There are a lot of different approaches, techniques and tools to use when denailing reclaimed wood. 99% of the time I find myself using a claw hammer and dropping the nails in a bucket. I actually have this great old kitchen island with a sink basin set in (see pic) that is perhaps the best way to quickly collect your discarded nails.

But here's another way you may like:

Watch the video to see this technique in action.

Step 1: Setup!

When doing a lot of repetitive work, a good, ergonomic setup is key. Take the time to get cozy and get everything where you need it to be a one-person assembly line.

Just about everyone knows the easiest way to pick up nails is to "sweep" with a magnet. I have a large speaker magnet I use. Welding magnets are also large and inexpensive. For years I've always kept this magnet on hand when de-nailing to pick up the dropped, then it dawned on me:

Step 2: Put Your Magnet Right Next to Your Hammerin' Hand!

Duh! Instead of pushing the magnet "out of my way" in my "ergonomic" (OCD) setup, I left it right next to my hammerin' hand, so when i pull the nail and it is in the claw, instead of reaching for a bucket or having them float loosely around, I simply bang the nail loose next to the magnet and the magnet does the rest to corral it up for me. Like I said, Duh!

Step 3: Collect!

Now I can simply scrape the nails into my bucket when the magnet gets full. Some people wrap their magnets in a plastic bag so they can pull the bag off the magnet and collect the nails in it. Also a good tip, I just don't like having the plastic bag around. It annoys me.

What to do with the nails? I'll post another Instructable with one idea ;-)

Happy reclaiming!

Be good,


<p>Put a plastic bag over the magnet and cleaning it will be easier.</p>
yes! I don't because i don't like to look at it for hours while doing stuff like this ;) thank you -tim
<p>Nice one mate A very good Instructable...Well done You got my Vote Tim ..</p>
hey, thank you!
<p>your very Welcome Mate ...</p>
Great idea... I built a playhouse almost entirely out of reclaimed lumber. I used pallets for the exterior and interior finishes. I used a saws all to remove the slats and left the nail heads in for an aesthetic appeal.
<p>That is really cool! You should have posted an Instructable on that! ;)</p>
<p>beautiful! nice work. sometimes i leave the nails in, too. and sometimes i use nails from my bucket to put them where i want them, for aesthetics. thanks for sharing these pics. it's awesome.</p>
<p>weigh them in and get some money or straighten them out and use them again!</p>
i call that jar my &quot;retirement fund ;-)<br><br>I do also use them quite often. thanks man!<br>
<p>Very good idea. Thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>thank you!</p>
Even the shingles, studs, and plywood were reclaimed from the discard piles at a couple of construction sites and a roofing supply company.

About This Instructable




Bio: i am an artist and musician. i make things of use out of things that no longer have use. i think the hip term is ... More »
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