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Ajax

Filling screw holes in aluminum extrusion

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On old boats that have seen years of hardware modifications, what are the best methods to fill in old screw and rivet holes to maintain the structural integrity of the spar?

 

So far, all I've seen is screwing in allen-head plugs coated with Lanacote. Are there any other methods that I should be aware of that might be better?

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I have had welders come in and spot weld all the spots to fill in the holes and make it whole again. short of that I think you are more or less playing tear along the dotted line even if you fill it with screws

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The PO had screwed a cam cleat to the mast - I think that it was for the kite halyard, although using it seems like a really crappy idea to me, so I removed it. I filled the holes with Marine Tex (white) and put a plastic bag over it while it set to make it smooth. I'm sure that I could find them if I look, but you can't see them from the dock, so cosmetically that's a decent, low cost, choice. Not helpful structurally, obviously.

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Welding should be minimized on spars - it screws up the heat treating.

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On old boats that have seen years of hardware modifications, what are the best methods to fill in old screw and rivet holes to maintain the structural integrity of the spar?

 

So far, all I've seen is screwing in allen-head plugs coated with Lanacote. Are there any other methods that I should be aware of that might be better?

 

just pop a rivet in and forget about it...

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Monel pop rivets or screws.. Stainless reacts with the aluminum.. Welding not a good idea as another said, it can screw up the mast with the heat. But he holes need to be filled as an empty hole can cause problems with flexing etc.

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I've heard of success filling holes old screw holes in aluminum by adding standard epoxy thickeners to an aluminum filled mcu paint - a google search for MCU aluminum should maybe turn up something

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JB Weld might work. It is similiar to Pauloman's idea but off the shelf. I've had good luck repairing small bits in car and lawn mower engines with it.

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JB Weld makes a bunch of different fillers. Make sure you get the one for ALUMINUM otherwise you will have a dissimilar metal issue!

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I've heard of success filling holes old screw holes in aluminum by adding standard epoxy thickeners to an aluminum filled mcu paint - a google search for MCU aluminum should maybe turn up something

 

You can buy powdered metals to use as thickeners - presumably aluminium is one of them.

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