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unbolting a plate bedded with 5200


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I need to remove this square plate, ideally without cutting up the deck. Those bolts have a 3/4 inch slot and I can't find a screwdriver anywhere near that big. We got the nuts off easily but the bolts wouldn't budge. CCF made the boat, I emailed them and they said it's bedded with either 4200 or 5200. I know about Debond, but I don't think I can get it under the plate (on the top side), and I think the bigger problem is getting the bolts out. I'll try a heat gun, but any other ideas? I think once the bolts are out the rest won't be too bad.

Any idea where such a big screwdriver can be found? I checked local Tru Value stores, Home Depot and Lowes, and Amazon and Ebay. No luck.

 

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If you have room underneath, put the nuts back on flush with the end of the bolts and give them a whack with a hammer.

Otherwise, if you don't mind mangling the slots, an impact screwdriver with a blade of about 1/2" will do the job.

Or get hold of some big steel washers and hold one in the slot and lever it with a big shifter / wrench.

More than one way to balls up a job.

Cheers

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I had big flat bolts like that - the PO used epoxy to hold the chainplates in.

I used a 1/2" impact gun with impact bits. And a small pinpoint butane torch to locally soften the epoxy on the bolts.

You want something that looks like this.  Get thee to a proper tool store not a big box.

https://www.amazon.ca/Stanley-J5444A-2-Inch-Socket-4-Inch/dp/B00209S3OO/ref=pd_lpo_1?pd_rd_i=B00209S3OO&psc=1

image.png.33409c1ede87220860373b1586a1a6be.png

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9 hours ago, Zonker said:

I had big flat bolts like that - the PO used epoxy to hold the chainplates in.

I used a 1/2" impact gun with impact bits. And a small pinpoint butane torch to locally soften the epoxy on the bolts.

You want something that looks like this.  Get thee to a proper tool store not a big box.

https://www.amazon.ca/Stanley-J5444A-2-Inch-Socket-4-Inch/dp/B00209S3OO/ref=pd_lpo_1?pd_rd_i=B00209S3OO&psc=1

image.png.33409c1ede87220860373b1586a1a6be.png

 

Thanks for so many great replies so quickly! I just ordered this, it was available with a 3/4 inch wide bit. I also ordered a 24 inch breaker bar to go with it. The idea of wacking my deck with an impact driver or a hammer from underneath makes me pretty nervous. Since you guys say it's okay to do I'm not against it, but I'm hoping the breaker bar and bit with some heat get the job done. I really don't want to pound my deck, from above or below. But there is plenty of room below, it's in the anchor locker. 

Would a heat gun be sufficient, or do I need to get a small torch? 

 

9 hours ago, kiwin said:

In addition you can probably get a blade under the plate to cut tye sealer out. Use a cheap flush cut saw and protect the deck with tape.

Yeah I think once the bolts are out, I can use a thin blade forced between the plate and deck to cut the 5200, then clean it all up with Debond. I'm sure that's easier said than done. 

8 hours ago, Fleetwood said:

Use the old school approach, a brace and bit. Flate blade bits are available, often at 2nd-hand stores. I routinely use a b&b to loosen big screws (and also carefully tighten them.)  More easily controlled (by me) than power tools. Heat helps too.

What's a B&B ??

 

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10 hours ago, George Dewey said:

I need to remove this square plate, ideally without cutting up the deck. Those bolts have a 3/4 inch slot and I can't find a screwdriver anywhere near that big. We got the nuts off easily but the bolts wouldn't budge. CCF made the boat, I emailed them and they said it's bedded with either 4200 or 5200. I know about Debond, but I don't think I can get it under the plate (on the top side), and I think the bigger problem is getting the bolts out. I'll try a heat gun, but any other ideas? I think once the bolts are out the rest won't be too bad.

Any idea where such a big screwdriver can be found? I checked local Tru Value stores, Home Depot and Lowes, and Amazon and Ebay. No luck.

 

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To remove sika bedded hardware I use a stiff blade, strike putty knife and tapered hardwood wedges 

start at a corner , drive the putty knife under the plate perhaps 1/2 inch then  take a hardwood wedge and position it between the putty knife blade and the fiberglass substrate then drive the wedge in with a hammer 

the force  breaks the bond and lifts the plate

you may need to work around the plate with the wedge, putty knife 

 

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I use a creme brûlée torch in these situations. It's a much more focused flame. I also use the creme brûlée torch for burning the ends of rope. Remember, fiberglass is highly flammable. 
 

