removing baseboard without damage

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I like a pair of old regular Vise Grips. You can clamp on to the nail, and the rounded back side of the head is perfect for soft continuous leverage (use a piece of plywood or laminate to prevent dimpling of drywall or baseboard), and the pull of the pliers is practically straight out. It even works for nails that have been broken off, and you can't get ahold of them with a keyhole nail puller. You can adjust the depth at which you grab the nail, and set the whole geometry of the operation at exactly the right angle.
Steve
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2009 10:24:43 -0800, "Steve B"

Good tool for removing nails- but I haven't ever had much luck *not* doing damage with Vise Grips. [I capitalize it too- as they are one of a few tools that it *really* pays to get the original.]
Jim
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I have one of those and also a name brand one. I must say though that the fit-and-finish on the HF one is not as nice. The steel is rougher, the cat's paw end is not as sharp for catching nails with small heads, the pry bar end is not as nicely tapered, etc...
Still worth $4 but not the same tool
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RicodJour wrote:

Wow, all these replies! Well, I went to the Orange Colored Store this AM and picked up a couple different varieties of prying technology, what ended up working was something like described above, with a 3" paint scraper behind it to protect the paneling.
Unfortunately I seem to have come to another "gotcha." I just ASSumed that the top part of my baseboard molding would have a little dead space behind it, like a typical inside corner molding
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId'98-1487-999%208PINE&lpage=none
however, it does NOT. Now the one piece of molding that I have about half removed has a corner missing from the one-by that makes up the main part of the baseboard. but I can't count on this being the case everywhere that I need to run grounds. If I had a table saw I would be tempted to rig it up and zing the hidden part of the molding off at a 45 degree angle to provide the space that I need, but I don't. Do you think I should just get a small block plane and have at it? Another approach to running ground wires? I'd originally thought to drop them down through the walls from the attic by drilling holes in the sill plates of the walls, but previous experience fishing wires in this house leads me to expect lots of firestops.
It doesn't help that I have at least three different types of wall construction that I need to deal with - wood paneling over framing (interior walls added in previous renovation) plaster over framing (original walls) and finally plaster over masonry (exterior wall against chimney)
ideas appreciated, although I'm tempted to continue with my original approach and just shave the corner off the baseboard molding.
(y'know, it would have saved me a lot of trouble if whoever had split the one big room into two little ones and a hallway had done the wiring *right,* but hey, where's the challenge in that?)
nate
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wrote:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId'98-1487-999%208PINE&lpage=none
Sounds like you will have to remove the entire baseboard and all that entails especially on the old plaster walls...Expect some patching...Aren't old homes fun ??? LOL...Good luck....You should have seen what we went through in my dads old colonial NIGHTMARE.....But we laugh about it now....LOL...
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In wrote:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId'98-1487-999%208PINE&lpage=none
Nate, First: How about considering SURFACE MOUNT wiring products that might, if conditions were right, allow you to run new, 3-wire wiring to all of the ungrounded circuits. They don't look bad, are mostly hidden by furniture, and can go wherever there is a place to mount them. That would sure be faster and easier than the jerry-rig of pulling all the baseboards. You can even add outlets along the way as you run the surface mount wiring. It's simple, easy to use, and made for such purposes as you seem to have. They come in pre-wired sections you just connect together, cuttable for different lengths, and usually made of hard plastic or aluminum so most any saw can cut them. They have a counterpart for about anything a conduit fitting can do, including sharp, 90 degree turns since they're molded & prewired. WATCH THE AMPERAGES CAPABILITIES. It must be equal to or greater than the outlet, etc. ratings. I don't recall seeing it for more than 20A services. It costs a bit, but so does the blood, sweat, tears and frustrations of your current approach. Plus, you could run two easily, right from the breaker/fuse box and everything would be a LOT closer to code, besides being so much easier.
Otherwise: I think I understand why you're doing this, but ... are you aware that EACH circuit from your fuse/breaker box actually should have its OWN earth ground? It sounds like you are going to run one earth ground wire to any/all outlets/switches etc.. They should only connect to each other back at the breaker/fuse box. What you're doing will work OK under no-fault conditions, but using one wire for all circuits creates some special conditions for safety and some headaches for future people working on the wiring. At a minimum, IMO, you should put a sticker in your power panel indicating which ckts share a common earth ground so that future electricians, etc. will be forewarned of the additional work such ckts might require for repairs. It's not as dangerous as a common neutral, but it can create problems, some related to safety, especially in the future when work is done for repair or maintenance. Although earth grounds should never carry any current, under fault conditions they -might- carry substantial current, possibly leading to heating and overheating. If you're running plain TW this might not be a good thing. It also seems you might be making some splices, etc., under that baseboard and technically those have to be done in boxes. If I were you I'd run the wires in the attic or basement, whichever is closest, going up and down as required. If you're talking single-story here, the basement is going to be closest to most outlets, of course, and likely not more than one firestop. If they're not close enough to you for normal drill bits, get a long jobber's drill for the task.
But I think I'd consider the surface mount idea if it were me.
Good luck,
Twayne
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Twayne wrote:

