I have a friend who is building a new warehouse for his company and,
afterwards, will be tearing down the old one. The old building is
really old, something approaching 100-years-old and it has full 2" x
4" oak tongue-and-groove flooring in it. The building used to be a
storage shed for dynamite, so I guess it needed to be made out of wood
so no sparks were generated as trucks pulled in and out of the place
and the dynamite was shoved across the floor, hence the hefty size of
the stuff. He pulled up a piece and it finishes off beautifully, so he
wants to salvage as much as he can so he can use it in his main
building, mostly in his front office.
His problem is the nails that go thru the tongue are extremely soft and
he cannot simply pound them out backwards because the slightest force
tends to bend them. Also, the nails don't have much to grab onto
with claw hammer and he can't pull them out with a pair of pliers
because they just break.
The nails go into the tongue about 3/8th of an inch below the top of
each board and his thought was to run them through a planer but that
seems dangerous to me. My initial thought was to may push them through
a big drum sander but he thinks a nail may grab the paper and tear it.
The only other thing I could think of was maybe cut the nail close to
the surface and use a nail set or something to drive the nail out to a
point where we can pull the nail all the way out.
The only other thing we can do would e to rip each board but that would
leave us with roughly 2 1/2" wide boards, which we would rather not
do if we don't have to.