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Staple Remover

05/23/2013 1:08 AM

Hello Forum -

After a long absence (I missed getting to read and learn from the posts...) I am back, with another puzzling design issue.

I am tasked with removing the staples and thumbtacks, brads, and some small screws from 16,000 pieces of 2"x6"x6' clear stain grade white oak. Almost every board has around 100 staples, 12-20 tacks, 10-20 brad nails, and some have 8-20 small (#8) wood screws.

All the wood is rough hewn, circa 1845 tobacco plantation, and is being repurposed and saved from the dumpster. But the reclaimed wood has to be planed/jointed to thickness and flatness so it can be incorporated into furniture and placed back into the restoration project.

With standard planing technologies that I know about, all the metal has to come out of the wood before it goes through the planer or we will need 16,000 sets of knives...or a whole lot of knives grinding and sharpening. Not a good plan.

So, the brainstorming begins... magnetometer for detecting small remnants is easy and obvious.

But how to efficiently get all the tiny bits out?

Ideas we have kicked around so far-

1) extremely powerful electromagnet. Simple to design, perhaps not so simple to operate and may not be effective or efficient. We have no idea how strong the magnet would have to be, but we do know from experimentation (roses and chocolate will get you a long way with some MRI technicians) that a 3Tesla MRI magnet would not pull a freshly driven regular swingline paper staple out a sample of the red oak. We could definitely feel the tug on the staple, but it did not pull out. That's the most powerful magnet we know about. Can we build an electromagnet that has a much stronger, focused, field because the field can be much smaller than the bore of the MRI machine?

2) Spinning device similar to Drum Sander, but with converted drum with lots of small barbs that would snag on the staples and pull them out.

3) One Hundred unskilled Laborers at $10 per hour, one hour per board using needle nose pliers and staple pullers and screwdrivers, $160,000 and 20-24 days to complete the project.

4) planer/jointer machine that can eat metal bits without ruining the knives, or some other machine that sands/grinds/scrapes the surface flat and leaves behind small bits of metal, but the boards are all flat.

5) Six guys, six years, six visits per year to the mental health clinic for Xanax refills...

6) Find another 1845 plantation that has not been reused as horse stalls and bulletin boards for the past 100 years and does not have such a massive accumulation of fastener contamination.

Any thoughts or suggestions from past experience will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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#1

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 1:41 AM

#3, but also provide vice grip pliers.

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#2

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 1:44 AM

You more or less covered it all!

I would explore the option for the knives to be hardened as such that they cut through the staples and nails so you can use the same machine. Take the screws out as they would screw things up I suppose but the soft metal should not be an issue for the knives.

Otherwise you should have started yesterday to pull the nails out. three per minute its 4.26 years every day 8 hours pulling out nails . . .

The other thing you could do is find this other wood and reuse the one you have as fire wood. Not such an issue with the nails then . . .

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#3

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 3:11 AM

Maybe consider the depth of penetration of the staples and just take off that depth of wood through a circular saw?

So if you have 2" thick wood with 1/4" staples. Run it through a saw to give 1.5" timber and 1/4" of staple filled offcuts which you can then burn and have a barbi.

Ok you loose some timber but it's hands down the cheapest & quickest.

If you want to do it by hand some cheap screwdrivers shaped and sharpened to suit the various tacks stapes etc will save a lot of time, but then if they gouge in /18" you still have a lot of clean up to do.

Anyhow, doing it by hand will still miss some.
Nah... run those suckers through the circular saw.
Del

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#14
In reply to #3

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 3:43 PM

GA, this what I was going to suggest.

The loss of wood would more than be offset by the gain of time of not having to pull the staples out.

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#4

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 5:30 AM

#3, but, dependent on labour (labor) laws where you are put them on piece work: $5 per board. Make sure you have a way to check it thoroughly.

It's worth about $40 to $50 per board (retail) when it's cleaned up.

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#6
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Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 9:16 AM

See??? This is why I kick myself in the head for not visiting CR4 more often.

Great suggestions! Thanks!

Had not thought of circle saw because of board size, but band saw??? Now we got something to consider...

The tacks and screws - that's going to eat some manual labor time. But once that's clean, then band saw could resaw the face, clearing off the staples and leaving only the tiny pins, many which might rip out in the process.

Next we glue up slabs "pin side" to "pin side" and have nice true dimension 3x6 wood to work with as stock.