I'm not enamored of the wiremold option... I think I can do this without going down that road. This is all on one circuit, and it's the second floor of a two story house.
On thinking about this more, I think tomorrow I will go up in the attic and replace the ceiling light box in one of the bedrooms (SWMBO wants a ceiling fan, and the box isn't installed right to begin with) and see if I can repull the wire from the first outlet to the ceiling box. If I can manage that that will solve the actual code violations (wiring done with grounded cable but not grounded, so there are boxes whose grounds are interconnected but not connected to earth ground) I was trying to avoid doing this due to all the insulation up there and lack of attic floor but it seems like the only way. Then if I still have any ambition left I will see what I can do about supplemental grounds to the existing receps that were original to the house. The first box is grounded as it was fed with BX unlike the rest of the wiring upstairs.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

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previous "contractors") More likely the neighborhood "handyman" who worked for beer money....LOL...

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Nate Nagel wrote:

yup, sho 'nuff. Crawled up into the attic with a flashlight and a fistful of plant stakes (to mark the location of the ceiling boxes and switch leg drops. There's a LOT of insulation up there.) Found the "original" ceiling box hanging loose but at least covered with a cover plate. My legs were starting to quiver so I'm going to run to the store and get myself a miner's headlight and a big long extension cord and get back at it. And the girl was wondering why I bought a full 250 foot roll of Romex! hah! Now I'm worried that I might run out before I have this all put to rights.
To make matters worse, the wiring wasn't even bored through the ceiling joists but laid on top loose. Come on guys, if you're gonna do it, do it right. I am not totally cool with inadvertantly stepping on 60 year old cables that are concealed under a mess of insulation.
I have a plan, but I still need to locate the feed to the master bedroom so I don't kill that while trying to fix the other side of the house. Good times.
nate
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previous "contractors")

Unless there is a floor in the attic running them on top is the way it is done...Bring a small piece of plywood up with you to work on....Makes it MUCH easier on the legs and feet.....Sounds like you're having fun....BTDT got the t-shirt....LOL...
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Hoo boy... today I started off by hanging a string of construction lights in my attic (at some point I'd like a keyed lampholder up there permanently wired, but I can't exactly do that yet) and putting everything "mission critical" on the 2nd floor on extension cords to an unused A/C recep. I replaced three ceiling boxes, two of 'em with fan rated boxes (two small bedrooms) and one I just moved up higher and added an extension ring (small hallway.) Pulled a new 14/2 romex up into the attic from the recep that is fed by the breaker box (homerun is BX so I didn't replace that. That would have been a whole 'nother project.) Got lucky, just yanked on the old wire and it came up, so I just tied the new to the old and pulled it through. Got three ceiling boxes all wired with new romex and drilled through joists rather than laying it on top. Found TWO concealed junction boxes and cut 'em out. Heh, did ya see me post asking about box fill calcs? The guy there before me didn't think of that apparently, I think each of two 1-1/2" octagon boxes just laying loose had five cables coming into each, all spliced together inside. Yeah, this *needed* to be done. Had to repull one switch leg because it was too short to make it to the ceiling box. Wire nutted everything through and tried it. I got everything right but I lost a cable somewhere, MBR and bath are still dead. Circuit is protected by both an AFCI breaker and GFCI at first recep, neither tripped, so that is a good sign. Had to run out and get an old work box for the switch I had to repull, I just couldn't fish it through the knockout so I busted the box out of the wall. Killed the circuit because obviously I missed something (wouldn't *that* be a fun conversation with the insurance people?) looks like house was originally wired hot to all the ceiling boxes, then switch leg and a drop to each room's receps so I will start tracing cable at the MBR ceiling box tomorrow.
Holy heck I feel like I was working today. This is my VACATION????
If I feel froggy I will repull the other two switch legs and also the drops to the receps in the two little bedrooms (to get rid of the old cloth covered shit and provide a proper ground there as well.) First priority is figuring out where I messed up though so I can cut the power back on with confidence, and have lights that work...
*whew*
it is nice to see all that nice new grounded Romex and 90C wire in the ceiling boxes though... and getting rid of those junctions just flopping around under the insulation is also a Good Thing... oh yeah and the boxes are now flush with the ceiling like they should be...
Did I mention that that my attic floor has two layers of fiberglass covered by another big ol' mess of cellulose insulation? had to shove all that mess to the side every time I found a box or traced a cable. Just finding where everything goes is a project in and of itself!
gonna pour me a shot of bourbon and just relax for a bit methinks.
I *hope* if I ever sell this place that someone appreciates all this crap. I remember my grandpa (RIP) telling me to get a good education so I could get a good job and wouldn't have to kill my body doing manual labor. You know what, grandpa? You were right, but the sad thing is, I do know people that I would trust to do this work right (matter of fact one of 'em called me today because he didn't realize I was on vacation,) and I still can't afford 'em.
I always had respect for the electricians that specialized in retrofits (there are a couple that I use for subcontract work professionally) but if anything I just got a little more.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

