Flattening Waste board with brad nails remains

I have had a few brad nails snap when removing them. I am concerned when the day comes to flatten the waste board I will mess up the flattening bit.

Any solutions to removing these brad nail holdovers? I tried drilling beside them and shearing them out but there has to be a better way.

Is this even an issue? Couldn’t find any threads on this.

Most folks who use a nailer for workholding use polymer nails so as to avoid this difficulty.

MDF is cheap compared to an endmill, my inclination would be to replace it — buy a suitable piece, pull the current wasteboard, clamp together, use transfer punches, countersinks and drills to remake the needed holes.

Where does one find polymer nails. Google just turns up page after page of polymer finger nails and big blue box store does not list them.

Thank you.

This is one of the conclusions I expected. I have a long way to go until I need to flatten, but I was hoping there was a way to avoid it.



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You can’t just use polymer nails in your current Brad nailer As I understand it. You have to buy their exclusive and very expensive gun to shoot them

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ahhhh then this isn’t gonna be an economical solution. I hate using them but sometimes when a board is slightly cupped or warped it seems to be the only solution to flattening for milling (besides actually flattening the board.)

Some people use wood screws outside the cutting area. You can them remove them.


This web site: https://www.instructables.com/id/Polymer-nails-for-CNC-workholding/ seems to say they can be driven with a Porter Cable nailer if the pressure is carefully adjusted.


Awesome. I will have to order some of the brads and try them.

I wonder what would be the damage to the endmill if you were to cut 0.1in and hit an 18Ga nail. Many people myself included have hit metal objects like clamps head-on. I can see if there are several dozens that it could be damaging. I have used pin nails in my wasteboard so there are several left in the wasteboard but being so thin, I don’t expect they will cause an issue the next time I decide on surfacing.

If you just snapped off a steel nail that went in straight try this link.


The drill makes a hole around the nail like a small hole saw. Then you can extract the core and if you want you can plug the hole with a dowel or just leave it, it is called a spoil board.


Why not just use a sharp nail set to drive the brads further down. If a drill hole next to
a brad is acceptable then surely the hole left by the nail set would be OK as well. Btw, I know, don’t call me Shirley.

I have and use Raptor nails with my big box store issued DEWALT nailer. No issues at all.


I initially mounted my spoilboard with 18g brads when I milled it for the Myers setup. Didn’t get all the brads out when I flip it. Long story short, I resurfaced with a whiteside bit @ .010 per pass and have no damage that I can visibly see in my bit or see in my cut surface.

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