We still really want to try the magnet method... so if someone can help a little with the physics there, that would be a huge plus. Large DC power source - 200 amp welder? Narrow Gap Field Generator - What if we fab up a super-sized version of a record/erase tape head? We figure we need intimate, or at least very close contact to the metal bits, so a roller would be great method. A rolling magnetic drum... adjustable height, starts to sound like a planer with a magnet instead of knives. Not turning as fast, of course.

For those who love wood and history - This wood is the original old growth forest cleared by a plantation owner/slave owner, hand hewn red and white oak and some hickory, walnut and ash mixed in. It was used to build houses, barns, stables, fences, viewing stands and a horse track. 80 percent is approximately 2x6 or 2x8, 2x10, some is 4x8 and some is 6x10 and a bit larger. The good news is the larger pieces have been spared most of the staple gun assaults. The sad sad sad news is most of the big stuff was ground into mulch for the XX state parks. Probably a decision made by a person I would not care to have lunch with, who drives a hybrid car and takes 30 second showers to conserve water... but mulches rare-to-extinct specimens of wood to meet budget on their park beautification project.

We are metal working guys for our work. We are wood working guys for our passion. When we saw this entire estate/plantation going in the dumpster we skidded to a stop and immediately got on the phone to find out what we could do to save the material. Surely, surely... nobody in their right mind would trash 2x10x12' slabs of clear, perfect wood of any species. The State of (name witheld to protect the idiots) was using Trustee Labor from the nearby repeat offender detention facility to demolish this place in a state park. "We're making room for the new visitor's center".

It is against the law for an employee of XX state to remove or otherwise possess "state property" so the only legal thing to do with the material was send it to the dump in 20 yard rolloffs. The average guy might say it was all ruined by the staples, tacks, nails, etc. The place has hosted thousands of horse and other events over the past 180 years? Posters, Name Tags, Number Plates, Strings of Lights, who knows what all has been strung up along this stuff over that many years. So into the dumpster it was going.

We organized an alternative and as helpful citizens of a nearby state and not "XX State Employees" we were allowed to "reclaim waste material". So they put it in the dumpsters, and we took it out and put it in our trailers. For a few weeks.

Anyway I digress from the main issue of getting the metal out of the cellulose.

Other off-the-table ideas -

Acid/Corrosive that would rust the metal but not do much of anything to the wood. Most likely very expensive, and acid baths and ventilation and then neutralization all sounds like more cost than lots of tweezers.

Grind it all up, pulverize it, and then separate the materials and have the wood turned into a composite. No way are we putting clear slabs of ash into a chipper.

So, back to the magnet thought. From what we can gather so far, we need an extremely powerful, extremely narrow magnetic field about eight inches wide. We slide/roll the boards on (aluminum?) structure under the field. Turn off magnet, vacuum/sweep/wipe magnet. Pass next board. Or, we could make it a 4 inch field, and spin the board around and run it through twice. Or, a two inch field... Lots of options.

More Ideas???

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#18
In reply to #6

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 11:12 PM

If you try the magnet idea, be sure to test it on the wood you want to clean up. Earlier you tested on a freshly driven staple, which would not be representative of ancient staples. Some I have pulled out had rusted, and that seems to make them stick even harder in the wood. So, you have to test the real thing, not a simulation.

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#21
In reply to #6

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 12:06 AM

if these staples were in redwood or perhaps soft pine, The magnet idea could possibly have a chance. In oak and ash and walnut, NO WAY! Just yesterday I pulled a bunch of staples out of a couple of sign posts; there is no way a magnet would do the job. I once had a large magnet pull my pocketknife through the cloth of my pants pocket, but that knife had several orders of magnitude more magnetic mass than a staple.

Make sure the circular or band saw has carbide tipped teeth. Or possibly a planer with carbide blades...

It is indeed disturbing to hear that the Park Service did not place a value on these items!

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#52
In reply to #6

Re: Staple Remover

05/29/2013 4:33 PM

Hi Tx,

Great find on this material. I work in downtown Houston, right across the street from the old YMCA. The one that was demo'ed a couple of years ago. The contractor went through and took out all the furniture, the copper water pipe and a few other items that caught his interest. Then he brought in the back hoe's and started crunching the walls. Once the sides were open, everyone could see that he had not bothered with the oak flooring in the basketball and handball courts.(I was told there were 16 handball courts.) All of the oak, some of it had been down for close to 60 years, was ground into toothpicks and carted to the landfill with all the bricks and concrete.

There were tears in many eyes watching that all go to waste.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Staple Remover

05/31/2013 11:15 AM

Last time I saw something like that, I found the strawboss, slipped him a couple of twentys, and the floor was stacked over where I could load it into my car.