Also, the impact from an impact driver is it the direction of rotation, it's not beating on the screw. An impact drill is beating on whatever you're drilling into. 
 

To turn the screws, you might try doubling up nuts and tightening them together and seeing if you can turn them with a wrench. 
 

I've heard of people using guitar strings to sever the 5200. Wrap each of the ends of the string around a dowel and work it under the plate. 

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33 minutes ago, George Dewey said:

Oh wait, I just Googled M18 impact driver. This is a power tool, I thought you guys meant the handheld one you hit with a hammer. Did you mean one of these power tools use for driving bolts into cement? 

Yup - power tool.  Doesn't have to be Milwaukee that's just the brand I own.  This is the kit I got years ago.  Came as a combo with the drill.  Milwaukee M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill Driver/Impact Driver Combo Kit w/ Two 1.5Ah Batteries, Charger Tool Bag (2-Tool)-2691-22 - The Home Depot

They also make 1/4" drive adapters for different socket sizes.  You will need one that fits whatever drive you get.    

Milwaukee SHOCKWAVE Impact Duty 1/4 in. Hex Shank Socket Adapter Set (3-Piece)-48-32-5033 - The Home Depot

 

After bolts are removed put some halyard tension on the fitting.   Put tape around the fitting to prevent marring the deck.   And then work a putty blade under it (like the one Slug suggested) with a hammer.   Wedges are good and more halyard tension.

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12 minutes ago, Quickstep192 said:

I use a creme brûlée torch in these situations. It's a much more focused flame. I also use the creme brûlée torch for burning the ends of rope. Remember, fiberglass is highly flammable. 
 

Also, the impact from an impact driver is it the direction of rotation, it's not beating on the screw. An impact drill is beating on whatever you're drilling into. 
 

To turn the screws, you might try doubling up nuts and tightening them together and seeing if you can turn them with a wrench. 
 

I've heard of people using guitar strings to sever the 5200. Wrap each of the ends of the string around a dowel and work it under the plate. 

Yeah I'm aware of the fire hazard, which is why I'm not excited about the torch. I do have a heat gun. I'll try that first, hopefully it's hot enough. I like your creme brulee torch idea. 

Once I have heated the heck out of these screws and mashed them with an impact driver, will I need to put new ones back in or can I reuse the existing ones (assuming I don't muck up the slots)? 

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Heat can work but ……..

Sika is soft , you can remove fasteners without a fuss 

for fasteners set into epoxy heat is used 

an industrial strength electric soldering iron with the suitable screw driver bit on its tip 

heat the screw ,,, use a normal screwdriver to extract ,,, not the soldering iron 

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1 minute ago, GMiller said:

I have really screwed this up before, hammering from below when it gave.  Went topside to revel in my accomplishment when I realized I had torn off the top skin and the gelcoat...  I hate 5200. 

Thanks for the heads up!

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I would loosen the nuts from below then use a jamb nut under them to lock them together and then twist the bottom nut to put torque on the machine screw. Once the screws are loose and removed I would move on to getting the fishing line under the plate to slice through the sealant. 

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1 hour ago, George Dewey said:

Oh wait, I just Googled M18 impact driver. This is a power tool, I thought you guys meant the handheld one you hit with a hammer. Did you mean one of these power tools use for driving bolts into cement? 

I recently acquired one of these.

18 V Cordless Impact Driver BOSCH - Canac

I don't know how I got deck hardware unbolted before - this zips off nuts with no-one holding the other end and it doesn't even disturb cured sealant around the shank..

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If it is actually 5200 yer in for a treat. IME heat is your friend [Sea story!  Was once working on a large-ish wood schooner.  Owner/builder loved bedding everything in 5200… not only hardware, but planks over deadwood, backing blocks, frame ends, etc.  Went through cases of the stuff. Installing the bronze hawse pipes, the plan was to put the cast pipe in from the outside, then the inner trim ring, then cut flush and grind the inner edge.  Outer piece installed, bedded, screwed in.  Inner piece installed and screwed in, then no tool could be found to fit in to make the flush cut.  Getting the hawsepipes back out involved blow torch, sledge hammer and a solid afternoon].  As recommended above, I like heat, time, and a brace and bit (the b&b referenced earlier), as impact drivers have a habit of damaging stuff quickly when used in circumstances with unknown variables.  I have a large flat head driver made for a b&b that I use for exactly such a bolt purchased years ago at an used tool store.  Concentrate heat on the bolt, either with a solder iron or very small flame.  Turn, gently, with the brace until it lets go.  If it doesn’t work, heat more until it does.  Same idea prying the plate off… force will only find the weakest link, which is usually the substrate (wood fibers/gelcoat layer) rather than the glue bond.  Careful use of a heat gun to warm the entire plate, along with prying with a thin scraper should do the trick.  I haven’t found fishing line to work, but maybe that just me and the things I try to get up are usually in awkward locations and require a degree of creativity.
 

