Introduction: Quick Tip to Make De-Nailing Reclaimed Wood Easier

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!

Picture of 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!

Picture of 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!

Picture of 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,



slf.atl (author)2016-06-15

Put a plastic bag over the magnet and cleaning it will be easier.

timsway (author)slf.atl2016-06-15

yes! I don't because i don't like to look at it for hours while doing stuff like this ;) thank you -tim

WoodCrafts 67 (author)2016-06-06

Nice one mate A very good Instructable...Well done You got my Vote Tim ..

timsway (author)WoodCrafts 672016-06-06

hey, thank you!

WoodCrafts 67 (author)timsway2016-06-07

your very Welcome Mate ...

mistersmith (author)2016-06-05

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.

Yonatan24 (author)mistersmith2016-06-06

That is really cool! You should have posted an Instructable on that! ;)

timsway (author)mistersmith2016-06-05

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.

Mindmapper1 (author)2016-06-06

weigh them in and get some money or straighten them out and use them again!

timsway (author)Mindmapper12016-06-06

i call that jar my "retirement fund ;-)

I do also use them quite often. thanks man!

ortega18paul (author)2016-06-05

Very good idea. Thanks for sharing.

timsway (author)ortega18paul2016-06-05

thank you!

mistersmith (author)2016-06-05

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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