Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to easily and effectively remove nails from recycled and pallet wood


A lot of people ask me how I can remove all the nails (I don't cut the nails with a sawzall or any other tool) from over 50 boards in less than an hour. My secret is a tool called the air punch. While the tool may not be within the reach of anyone it is good to know that it exists. For those that can afford the tool it is important to know how to use it.

I use a table with a hole and a bucket with either snow or water to catch the nails and prevent nails from bouncing around and doing damage. If you view the video you will see a perfect example of a nail flying out just out of bad luck.


Use proper safety gear, you already know about gloves. I add mandatory eye protection, again you will see when that nail flies out that this can be dangerous even if you are careful.

This allows me to go through a decent pile of wood in just a few minutes.

The air punch works with an internal hammer that moves inside a metal tube, you insert the nail from the other side (sharp side up) into the tube and press the trigger. The nail will come flying out in many cases. If not, simply use a hammer or a crowbar (or if you have strong fingers like me, your hand).

This will give you nice clean pallet wood in no time, the boards will not have a mark on them other than the nail holes. After a careful inspection for old nails, you can use the boards in your table saw, planer or jointer with confidence.

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