Doesn't happen often though....most old wood really is too damaged to attempt a cost effective salvage.

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#54
In reply to #52

Re: Staple Remover

06/06/2013 11:22 PM

Yes, this happens all the time... Many of the Division 1 NCAA schools get a new floor every four-five years. The old floors sometimes go to a needy high school. Usually, they get pulverized. Too many nails per board foot to be any good for anything else, they say. I say cut the floors into table tops and sell them for "man caves" to support the scholarship funds. The floor at the final four is a brand new floor every year...and then sold to a school for continued use.

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Staple Remover

06/07/2013 8:51 AM

In my youth, I worked for a company that built, repaired, and maintained bowling alleys. Back in the 1960s, the wood was considered too valuable to scrap. At times we would remove a bowling alley by cutting it into thirds lengthwise, and removing it, only to be reinstalled into another alleyl that needed only a couple of alleys.

We were also required to straighten out the bent nails. The saying was " used alleys get used nails."

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#5

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 8:10 AM

I think I'd go with Del's suggestion (#3). A circular saw or perhaps a heavy duty bandsaw.

I was thinking, too, there might be a chemical bath way to dissolve the metal, maybe a salt or sulfuric acid (or nitric?) bath that would eat the metal and leave the wood. You might talk to a chemist or see if there is a company that can handle an acid bath. -- Seems like a potentially toxic process, but maybe there is an environmentally safe way to do this.

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#7

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 9:48 AM

There are large belt sanders for commercial applications. So large that the belt is overhead, and the wood passes under it. With an autofeed setup you can process this lumber quickly. It will come out smooth with shiny dots where the metal was. The right belt will eat the metal right up without removing any more wood than you desire.

Kudos for saving this lumber.

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#40
In reply to #7

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 1:20 PM

there are also large drum sanders that are set up like a planer that should do the trick also. pretty sure the sandpaper would be cheaper than blades and in most cases will make short work of the staples and brads. the screws might be an issue though, but a quick check and a reversible drill will get those.

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#8

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 10:11 AM

Hey Tex, LTNS! And welcome back to the fold!

Have you thought about putting the work out to Competitive Bid for removing all the metal? It may be cheaper and you'd avoid the labor laws and liabilities....

....or send it to Mexico where the labor is cheap and abundant (not the best option, as I'd would rather see Americans get the work)?

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 10:27 AM

Hi Moosie- We don't have to send it to Mexico - Mexico has mostly moved here... Ugggg. The illegal alien worker issue in Houston is so bad I can't even begin to talk about all the problems. I can get 150 guys off two corners any morning of the week. My problem is having the shop space to have that many working. And for sure if I did take that many, ICE would come visit and I would have my entire business seized and locked out until the case was decided in court. Three to Five years average and I lose everything. Ugggg. So - I am liking the ship it there idea. Will investigate. Will also look at the big belt sander idea because we need one of those anyway. The end product of most of this is going to be 6x12 foot slab table tops and benches which we are selling back to the park... yeah, it's capitalism at work!!! The "scraps" are going to be the walls and stalls of my new barn and I am going to have emotional moments everytime I walk in there and think about what it took to make that wood what it is today. Still, I really want that magnet magic!!! Even if it's not practical, can we discuss what would be required just for the fun of it???

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 1:20 PM

The illegal alien worker issue in Houston is so bad I can't even begin to talk about all the problems
This i know, i live there. A guy came in with a job application in which he noted he was bi lingual, he spoke English and French. The interviewer stated " thats not bi lingual, you have to speak Spanish".

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#11

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 1:54 PM

I would give these guys a call and see what they have to say....if such a thing is doable

Rectangular Electromagnets
Item#WidthLengthHeightMountThread DepthThreadLocation of LeadsWattsPull lbsWt
70A00011.52.51.2510.37510-32.750/.50052001 lb
70A00022.52.51.50.750.51/4-201.75/.37584502 lb
70A00132.54.5220.51/4-201.50/.750127505 lb
70A0011482.540.753/8-161.25/1.2542200016 lb

http://www.adamsmagnetic.com/magnetic_assemblies/assem_electromagnets.php

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#20
In reply to #11

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 12:05 AM

Good answer and a great find.

The small bi-polar electromagnets (work better through air gaps) are probably more suited for this job, especially since you could attach an iron 'concentrator' to narrow the active open gap between the poles, to work better on the target staple or nail.

