Here’s How We Remove Old Parts from Our Trunks


Here’s How We Remove Old Parts from Our Trunks

Antique trunks are a great addition to your home decor and they come in different styles and sizes. They’re not only functional and provide storage space, but they can also bring character and history to any room. 

However, old parts on an antique trunk can be an eyesore or even dangerous if not removed properly. At Brettuns Village, we’re all about restoring antique trunks to their former glory. While we love the charm of a well-worn trunk, sometimes those old parts need to be replaced to bring your piece back to life. 

But wait! Before you start prying off those old nails, there’s a right way and a not-so-right way to handle this task. In this post, we’ll discuss how to safely remove old parts from your antique trunk to restore its beauty and functionality.

A Word of Caution

If you’re tempted to rip out the old nails by their heads, hold your horses! This approach can pull out chunks of wood with the nails, damaging your trunk. 

Instead, pry out the ends from inside the trunk, then tap them out gently. And let’s not even talk about completely dismantling your trunk — it’s a surefire way to convert those old nail holes into miniature versions of the Holland Tunnel. (Besides, some parts are best left in place whenever possible.)

Removing Old Handles and Parts

Now, onto the nitty-gritty: removing old handles and other parts. This task can feel like a delicate operation, especially when those old nails seem to have become one with the trunk. 

Fear not! With the right tools and a little patience, you’ll have those stubborn nails out in no time.

Essential Tools for the Job

There are two trunk tools you simply can’t do without:

  • End Nippers: These plier-like tools have wide cutting edges that allow you to get right up close to the wood. They’re perfect for cutting off old nail heads or ends, and especially handy for yanking out stubborn nails.
  • Prying Tool: We don’t want to catch you using a crowbar on that precious trunk of yours! What you need is a prying tool – it has a screwdriver-like handle and a small forked end perfect for lifting end caps and nail heads. At Brettuns Village, we affectionately call this handy tool a “Tack Jacker”.

Wondering where to get these tools? We’ve got you covered. Shop here for these essential trunk tools and more.

The Right Way to Remove Trunk Nails

With your Tack Jacker and end nippers in hand, it’s time to tackle those stubborn nails. 

  • Lift up the nail heads with the Tack Jacker, then use the nippers to roll out the nail. If possible, it can be helpful to snip off the end of the nail inside the trunk — just be careful not to damage the wood.
  • Place an old piece of trunk tin or a license plate under your tools as you work to protect the wood.
  • After removing the handle end caps, it’s time to remove the handles themselves. They usually have a slew of nails holding them on, so when you finally get them off, it might look like you’re holding a bizarre leather bug with steel legs!

Restoring an antique trunk can be a fun and rewarding project. However, it’s essential to remove old parts safely to avoid damaging your antique trunk. Follow the steps outlined in this post carefully to remove old nails, handles, locks, and hinges. 

Remember to prepare your antique trunk for restoration, clean it thoroughly, and refurbish it to bring it back to life. With the right tools and patience, your antique trunk can become a functional and beautiful addition to your home.

Ready to start your restoration project? Shop our range of trunk tools and hardware at Brettuns Village today and take the first step towards giving your antique trunk the makeover it deserves!