Good luck!

 

Edit:  good substitute for a brace is a big screwdriver that has part of the shank milled to six sides, and a wrench.  A screwdriver that would fit the slot should be available at any hardware store… it’s the width rather than the length that’s important.  I’ve got a Lowe’s brand one within arms reach right now.  At worst get a cheap one and grind the tip down until it fits

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27 minutes ago, danstanford said:

I would loosen the nuts from below then use a jamb nut under them to lock them together and then twist the bottom nut to put torque on the machine screw. Once the screws are loose and removed I would move on to getting the fishing line under the plate to slice through the sealant. 

^^^^^^^^^^^^Double nut & lock the bolt. Apply large breaker bar - they will rotate free of the caulk with no damage to bolts. 

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3 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I recently acquired one of these.

When I was doing cancer treatments and not in the best of shape I got a Rigid 1/2" impact gun just for changing the tires from summer to winter. Made this job a breeze.

Yes I use what would be called a creme brulle torch too. Very focused flame. Like right on the head of the fastener. Damp rags on the underside to keep the laminate cool

+1 to wedges and patience. I would also suggest the thin autobody type plastic tools used for prying trim off doors etc. Find them at your local auto parts store. These sort of things. Won't scrape the deck but sturdy and thin. 

https://www.napacanada.com/en/p/MXC5751197

 

 

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For starting on cutting the caulk line sometimes it can be helpful to have both a stiff straight edge paint scraper and a sharpened, thin, flexible putty knife. Put some masking tape down around the work area. With the scraper's bevel edge flat on the deck work it's blade under under the edge of the plate. Then the pry up the edge a little. Slide the sharp putty knife into the gap that opened up between plate and deck and work it around to get a bit of a slice going in the caulk. Pry more, go slowly, use increasingly large wedge like items to maintain some pressure. 

Putty knives come with a squared blade. For this use sharpen them so they have an edge like a straight scraper.

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18 minutes ago, sailman said:

Go to West Marine or Amazon and buy a can of Anti-Bond.  Work a sharp scrapper under it and spray as you go, it will pop off.

Has anyone had luck with this "Un-Hesive" stuff?

https://store.marinebeam.com/un-hesive-3m-5200-sealant-and-adhesive-remover/

 

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19 minutes ago, sailman said:

No idea about that one, but I have taken out port lights that were in with 5200 Delfino Ports (westindies36.com)

Which do you think it better, Antibond 2015 or Marine Formula Debond ?   How long did you have to let the Antibond sit before it worked? A 1.5 oz spray bottle is about $50!

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

When I was doing cancer treatments and not in the best of shape I got a Rigid 1/2" impact gun just for changing the tires from summer to winter. Made this job a breeze.

I just got my second 1/2" air impact for exactly that - and screwing lag bolts on construction projects.

It replaces the first one that finally died after 35 or so years.

I would never use it in the boat though - the little cordless Bosch is a ballet dancer next to the 600 Ft/Lbs of the air Hulk Hogan.

 

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The 18V Rigid one I have is good for (surprisingly) 450 ft.lb. It has 3 range settings for torque. Lug nuts are #1 - the lowest setting. 

I figure the higher settings will be good if I ever need a bit of extra torque to remove suspension components on a car.

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1 hour ago, George Dewey said:

Which do you think it better, Antibond 2015 or Marine Formula Debond ?   How long did you have to let the Antibond sit before it worked? A 1.5 oz spray bottle is about $50!

The anti bond works instantly once it gets under the 5200.  Use a sharp scrapper so you get right under it and it peels right up.

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6 hours ago, GMiller said:

I have really screwed this up before, hammering from below when it gave.  Went topside to revel in my accomplishment when I realized I had torn off the top skin and the gelcoat...  I hate 5200. 