And, there's no substitute to talking with those guys, as SolarEagle said.

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#12

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 2:00 PM

Do you want to keep the full depth of the wood? Screws and nails leave significant holes.

Claw hammers could pull the screws and nails and also staples if the chisel ends were honed and shaped. The bits of staple, tacks and similar items could be removed by a small plug cutter, a size larger plug could then be used as a Dutchmen to fill the hole. Not having to change tools is important to productivity on the line.

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#13

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 3:41 PM

1) extremely powerful electromagnet. Simple to design, perhaps not so simple to operate and may not be effective or efficient. We have no idea how strong the magnet would have to be, but we do know from experimentation (roses and chocolate will get you a long way with some MRI technicians) that a 3Tesla MRI magnet would not pull a freshly driven regular swingline paper staple out a sample of the red oak. We could definitely feel the tug on the staple, but it did not pull out. That's the most powerful magnet we know about.

Oh that just made my day. I can definitely see myself doing this given the same circumstances.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 9:52 PM

How about a 45 tesla magnet? I have a feeling you would have to know somebody to get access though....

http://www.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/magnetacademy/magnets/page6.html

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#19
In reply to #15

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 11:33 PM

Yea, that's not the sort of thing you can whip up over a couple of weekends with a group of friends or coworkers and a crate of beer.

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#35
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Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 9:39 AM

Dr. Tex "Nurse Smith. Hurry and prepare the MRI equipment. We have an unexpected patient that needs an MRI."

Nurse Smith "Yes Dr. Do you have the patient's name?"

Dr.Tex "Ahh, lets just call him Mr Wood."

Nurse Smith "OH Dr. You're kidding me aren't you? How do you expect me to do the billing on this?"

Dr Tex "How about roses and chocolate?"

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#16

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 10:50 PM

As a hobby woodworker you have my sympathy. I don't have a good way to remove all of this hardware, but once you get the heavy stuff and as much staple debris as is accessible, try a planer with carbide blades. Nails and screws will ruin the blades.but standard 20 ga staples might not. It may be worth trying it with a set to see the result. The damage (if any) from staples can be ground out and at most, you'll reduce the usable life by a small amount.

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#17

Re: Staple Remover

05/23/2013 10:51 PM

I have used several magnetic based drill rigs in my time to drill on safe's and vault doors and put several thousand pounds of force on the drill head. even caught my dad and grandfather trying just what you are thinking. Needless to say it did not work for them either there is just not enough mass of metal in the wood to pull out the nails or staples let alone tacks or screws. But it was funny seeing them try most of one afternoon they even tried to wire one of my best BUX round bases to 220 to try and make it stronger thank God I caught them before they got it plugged in, boy what a fireworks show that would have been. But I just couldn't wait to see two old men with bozo looking hair smoking at the tips of their pointy little heads. boy would that have been the day my mother and grand mother would have chased me with a broom for allowing the two old fools to electrocute themselves. I still laugh about it to this day. Duke

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#22

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 12:17 AM

Some thoughts:-

There is a limit to the magnetic force on the debris when the metal saturates, certainly under 20 kilogauss so a more potent magnet may well not help.

Loosening the wood/metal bond has not yet been explored, can methods and side effects be considered.

My first thoughts are induction heating, the required temperature to free the grip enough for the magnet to work needs to be investigated.

If charing spots follow loosening the timber's value reduction may be acceptable.

A colleague used to find brass turnings embedded in his hands, by locating the pains when he waved his hands near the lnduction coil.

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#23

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 12:19 AM

I have had similar projects and the best results were the belt sander suggestion. For a cheap experiment take an angle grinder with a flap wheel try several different grits to see what works best such as 40,60,80,. You may even find that some electric or air powered angle grinders with metal abrasive work well enough to do most of the work then just pass the boards through a belt sander to get desired finish. There will not be enough mass in the tacks and nails to use the magnet method, I know I tried it with some very strong rare earth magnets. Some very stiff wire brushes may remove most of the tacks and staples but the nails will be the main issue. This is where we go back to the belt sander. Flap wheels or disc work very well on metal and last longer than the hard wheels.

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#24

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 12:31 AM

Hi Tex

The biggest problems you seem to have is:

1. Recognize were what metal, staples etc. are hidden.

2. Be able to take a grip, hold on them.

3. Not lose too much of the wood in the process of cleaning.

Possible Solution:

If you can find a wire brush cylinder (like a planer, just with strong wire brush nodules attached) you could rip out most of the little staples and leave the more robust nails visible and easier to remove. They would be the shiny bits sticking out and be removed with an appropriate pair of pliers.

