Photo of the frame

This is a frame inset into this old leaded-glass window I'm going to restore. It is nailed into the original frame, and I can't get to any of the nail heads to get started. It's important that I don't damage the original wood, but the inset frame is junk.


  • 1
    Would need close ups of the area you need to remove to give a solution – Jack Jun 1 '14 at 12:39
  • There is a lot going on in your picture. Just what are you going to work on, the stained glass portion only. If so, then a picture of it only would be helpful. – getterdun Jun 2 '14 at 2:30

You could use a reciprocating saw down the side of the frame an cut the nails. reciprocating saw You could also cut the inside frame in sections, without hitting the original frame. Then just break it apart with a hammer an chisel

Or if you can find where the nail heads are just chisel around them (without hitting nails) an enough room to grab the heads with a pair of pinches. pinches


Nailheads are inset into the frame you want to remove/get rid of? A Dremel rotary tool, or similar, will quickly gouge the wood/filler around any nail holes so you can get at the nails themselves.


Since you're concerned about saving the wood... I can't tell from the photo, but I think I'd start by looking at whether I could insert a wedge or prybar behind it and gently lift the piece free; the nails will either come with it or (if they're trim nails) pull through it; the latter is easier to repair than most of the pry-the-nails-out-first solutions.

(I used a set of plastic wedges, followed by careful use of prybars, when disassembling a simpler windowframe last year. Wound up replacing all of that trim anyway since I decided I'd rather see oak than paint, but I could have reinstalled it if I'd wanted to.)

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