Latest News: Forums Technical Removing epoxied-in bolts using heat?

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  • #30421
    Tim Jeanneret
    Participant

    I want to remove the four bolts poking up around the aft hatch on my wooden wayfarer, for securing the hatch cover.

    They are M8, epoxied firmly through holes in the wooden battens that support the deck either side of the hatch opening. They have round heads, tight against the battens and about 25mm of thread poking up above the deck.

    I tried a soldering iron to heat the bolts and soften the epoxy but couldn’t get anywhere near enough heat into them.

    Next trick is to use a blow torch to heat the exposed threaded part of the bolts until the epoxy is soft enough that I can push the bolts down/screw them out. With foil shielding round the bolts to protect the deck.

    Does anyone have experience trying something similar? Thanks, Tim

    #30422
    Dave Barker
    Keymaster

    I accidentally epoxied some screws into our boat and concluded that the only realistic way to remove them was going to be to cut them off flush and then use a plug cutter to take the remaining part of the screw and a little surrounding timber with it. Obviously I used the smallest feasible plug cutter and afterwards tidied up the hole and then re-plugged.

    In your case the M8 bolts may be large enough (and the batten thick enough) to make my method unappealing, but a bolt extractor could perhaps help you? It all depends just how firmly the (slightly heated) epoxy holds, I suppose…

    #30479
    Tim Jeanneret
    Participant

    *update* Success! I used two nuts jammed together to turn the bolts (the heads below deck were round – nothing to get a purchase on), and when I heated the bolts with a little gas-torch lighter for a minute or two they let go of the epoxy and turned out fairly easily.

    (thanks for the advice Dave)

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