• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Going to spend the rest of my life de-nailing!

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Inspector

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
2,357
Reaction score
561
Location
Saskatoon, SK., Canada
I used to bring pallets home from work to salvage the wood and they were nailed together with glued and serrated nails. If the nail head was above the wood, like I see in the picture I would give them a hit with the hammer to help break the grip and use a long crowbar to pull it. Where they came through I cut the threads off a long bolt and drilled a hole a touch bigger in diameter than the nail and deep enough so that most of the nail was in the bolt. I could slide it over the bent nail to straighten it to approximately the way it was driven in and hit it with the hammer to get it moving. It won't buckle over like it does when hit with the hammer only. You can have a second bolt with a shorter hole to go further or just use the hammer from there and finish with a crowbar on the other side. The remaining ways have already been mentioned. I never heard of a de-nailer until I didn't have access to the pallets anymore. I do have a palm nailer now and would be tempted to try driving out the nails with it. Sure works good putting them in.

Pete
 

JobandKnock

Amateur curmudgeon
Joined
14 Apr 2021
Messages
368
Reaction score
194
Location
Lancashire
You'd have hated the waste on my current project - 150 yo mill conversion. On one building alone we pulled out around 900 softwod joists, all around 9ft x 7 x 3in and around about 15,000 square feet of flooring, mostly double skinned softwood. Granted there was galloping dry rot in the building (I identified 3 different types), but I'd have thought that some of it (40 to 50%) was recyclable. The problem with this sort of stuff, though, is that for structural purposes it simply can't be graded so we are not permitted to just reuse it - and TBH the floors in the mill started out like an old nag's back so we've had to level the lot, which meant replacing all of them on the top floor. Interesting job, though, with loads of heavy first fix work
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
18,939
Reaction score
1,027
Location
Derbyshire
Günther Uecker nailed them into a bit of an old board and sold it for £223,250!

Screenshot 2021-06-24 at 20.37.47.png


I had a 5 gallon bucket full of old nails saved from chapel conversion and woodburner but it got chucked - I was having decorative ideas too! :unsure:
 

Pallet Fancier

Established Member
Joined
3 Jan 2021
Messages
108
Reaction score
48
Location
Cheshire
"Asks for a few bits of scrap from their skip."

Comes home with 3 cubic meters.

:LOL:
Pretty much ;)

The lads were great. I went back over two days and they held back some "broken" bits for me, round the back of the skip where the boss didn't go. I tipped them a round of pints and a bag of chocolate chip cookies. Cheap at ten times the price!

Took me four or five trips to haul it all back. Felt like the rear axles were striking sparks on the road on the last couple (I may have over-stacked in my enthusiasm).
 

Pallet Fancier

Established Member
Joined
3 Jan 2021
Messages
108
Reaction score
48
Location
Cheshire
That’s a good haul 👍
Leverage is your friend. A decent nail bar for the ones you can get to will reduce the energy you need to in put. Then rare earth magnet and parrot nose pincers as mentioned earlier to locate and destroy the ones you can’t.
Looks like a job to get lost in for a while.
Are you going to denail it all in 1 go or as you need it?
Well, my most pressing need is for a workshop and I'm trying to decide if it's some kind of sin to use this wood like this for a glorified shed! But then I look at wood prices right now and shudder. I'll still have to pay for sheet materials, as it is, and right now you can't even get OSB for less than one good kidney and the virtue of a young maid!

Most of the rafters are an odd size: 4 1/2" x 2 1/2". If I could rip a few of those, I'd have plenty of studs. But I have no table saw, and am a bit dubious doing it with a circular. I wonder if this haul is what finally pushes me over the edge into table saw ownership!
 

Pallet Fancier

Established Member
Joined
3 Jan 2021
Messages
108
Reaction score
48
Location
Cheshire
My go-to nail removal kit. I have been there with reclaimed Victorian floorboards, joists and stairs. The floorboard cut nails are easiest as they tend to be cut nails. I work from the underside of the board, snip the tail off close to the board, tap it with a hammer then use a punch to tap it out. I'll use a metal detector to find the buried nails, tacks and staples and sometimes a magnet on a string. The nails tend to be softer than modern types so a gentle approach with pincers is sometimes required. My sympathy goes out to your task ahead but - FREE, SEASONED, QUALITY WOOD.
View attachment 112699
Stocking fillers!
 

TRITON

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2014
Messages
858
Reaction score
447
Location
Sunny Glasgow
Pretty much ;)

The lads were great. I went back over two days and they held back some "broken" bits for me, round the back of the skip where the boss didn't go. I tipped them a round of pints and a bag of chocolate chip cookies. Cheap at ten times the price!

