too hard to remove nails on deck

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Old 07-23-15, 04:28 AM
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too hard to remove nails on deck

When we remove the decking boards, the nails don't come out with the boards. Can I just bend them over the side with a hammer instead of removing each one?
 
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Old 07-23-15, 04:48 AM
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That depends on what you want to do. If you are dismantling the deck then there is no need to remove them. If you are going to install new deck boards I would pull the nails so your new boards can rest flat on the joists. Even hammering nails over some bit of them usually ends up sticking above the wood.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 05:06 AM
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Just replacing bad boards, or all of them?
 
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Old 07-23-15, 05:37 AM
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there are several rows of deck boards, each replaced at different times for some reason. This row was in poor condition so we are replacing it. My friend is taking up the old boards, which crumble as they are pried up, leaving the nails behind. I try to remove them but they are very difficult to remove.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 05:58 AM
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Going to look like poop just patching in an area like that.
It already looks like a first time DIY laid the deck boards because there installed in a row and not woven in like they where suppost to be.
Cut the nails off with a sawsall with a bimetal, fine toothed blade.
You do know your going to have to wait a few months for those new boards to dry out enough to restain.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 06:04 AM
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As said, they will need to be removed. What tool are you using to do this?
 
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Old 07-23-15, 06:54 AM
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I am using a claw hammer to remove the nails. My friend commented on why they were laid in a row and not interwoven as you say. I don't have any idea, it was like that when I bought the house. He wanted to remove all the boards and put it down as it is supposed to be done. After reading what you are saying I wish I had listened to him.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 07:06 AM
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Claws on a hammer are there for convenience, and are not necessarily the best choice when pulling nails is the primary task. Stop by your local hardware or big box and ask them to point you toward flat bars. They have a long and a short leg, each with a slot to pull nails. Once you have that in hand, you may find that a short piece of the scrap wood makes a good fulcrum to place under the bar and increase your leverage.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 07:11 AM
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I keep two different pry bars in my truck at all times. A flat pry bar and a larger wrecking bar. Both are much better at pulling nails than the claw on a hammer.

Are the boards you're putting down pressure treated? Those boards look awfully white. They should be pressure treaded and they will require special fasteners not just plain uncoated nails. The modern preservative is corrosive to unprotected steel so there are screws specially coated for use with pressure treated lumber.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 07:13 AM
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.... and when a flat bar or nail puller doesn't work, clamping on to the nail with a vise grip and then using a block of wood for leverage works well. I'd cut the nails as the last resort.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 07:20 AM
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I was thinking flat bar or a cat's paw.

I also have one of these - spendy but works well: http://www.thefastenercompany.com/nail_extractor.htm
 
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Old 07-23-15, 07:35 AM
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I am off to lowes to find a flat pry bar and a larger wrecking bar, which looks like it may make this nail removal a lot easier as well as prying up the other boards. Yes, they said these boards are pressure treated. They have been sitting on my deck for a week, hoping they will dry out a little.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 07:46 AM
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I should have mentioned this before, but, if it's not too late, pick up a pair of safety goggles too. Something that I think every homeowner should have regardless, but definitely a good idea for something like this.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 08:58 AM
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Yes, I have goggles to use, thank you for mentioning it though. ok here is my new (heavy) pry bar and 21" wonder bar. Between the 2 of them I am able to remove every nail without any trouble at all.

But I'm still looking for the salesperson that originally told me not to worry, this was only a weekend project?
 
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Old 07-23-15, 09:14 AM
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Often the sales people at the big box stores have little knowledge about what they are selling, many times only what they've read or heard Usually the help at the stores where the pros shop are better trained and they can usually ask one of the pros if a customer has a question they can't answer.

but then how long would it have taken if everything went smoothly
 
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Old 07-23-15, 11:44 AM
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A buddy of mine moved in with his new girlfriend a few years ago and decided her deck needed to be redone. He started in the summer of 2013 and called the project "Deck Project - 2013" on the folder he created to store pictures taken along the way. He's almost done now, by the way....
 
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Old 07-23-15, 12:04 PM
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I always liked a pair of large end nippers to pull nails. You grip the nalis at the base of the nail just hard enough to grip not cut and roll the head. Take another grip and repeat till the nail is out. Plan B is to just cut the nail with the end nippers as close as you can and hammer in any small remaining nib flush. Don't a wimpy little one. Something with a ten or twelve inch handle at least.

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If you do use a claw hammer instead of pulling back pull the handle sideways. This will begin to pull the nail and curl it. When it is out as far as practical get another grip and repeat. The curl will help hold the claw as you roll it again. Usually two or three rolls will do it.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 01:37 PM
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Stickshift..... That is why I am trying to get this finished. I wanted to hire someone to do this!
 
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Old 07-23-15, 01:41 PM
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Ray2047, I think I have this figured out as for the nail removal. They are coming out now without any trouble by using the new tools I got from lowes this morning. But thank you for the alternative method.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 02:05 PM
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I have a nail puller similar to the one Ray posted a pic of although mine never had the cushioned handle. I don't know how old mine is but it was far from new when I got it 40 [?] yrs ago - still works good!

Kathy, it's always nice when you get new tools especially when they do the job you bought them for
 
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Old 07-23-15, 02:11 PM
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Hi Kathy, I'm just following along. I want to mention, may have missed it in my reading, but be sure you use nails or screws treated for pressure treated wood.

Becoming a DIYer always has to start somewhere, sure wish there was a forum like this available 50 years ago.

best,
Bud
 
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Old 07-23-15, 02:54 PM
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I found this site when I was desperate for help and didn't know what to do. I wish I had come here first, before we got into all the troubles. But just as I am seeking and getting all this help, I am hoping that I have some followers that may be too busy to ask some of the same questions. Some troubles that I have experienced are major problems for me, yet on here, I get so many suggestions from people that have been there and know how to do what I am trying to do. In my case, such a simple thing as how to remove nails? I was having a terrible time, yet there were several people here that had my answer. I'm not out of the woods yet, but with the help I am getting here, I am well on my way.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 02:57 PM
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marksr, you are right. If I knew what I was doing, this would have been a weekend project or maybe even an afternoon one if I had properly planned ahead.
 
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