Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nail too close

I was doing some screen repair on our porch where the dog ran through it. He didn't really scratch it up so much as he walked right through it. (He was such a cute puppy but has grown into a monster.) The old screen was pretty simple: cut to size, stapled up, and then some molding was nailed over the staples. So, I got this fancy new dog proof screen (actually works, too) together with screw-on plastic tracks that you spline the new screen into.

To the point then: I wanted all of the old nails out. But, there's this one near the corner that slipped through the molding when I removed it and this guy is snuggled up in a corner where he just can't be pried out (picture above). It's a smallish finish nail with a very narrow head or I might have been able to work something out.

In retrospect, I probably could have just driven it in all the way, flush with the wood, and been done with it. It would have been out of the way (with 99% certainty). But, that plan didn't occur to me -- I took out the others and I wanted this booger gone, too. ... This sort of obstinate perfectionism might be the reason that the simplest home-fix-it jobs seem to take me about triple the time they do other people.

I suppose some of the (many) stories of my various home-fix-it disasters and mishaps might be better reading. At least more amusing. But, today, I revel in my triumph. Brain has bested brawn once again and I removed the nail with ease and without the slightest bit of damage to the surrounding wood. I had mentally reviewed and rejected several plans that all resulted in terrible gashes and gouges. (Guess how I already knew that those other plans would have gone badly.)

The problems were that the nail head was too small and the hammer claw too greatly curved. (Coming at it from 90 degrees off the angle in the first picture was impossible because the board was in the way of the handle.) The solution, pictured here, was just to grip the head with pliers and then use a pry bar to lever the pliers.