removing old deck rail pickets

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Old 02-23-19, 11:29 AM
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removing old deck rail pickets

I want to remove hundreds (actually probably a couple thousand) of these 2x2 "pickets" I guess they would be called from this deck railing structure, leaving the rest of the railing components (posts and horizontals) reasonably intact without destroying. They were installed many many years ago and most seem to be attached with two phillips head wood screws into the top and bottom horizontal boards. Most of the screw head slots are filled with old paint/stain from many years of repainting/restaining. Most of the screws even if you dig out the paint from the screw head slots to try to manage to get a good bite with the screwdriver (screw gun or drill) are too tight and just won't unscrew and start stripping out. Hoping for some suggestions on best/most efficient way to get these pickets off. I don't particulary care if I destroy the pickets; I just wanna get em off.

 
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Old 02-23-19, 11:34 AM
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And here is the link to the last time you asked this.

https://www.doityourself.com/forum/h...oval-help.html

If you want an additional idea, cut the ballusters off with a sawzall then use a 3lb hammer to smash the remaining piece in the side until it breaks off, or use a chisel to split the piece in half vertically. Then use a grinder and 1/16" cutting wheel to cut the screws off.
 
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Old 02-23-19, 11:59 AM
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I would be curious as to why the solutions in the other post did not help.
Normally we would join threads with the same problem but there may be a bit too much of a good thing there.

I too can say that the least damaging way would be to run a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade between the top of the post and the underside of the rail
Moving the post sideways should reveal the solution in removing or cutting the bottom screw.

You will be in for a whole mess of problems if you try removing the screws.
 
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Old 02-23-19, 12:04 PM
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thanks Xsleeper. I forgot about that old thread, thanks. I do recall though that none of that old stuff worked so hot. I'll go the splitting in half with a chisel then using the cut off wheel with the grinder for the screws suggestion just suggested thanks. I think that'll work. Will post back here shortly with a success story I'm fairly confiident.
 
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Old 02-23-19, 12:06 PM
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Sawzall alone probably didn't work well because you can't make space for the sawzall blade and the screws are hardened so they are hard to cut.

Plus all that advice was based on the idea that you were trying to save the ballusters. If you aren't, just beat the he&& out of them. I bet a sledge hammer would knock them off in nothing flat.
 
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Old 02-23-19, 12:21 PM
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Sawzall alone probably didn't work well because you can't make space for the sawzall blade and the screws are hardened so they are hard to cut.
Exactly ^

yeah sledgehammer works for some of them ok but too much heavy hard pounding on a lotta of the stubborn/stuck ones tends to start knocking the whole railing apart. Chisel method is working out, along with the 3 lb sledgehammer beating where i can. thanks again. kinda fun now getting em off ... whoopee!!
 
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Old 02-23-19, 12:22 PM
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Time to put your walkman on... "just beat it..." LOL

Yeah once you cut the balluster down and leave a 3 1/2" long piece, they should be pretty easy to split in two.
 
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Old 02-23-19, 12:26 PM
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Yup whatcha just said, about cutting the ballusters down and the beat it on the walkman. thanks. problem solved
 
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