Monday, March 23, 2009

Ooops...

ooops...

Here's a quick quiz: at what point did I decide it was time to quit working on the kitchen for the day? If you guessed "when the flatbar broke", you're right! I knew it was theoretically possible, but didn't think it would be quite so easy.

I don't use a flatbar for pulling nails very often; usually it's just my framing hammer and if necessary, a cat's paw to get it started (one of these days I'll have to do a how-to post on the right way to pull a nail). Only rarely do I use the flatbar to pull, and even more rarely the long end. Anyways, this was one of those mysteries of our house, a 20 penny nail where normally it would be a 16. It was in a channel between two studs where one of the old front porch walls met the outside wall, so my hammer wouldn't fit. I tried the short end of the flatbar (which has more leverage) and couldn't get it, so I tried the long end braced against one of the studs on the side, and there was a *tink* and it snapped. No injuries, but I stood there stunned for a second, trying to figure out if what I thought had happened had really just happened. Alas, it had.

The really bad news is not the flatbar (aka a Vaughn Superbar), but why I was deciding to pull that nail is that I thought I saw some tell-tale termite droppings along the edge of the channel. Tomorrow I'll go ahead and pull out the boards involved just in case. I did get the final bit of the ceiling drywall pulled down, puzzled over some more on where to run the plumbing (particularly the vent stack), and placed a few electrical boxes for countertop outlets and such.

3 comments:

Dave & Anna said...

I cant believe you broke it! And it looks like an old "made in america" one too!

Traders-talk Admin said...

That's a wild break. We have two cheap ones that managed to make it through the project. I suspect, however, that they live because they felt cheap, so we never heavily stress them.

BTW, we did a nail pulling post too. I'm curious if you've got a better technique.

Ours was here:

http://www.rehabordie.com/search/label/pulling%20nails

Gene said...

@Dave & Anna: It is (I'm still using it) one of the "made in America" ones. I've had it forever, so the metal was probably getting fatigued.

@TTA: That technique (using a block of wood with the hammer) works if the nail isn't in too tight. It's also good for situations where you don't want to mark up the wood. The technique I learned involves using the hammer sideways and will work even if the head of the nail has popped off.