how to remove corrugated fasteners


Removing Corrugated Fasteners: A Comprehensive Guide

Corrugated fasteners are an important element of carpentry and woodworking. These small metal pins are used to join two pieces of wood together, especially for frames, boxes, and furniture. However, sometimes you may need to disassemble a project or replace a damaged piece, which requires removing the corrugated fasteners. This can be a bit tricky if you don't have the right tools and techniques. In this article, we will show you how to remove corrugated fasteners safely and effectively.

Understanding Corrugated Fasteners

Before we dive into the removal process, let's first understand what corrugated fasteners are and how they work. Corrugated fasteners, also known as wavy nails, are small nails that have a corrugated or wavy shape. They have a series of razor-sharp teeth on both sides and a flat head. When driven into wood, the teeth grip tightly, creating a strong and lasting joint. Unlike regular nails or screws, corrugated fasteners don't rely on glues, adhesives, or clamps to hold the wood pieces together. They are particularly useful for narrow or thin pieces of wood that may split or crack with conventional joinery.

Why Removing Corrugated Fasteners is Challenging

Removing corrugated fasteners is not as straightforward as driving them in. Since the teeth grip the wood fibers tightly, it can be hard to extract them without damaging the wood or leaving behind unsightly holes. Moreover, corrugated fasteners are usually driven in at an angle, which makes them even harder to pull out. If you try to yank them out with pliers or a hammer, you may end up breaking the wood or bending the fastener. Therefore, you need to use proper tools and methods to remove corrugated fasteners without causing any harm.

Tools and Materials You Need

To remove corrugated fasteners, you will need the following tools and materials:

- A drill/driver with a matching bit

- A hammer

- A pin punch or nail set

- A pair of pliers

- An awl or screwdriver

- Wood filler or putty

- Sandpaper

Five Steps to Remove Corrugated Fasteners

Step 1: Identify the fastener location

The first step is to locate the corrugated fasteners that you want to remove. You can do this by examining the joint and looking for the tiny grooves or bumps that indicate the fastener's position. You can also tap the wood with a hammer or rubber mallet to hear the fastener's sound. Once you find the fasteners, mark their locations with a pencil or masking tape.

Step 2: Drill pilot holes

The next step is to drill pilot holes around the fastener's location. This will help loosen the fasteners' grip on the wood fibers and prevent the wood from splitting or cracking. Use a drill/driver with a bit that matches the size of the corrugated fastener shank. Drill the holes slightly deeper than the length of the fasteners.

Step 3: Tap the fasteners

Take a pin punch or a nail set and insert it into the fastener's groove or bump. Tap the punch with a hammer to drive the fastener deeper into the wood. This may seem counterintuitive, but it will break the fastener's grip and make it easier to pull out. Do this for all the fasteners you want to remove.

Step 4: Pull out the fasteners

With the fasteners slightly loose, you can now use pliers or an awl to pull them out of the wood. Grip the fastener's head with the pliers and wiggle it back and forth to loosen it further. If the fastener doesn't come out, use the awl or screwdriver to pry it out gently. Be careful not to damage the wood or enlarge the holes. Repeat this process for all the fasteners until they are fully removed.

Step 5: Fill and sand the holes

After removing the fasteners, you will have small holes left in the wood. To make the surface smooth and uniform, you need to fill the holes with wood filler or putty. Choose a filler that matches the wood color and texture. Apply the filler with a putty knife and smooth it out. Let it dry completely, then sand the surface with sandpaper until it's even and flush. You can now paint or stain the wood to match the rest of the project.


Removing corrugated fasteners may seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done quickly and easily. By following the five steps we have mentioned, you can remove corrugated fasteners without damaging the wood or leaving behind unsightly holes. Remember to be patient and careful, and always wear protective gear when working with power tools. With practice, you will become a pro at handling corrugated fasteners and woodworking in general.


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