

Royal

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1957 days


#13 posted 1139 days ago

Bob, will it do brads? I always thought those were for bigger nails and wouldn’t grip something as small as brads.

Just checked out the link, guess it does brads.

I always wanted one of those for bigger nails after seeing something similar used by Norm and on other shows but could not find any locally. Thanks for the link! I saw it before and looked at it but didn’t read the part that said brads. Not priced too bad either.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1243 days


#14 posted 1139 days ago

It works pretty good on brad, pulls them right through the wood, head and all …... most of the time. Sometimes it will break them off in the wood.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View William's profile

William

8931 posts in 1447 days


#15 posted 1139 days ago

Catfish skinning pliers. Do an internet search and you can see what I’m talking about if you don’t know what they are. Don’t grip the brad and just go one way though. Get ahold of it and kind of rock the pliers back and forth on their ends. I get I guess about 99% out this way. I have yet to find a way to get them all out all the time.
Go here to see a pair of catfish skinning pliers.
If you are planning on doing this much and also are a fisherman, you need more than one pair. Pulling nails with them over time renders them useless for skinning catfish with them. Besides that, I really don’t want catfish smell on my wood work.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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