This will leave you with a rough brushed surface which could then be planed. I feel for you and your wish to not dump this treasure.

Good luck, Ky.

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#25

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 1:11 AM

Tables only have one side visible. Sand them.

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#26

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 1:46 AM

Hi txmedic, just thinking outside the square here, as I am not sure if such a thing exists, is there an acid that only attacks metal but not wood? Chemistry was not a strong subject of mine, but you wanted ideas.

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#27

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 4:13 AM

Ship to India - they work for about 1 dollar a day!

Only pay for 100 % cleared wood. (per piece) - they like the pay.

You have a couple of weeks off, get a tan, and happily take the wood back home, for medals?

jt.

Dear Lord

So far today, dear Jesus, I have done all right.
I haven't gossiped, haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over-indulgent.
I'm very thankful for that... However, in just a few minutes,

I'm going to get out of bed.

From then on, I'm going to need a lot more help! Amen.

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#28

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 4:44 AM

How much of the staple is left in the wood? English oak is often acidic enough to rust away small tacks and staples, I don't know whether white oak is similar.

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#29

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 4:58 AM

The suggestions for circular saws & belt sanders are good but what about a regular milling cutter? Something like a 6" shell end mill with carbide inserts will take a 1/2" cut through solid steel without hesitating, nails & staples will be no challenge at all.

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#30

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 5:32 AM

You have made the assumption that pulling with a magnet will remove all of the brag, staple or screw. If the metal has been in the wood for more than a few years it may be sufficiently corroded to break rather than pull out. At the very least, some metal will break off leaving planer blades vulnerable to damage. But..... If the metal is heavily corroded, it may not do as much damage as you anticipate to the planer blades.

Have you tried running a few pieces through a planer to test this? It might be worth ruining one set of carbide blades to gauge the blade life, and see if your fears are well founded. This reasoning also applies to saw blades if you go with sawing. (NB A commercial (24" min) circular saw will slice the timber much faster than a band saw)

Any residual corroded metal will cause localised staining of the wood so gluing both pin sides in the centre also solves the staining problem.

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#31

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 7:10 AM

Put an advertisement in the Houston Chronicle:

1,600,000 staples,
200,000 tacks and
200,000 screws
all FREE to collector
contact ......

Sorry couldn't resist.

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#32

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 8:54 AM

I like Del's idea and the bandsaw but think about a "grinder" to just take a bit off. I used one of these on the clapboards on my house and it will clean the heads off stainless nails without even slowing down! I use 20 grit carbide "blades". The machine has a guide that rides along the clapboard to keep it in line and there's a depth setting as well. Grind 'em off!

http://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-7403-Abrasive-Paint-Remover/dp/B0000222YQ/ref=cm_rdp_product

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#33

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 9:13 AM

Industrial Machine shops mill, plane, turn etc, steel parts all the time using carbide tipped tools.

Option #1 Try asking a local machine shop how much they would charge to use a big fly cutter and plane your lumber there.

Option #2 Try buying carbide tipped blades for your planner.

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#34

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 9:26 AM

I suggest you run the boards through a horizontal milling machine to cut off all the metal fasteners. This will leave a poor surface finish on the wood because the blade will turn relatively slowly. Once you are satisfied there is no metal left, you can fix the surface finish using a high speed planer. You can dream about removing the fasteners with a huge magnet, but don't bother trying it. It won't work.

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#36

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 9:57 AM

Would vibrating the wood loosen up the staples and tacks sufficiently to allow the magnets to work?

There is a surfacing machine that is used for the preparation of warped cylinder heads. It is an 18-24 " flat round stone that is hight adjustable relative to the large flat steel table that surrounds it. In automotive work, the head is slid across the spinning stone, and less than a thousandth of an inch is ever removed. Just enough to bring the high spots down to the lowest.

If you can find a friendly automotive machine shop, you might be able to use the surfacer on a night, or weekend. The boards would come out smooth and everything above the surface would be removed. The spinning stone is designed to cut cast iron, so the staples, tacks, nails and screws should be easy.

My suggestion would be beer and pizza for this rather than roses and chocolate.

Good luck, and great job saving that wood.

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#37

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 9:59 AM

Sell the wood cheaply to a private person who is a woodworker, who will take the time to pull out the metal when he needs a piece.

Buy new (old!) wood with the proceeds (stuff without metal!), plus the money you have saved by NOT removing the metal yourself....

