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Thread: Removing Decking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Michigan
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    Removing Decking

    Yesterday I helped a friend remove deck planks at the house across the street. Since he was being paid I let him take the lead and do the heaviest work. The framing was on 16" centers and each 5" plank had 3 nails at each rafter. It was about 400 sq ft. The planks were pretty rotten and most of the nails pulled thru and had to be pulled one at a time. Most of the planks ended up breaking into short pieces using a sledge hammer. Most of the smashing was done when I stopped by so I just wheeled away the debris and pulled a bunch of nails.

    Here's my question. Is there a tool to rip up deck planks with leverage or is a BFH the best way?

    Jims Deck Framing.jpg
    Last edited by Tom Bender; 09-21-2021 at 8:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    6,102
    There are a bunch of them, also called pallet busters.

    I have this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    NE OH
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    1,901
    I have the duckbill deck wrecker. Works like a champ, but one complaint: The spacing between the arms is wide enough to straddle a single joist, but not wide enough to straddle a double joist. On smaller decks, that's usually not too much of a problem, on large ones it often is.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
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    6,376
    I have the same one that Tom mentioned. Whatever was done to that deck was done like a caveman compared to it. Work smarter not harder!

  5. #5
    Guys who have worked for me pry them up with a pick mattock. Leverage is great. They even pull screwed in boards this way. Put the flat end under a board and pry. Better yet, use two and work your way down a board.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Highland MI
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    Google "deck buster' and a lot of similar tools pop up.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=deck...hrome&ie=UTF-8
    NOW you tell me...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
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    3,028
    Ughhh, that pic brought back horrible memories of stripping my own deck. Except mine was screwed & they had almost all corroded to the point where the heads just twisted off, leaving the shank of the screw sticking up. It took my son & I many hours to get them all out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    4,366
    I'd consider a sawzall with a good demo blade. A cut between along the next joist then run the blade between the joist and decking to clip all the nails. If the puller was bring up nails too, that'd be better, but if it was leaving many a saw might save time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    2,283
    The pallet busters work ok. When I demo'd my last deck I used something similar. I have a 10 year old deck that I need to re-top, but all the planks are screwed down, Easy Peasey.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    6,376
    I pity those of you who said you removed your deck without a pallet buster. You could’ve saved a few years on the life of your back!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Morocco IN
    Posts
    1,357
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Yesterday I helped a friend remove deck planks at the house across the street. Since he was being paid I let him take the lead and do the heaviest work. The framing was on 16" centers and each 5" plank had 3 nails at each rafter. It was about 400 sq ft. The planks were pretty rotten and most of the nails pulled thru and had to be pulled one at a time. Most of the planks ended up breaking into short pieces using a sledge hammer. Most of the smashing was done when I stopped by so I just wheeled away the debris and pulled a bunch of nails.

    Here's my question. Is there a tool to rip up deck planks with leverage or is a BFH the best way?

    Jims Deck Framing.jpg

    I need to take a couple of Advil just from looking at that picture.

    yes to the pallet buster
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

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