removing nails/disassemble furniture - sorry long.

Old 03-18-02, 11:51 AM
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removing nails/disassemble furniture - sorry long.

I've recently been very fortunate to get several pieces of old furniture that belonged to my grandparents. To give you an idea, my grandfather died in 1964 and everything has been in the barn since then. I want very much to redo these items myself. I refinished a few pieces several years ago and they turned out really well (I admit I had some help) but that was then and these pieces are really special to me.

I know from reading this site that it is often recommended to take very special pieces to a professional but I simply can't afford to do that (I got a quote of +/-$500 for one piece from a local reputable professional refinisher). So I've got a "practice" piece that I'm working on and I've been reading ALOT . . . this site, a couple of others, and I've read a couple of books (i.e., Bruce Johnson's "weekend refinisher" . . . one common suggestion is to disassemble furniture as much as possible. Most of my pieces are put together w/nails so it doesn't seem like it should be too hard but I don't know how to remove the nails w/o leaving some sort of indention from the pressure of the hammer and even the needle nose pliers will leave a small gouge. How does one "lift" the nails w/o creating a bit of additional damage around the nail hole. . . . does this make sense?
Old 03-18-02, 02:15 PM
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It makes perfect sense - I'm in the process of redoing a dining room set that someone 'fixed' years ago with nails.

The long and short is there is NO way I know of to remove the nails without leaving a mark. What I do after cleaning, etc., is reassemble the piece and use wood putty (I use famowood) to fill the holes, etc. I then 'touchup' the filled areas with artist oil colors, blending the colors into the surrounding woodwork.

It's not nearly as difficult or demanding as it may sound - but it can cover up a multitude of previous sins!

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