By the way, even ebay may be a way to sell it off once people know just how old it is......It will make great things once metal free, no more warping and great grain.

Small holes left after the metal has been removed can be fixed with a shot of water soluble wood glue in the holes and then hot ironing with a piece of toweling soaked in water, turn the steam on in the iron for extra water vapour.

Give it a few days to dry out and harden fully, lying flat or well supported.

Tiny holes do not need the glue really....though better with. Just use a piece of plastic as a scraper to run the glue overall and in the small holes as well.

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#38

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 11:35 AM

Been there, done that. My suggestion is either a drum sander, with an Aluminum oxide belt geared for metal, OR.......Why don't you just flip the board over, if only one side is to be observed, and use the back side as the good side? (OR are both sides affected?)

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#39

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 11:54 AM

Beyond a few pieces you lovingly handle: firewood.

Look for another barn.

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#41

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 3:00 PM

Put them in a wood burner they'll save you a ton of money heating your house,when the ash is removed collect all the metal and sell it for scrap, this combined with the saving on fuel will get you some new timber without nails! IF I can help somebody my life will not have been in vain .

Bazzer

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#44
In reply to #41

Re: Staple Remover

05/25/2013 6:22 AM

Whoa: leveles and Bazzer, you guys should look up the retail value of white oak, especially when it's well matured.

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#42

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 4:02 PM

STEAM IT in a boatwright's steam box (easy/cheap to build) when it is like a noodle, use a magnet or stiff rotating wire brush..... then cure the wood back to 20% slowly in a stack. Then plane or sand it. Works for oak and pines and a few other species. Many times the staples will 'stand up' when the wood is cured, as when nails come up in your porch.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Staple Remover

05/24/2013 7:45 PM

Careful with white oak, if wetting or steaming.--It can move in several directions , when wet, and should really be re dried using a moisture meter, and air drying, and like previously said, stacking or better , adjustable clamping jigs...Lots of work there...

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#45

Re: Staple Remover

05/25/2013 7:28 AM

I have reclaimed a LOT of wood, and it always looks rough when all the staples and nails are removed.

Lots of good hand tools....I use a nail jack , a nail hunter and a flat crowbar....I found a catspaw to be more trouble than it is worth. The pinch jack works a treat on two inch nails...nine uses a slide hammer mechanism but the link shows a standard framing hammer type which works just fine, and it fits in your tool box more easily.

Considering the value of the wood, employing a few kids to do it by hand may well be cost effective. Hint....work along side them....or they will be texting the whole time.

Once you have taken the worst of them out, you can sand them. Sanding will remove very little wood, planing...well, even with carbide planer blades, expect to become practiced at sharpening planer blades.

I used a vibrating flat pad sander on some maple boards....I just laid them on the floor of my workshop and sanded them like a hardwood floor. Seemed to work all right... I steamed some of it to bring close up the nail holes. Standard steam iron usually used for clothes....and a damp cloth.

Good luck...they are a treasure!

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#46

Re: Staple Remover

05/25/2013 11:34 AM

High powered induction coil who melt the metal, and a industrial size water based vacuum cleaner to suck the molten metal staples...

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#48
In reply to #46

Re: Staple Remover

05/28/2013 5:23 AM

I think that getting the metal to the temperature at which it melts will do too much damage to the wood, but, I've given a GA because this is a completely novel solution.

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: Staple Remover

05/28/2013 4:38 PM

Not if you get the wood wet first, and the staples are small. Just test it on one board...

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Staple Remover

05/28/2013 10:14 PM

What kind of hose do you use to transfer the molten metal into the water of the vacuum cleaner?

...And don't forget that many of these staples have been in place for 50 years or more, oxidizing more every year. Many of the staples thus will be only a thin core of metal surrounded by a thick layer of oxide. Metal oxides generally do not conduct electricity, so I suspect they would be unaffected by the induction, and even once you do get the core melted, a vacuum cleaner requires moving air to carry the particles. This wood is not sufficiently porous to allow a significant air flow through the wood, so the metal inside the wood would not be extracted; only the metal on the outside would be removed. A sander or carbide planer could do the same job with no heat damage to the wood.

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: Staple Remover

05/29/2013 3:26 AM

Yeah, but other than that...?
Del

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#47

Re: Staple Remover

05/25/2013 12:30 PM

sounds like labor may work better, unless you have an autonomous robot with pliers for one arm, and a screwdriver (set) for the other arm, and the other two arms to handle the lumber.

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