Hi all, the original belt rail wood on my 1923 touring/pickup is rather rough, so I bought a replacement belt rail wood kit from one of the major vendors. The body of the car is nicely painted, any tips on removing the old belt rail wood without damaging the paint? My thought is to use a putty knife to gently create separation between the sheet metal and the wood, then try to work the nail out with needle nose pliers. I'll also apply some masking tape on the body around the nail head to keep the pliers from scratching the paint. If the nail won't come out with the pliers, then my thought is to use a dremel cutoff wheel or hacksaw blade between the body and wood to cut the nail.
Also, is it common to have to do a lot of trimming to get the new wood to fit? The lap joints between the new wood pieces don't look like they'll fit up to each other very well.
If the old wood puts up a fight, I may leave the old wood in place and revert to the round toothpick and glue method of beefing it up so that it will hold the new staples/tacks.
The nails in the wood can be extremely tough. Why not try a nail puller? (looks like a miniature crowbar).
I'm always open to the chance to buy more tools, I'll give it a look, thanks!
I sharpen a thin chisel and cut the heads off. No chance of bending the metal that way. My 2 cents...
You could make a sheetmetal template with a hole in it and use it to carefully grind off the head of the old nails. You might also just give it a try with a thin pry bar from the back side, it might be easier than you think.
I had two suggestions. But Don Booth beat me to one of them.
The other, is I often use diagonal wire cutters (commonly called dikes) to remove nails, large and small. I often use two or three pair, starting with a small sharp pair to begin lifting the nail. The small pair has a smaller bite to get under the nail head and begin to lift it with less damage to the surrounding metal, but is not strong enough to take the abuse to take most nails clear out often. Follow that by a larger, stronger, pair to grab hold under the nail head and lever the nail out. I often also use a small piece of wood (popsicle stick?) or rag to protect paint if there is any to protect.
Dikes can lever out most nails by taking a lot of short bites. Best to not squeeze enough to cut the nail.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Sorry Wayne, didn't mean to step on the toes..here are the two tools I used on both Fordors. The chisel is flat angled and very sharp. The upholstry tack puller is a Craftsman from Sears. Both work very well to lift the head with the flat chisel and pull the nail with the tack puller. On average one cigarette per 10-12 nails...
Thankyou all for your suggestions, I'll be starting on them today, I'll let you know how it goes.
Success! By using a combination of a thin putty knife, flat blade screwdriver, nail puller, and needle nose pliers I was able to remove all the nails without damaging the body or paint. It took just a small amount of light hammer and dolly work to straighten up the sheet metal around the nail holes. The hardest part was removing the large wood screws, after 90 years a few of them were really stubborn. All but one came out with careful screwdriver work, but I had to drill through the last one and use a screw extractor.
Good work! If you are not careful, you may make that car (PU) into an incredible T.
How silly of you to apologize for my comment. I was just seconding the suggestion and showing that great minds think alike. Although I am not sure I really qualify as a great mind.
Both methods are ones I use often. Which I use depends upon which seems to want to work best for the circumstances.
Thank you for posting.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
HAH !!!!! Got you Wayne~
You bad! You bad!