<snip>
Just in case anyone is still following this saga...
Got back at it this AM, found that ceiling box in MBR is NOT fed directly from one of the ceiling boxes. It is fed by a recep in the bedroom, which is fed by a recep in the hallway on the other side of the stairs (cable apparently runs above ceiling of stairs, below sloping "floor" of closet.) Which is fed by a 14/3 switch leg... which I *didn't* hook up last night. So that's why my stuff was dead. I didn't miss anything, I just didn't remember there being two cables in that receptacle box in the hallway (I ASSumed that that was the only thing being fed by the 14/3 switch leg.) I didn't hook it up because I figured that was something that I could do after all the heavy lifting was done and I was neatening stuff up and rehanging the light fixtures etc.
So all is good. I just repulled the drop to the "new" receps from the renovation 30 years or so ago and am taking a break before crawling back up there to run the wire over to the ceiling box and hook it up. Life is good! (although now that I'm learning more about how this house is wired, breaking the bathroom off onto its own circuit is going to be, um, challenging. I need to do that because there's no recep in there nor is there an exhaust fan, which I've purchased but have yet to install...)
I know, y'all are just so relieved that I figured it out, aren't you? :)
nate
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I'm still following the saga, and I am glad that you figured it out :-).
It's always nice to see other people going through the same struggles and pleasures that I do when I take on these types of projects. And, I like it when the OP of a thread actually does follow up as you did -- either by responding to the replies and/or writing what the final outcome was. I hate it when people post a question and are never heard from again despite receiving a lot of replies to their question (which is the opposite of what you did).
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Jay-T wrote:

Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
The downside is, I am sorely tempted to keep on rolling and keep rewiring more of the upstairs, and I think I am trying SWMBO's patience... but even though everything works now and there's not any code violations left that I'm aware of, I would like to provide grounds at all the receps so I can get rid of the GFCI, and also get rid of the original (to the house) wiring that's left in two ceiling boxes, because of the higher insulation temperature rating of NM-B... although I believe I've stated before, I am amazed at how well the original wiring in this house has held up, I used to live in a house that was built within a year or two of this one and every time I opened a box I'd have to bring some heat shrink and a lighter with me because the insulation would just crumble as soon as I flexed the wires. In this house the insulation is still nice and supple... weird. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

I'm the same way when it comes to electrical wiring -- once I get started, I want to get rid of all of the old stuff completely. I'm just finishing doing that in one property and I recently finished doing that in another. One had all knob and tube wiring and the other had whatever the next generation of wiring was after that (the 2-wire, no ground stuff). Both are rental properties so I especially wanted them to have all new wiring. Of course, I haven't done the house where I live yet, which still has mostly all knob and tube wiring.
By the way, what is the "heat shrink and a lighter" trick? I never heard of that, but I have run into old brittle wiring once in a while that I would like to at least be able to do a temporary fix on.
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Jay-T wrote:

Used to be there was a place around here called "Chesapeake Marine Fasteners" (RIP) that specialized in hardware for boats etc. (go figure!) They had an excellent selection of Grade 8 and stainless bolts, screws, nuts, washers, etc. - I spent a lot of money there because my real hobby is messing around with old cars. Anyway, they'd also sell 4' lengths of heat shrink in at least red and black. I always bought my heat shrink there because the little carded packs you get at the auto parts stores weren't long enough lengths. What I'd do is if I had to replace a switch or something and the wiring's insulation fell apart, I'd just cut a piece of heat shrink long enough to cover each wire all the way back to the cable clamp and shrink it right over top of the old insulation. For white wires I'd use the black and then tape over it with a ring of white tape. I have no idea if this is actually code compliant, but it is WAY neater than trying to tape wires that are physically inside a box - I can never seem to do it neatly.
I did this a lot in one house that I lived in... the current place is the first one that I've actually owned, but several places I;ve lived it seems that I was far more handy than the landlord, so I preferred to do small repairs myself rather than watch someone either do a complete hack job and/or spend lots of money to pay someone else to do it.
nate
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Rumor has it Jo Ann wants to send you a bus ticket :-)
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Red Green wrote:

Hey, if she can work a fish tape, we can just do both our places! (my problem is, it's hard to fish a wire through a wall by yourself...)
nate
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clipped

from), but the Dremel tile grout remover might work. Any bit that works on wood plus the little jig for grout removing. I haven't tried it on wood, and the jig has a little tip that fits into the grout space as a guide....you can push or pull along a line (one is the approved method for grout and I don't recall which it was, as I did both). Should be quick work to run a fine channel in wood; went pretty quickly in grout.
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