Dangerous Tools

The Handyguys address carpet padding removal and dangerous household tools.

Happy 2009!¬† The Handyguys are back from hiatus and ready to address another year of handyman Handyguy topics. We have new voice-over talent, new music and a new look to the website. ¬† We also have a clean studio (thanks, Brian!) and we are ready to go. So pour another single malt and let’s get started.

Listener Questions

Question came from David:

I was wondering if you had any advice for removing carpet padding from hardwood floors. I recently bought a home with carpet over nice oak floors. Pulled up carpet to find green carpet pad had solidified into a rock hard plastic and was fused to the hardwood floor. In some areas where it was more of a dry styrofoam consistency and was easily scraped up. However, the majority is rock hard, and scraping is not an easy task. Any advice would be helpful. I have scoured the Internet, and most advice I have found has not worked. I think that most advice has been geared toward people who have carpet padding that has turned into a gooey mess. Mine is rock hard. I tried a power sander with 80 grit, and that worked, but at such slow pace that it would take weeks to remove it all.

Handyguys Answer

Why did our parents cover up those beautiful oak floors anyway? I guess there are benefits to carpet but it sure is nice to see some wood.

sanderHandyguy Brian suggests that David try some power sanders  meant for refinishing floors with various levels of grit. Perhaps a heavy orbital edging sander or a larger drum sander could remove the padding which became attached to the wood flooring. Listen to the Podcast for more details.

Most people have different sorts problems when removing carpet padding. Typically, the the most difficult problems are removing the tack strips and all the staples used to attach the pad to the floor. If you have harder floors such as oak, you can typically remove the protruding staples with pliers or vice grips. If your flooring is pine or some other softer variety, the staples often penetrate the flooring leaving nothing to grab with the pliers. People often try to dig out each staple with a screw driver, but this can take all day, especially if you have hundreds of staples to remove. Listen to the Podcast for a better suggestion by Handyguy Paul.

A Discussion of the Dangers of Everyday Handyguy Tools

Utility KnifeBrian and Paul have spilled some blood when working around the house. You might think that they were injured on large and powerful tools like a chainsaw or tablesaw. StitchesWhile these tools are very dangerous, it is sometimes the more common tools around the house that will draw the most blood. Check out this discussion in the podcast and stay safe in your home!

If you have any suggestions of dangerous tools around the house not mentioned in the podcast, please leave a comment.

We will be back next week with another a follow-up to our basement finishing series.

4 thoughts on “Dangerous Tools

  1. Our entire house was completely covered with carpet and padding, which I replaced with bamboo hardwood.

    I found the best way to remove a million staples and tack strips is a roofing shovel with long thin teeth.

    (And relatives who work for pizza and beer)

    Most dangerous tool:
    Power tools where you remove the safety equipment because they get in the way, or modified power tools to do a job they were not designed to do.

    1. Turtle – Thanks for writing. You are absolutely correct, a shovel can make quick work of the staples if they aren’t set too deep. They actually make one with teeth for removing ailes when you do roofing. That might work if the blade isn’t too thick. How about an ice chopper? That may work too. When I removed the staples I was refinishing the floors so I wanted to be gentle. If you are just covering them again then what ever is fastest.

      As for safety equipment – There are actually some tools (to remain nameless) that have particular cuts that can not be performed with the safety equipment in place. This is documented. The instructions show how to remove and then replace the safety equipment. What usually happens is it gets removed and not re-installed.

      The right too for the job – That’s critical – It certainly does make things safer, and easier too. The Handyguys do not need an excuse to get a new tool!

      Thanks again for your comments.

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