I've done that same thing with a stanchion base bedded in 4200. I was prying with a putty knife and when the base started to move, I got greedy and pried too hard and some gelcoat came off. And that was with 4200. 

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5 minutes ago, Quickstep192 said:

I've done that same thing with a stanchion base bedded in 4200. I was prying with a putty knife and when the base started to move, I got greedy and pried too hard and some gelcoat came off. And that was with 4200. 

When I put it back together, given there are these 4 very large bolts holding it together, I presume I won't need any 5200 or 4200?  Just some silka or Life Caulk maybe? Even if it leaks, it's going to leak into the anchor locker. 

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Color me confused now. If it's on there like stink and you intend to put it back, why are you taking it off? 
 

As for re-bedding it, I'm a fan of Bed-It butyl caulk. Way less mess than anything that comes in a tube. If you want to go that route, I can send you enough to do that plate. If you're willing to try a guitar string to release it, I'll send you one of those too. 

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8 hours ago, George Dewey said:

Yeah I'm aware of the fire hazard, which is why I'm not excited about the torch. I do have a heat gun. I'll try that first, hopefully it's hot enough.

FYI, a decent heat gun will scorch gel coat so be careful. Don't ask me how I know... :(

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Also, not in love with the tension from a halyard idea... somehow when the goo lets go your head will be close enough to over top of the fitting that when it comes flying up into your face it'll take out one eye and several teeth. You'll look like a pretty authentic pirate but you might need to get a new girlfriend...

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2 hours ago, George Dewey said:

When I put it back together, given there are these 4 very large bolts holding it together, I presume I won't need any 5200 or 4200?  Just some silka or Life Caulk maybe? Even if it leaks, it's going to leak into the anchor locker. 

5200 is a structural adhesive 

4200 is a non structural bedding compound 

boatbuilders do not use 5200 to bed hardware 

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4 hours ago, Quickstep192 said:

Color me confused now. If it's on there like stink and you intend to put it back, why are you taking it off? 

The existing plate is where the headstay connects, and there is currently a furler on the headstay. There is nowhere at the deck to tack a sail, because the boat was designed to use the furler. J Boats made a retrofit kit to allow sails to be tacked to the deck for people who want to get rid of the furler. I need to slip a new plate under the existing one. This new plate has a thingy to tack sails to.

 

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4 hours ago, Quickstep192 said:

As for re-bedding it, I'm a fan of Bed-It butyl caulk. Way less mess than anything that comes in a tube. If you want to go that route, I can send you enough to do that plate. If you're willing to try a guitar string to release it, I'll send you one of those too. 

Thanks!!!  I'll PM you.

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3 hours ago, slug zitski said:

boatbuilders do not use 5200 to bed hardware 

Well whatever they bedded this with is putting up a good fight. Given the huge bolts, I'll just use something to seal it, without an adhesive. 

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In a 3M product, use 4000UV for deck hardware, not 4200. It is about the same strength or a little less, and does not yellow in the sun. I personally don't like butyl tape and won't use it on my boat, but a lot of people swear by it. 

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On 11/8/2021 at 12:18 AM, harrygee said:

If you have room underneath, put the nuts back on flush with the end of the bolts and give them a whack with a hammer.

Otherwise, if you don't mind mangling the slots, an impact screwdriver with a blade of about 1/2" will do the job.

Or get hold of some big steel washers and hold one in the slot and lever it with a big shifter / wrench.

More than one way to balls up a job.

Cheers

Take two nuts.  Put one on, then the other.  Tighten them against each other. Use a wrench on the now locked in place nut to break the bolt loose, then unscrew it. 

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59 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

Take two nuts.  Put one on, then the other.  Tighten them against each other. Use a wrench on the now locked in place nut to break the bolt loose, then unscrew it. 

Someone else suggested this as well, it's the next thing I'm going to try. I had to order two 3/4 inch combo wrenches!

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Anti Bond goes a long way- after you get any gap between your fitting and the deck, spay it in there and start wedging!  Go slow, spray frequently - you can hear the polyurethane releasing.  I've taken over an hour to remove a fitting.  On my 1981 MORC boat, the backstay tangs and forestay fitting were all 5200 bedded- I know because I was at the factory.  They did creep a bit over the years.

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2 hours ago, George Dewey said:

Someone else suggested this as well, it's the next thing I'm going to try. I had to order two 3/4 inch combo wrenches!

Holy Crap! 3/4" nuts are usually on the nuts for 1/2" bolts. Are they really that big?

