Can not Hacksaw Pole Barn Spikes

What the heck are pole barn spikes made of?
I am tearing down a steel covered pole barn to rebuild on my farm. I want to take it apart without destroying the wood. There is no electricity on the property, so it is all work by hand. I already broke my slide nail puller trying to yank these %^#*ing nails out. If I try to pry them with a large pry bar, the wood splits. So, I decided that the only way was to use a hacksaw and slip it behind the boards and saw these nails. WRONG. They can NOT be cut. They take the teeth right off the hacksaw blade. I was considering renting a generator and using my sawsall, but I am sure they will do the same thing to those blades.
What the heck are those nails made of?
Any other suggestions to remove them? My latest try is to use steel wedges intended for splitting logs, and try to pound the wedge between the boards and the poles, and hopefully loosen the heads so I can get a large wrecking bar on the head. It works on some of them, but on others the heads just sink into the wood, or split the board.
Thanks in advance for all replies
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Get a better grade hacksaw blade. A good blade will cut through almost any steel.
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On 17 Nov 2003, wrote:

In my bsement, uncovered while having the furnace replaced, two lengths of rebar that some wizard had driven/cemented into the floor, decades ago. Only about 3" left exposed above the floor, they had the old beast of a furnace anchored to them for some reason (like it was ever going to -move-!)
Installers had a sawzall, I asked if they wouldn't mind hacking them off for me, sure, no problem! Luckily, they started on the one out in the middle of the floor, it tore the daylights out of the 1st sawzall blade, immediately. Guy scratched head and says "OK time to break out the -good- blade" and he burnt the thing up using that one. OK, so he said it was on it's last legs already, had been smoking a bit lately, but my friggin' rebar killed it. We chiseled and pounded through the rest of it and finally sheared it off.
We never did get to the second one (more back in the corner) it now has a "warning beacon" on it, a little piece of white PVC pipe, so at least you can see it. Kinda like a headstone for the gallant blades and saw that died trying to remove it.
I guess they made 'em a little harder way back when???
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wrote:

No they make better blades, now as then. You just have to find them. I don't believe there is a sawzall blade that will match the best hacksaw blade. A sawzall blade by default is thicker than a hacksaw blade and will not cut as quickly.
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Rrebar in my experience runs hard and soft all throughout... sometimes going from butter soft to grind only within inches.
Heard the steel used for it is a witch's brew of rag tag sloppy second left over of whatever happened to be poured at the steel mill that day... with little, if any quality control is used in it's production.
As always, YMMV.
Good Luck!
Erik
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This is the OP on this topic, and it sounds like you got some sort of hardened steel there. Just like I believe my barn spikes are hardened. Maybe I can help you with your problem. An angle grinder should cut right thru that rod. Grinding generally cuts thru any steel, unlike saw blades. You can buy these grinders cheap now, and the blades (wheels) are under $2. These grinders are so handy for everything.....
Unfortunatly for my situation, an angle grinder wont help much, and I am working out in a corn field where there is no electricity.
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On 18 Nov 2003, Me wrote:
(me)

Thanks. I actually thought about that while reading one of the other replies. You are talking about the same tool where you can put a buffing bonnet on it for waxing the car, right? (no reply necessary unless I'm wrong lol>

And I think that takes you back to square one? renting a portable generator to power the tool. That sounds like a plan to me. Good luck with them.
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A car buffing wheel might run 1/2 rpm of a grinder , cutter, with a 4" wheel , Paint is slowly buffed, Steel cut fast.
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On 18 Nov 2003, mark Ransley wrote:

thanks.
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Portable generator and electric angle grinder.
Gas air compressor and pneumatic angle grinder.
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Rebar is a poor grade of carbon steel. There is a thing called work-hardening that can happen to all carbon steels. It's a molecular change that realigns the granular structure of the steel. Over time, the minute vibrations of the furnace bolted to those spikes could have work-hardened it. If there was heat involved, as is likely with a furnace, the hardening would have occured faster and made the steel even stronger. In effect, work-hardening combined with heat-treating to produce rebar with a Rockwell hardness well into the 60s, which no ordinary hacksaw blade can hope to penetrate.
-chib
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On 19 Nov 2003, chibiabos wrote:
(snip me)

Damb! I guess that could explain it. I doubt there was much heat transfer (assuming that heat would tend to move *up* away from them?) but I can sure see how they got vibrated every winter for 25-30 years (it WAS an *old* beast of a furnace)
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The heat transfers through the furnace mounts, not the atmosphere. That's the principle behind a Franklin stove.
I know knifemakers who prize old, used railroad spikes for the same reason. A few years of rumbling under hundreds of tons of rail cargo and the spikes become prime knife blade material.
-chib
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Tommy, do you own stock in a PVC pipe company? Or, do you work at the factory that makes all those PVC hamster tubes?
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This is Turtle.
Like the others said get a better hacksaw blade made for stainless steal or just get you a metal cutting blade for circle saws and put it on your 7.5" skill saw. Vermont [ at walmart ] makes a good one for about $2.69 and if it don't cut it call N.A. S. A. to check that material out to use on space missions for it will be the strongest material unknown to man. You can cut Steel , Stainless Steel , Nickel Steel, Carbide Steel, and Chromolly Steel. I don't think there is a material known to man that it will not cut but N.A.S.A could have invented some that it will not cut.
TURTLE
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Us a grinder?
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031117 2159 - Me wrote:

You could rent a "sidewinder" grinding tool from your local RentATool place and put a high speed cutting disc in it. That will slice through those hard spikes. Maybe they have a battery one there, but if not, you could rent a generator also.
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