Can I cut off most of my roofing nails from the inside?


Can I cut off most of my roofing nails from the inside?
I've never seen a nail coming out from a roof, so I can't see what harm it would do.
I thought I would leave a half inch, or a whole inch if you tell me to.
I thought I could use an electric cutoff tool, like they cut locks off with, but since nails are far softer, it would go quickly.
Comments and reasons I'm being stupid welcome!
I have to put in more fiberglass, and also I have to repair a phone line. I'm pretty sure its problem will be found in the attic. And I'm sure I'll find other things to do there in the next 20 years.
My new roof was put on with nails that are a lot longer than the old nails for the first roof. I had gotten pretty good at keeping my head below the old nails, but rather than learn a new height, or wear a hard hat in the attic, I thought I would shorten them and get rid of the points! Good idea?
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I see nothing wrong with cutting them off, the only friction holding the nail is where it is in the wood. I use a cut off wheel often, but might think twice about dropping red hot nails into the attic space. Chances are that that they would cool off and do no harm, but "what if" comes to mind. Why not just use side cutters or end cutters? Those would make a cold cut, and a good sized pair would make light work of it.

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mm wrote:

SNIP
Just passing by here... I am a remodeling/roofing contractor here in South Texas. We put on a lot of roofs, and I had to be beat over the head to convince me that the extra penetration >can< be a good thing, but not necessarily.
It is so hot here that the roofs flex and move, and we get nails that pull from the flexing, sometimes as much as 1/4 inch! But I have only seen a few pull all the way out, and those are around flashings (more expansion from the metal) and no ridge vent.
I used to use only 1" nails, and now I only use 1 1/4". But if you don't have hard temp swings every single day (25 degrees is nothing down here.... ) you might never have problems.
When we cut nails off that are exposed on older houses (no soffits), we always use a pneumatic cutoff tool. Any kind of cutting pliers makes it a longer task AND the nails are not cut perfectly flush.
Look at it this way: if your roof is about 20 squares (an average house that is about 1650 square feet), you will have about 7500 nails in it! If your usable attic access is about half of that, then you are looking at 3750 nails! Wanna cut almost 4000 nails by hand?
Robert
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On 2 Oct 2006 22:24:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

So I guess it is to my roofer's credit that he uses the longer nails. They must cost a little more, and even though he uses a gun, they still must be a little harder to put in, or more misfires.

I didn't have problems with the nails coming out for the first 25 years. And we do sometimes have 25 degree swings, but less than 5 or 10 days a year I think.

So you think if it's ok to do, it's ok to cut them off flush!?

I woudn't want to do 3750 at all! But my 2-story townhouse is only 700 sqare feet, so that would make it about 706, and I don't need to do the front half where it seems I never go, 350, or the part that is more than 5'9" high, 15 or 20%, say that leaves 295. (I'm 5'8" but I allowed an inch for shoes.)
And I think there will be nails that are so close to the trusses that I will automatically keep my head away (I'll try out my theory when I'm up there.) so that might be another 5%. -15 = 280.
Plus it was a lot of effort and I rarely went to the parts of the attic where the roof was only 18" high or less. That's another 20%, 280 - 20% = 224. So if I get it down to 10 seconds a nail, with no interruption, that still 37 minutes. Maybe it will be 4 seconds a nail, I haven't used one of these things before. (maybe I want an excuse to borrow one from a friend. It's electric. )
Wait a second! I wonder how many of the first set of nails are still there. He tore the roof off, but I really didn't notice if the nails came with it. I think not. Now we're up to 448 and 74 minutes.
Oh, I won't need to do the 18 inches or 2 feet at each end of the attic, and I think my house is 20 or 22 feet wide so that's another 18% so now I'm back to 367. Still doable, or at least I can do part of it.
Maybe I can hold a pot under the nails as I cut them off so they don't all settle on the top of my ceilings.
7/16.5 x 1750 = about 706

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mm wrote:
SNIP

We only cut them off flush for the sake of appearance, not all over. Since we use longer nails now, they look ugly poking out of the decking on porches or eaves with no soffits. So they are cut flush only on these areas. If I were to cut off the ones in the attic area, I would not cut them flush. 1/8" left is a good idea.

SNIP
You have my word you won't be anywhere near 4 seconds on a continuous basis. Think about it; you are using a machine for the first time, you are cutting overhead, and you will be in an uncomfortable environment.
Personally, assuming you will not be up there every day or two, I really like the old bike helmet idea.
Robert
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On 3 Oct 2006 07:18:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Well, you've never lied to me before. And your name is nailshooter. You should know. (Of course if your name was nailcutter, that would be even more impressive.)

My bike helmet is like new, because I never wear it when I ride. I only bought it because this stupid nanny-club insisted everyone who rides with them wear one.
OTOH, I've got two old hard hats which I found dumped by the side of the road in 1967. I wore one when I went looking for a road construction job, and I'm sure it helped. (I can't remember if we actually wore hard hats there. There was nothing to fall on us or to hit with our heads, only sky.

Couldn't find a cheap electic cutoff tool anyhow, only air.
And my ex-girlfriend doesn't want to lend the one from her job to me. She says her uncle works every day, and he'll be annoyed if it isn't there the moment he needs it. (to cut off a lock at a ministorage. I said How about if I rent it for 10 dollars, and I promise to return it withing 15 minutes of when she or he calls (I live 10 minutes away)? She said money won't make a difference and he won't like to wait, and his wife broke her arm, and he has enough problems right now.
But he likes me and after his wife's arm heals some, I'll ask him directly. I told my friend I would, and she didn't object. I guess I want to try one out.
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mm wrote:

Couldn't help but get a chuckle out of that one. In my earlier days I was quite a "nailbender", having started in the trades before nail guns were so cheap and so prevalent. I learned how to drive nails on a framing and decking crew, literally driving nails all day when they didn't trust me with a saw.

You won't be able to run a cutoff tool without a pretty good sized shop type compressor. If you are running a small one all it will do is spin the cutoff wheel around and annoy you.
Check this out:
http://tinyurl.com/r8msq
Most of the tool stores have their equivalent of this model, and they are usually priced about the same way. Northern Tools sells this under their house brand, I have seen them at the WalMart super store, etc. You get the idea. I been using the cheap one I bought for about a year now with no complaints.
Good luck!
Robert
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wrote:

Use a hard hat.
I'd cut them off, but leave 1/8 inch
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mm wrote:

I'll bet it would be a whole lot easier and less time consuming to wear a biking helmet.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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mm wrote:

Am I missing something here?
Why not just bend each one over with a whack from a hammer, trying to bend them at right angles to the grain of the wood they are sticking out of. Let the next guy worry about pulling them out.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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DON"T wack them with a hammer. If you do, get the buckets ready.

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I'd expect that to torque the whole nail, tearing it through the shingle, and widening the hole in the roof-deck.
Personally, I'd just leave them the hell alone, and make it a point not to slam my head into the roof.
But then I;m willing to live with vinyl-asbestos floor tiles, asbestos siding, lead drains, and unrefridgerated jelly, so obviously I have a death-wish.
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OK that you want to die, but consider others. If the water in the lead drain gets contaminated, you may be killing off mosquitoes at the town sewage treatment plant. They have the right to live a happy life and not be lead poisoned by inconsiderate people like you.
FWIW, I refrigerate jelly, but not peanut butter.
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wrote:

Seems awfully anal to me. Especially when you start talking about a bucket to catch them. For christ sakes how much time are you planning to spend in your attic?
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replying to Hugh Glass, Morph wrote:

Thin the bucket was for the forthcoming rain getting in.
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