Whats the best way to remove the caulk from stainless bolts

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by J 29 Guy, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. J 29 Guy
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    J 29 Guy Junior Member

    We just finished getting our J 29 a complete deck refit with repaired balsa core and new paint. I will be re installing the deck gear with Butyl tape and need to clean all the old (silicone/3 m 4200?) or what they used back in 83 off all the stainless bolts. Any ideas as to what get it off the easiest?

    Thanks Cliff

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  2. J 29 Guy
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    J 29 Guy Junior Member

    one more

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    The easiest way is to buy new stainless.

    I never reuse fasteners, and certainly it 30 year old stainless. The reality is that over time it will corrode, and because of the way stainless corrodes (crevice corrosion), there is no easy way to determine if it is fine, about to fail, or already failed. For the couple of hundred dollars in new bolts it would cost I would just replace them, and not have to worry about the possibility of old hardware messing up all the work you just did.

    If you have to reuse them, a wire brush and elbow grease has always been my favorite tool, if you can find a tumbler that will work for the polish,
     
  4. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Use a wire wheel mounted on a bench grinder. The stainless should be fine for reuse. Corrosion is obvious---- just don't reuse any questionable bolts.
     
  5. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    soak in diesel and use brass brush if you are worried about

    ruining polished finish.

    But diesel will be hard to remove if you are planning on re-chalking to get water tight seal.

    Maybe soak in alcohol after brushing to remove diesel?
     
  6. J 29 Guy
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    J 29 Guy Junior Member

    Since the boat came from salt water and is now in fresh water and seeing how the new top side looks I think new will look allot better vs cleaning up the old. I really want to make the boat looks like a new boat.

    C-Rock
     
  7. sean9c
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    sean9c Senior Member

    Pics look great. My guess would be once you hold the old fasteners up against your new finish you'll decide to use new fasteners. Old silicone is really hard to remove, though I doubt if J would use silicone. You could try throwing all the fasteners in a container of lacquer thinner and let them set for a few days, probably want to seal the container. If you decide to wire brush or wheel them make sure it's not a steel brush or wheel, use plastic or stainless. I've found that once you factor in your labor cleaning old fasteners, new is cheaper
     
  8. J 29 Guy
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    J 29 Guy Junior Member

    You guys are right going new.

    Thanks C-Rock
     
  9. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Alan,

    That just isn't true. The real danger of stainless is that a amall scratch can act as a vector for deep pitting corrosion. Where the scratch gradually deepens and widens into the material untill there is not enough material to support the loads, and it shears off. This is particularly dangerous in stainless because it is the low oxygen environment inside of the crack that leads to corrosion, and so it can remain invisible to the eye until it fails.

    This is why stainless rigging is recommended to be either x-rayed or dye testing done after 8 years, and every year afterwords. Does it mean something is broken? No of course not, but it could be, and you won't know it.

    There is no question stainless is the material of choice, and it can last a long time, but that doesn't mean it is immortal. And after 30 years I would be very hesitant about trusting it anymore. If you really need that type of life span, you go with titanium which doesn't suffer the same problems, but costs 3 times more.
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I have to agree in replacement of the fasteners. You're not talking a lot of money here and unseen cracks can cause a stick to fall down. This is a lousy way to save a few bucks. Stainless in particular and metals in general, can fail without notice, so replace the 30 year old fasteners.
     

  11. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    To answer your question, I once collected most of a five gallon pail of puckied 3/8" bolts and nuts from a yard in Fl. I took some to a fastener store and played around with their stock of grade 8 nuts and bough a few. I would put one in a vise and grind it down a bit and use it like a chase die. It worked in a manner of speaking, but I remember thinking there has to be a better way. It was very fussy to find the right class fit and get the grind right. Heat, lube, and chemistry were also involved. I spent hours doing that. I never used things and have no idea where they went.
     
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