Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Brilliant Idea

If you have a Shasta, or possibly any other vintage trailer with birch paneling, then you know the little spiral shank paneling nails that are all over the interior, right?  If you've ever had occasion to remove one (or more) of them, then you know what a pain they are to get out, right?

Well, imagine having to remove about 80 of them to take off a panel that delaminated.  Ugh.  After an hour and a half of picking them out with little wire cutters that reminded me of cuticle nippers,  a pair of channelock pliers and a small pry bar, we had only removed about 2 dozen.  The PO's had sunk the heads below the surface of the wood.  Eek.  Dig dig dig dig, scrape, gouge, bruised hands, dig dig dig. 

Suddenly, my husband disappeared into the garage, and returned with a drill.  I thought he'd finally given up and decided to just drill the heads off.  Nope.  He put a drill bit into the drill chuck BACKWARDS, and then put a #12 countersink bit on the end of it.  So, the contraption looked like this. 
A little blurry, but here's the drill bit and the #12 countersink on the drill.  He moved the countersink to the end of the drill bit shank, then pushed it out a little more.  The nailhead fits inside the blades on the countersink, and the nail head hits the end of the bit when the countersink has dug out enough wood.  Kind of an automatic depth stop.

This is what the contraption does.  Now, just use a pair of dikes or a needle nose plier to pull the nail out. 

Nailheads ready to be pulled.  

We finished the rest of these in a half hour.  We needed to keep the panel intact to use as a pattern for a new one.  The PO's had removed a layer of the birch and then used polyurethane on the glue base.  It was rough and not very sturdy anymore.  The side with the door was coming apart in layers as well.  After pulling all of those nails out, we discovered that the paneling was glued very securely to the frame of the closet.  ugh.  More pounding and scraping....  Hubby smoothed the frame down with a wood plane, removing bits of wood and glue still stuck to it.   Our goal was to save the frame so we (actually my husband, the Woodworker) could rebuild the closet without having to remake the curved frame to fit the roofline.

This closet is for the potty.  Hubby is replacing the panels on both sides of the potty room, and he'd already removed the kitchen to rebuild the cabinets.  So, I asked him, just out of curiosity mind you, how hard would it be to make the potty room just a teensy bit bigger?   He got out the tape measure and we checked where the drawers will fit if the closet wall is moved forward.  We figured out that we have at least 6" to spare of kitchen length, after accounting for the current 36" of cabinetry and the new cabinets that will be built for the microwave and refrigerator.  Everything should fit perfectly.  It's not going to add much time to the project, since we'd planned to replace the panels already.  He'll need to cut two extra framing pieces to move the wall forward toward the wheelwell about 5 or 6 inches.  Believe me, that will make a huge difference in how functional that potty room will be.  It will be nice to be able to turn around and lift the lid without having the door open!!

Yay!!!  I'm thrilled!!  I keep telling him it doesn't take much to make me happy.  hahaha. 

1 comment:

  1. Dee your ideas are brilliant especially since we'll be going through some of the same stuff you are only on a smaller scale. :)