Recently, I had to replace some termite-infested redwood 2x6s. They had been secured to their pressure-treated retaining-wall 2x8s with 16d hot-dipped galvanized nails 25 years ago. The 2x6s came off in pieces, but the nails wouldn’t budge. To remove them, I got out my biggest crowbar and hauled on the first nail. That removed the nail’s head, leaving the shank still embedded in the 2×8. That’s when I moved to plan B—a nail-extracting method I learned from an old timer 30 years ago.
As shown in the drawings above, this method uses the claws of a hammer to gain purchase on the nail’s shank. I followed the five steps shown here to pull all the nails, turning each one into what could pass for a big fish hook.
Charles Miller, Sea Ranch, CA
Edited and Illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #241