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"Welded" seat bolts

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Oldad, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. Oldad

    Oldad Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The seat belts seem to be "welded" in place. Took the square nuts off but oak seats in my 1937 Old Town canoe do not want to move. I wonder if, over time, the brass bolts have oxidized and welded themselves to the wood? I don't want to beat on the seat and break something but I am puzzled as to what method would work>
    Oldad
     
  2. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    If you've got the nuts off then you should be able to back the screw out by turning the screw with pliers from the threaded end. You risk damaging the threads, but that can be fixed if the damage isn't too severe. Worss case you replace 'em. O - avoid thread loosener oils - they'll stain the wood it comes in contact with - drips included - and they'll be really hard to get rid of.

    You know, I was going to start a thread on this subject some day. I've seen bolts held so tightly that the wood looks like it was threaded. So why do screws get frozen in place? Presumably the holes were large enough for the screw to drop into place when the canoe was made. So what happens? Does the screw increase in size? or does the wood shrink? Or does the wood expand? Hard to believe the screw 'rusts' enough to be noticeable - isn't that why we use silicon-bronze screws? And if the wood surrounding a 1/4" hole actually does shrink or expand enough to 'weld' a 10-24 threaded bolt in place - by, say, .02" - wouldn't a 16' canoe then also shrink/expand by a similar ratio?, like to 15' or 17'!!! Maybe it's just the wood that's exposed to air that changes size... that'd explain it.
     
  3. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    If they are steel they might rust in place, but bronze won't. When this happens, and it does alot, I tap repeatedly with a wooden mallet. Lots of little taps tend to get there. For steel, I use heat gun to expand and loosen the grip. The movement of the expanding steel tends to break the hold. I have used mechanical contraption similar to a pulley puller, using a clamp in reverse, so to speak.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Oldad

    Oldad Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The bolts are the traditional Old Town seat and thwart bolts (diamond head). Out of the eight, three are somewhat loose, the others are rock solid. I will try some way to use a clamp and see how that goes.
    Oldad
     
  5. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    If you intend to tap/hammer on the end of the bolt to drive it out it's always best to put the nut back on or better yet a steel nut of the proper size & thread so when you hammer on the bolt you don't bugger up the threads. Put the nut on just far enough so when you hammer you are hitting the nut not the bolt. It's also possible that the bolts are bent which might have been done when the canoe was built so the seat frame fit. Just my two cents worth.
     
  6. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Better yet, instead of pliers or hammer use a c-clamp. Drill a big hole in a block of wood - big enough so the diamond head will pass through - and place it so it straddles the top of the bolt. Put the nut on the screw as suggested above. Then position the c-clamp between the nut & wood block tighten away. It'll free up enough to allow you to twist the bolt CCW from the diamond head with pliers.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Oldad

    Oldad Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks all, great suggestions. I have had some good fortune. I straddled the bottom of a pair of bolts on one side of the seat with a piece of hardwood across the bottom of the nutted bolts (to protect the threads) placed a clamp in between and tightened up and they popped loose. Great relief. Should work well for all of the rest—three pairs to go.
    Oldad
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Oldad

    Oldad Curious about Wooden Canoes

    All out successfully. Thanks, Clamps did the trick, no damage to anything.
     
  9. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Forgot to mention....I also made a tool from a dowel by making a diamond shaped hollow in one end so I could unscrew the diamond head bolt. Once i got it 1/8" up then I unscrew it with the dowel.
     
  10. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    It is very common to find Old Town diamond head bolts threaded right into the wooden gunwales. If it is stuck in the Inwale but the seat is gone, double nut the bolt and unscrew it until you can get ahold of the head to back it out completely.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Oldad

    Oldad Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thats the way mine are, threaded right into the gunwales. Guess I should put them back the same way, but tempted to relieve the hole just a wee bit.
     

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