How to pull nails using a pry bar
Which design is best?
|A nail slot or nail puller is required for pulling nails. All pry bars except for the standard pry, adjustable pry, and aligning bar feature nail slots, and are therefore suitable for this task.
|A bent claw allows a greater degree of movement for leverage than a straight claw, making the task easier on the user.
|A straight claw provides a lesser degree of movement as it is forged at a 180° degree angle to the shaft of the bar. When pulling a nail at this angle, you won’t be able to push down on the shaft to lever the head of the nail upwards without quickly meeting the surface of the object being worked.
|The above images show the angle of movement when using a straight or bent claw to pull nails from a surface whose length exceeds that of the bar itself. If pulling nails from a surface which the bar can pivot about, such as the head of a fencepost or narrow plank of wood, the angle of leverage will be greater for each claw.
What else will I need?
|A piece of scrap wood.
Wonkee’s hoof-by-hoof guide
|It’s likely that you will need to push nails up from beneath in order to pull them. To do this without damaging them, follow these steps:
Step 1 – Find a scrap piece of wood
Find a scrap piece of wood – a block of medium thickness (7-10cm [3-4in]) would be best.
Step 2 – Drill a hole
In your scrap wood, drill a hole a little larger than the diameter of the nail you will be pulling.
Step 3 – Turn board
Turn the board you will be pulling the nails from over.
Make sure you leave enough space beneath the board for the nails to come out! For support, use two blocks of wood (or similar) with a gap between them.
Step 4 – Place scrap on nail
Push the hole in the scrap of wood down over the protruding end of the nail as far as it will go. The point of the nail should show just above the hole.
Step 5 – Hammer nail through
Strike the end of the nail with your hammer. The wooden block will prevent it from bending or breaking and becoming stuck. The head of the nail should now be high enough to fit the claw of your bar beneath.
Now you can pull the nail free – this is the easy part!
How to pull a nail free
Step 1 – Position claw
Slide the bent claw of your bar forward around the nail until the nail fits snugly inside the ‘V’ of the slot.
Step 2 – Pull nail
Apply downward pressure to the opposite end of your bar until the nail lifts free.