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I would also replace/re-install that backing bar underdeck. It appears to be aluminum & corroding. I would fashion a new plate out of carbon stock and epoxy it up into place. It's not there to spread loads, (altho carrying the vertical loads out to the hull is good) but to provide a level spot for all the bolts to land on

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1 minute ago, longy said:

I would also replace/re-install that backing bar underdeck. It appears to be aluminum & corroding. I would fashion a new plate out of carbon stock and epoxy it up into place. It's not there to spread loads, (altho carrying the vertical loads out to the hull is good) but to provide a level spot for all the bolts to land on

Thanks for that tip, I'll take a closer look at it this week.

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58 minutes ago, longy said:

I would also replace/re-install that backing bar underdeck. It appears to be aluminum & corroding. I would fashion a new plate out of carbon stock and epoxy it up into place. It's not there to spread loads, (altho carrying the vertical loads out to the hull is good) but to provide a level spot for all the bolts to land on

Yah 

bed the backer into thickened epoxy 

slot head screws are a poor choice .. the slot head holds water, contaminates the countersink shoulders   and leaks over time 

Allen head are superior for deck hardware 

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Everyone knows SHCS (that is Socket Head Cap Screws for you heathens) are faster. At least a knot faster.

You cannot, however, put the same torque in the drive as you can with a slotted head. This is especially true with flat heads, as the drive size is one smaller that the same fastener in a normal SHCS. Works pretty good in steel, as it can be hardened, but in SS which is quite soft, watch your torque. 

Still, I don't think a used a single slotted head screw on my whole boat. (This is where the Canucks step in and talk about Robertson getting screwed by Ford).

I'd use G10 to replace the backer, carbon not really necessary. 

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Thicker G-10 just as good.  Counter sink shoulders rust because salt water gets into the joint - if you have caulk in the 'sink this will not happen. It doesn't look quite as good, as it creates a colored ring around the fastener. You pick your poison.

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Just now, longy said:

Thicker G-10 just as good.  Counter sink shoulders rust because salt water gets into the joint - if you have caulk in the 'sink this will not happen. It doesn't look quite as good, as it creates a colored ring around the fastener. You pick your poison.

So probably a dumb question, but if I put caulk onto the metal plate where the countersink is, wouldn't it all get squeezed out when I tighten the bolt?

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No. There will never be (even in a lab) a perfect fit between the countersink & the bolt head. And this is on a boat. Let's see - bolt is crooked thru plate, c/s not evenly drilled, c/s not drilled to to the right angle (metric & english have different shoulder angles)

The deck probably does have camber. So yes it is proper to completely caulk under the plate. Ever see a deck fitting with rust stains on the deck around it?? that is salt between the fitting and the deck at work. The caulk does not have to have any structural strength at all - it's only job it keeping water out. For that it needs adhesion & flexibility

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12 hours ago, longy said:

It's not there to spread loads, (altho carrying the vertical loads out to the hull is good) but to provide a level spot for all the bolts to land on

Why then use carbon here? Wouldn't G10 not be sufficient and quite a bit cheaper?
Not a big deal, but sometimes I wonder with how often I see carbon in non structural applications.

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24 minutes ago, allweather said:

Why then use carbon here? Wouldn't G10 not be sufficient and quite a bit cheaper?
Not a big deal, but sometimes I wonder with how often I see carbon in non structural applications.

G10 is sufficient 

carbon is for race boats 

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17 hours ago, inneedofadvice said:

Take a cheap chisel, grind it flat on the end till it fits snugly, then tighten an adjustable wrench right at the base and turn. Won’t wreck the slot like an impact and will give you maximum torque you’re ever going to be able to apply. 

Except if you fuck up the bolt heads you just buy new bolts instead of buying a chisel.

I've done this with same size bolts (1/2" flat head) and the impact gun didn't fuck up the heads that much. Good enough I re-used them

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

Except if you fuck up the bolt heads you just buy new bolts instead of buying a chisel.

I've done this with same size bolts (1/2" flat head) and the impact gun didn't fuck up the heads that much. Good enough I re-used them

In reading through I think locking two nuts together is a better choice if you have enough exposed thread and it's accessible. That said, the chisel method saves the head pretty effectively as it covers the full width of the slot and the wrench applies the torque right at the business end. And who doesn't have an old $5 chisel in the back of their toolbox?

