extracting countersunk nails

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Old 10-12-08, 12:38 PM
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extracting countersunk nails

I am trying to fix a wobbly pedestal table. The previous owner sunk nails to keep the legs from being pulled off of the thick dowels holding them together.

The heads of the nails sit just below the surface of the wood. even though the area is not visible, I'd like to pull them out with as little damage to the wood as possible. They can't be driven out the opposite side.

I hope that makes sense. Is there a good tool for grabbing and extracting these suckers without losing too much wood? Thanks.
 
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Old 10-12-08, 01:04 PM
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Can you spread apart the legs, thereby causing the nails to move outward from the dowel? I am presuming you can. Try that, and then swiftly pound the leg back and see if the head of the nail surfaces. Use a rubber mallet if you have to, or otherwise protect the wood, as you hit it.

If the nail head does not cooperate and travels with the leg, rather than popping outward some, then respread the leg again enough to slip say a needlenose piliers in where you can latch onto the nail shank with the cutters of the needlenose, as you pound the leg back in. What happens is that since you are holding the shank, by hitting the pried apart leg back in, the head HAS TO pop out, if you are squeezing the shank in the cutter jaws tight enough.

But you must spread the legs open far enough so that when you slip in the needlenose (a scissors may also work) in the gap, that you must put the tool against the dowel side, and still have an air gap between the leg and the tool. That way when you hit back in on the leg, when the gap closes down between leg and tool, the nail head has to pop out by the same amount as that gap, because you are holding the nail from going back into the wood.

Not theory. I have done this many many times and this causes no mark to be left on the wood!
 
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Old 10-12-08, 03:02 PM
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That makes sense, but I did a poor job of describing the original setup. Imagine a large nail driven into a solid, 1-foot wooden block, with the head just below the surface of the block. That is more akin to the situation. Thanks!
 
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Old 10-12-08, 03:07 PM
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Well, this might be almost impossible with NO damage. A pincher/slide hammer style (not sure of the actual name) will get it out, but it's gonna mess up the wood some.
 
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Old 10-12-08, 07:30 PM
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Minimal damage is ok, I just don't want to lose too much wood in case I need it later. I can fill the holes with epoxy, I suppose. I will check the local place for one of these tools you mention.

Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Well, this might be almost impossible with NO damage. A pincher/slide hammer style (not sure of the actual name) will get it out, but it's gonna mess up the wood some.
 
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Old 10-12-08, 09:07 PM
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The tool Gunguy is refering to, I think, is called a nail puller (imagine that). My dad had one when I was young (he was a contractor) and I have it now. It was made by Cresent Tools. You spread the jaws just bigger than the nail head and use the slide hammer to drive the jaws below the nail head. Then you pull down on the handle and the jaws/pincher closes on the nail and pulls it out. It does mess up the surface, though. It will also pinch your hand between the thumb and index finger if you're not careful. I haven't seen one in a store for a long time, so I don't know if they're still made, or not. Good luck
 
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Old 10-12-08, 09:53 PM
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Ah, here are some good possibilities!

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001231.php


Originally Posted by CNTRTOP View Post
The tool Gunguy is refering to, I think, is called a nail puller (imagine that). My dad had one when I was young (he was a contractor) and I have it now. It was made by Cresent Tools. You spread the jaws just bigger than the nail head and use the slide hammer to drive the jaws below the nail head. Then you pull down on the handle and the jaws/pincher closes on the nail and pulls it out. It does mess up the surface, though. It will also pinch your hand between the thumb and index finger if you're not careful. I haven't seen one in a store for a long time, so I don't know if they're still made, or not. Good luck
 
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Old 10-13-08, 07:38 AM
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The original version of the tool,as shown in the previous post's picture,is still available still made by Cresent.If you really want one,they are stocked in the Ace hardware warehouse system and can be ordered.I doubt many if any stores will actually still stock them.If you do decide to get one go to a store that has someone with experience because younger saleshelp probably won't know what this is.It's not too hard to find on Acenet but someone who knows what it is will have an easier time of it.Forget any big box.
 
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Old 10-13-08, 08:21 AM
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Nail puller?? Thats it?

Not something like "pincher tip, lever action, slide hammer style, manually operated, subsurface nail, extration tool"?

Must have been designed by a carpenter, not a Government engineer....lol
 
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Old 10-13-08, 10:44 AM
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Have you tried drilling it out? Drill an oversize hole that includes the nail and then fill the hole with a matching plug.

I've never tried it with a nail, but it works with screws. I would drive a nail into a piece of scrap hardwood and see if it's doable.

If you use a nail puller and booger up the surrounding wood too big for a plug, you can always get a little creative and router out the damaged wood and insert a patch.
 
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Old 10-13-08, 05:02 PM
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Thanks much, as

Originally Posted by craniac View Post
Ah, here are some good possibilities!

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001231.php
I know one of the youngins borrowed mine and every time I mention it I get blank looks. Now they get an email with a link
 
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Old 10-13-08, 05:16 PM
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why remove them ?

why not just leve them in place ?

the tool pictured is for rough work ,

something like this is more approipiate for minimal damage

http://www.nailextractor.com/

I use nippers to do about the same
 
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