How do I know if there are any nails in wood?

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by piman, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. piman

    piman Active Member

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    So I want to start thinking about my next build. I have the idea down, and I want to get some wood. My grandpa has a pile of ash from a palette he disected, and he said he pulled all of the nails, but I was just wondering if you guys have any ideas on how to make sure there is no metal left inside the wood. I would like the keep this build cheaper than my first as I have the tools now, so free ash is a pretty good deal.

    Cheers!
     
  2. randyripoff

    randyripoff New Member

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    Years ago, I watched an episode of New Yankee Workshop where Norm Abrams built a coffee table out of pallets. He used a handheld metal detector to locate and pull all of the nails and staples before running the boards through his planer. That's likely your best bet.

    You could also try Neodynium Magnets. I've seen those effectively used in stud finders. If you run one over the wood, it should detect any hidden metal.
     
  3. piman

    piman Active Member

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    Duh, magnets! That was so simple, why did I not think of it? Haha, thanks for the tips.
     
  4. rusdfh

    rusdfh New Member

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    I use a metal detector like they wand you with at the airport. If your wood sections are thick and have old buried nails in them magnets will not find them. Most sawmills won't process yard trees because of buried metal. I did but had to replace some very expensive blades because of it even with the detector.
     
  5. piman

    piman Active Member

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    Then maybe it isn't worth it. I just figured I'd use ash because I am going to do a solid color and don't like the look of ash. Maybe I can bump some mahogany off of my buddy's dad...
     
  6. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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  7. Zeegler

    Zeegler Active Member

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    We bought my son a very cheap kids metal detector a few years ago. He is 15 now and has no interest in it, so I appropriated it. It works perfectly, and has a removable handle so it can be used as a hand held unit. It's a National Geographic brand.
     
  8. pshupe

    pshupe Member

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    Usually my planer finds them without fail!!! DOAH :ugh: But seriously, I very seldom plane something like palettes but the metal detector is probably a great investment if you do a lot of this.

    Cheers Peter.
     

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