Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday.

Last week, we put 'em in, this week we pull 'em out. I'm talking about the staples - oh, and the nails used to hold the strips in place as the glue sets. Below are the fasteners that I'm talking about.

On the left is a 9/16" long staple used at the forms. I've omitted the 1/4" long staples used between the hull forms. On the right is a ring-shank panel nail that we use for balky strips. I've tried 1" long 18 gauge wire nails, but find that sometimes they pull up out of the forms. The panel nails stay in place.

In the image below are two tools for removing staples. The one on the left is attached to a stapler and I don't find it all that useful - it tends to leave circular dents in the strips. The pocket knife on the right I find incredibly useful - it is an excellent tool for exhuming those staples that you've accidentally buried in a strip.

In reality, I use a wide variety of tools:

The strip on the left is to support the tools when prying against the hull - this might be for a hammer (not shown) to pull a difficult ring-shank nail or for one of the little pry-bars at top center. These little pry bars are some of the fastest tools I know for removing staples or nails. They also have the potential to do a fair amount of damage to the strips when pulling fasteners. I don't really care for the tack puller (2nd from right in the top row), but it can do a good job of removing staples that aren't buried. The Bostitch staple remover on the far right is intended for removing heavy duty box staples and does a great job of removing staples in a hurry without damaging the hull.

The variety of pliers in the bottom row are good, too. The locking pliers are nice to get a purchase on broken staple legs or nails that are otherwise impossible to pull.

Also, when locked onto the nails, you can twist and pull the ring-shank nails without breaking out the surface of the strip.

I haven't discussed the use of nails to hold down strips before. There are some with great twist and bend that will not stay in place using staples alone, nails are required. When driving nails, you don't want to make a "rosebud" from hitting the hammer on the soft cedar hull. You also don't want to drive the head of the nail into the surface of the hull, either. To protect the hull, we use small pads made out of scrap strip with a hole drilled in them. It helps to hold the strip in place and protect it at the same time.

The other advantage comes when it is time to remove the nail. I use a hammer and the small pry bar to split the pads at the nail head like so:

When the pieces are removed, the nail is proud of the surface and you can grab the nail with locking pliers, twist and pull:

When finished, you will be fairing the hull - be sure to look over it carefully to make sure you didn't leave any fasteners in the hull to mar the edge of your plane irons!

All set and ready for fairing!

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