To route some new wiring, I had to remove a lot of baseboards that were to be reinstalled after the new outlets were in place. The dilemma: how to pull the baseboards quickly without destroying them.
As shown in the drawing, I used a cheap auto-body slam hammer to get the job done. These tools are used for pulling dents out of car and truck bodies, and you can find one at any well-stocked auto-parts supply house.
To modify the slam hammer for this job, I first removed its tip and found a hex nut that would fit on the shaft’s threads. Then I unscrewed the nut and welded it to a 2-1/2-in. by 3-1/2-in. piece of 1/8-in. flat steel. I made several of these plates and drilled four screw holes in each one.
I affixed the plates to the baseboards with short drywall screws. Then I donned my safety glasses, attached the slam hammer and pounded away. Working back and forth along the length of the base, I was able to pull the molding cleanly without any significant damage. We simply puttied the screw holes when the baseboards were reinstalled.
You may ask, “Why bother with a slam hammer when I can simply drive the nails through with a nail set and then pull the baseboard?” The answer is time. With this setup, I can pull a long section of painted baseboard in a fraction of the time it would take to locate the sealed nail holes, drive the nails through and then separate a tightly mitered baseboard from a paintbonded substrate. And as a side benefit, because the applied force is away from the wall, there is less damage to lath-and-plaster walls.
Thomas M. Heinz, Cleveland, OH