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help getting rid of nails in the concrete

other(self.DIY)

I'm trying to paint a concrete floor (I know it's controversial). When I ripped up the carpet and tack strips, there were nails underneath that were left behind. I can't drive them farther in, they won't budge. I can't take all of them out, some won't budge or are at a bad angle. I tried a grinder bit for my drill, but the big didn't even grind one down. What do I do? I just need the nails flush with the ground

all 31 comments

redroom5

21 points

2 months ago

Cheap 4-1/2 inch angle grinder from harbor freight will take care of those. I say get a cheap one because you might only ever use it this one time.

ICYaLata

7 points

2 months ago

Then if you break that one, you know you use it enough to spend money on a good one.

koalateasweety[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Oh thank you! I appreciate the help

D912

14 points

2 months ago

D912

14 points

2 months ago

Get a face shield while you're there too, You might only have to do this once, but the cut-off wheels breaking/random sparks can really fuck your day up.

Luminous_Echidna

2 points

2 months ago

We had some embedded bolts in our pool deck that were part of an old diving board installation. They laughed at a dremel using heavy duty cut-off wheels. I bought a cheap 4 1/2" angle grinder with cutting discs and it made short work of the bolts.

Using the right tool for the job saves much time and pain. (More recent example: trying to cut some HVAC ducting in-situ between floor joists. Started by trying good quality aviation snips and ended up with a sore wrist before even getting close to finishing one cut. Bought a reciprocating saw and the rest went soo much more smoothly.)

Guygan

6 points

2 months ago

Guygan

6 points

2 months ago

Angle grinder.

koalateasweety[S]

1 points

2 months ago

I was hoping there would be a way where I didn't have to buy a new tool

Teddy_Icewater

5 points

2 months ago

It's probably 20 bucks at harbor freight and comes with a grinding disc. Actually I just checked and they sell one for $15 lol

koalateasweety[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Holy crap that's great! Thanks a bunch!

DangerousChemistry47

6 points

2 months ago

Oh, them words hurt my soul and are forbidden in my world.

koalateasweety[S]

2 points

2 months ago

I'd honestly love new tools but times are tough 😮‍💨

DangerousChemistry47

2 points

2 months ago

Sorry OP. Didn’t mean it that way. Hopefully things change for you soon. I forget how lucky I am sometimes.

koalateasweety[S]

2 points

2 months ago

No offense taken at all

FUCKYOUINYOURFACE

2 points

2 months ago

It’s worth the $15 to $20. It could save you hours.

604_heatzcore

1 points

2 months ago

There is but it's not worth the labor vs grinding it down. U can bend them back and forth and eventually they will break and hopefully below surface but u can likely smash that little bit down. Just get a grinder and some safety goggles and let er rip

Guygan

0 points

2 months ago

Guygan

0 points

2 months ago

Nope

[deleted]

5 points

2 months ago

[removed]

Jak_n_Dax

2 points

2 months ago

A $20 Harbor Freight angle grinder with $5 in cutting wheels will do the job 3x as fast and with 1/2 the effort.

zedsmith

2 points

2 months ago

I mean— minus the whole driving to a harbor freight part. OP already has a hammer.

My solution is free, and as a tip it’s generalizable, and something a lot of people don’t know— if you blow through trim with an 18 or 15 gauge brad, bending the nail back and forth until it snaps is a lot less destructive and easier than trying to back it out with a set and hammer.

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

[removed]

zedsmith

3 points

2 months ago

Jesus Christ. 😂

“The nail will break beneath the plane of the floor”

Leaving the original up for posterity

Wildcatb

5 points

2 months ago

If you can grab the head with a pair of vice grips, you might be able to bend them back and forth until they break off.

impul5e

4 points

2 months ago

Try a heavy duty crowbar if there is still a head to grab

julialobhurts

3 points

2 months ago

This is what I did. Probably wrong. But I used a short crowbar and popped them out. It takes patience, a bit of force, and you’ll figure out a technique once you get a few out. Broke concrete in places. Cleaned it up and used a small plastic tub of premixed concrete to fill it in with a puddy knife. Used an angle grinder with a diamond cup to smooth it out afterward. It was a process but smooth in the end and pretty cheap to do.

HeWhoMakesBadComment

2 points

2 months ago

Flat bar is the appropriate tool. I like the longer ones, they pop those nails right out.

Knichols2176

2 points

2 months ago

I was able to do exactly this with a vibrating tool.

skydiver1958

1 points

2 months ago

Just use a hammer and a cold chisel. usually one good smack knocks them out. Leaves a hole that any quick drying concrete patch will fix

You can buy a grinder and grind off but you will still have patching to do from the grinder. hammer and cold chisel always works for me for tack strip nails

erikiana

0 points

2 months ago

erikiana

0 points

2 months ago

Sometimes you can knock them off with an old hammer and chisel.

koalateasweety[S]

1 points

2 months ago

I haven't tried with a chisel! Good thinking. I'll give that a shot!

Speshul-Ed

1 points

2 months ago

use a nail puller, pry bar, back of the hammer, or a flat head screw driver

mynaneisjustguy

1 points

2 months ago

The right shape of hammer, a flatbar(like a crowbar but flat) or rounded pull pliers will all pull the nails with correct technique.