05:13PM | 07/21/02
Member Since: 07/20/02
2 lifetime posts
I'm tearing down an old grain elevator on our farm that was built in 1935. It is framed with native oak timbers and covered with tongue and groove pine boards. I'm saving all the beams and would like to save the pine siding also but am unable to pull the nails from the oak studs without breaking the heads off. I also tried breaking the nail heads off and then driving the siding off from the back, but this damaged lots of the boards. Any suggestions for their removal would be greatly appreciated.....

Mark Hammond

06:11PM | 07/21/02
Member Since: 05/09/01
246 lifetime posts
Hi Josh,
It sounds as if you might have one of several problems. If the nails are old and are cut nails then the heads should be almost non-existant and this means that instead of banging the boards off from the inside you should be able to use a flat bar and pry them off keeping the damage to a minimum. If they are rusty and you keep losing the heads for this reason then the same idea should work. When it comes to removing the nails from the beams then you can try using the claws of your hammer but instead of pulling in the normal direction try pulling to the side of the hammer, very carefully making sure that you get the shank of the nail tight in the claws so you don't slide off. This can sometimes get a better grip on the nails. Good luck.....Mark Hammond


09:39AM | 07/22/02
Member Since: 07/21/02
48 lifetime posts
Having the same problem with some 50s era oak from the old cattle feeders in my barn that I tore out. Have used vice-grip pliers on some, others I've just had to break them off, they stayed intact but couldn't be pulled out for lover or money, even with a big crow bar. On some you have to evaluate if the effort to salvage it is worth it in the end use. In my case it wasn't and it went to the burn pile. Sad that more couldn't be salvaged, but my time is limited and mothering lots old boards isn't in the plans. I had lots of rot and cracked material or wrong size (that can't be planed because of the broken off nails) too. Good luck


doug seibert

07:43AM | 08/11/02
Member Since: 08/10/02
843 lifetime posts
Well if you still want to re-use the wood with the broken nails imbedded.....You can "drill" out the nails with a short piece of 1/4" hollow steel pipe with small teeth filed into the end.......chucked in your electric remove a plug of wood with the fastener inside........Fill hole with matching dowel or wood plug.......doug


07:50PM | 09/01/06
Member Since: 08/31/06
1 lifetime posts
There's a new tool fixen to hit the market!

The pneumatic nail puller....fully patended and field tested for many years. E-Mail

Mike at


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