Removing finishing nails

Old 02-28-02, 11:21 AM
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Removing finishing nails

My Son-in-law installed a pre hung door using finishing nails and counter sinking them. He had the frame shimmed up and the door opened and closed properly, but when he finished hammering the nails in, the door would not close without scrubbing. Now I am left with adjusting the door. It is a metal door so we can't shave it. The only thing left to do is pull the nails out and adjust it with shims and fasten it down again, this time with screws. My question is, what is the best way to get those finishing nails out Is there a trick to it. Remember they are counter sunk.
Old 02-28-02, 06:40 PM
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I take it the nails are in the jamb ? Remove the casing from the inside if you have it installed, take a chisel and reach back in behind the jamb and shear the nails off....or a small pry bar like a Stanley Wonder Bar and do a similar usually won't shear them but they will pull on thru the jamb and free it. You could also use one of those hack saws where the blade sticks out from the handle and saw them.

If the nails are in the exterior brickmoulding, I would just carefully pry behind the moulding and pull the whole door back out.
Old 02-28-02, 08:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
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And now you know why I hang doors with screws, not nails! Andy is right, and I (like he) am assuming that you are talking about the nails in jamb. The hack saw blade in the handle will get the job done, but you will be there a while. Done properly, there are 3 or 4 pairs of these nails on each side of the jamb. My 'weapon of choice' would be a Sawzall. Within 2 minutes, all of the cutting is done. After that you are at a couple of hours to hang the door, install the casing and get it prepped for painting. (Take that "couple of hours" with a grain of salt. It will depend on how often you install a door!)

The reason your Son-in-law had this problem to begin with is that he didn't have the door shimmed solidly before he set the nails. Had the shims been tight, the jamb wouldn't have moved that much when he set the nails.
Old 03-01-02, 02:51 PM
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Thanks for the tips. Its true it probably wasn't shimmed well and as he drove the nails in it shifted to one side. I retired last year and now am a full time "fix it" man for the entire family. But, am enjoying it.
Old 03-03-02, 02:55 PM
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one other method is to use a nail set to punch the nails through the casing or jam.

One other thought......The door might have relaxed in a bit after he nailed it. Remove the middle screw of each hinge and use a cordless to power in a 3 or 3 1/2" screw. You might just pick up enough to lose the rubbing......

Last edited by StephenS; 03-03-02 at 05:49 PM.

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