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3 minutes ago, inneedofadvice said:

In reading through I think locking two nuts together is a better choice if you have enough exposed thread and it's accessible. That said, the chisel method saves the head pretty effectively as it covers the full width of the slot and the wrench applies the torque right at the business end. And who doesn't have an old $5 chisel in the back of their toolbox?

I recently sold my house and moved, so actually I don't and if I did, I don't have the tools to file it. But, I was able to get a 3/4 in wide screwdriver bit with a 1/2 inch drive and a breaker bar. Even if unscrewing from below with the double nut trick works, it only goes so far, and at that point hopefully this bit can finish the job. If neither works, I'll try a power impact driver. If that fails, well, maybe I'll be stuck with the furler! 

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33 minutes ago, George Dewey said:

I recently sold my house and moved, so actually I don't and if I did, I don't have the tools to file it. But, I was able to get a 3/4 in wide screwdriver bit with a 1/2 inch drive and a breaker bar. Even if unscrewing from below with the double nut trick works, it only goes so far, and at that point hopefully this bit can finish the job. If neither works, I'll try a power impact driver. If that fails, well, maybe I'll be stuck with the furler! 

Not sure how you were using the breaker bar, but the key to it is to apply the torque right at the head of the fastener. That's why I suggest the adjustable wrench placed right at deck level. If you have a second person, you may be able to have them repeatedly tap the end of the screwdriver while torque is applied to the wrench to help break it loose. 

 

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You may not what to use it in this case but an advantage of the type of impact wrench that you hit with a hammer is it forces the bit into the slot at the same time as it is twisting.  I have had good luck getting fittings off a mast that way. 

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23 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

Impact wrench’s that you hammer strike  are useless on a boat  

striking a boat with a hammer is like striking drum with a hammer 

strike tools are designed to be opposed by an anvil 

Yes! Don't hit it with anything. 

Heat - yes.

Debond - yes

Heated scraper - works well

But my favorite is a cheesewire. Make a loop of cheesewire attached to a line and put the line round a winch. get the cheesewire started under the part to be moved and crank very, very slowly - a few clicks per minute. Since it's a metal part, heating will help speed things up. The great thing about the cheesewire is that it has a circular section - wont scar the deck like a scraper.

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3 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

This thing better be off by now. 

Holy crap. This continues? This member of the Butyl Mafia says thanks for a chuckle. Isn’t the real problem here the aluminum backer plate? A reasonable rule is to never use aluminum backing plates with stainless hardware. If you must then drill the bolt hole very much oversized.  This is an excellent place for a carbon backing plate extending to the shear as mentioned above. Bedded in filled epoxy. Second best would be G-10 or stainless. Aluminum never.

Mentioned up-thread was torquing of slotted-head bolts. My opinion is such bolts don’t need much torque at all. Nothing of this sort benefits from torque. Engine head bolts do, certainly.  Not much else on a boat benefits. Clamping the deck tight accomplishes nothing at all for a forestay or winch or cleat. Use locking nuts simply snugged. That said, slotted screws have little to recommend them. Phucking Phillips are even better.

I would have drilled those bolt heads off about 5 minutes into the project.

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I've used 1/4" aluminium plate for all my backing plates for more than 25 years and never had a problem with one getting seized up to the fasteners.

I've also never used 5200 to bed them so...

Actually, I never put sealant of any kind on the underside of the deck - if a fastener starts leaking at deck level I want it to leak through so I know about it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This job finally got done today! We don't race in December so waiting made sense. If something went wrong (and it did) we wouldn't have to miss any racing.

Three crew members and I tackled it. We used the suggestion to lock two nuts together and turn the bolts out from below. Once they got backed out as far as possible, we used a breaker bar with a giant bit. They were in there very tight, it took some muscle to back them out from below. I had planned to apply some heat, but somehow the heat gun got misplaced. Once the bolts were out, we squirted Anti-bond around the edges and into the bolt holes then attacked it with a guitar string. To my amazement, the bracket popped off in no time. We then cleaned the rest of the bedding material (5200 or whatever it was) off the bracket and deck, applied some bedding tape to the new bracket and put it back together. Took about two hours total.

That part of the job went fine. Sadly, the toggle at the top of the new headstay was a smidgen too short, and the headstay would not angle down enough. I have a call into the rigger for a longer toggle, but once thats in hand I should be all set.

Thanks to everyone for all the great advice, and to @Quickstep192 who generously sent me some bedding tape and guitar strings. 

Cheers!

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