Processing old roof joists

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ObservantGround28

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Any tips on processing old joists (untreated) for reuse in projects? Primarily, any suggestions on finding nails and staples (broken or otherwise)?

I’ve been sighting and using a detector (multi detector), but I know that there’s still a risk and it’s preventing me from using a planer and thicknesser to speed up this part.

I’ve also been using a cheap plane on the first pass so that once I’m confident that there’s no more metal , I can move using my proper stuff.

Thanks in advance
 

marcros

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I would hit them with a belt sander when you are fairly sure you have got the metal out. Worst case, you ruin a belt. Best case, it shows you a shiny metal spot.
 

memzey

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I had a loft conversion a few years ago and salvaged the joists etc as it was 60+ years old and good stock. I made a bench out of some it:
tDJZnSJ.jpg

One of the best things I’ve made. I get to enjoy it every time I’m in the shed. Still have a load left and am thinking about the next thing to use it for as well. In terms of finding the nails etc, most of mine were pretty obvious (6” nails) but once I’d pulled those I did go over it with a ROS to see if anything else was present before feeding it through my planer thicknesser. Perhaps I was lucky but didn’t find any bits of metal during the process. Definitely useful stuff to have but you will need to either be comfortable with nail holes or have a strategy for making them good (not an issue on a bench of course).
 

Orraloon

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Get a hand held electric plane to clean up the surfaces before putting it through your machines. The blades for those are cheap to replace. A clean planed surface makes it easy to spot anything lurking there. Any hole may have metal in it so use a detector or probe with a awl or something. Grit from sanding will not do your thicknesser blades and good. After all that there is always a chance you miss something so it's good practice to have at least 2 sets of blades for your machine and keep the good set for wood you know is clean.
 

ObservantGround28

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Great looking bench memzey. I’m aiming to build one too. At the moment I only had projects for the new workshop in mind as I have nothing for it so, holes are not an issue in that respect. All the nails are cut or tacks. Some of them have partially snapped under the surface when removing due to corrosion. So

I think I’ll try the power planer as orraloon has suggested on the first pass. I don’t have a planer thicknesser yet unfortunately (any suggestions? I’m trying to source a used one like a kity 636 as not much cash for a new one), but getting to a stage where I can pass them through without wrecking more expensive kit (hand or otherwise) is the goal.

Thanks for the input all!
 

memzey

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Whatever you do good luck with it OG. If you are going to be making stuff for your workshop with it then a bench is definitely a great project to start with as it will make all subsequent projects much easier to accomplish. One thing about electric hand planers I’ve found though is that there are very few power tools that will make as complete a mess of your stock if you aren’t careful. Paul Sellers makes a bench with nothing but a No. 4 bench plane to dress the faces of his wood. Slower going but much less chance of disaster along the way. Whatever you do - more power to your elbow and don’t forget to share some pics of the bench as you build it!
 

Stanleymonkey

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I see you're in Sutton

Merton Homebase is shutting down and has 20% and more on all lines. Looks like they had started to go down the Bunnings route and have quite a lot of power tools in stock that are part of the closing sale. Saw a load of sanding belts in there on Sunday.

There's the second hand tool shop in Wallington. Open Saturdays and Mondays - you might be able to pick up some second hand sanders / planers there - worth a phone call.

Good luck with your bench build
 

Keith 66

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When i had my old workshop i often used to get people asking if i could cut or thickness some timber for them. They would always say, "Its ok i have checked it for nails". Nine times out of ten on checking i would find one they had missed.
Most would baulk at the idea of paying for new teeth & resharpen of saw blades so got turned away. I often use secondhand timber myself but dont cut other peoples now!
 

ObservantGround28

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Keith 66":2atih9db said:
When i had my old workshop i often used to get people asking if i could cut or thickness some timber for them. They would always say, "Its ok i have checked it for nails". Nine times out of ten on checking i would find one they had missed.
Most would baulk at the idea of paying for new teeth & resharpen of saw blades so got turned away. I often use secondhand timber myself but dont cut other peoples now!

I figured if I was asking for that kind of help then paying for wear and tear should be a minimum expectation on my part.
 

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