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Stuck bolts

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by PhilG57, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. PhilG57

    PhilG57 New Member

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    I have several bolts which I need to remove and which don't want to budge. These are 1/2 inch or so, probably stainless steel, and are threaded through a finished (painted) plate and then into either another metal plate or through that second plate into a nut. They are also covered in bedding compound which is probably as old as the boat which is 30 years.

    I've soaked them in PB Blaster and WD40, banged on them with a hammer, all to no avail. I really do not want to heat them as that will discolor the painted plate through which they are fastened.

    I've looked at Sear's 'hammer drill' but that seems to just either drill or hammer but not both at the same time.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.
  2. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    You didn't say what material the plates are made of and how thick they are or if you can access the back side or if they are tapped, all very important considerations.

    Fire is your friend, paint is a passing acquaintence.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Sounds like you're talking ablout deck hardware which i'm guessing means that the plates are on fiberglass. If that's the case heat won't be good. Forget paint, that's easy to replace, but your deck is another story. Are you able to get to the nut from the underside? If no try drilling them out. Another though might be to chill the bolt. You could try something like (I know this will sound funny, but...) Dr. Sholl's wart remover which should allow you to freeze only the bolt. That may be enough to break it free.
  4. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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  5. Savasa

    Savasa Senior Member

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  6. Savasa

    Savasa Senior Member

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    Rats! Fish, you beat me to it!!!!!
  7. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Sorry buddy, good to see we are working on the same wave length. :)
  8. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    If the bolts are stainless steel and are threaded into stainless or have stainless nuts, using an impact wrench may be all they need to gall and weld themselves together permanently.

    The solution depends on the installation, be careful what advice you offer a novice.
  9. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    As the OP said the nut and bolt pass through 2 plates, similar to a bolt holding down a windlass or similar. They are only 1/2 inch stainless and 30 years old, so even if they shear off and fail, job done.

    My first option would have been to heat them up but if there was something like an electric motor next to the heatspot, its not an option, pretty paintwork or not.

    I think we've given the OP a few good options.
  10. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Sounds like you know more about the thing than the OP who wrote:

  11. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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  12. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Fun but overkill. Best reserved for removing broken taps and such from high value parts.

    If there is a nut holding the sandwich together and it is inaccessible I would just take a mini-grinder and whack the head off the bolt and drive it through. How you deal with the reassembly is another issue but the OP didn't provide enough information to make any valid judgment on how to deal with the problem.
  13. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    That was exactly what I was trying to achieve when I found out about this system.

    Approx 25 yrs ago I had broken a 4mm tap in the top of the stainless steel barrel of a rifle I was installing a scope mount on. A Toolmaker friend of mine put me in touch with a guy who operated one of these and for $20 it was all taken care of nicely.

    I agree with your words that until more is known about the exact arrgt it is not easy to give a one method to solve it answer, the goo the OP refers to could be 5200 or the Sikaflex equivalent which makes the usual removal of anything rather different.
  14. PhilG57

    PhilG57 New Member

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    Thanks - lots of good ideas here. Yes this is deck hardware (large winch) which I'm trying to remove. Everything is stainless but I don't want to heat is due to the collateral damage. The winch is circular and the bolts are fastened into a stainless steel plate via a threaded hole. What is driving me crazy is the head of the bolt is a slotted screw type, not a hex bolt or something I can actually get a wrench on. I've been using a monkey wrench to apply torque to a screw driver; next I was going to have my wife bang on the top of the screw driver while I twisted... The bolts are about 3 inches long and the slot on the the top is at least a haf inch across. The bolts just laugh at the little hand held impact wrench I have.
  15. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Could you post a picture of the assembly? Make sure there is a ruler or coin or something in the picture to provide scale.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    WOW do you have trust or guts or no love for your hands.
    You know the old saying ' if it don't work bang it with a hammer (impact wrench). If it still don't work...'
  17. ZIA

    ZIA New Member

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    Hard to know exactly what you are trying to achieve!

    Why not drill the top of the bolts down far enough to then lift the (large winch) off of the bolt stubs. At that point maybe you could then grab the bolts enough to back then out... or cut the bolt stubs flush to the plate or maybe even rethread them and attach a new plate with whatever you wanted fixed to the new plate prior to attachment.

    ZIA
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    And that brings us full circle to post #3.:D
  19. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Which brings us back to the point that advising someone to drill out a largish diameter SS bolt with the normal tools available to the home mechanic will almost certainly leave him with a work hardened bolt that will require the use of K1W1's spark erosion tool.

    It is beginning to sound like these are slotted countersunk SS bolts threaded into a backing plate. If that is the case, the first thing I would try is obtain a very large flat blade screwdriver that fills the slot very closely. This type screwdriver should have a square shaft that will allow the use of a long wrench or extension on a wrench to apply a great deal of torque. Heat the bolt head with a carefully directed flame. Rub a stick of beeswax on the hot bolt and let it soak into the gaps. While it is still hot, hold the screwdriver vertically downward very firmly and with the wrench try to turn the bolt in the tighten direction. If it moves the slightest, stop immediately and add more heat and beeswax. Repeat the process in the loosen direction ... lefty loosey, righty tighty.

    Use beeswax because it will not burn off or carbonize like the mousemilk products sold at the home or auto parts stores and is a great lubricant.

    If all that fails there are still a couple of options but we'll save them for later.
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Had that lefty loosey debate with a (2) friends lately when I had to change the blade on a tablesaw. One said reverse and I had a feeling that he was correct. My other friend with a mikita showed me that his was Lefty L. I'm waiting for him to bring over a tap. We did it his way because this guy has expertise like yours. He's good. Unfortunately it's reversed on my Delta. As for the rest, this is your forte. I look forward to learning. Please proceed.:)

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