Carving Out Cores

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A modified roofing nail is perhaps the most versatile tool for removing core when sealing fastener holes. It is much easier to control than bent nails or cut-down allen keys, which can jump around as they spin. Core removal is more uniform. Wood chips are finer and easier to remove. It is faster than a Dremel cutter and undercuts twice as far.

Fabrication is easy. Clamp a nail in a vice, slot the head into quarters with a hacksaw or Dremel wheel, and bend the tabs in alternating directions. Each nail is good for many, many holes. Make several if you like, from different size nails, but we like roofing nails.

Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.

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