Pulling nails from construction lumber can be slow and tedious. Before you can even get a grip on them with your hammer, you have to bang them out from the back side of the board to expose the head.
And of course the nails were probably bent during demolition, so you’ll have to straighten out the points before you can even drive them backward.
Rather than do all this by hand, you could attach the Mayhew NailBoss onto any air hammer, and you’ll be able to quickly straighten nails and drive them backwards with a minimum of effort.
According to Mayhew, the NailBoss also does less damage to the wood. This could be beneficial if you plan to reinstall or repurpose the wood.
The NailBoss screws right onto the threads of the air hammer that hold the spring retainer. Then you just slip the NailBoss over the point of the nail, use it to lever the nail straight, and then pull the trigger to drive the nail backwards though the board.
The NailBoss will work with staples or nails up to 0.25″ in diameter.
You can also use it with a manual hammer!
Mayhew also sells a “combination” version, which has a piston head that screws into the body of the NailBoss. With this head you can use any regular hammer to manually drive a nail backwards through a board. While it’s going to work slower with a hammer than an air hammer, it still gives you the advantage of being able to drive the nail through with a larger piston, rather than trying to hit the nail on the point.
Unfortunately, I can’t find the NailBoss combo tool for sale anywhere. The standard NailBoss is sold at Amazon and a few other little known online retailers (at least to me) like Life and Home. Expect to pay about $32 to $36.
Model numbers: 41110 (standard), 41111 (combo version with attachment for manual hammers)
Buy Now (via Amazon)
Buy Now (via Life and Home)
If you want to see the NailBoss and the NailBoss Combo Tool in action, here is Mayhew’s demonstration video:
If I did more re-claimed wood stuff – I’d buy one tomorrow. nice find. Now Dewalt and Milwaukee – make me a cordless 18V hammer setup that’s worth a flip.
Benjamen – Do you think this tool wood be good for countersinking nails from the other direction? I am in the middle of a restoration project that calls for countersinking around a thousand small nails that have been driven into exposed shiplap over the last century … I found a similar product on Amazon designed to forcibly eject the nail (ie launch it out of the board) … but now I am thinking this tool might be the better solution. Your thoughts? Thanks, SZ
The other tool on Amazon is the Airlocker AP700 by the way. I picked one up but have not tried it yet.
Here is the “higher priced” pneumatic:
i did find that one in my research. The Reconnx looks like a really nice tool. Looks a little pricey relative to alternatives.
I ended up returning Airlocker and going with Nailboss + Air Hammer instead. I’m a few weeks out from putting the tools to work, but I will report back once I give them a shot.
If the pneumatic doesn’t work, how about a manual approach using a slide-hammer nailer?
I have two old ones (Craftsman 9-38230) that is probably no loner made – plus a Benda 2081 – UPC 746383125601) that I think (or something like it) may still be available as “The Pea Shooter PT-PS36 )
Is this the tool, in my opinion no. It looks like this is designed for construction lumber not any kind of finish work. Air hammers aren’t really used for finesse.
The AirLocker you mentioned might have potential, but it looks like you have to dial in the air pressure as many of the answered questions say that it’ll drive the nail to far in. I guess it depends how thick the shiplap is and how big of a hole you care to leave.
It’s really hard to say what would work in your application. What type of nail is it? It must be some sort of small head nail or finish nail if you think it would fin into the 0.25″ NailBoss. In my limited experience, setting finish nails goes a whole lot smoother if you have the proper sized set for the nail. I’ve never tried setting larger head nails.
I called the nice people at Mayhew Tools and we discussed my application.
Based on their feedback I think the Nail Boss may in fact be the way to go. It is designed to push nails out of the backside of material … but at lower psi it might just be the right tool to countersink the nails and tacks I am dealing with. The Airlocker makes one longer throw with each depression of the trigger, and an air gun makes a succession of shorter blows… with that in mind I am going to give the air gun / Nail Boss a shot and see how it goes.
There are so many nails in this material that a conventional nail set and hammer simply wont get the job done unfortunately.
I’m about 2 weeks out from being in a position to try it- I’ll report back. It’s a unique application for sure but you never know when someone else might benefit down the road.
How pretty does the workpiece need to stay, and how small are the nails? Finish nails, brads, tack nails?
If the surface doesn’t need to remain pristine then a pneumatic palm nailer might be the perfect tool for you. All but the cheapest models have an adjustable depth stop that will automatically stop driving the nail after it is below the surface. On larger head nails the driving head is smaller than the nail head, so it doesn’t mark the wood. But on smaller nails, the driving head will itself be driven into the wood.
Put the sleeve over the nail, press, and a second later it is done. Once you get the depth set it’s automatically repeated.
Thanks Mike this is a great idea! The CFM requirement on the air gun is kind of high … do you have any specific model recommendations?
Thanks for sharing this info.
We had used the Senco and Bostitch brands in both full-sized and “mini” configurations. Over the years the models got better in providing padding for your hand – which can get a bit beat-up after long use.
There is also the Milwaukee M12 palm nailer – but my experience with it was a bit mixed.
I don’t have any specific model recommendation. But if this is a one-off project, and it sounds like it is, then it’s prime Harbor Freight territory. You won’t be out any serious money should this not work well for you. Then again, these aren’t expensive tools to begin with.
The CFM for one of these really isn’t going to be any less than a pneumatic hammer. It’s the same mechanism in a different package. If that’s still a concern it might not work out for you, but frankly even my tiny 6 gallon pancake compressor can handle either as long as you aren’t going in two minute bursts without a pause.
Mike, thanks again for the valuable experience-based feedback.
I’m taking a multi pronged approach, given I am a couple of weeks out from having power on the job site.
I have a “Japanese Nail Puller” – basically a cats claw made of high grade steel – on the way from Amazon … it gets good reviews and I am optimistic.
For “Plan B” I will try the Nail Boss + Air Hammer listed here, and if that does not work I have my eye on a PC mini (tiny really) palm nailer per your suggestion.
With all options I think I can get the job done one way or another! J.
mike aka Fazzman
Interesting,dont know many guys who carry a pneumatic hammer around nowadays.
We bought one of these just before I retired – so I can’t comment other tan it is an alternative:
I think I have seen video of this type before. The video I saw seemed like with a pull of the trigger the nails would shoot out the backside into a bucket. Much less work.
The combination tool (41111) seems like a worthwhile addition to my tool arsenal, but I couldn’t find it at Amazon nor Life & Home. Google Shopping also came up blank… any tips?
There’s a little typo in the retailer paragraph, it should read that I can’t find the Combo Tool available anywhere… Sorry, I had the same luck.
Steve Zissou above sounds like he had a pleasant talk with Mayhew, maybe you can call them or leave a message. They have contact info available on the bottom of the webpage: http://mayhew.com/product.php?item_no=41111
Ah– noted. I’ll contact Mayhew tomorrow. Thanks much!
So what would work best for pulling stripped screws out of wood? I’ve seen the Kwikgripper (is that how it’s spelled?) and the Cordless Drill Nail Puller.