Took me four or five trips to haul it all back. Felt like the rear axles were striking sparks on the road on the last couple (I may have over-stacked in my enthusiasm).
There used to be a big cabinet makers in Kilburnie st Clasgow, since closed. Known formally as the cabinet works
While I was at college I took to visiting them(bold as brass) asking for scrap, which was mostly Class A cherry and mahogany. After 3 visits they asked me not to come back, felt i was extracting the proverbial :LOL: I'd had a lot of their scrap, which wasnt really scrap, because any flaw was deemed unsuitable. A small pin knot or the like,and that piece was discluded, sometimes even after machining and moulding.
Id struck up a conversation during the time with the bloke who sweeps the floor, The company had placed him in that job after he fed one hand into a surface planer, losing all the fingers to the 2nd knuckle, and he was allowing me access to the works bins, outwith their ruling, because he remembered what it was like to start in the trade and was happy to get me going in making things. which was pretty damn goood to be honest. I once came away with about 80 sheets of top class mahogany veneer sized 600Lx400W they classed as offcuts. That lasted me a fair long time.
 
Last edited:

sploo

Somewhat extinguished member
Joined
8 Nov 2014
Messages
3,260
Reaction score
600
Location
West Yorkshire
...Granted there was galloping dry rot in the building (I identified 3 different types)
A few years ago an old building went down near where I worked; there were skips with several lifetime's worth of sapele flooring (really thick boards)...

...all useless with dry rot :(
 

pe2dave

Established Member
Joined
2 Oct 2007
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
279
Location
Peterborough, Cambs, UK
Different reason, I was asking about finding buried wire. Came across an item 'pinpointer'.
Seems it's used by metal detectorists to locate metal within a smaller radius than can be
found by using a large detector?
One bit of advertising adds " or nails and screws within wood".
Since it works to 10-15cm, struck me one of these could be of use to locate 'the ones you missed' when
you've finished with cruder measures?
Just a thought.

Google for 'pinpointers'. Priced 20-120 UK pounds

HTH
 

OldWood

Established Member
Joined
1 Mar 2005
Messages
1,059
Reaction score
70
Location
Edinburgh
Several miles down river from Dunkeld there is the 1km square site of a Roman camp. I visited it some dozen years ago with a knowledgeable guy. Seemingly it is about the only one in Europe which has not been built over, but according to some records somewhere was only used for about 10 years.

A number of years before we went, a ground radar had been taken over it and found that the layout of the buildings matched perfectly with previous surveys elsewhere, but also tagged a huge response in one corner. This was unique and had to be further investigated. It was an enormous ball of cut nails - the reckoning was that when they had to abandon the camp, and the wooden bridge across the River Tay, they removed all the nails so that they wouldn't fall into the hands of the natives, and buried them. You would have thought that a huge bonfire would have been better but according to my 'guide' there was no evidence of that.

In that short time scale of build to dismantle, it's quite possible that the nails were relatively easy to extract.
 

Adam W.

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Apr 2021
Messages
949
Reaction score
780
Location
London, Jutland.
The old dry rot myth.

Cut off its water supply and dry it out and it's dead as a dodo.
 

Vann

Established Member
Joined
15 Oct 2008
Messages
1,925
Reaction score
72
Location
Petone, New Zealand
...it was built with really high quality seasoned woods and trimmed with hardwoods. A lot of that has gone in the skip, which I didn't like. We're cutting down rainforests to get this stuff, and there it goes into landfill!...
Wanten waste IMHO.

We had a 1912 building about 1km away, knocked down in 2012. Just smashed up with a digger. I snuck down one night and half-inched a couple of largely intact lengths of 6" x 4". I think it's New Zealand kauri - a beautiful timber that you can't buy for love nor money these days - as it got over-harvested 100 years ago. All broken up and sent to the landfill.

Three years later a building at a works owned by the company that employs me, met a similar fate.
HCS1.jpg
14th September, 2015.
HCS2.jpg
7th October, 2015.
HCS3.jpg
9th October, 2015.

There were large wooden supports and beams in there too (and I don't recall any rot or borer).
HCS4.jpg

I didn't manage to save any timber from this building - but I was able to buy the 1928 30" Preston (Canada) bandsaw that resided in the building (also constructed ~1928) just before the demolition (y)
HCS5.jpg

Cheers, Vann.
 

Adam W.

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Apr 2021
Messages
949
Reaction score
780
Location
London, Jutland.
Snip....

Granted there was galloping dry rot in the building (I identified 3 different types)

/snip
There's only one dry rot, Serpula lacrymans. The other types may have been other brown rots including cellar fungus Coniophora puteana, which is commonly mistaken for dry rot .

They produce hyphae, a strand like structure, which grow together to form mycelium that has the ability to penetrate walls and its presence leads to the confusion between the different types.
 
Top