Extracting broken bolt / screw

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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Well, where I was confused by the suggestion was if it were available for vice grips, what's the point/need of anything else if it isn't bound? Maybe they were intended to be independent, but wasn't what it seemed to say so I was just trying to figure out what the poster really meant...
If it's simply an alternative for reaching a recessed but freely turning broken bolt, ok...
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I'm amazed when I have a nub to grab with a vise grip, even the needle nose version. (make proper jaw adjustment, then clamp)
Soaked in fluid, with the vise grip I might tighten the nub CW first (slightly) and then loosen. It breaks a freeze/bound thread...sometimes.
Helps me.
Oren --
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wrote:

Had the same situation recently. Twisted off the rod on a turnbuckle because it was frozen. Soaked it overnight, then put the clamp on there again and wiggled back and forth, and it moved. A little more wiggling, and it threaded right out. I think there'd be a whole lot more EZ Outing if people would just take time, use penetrants, not overtorque and generally pay attention. But that doesn't sound like anyone I know.
Steve
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On Tue, 1 Jan 2008 17:58:52 -0800, "SteveB"

AND a tad more lube when they wiggle :))
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    [ ... ]

    Certainly not for gripping a screw or bolt which has broken off flush. :-)

    *But* -- if the bolt has been overtorqued and broken from tension -- or what was bolted down got levered up to overtension the bolt, it would be likely to break off at the first thread outside the threaded hole -- since there would be no support there. Those bolts are more likely to work with the "buzzing out" approach.
    Certainly if it has rusted into its hole, and then broken off from torque when someone is trying to *remove* it, then the heat approach is more likely to work.

    But I don't have a welder, so it is unlikely to work for *me*. :-)

    Whenever I finally get a welder, I'm thinking of the Maxstar 140, which is both stick and Tig. I don't think that I'll need to weld anything larger than that. And the problem simply is finding one which I can afford at the moment. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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BillM wrote:

Komobu said:
"I had intended to say in the initial post that welding wasnt an option for me...I want to learn how to weld..."
*If* you have access to an oxy-acetylene torch with a cutting head, but do not know how to weld, here is another handy-andy "hot wrench" trick. It won't work in every situation, it can be quite messy, and gooey gobs of red-hot sparks may fly in every direction. But sometimes it really works well and may be the only way and/or last resort. In general, the larger the diameter of the broken bolt, the better this works -- and not just for broken bolts, but for broken or seized fasteners of all kinds.
Using a cutting torch head, adjust the oxygen and acetylene pressures as you would to cut a piece of flat steel of roughly the same thickness, or less, as the broken bolt's diameter. Heat the exposed area of the broken bolt as rapidly as possible. Speed is of the essence here, or you may end up welding the broken bolt to the surrounding material (which I have done, thank you). The thing to keep in mind is to prevent the broken bolt's surrounding material from approaching welding temperature. Once this surrounding material begins to glow, it is time to remove the torch, pause, and allow everything to cool down. Then, resume.
When the broken bolt end is red-hot, blast away with the oxygen. This will vaporize the molten metal -- look out for red-hot molten metal blowback upon your person. Repeat as needed until all of the broken bolt has been vaporized. If the bolt was in a blind hole, you will have some slag to clean out. If the bolt hole goes through, you can chase out the larger bits of broken bolt by getting them red-hot also, and blasting away with the cutting torch head's oxygen. In either case, *remember to not allow the surrounding material to attain welding temperature*. Finally, run a tap in and out and the bolt hole should be as good as new. Well, almost as good as new...
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Lots of helpful ways here to do many types of bolts and screws. I have found that each one is different. And even two of the same types of, say, bolts, the experience will be different.
But I have found a few things that apply straight across the board, and I learned this at HKU.
First: Look at the situation. Don't be in a rush. Sometimes the best way is the simplest. I have a lot of tools, and sometimes, I tend to overengineer. And sometimes the simplest is the fastest. If it don't work, you won't spend a lot of time on it before going to another strategy.
Second: You will probably get one chance. It will screw up or it will come out. You'll fix it or you will ruin it. Make it a good shot.
Third: LET PENETRANTS WORK. I recently had a turnbuckle that was frozen. I twisted the rod off in my hurry to get it off. Then I heated it with a MAPP torch, applied some 3 in 1 oil and turned off the light. Next day, I bought something like "Blaster" and hit it with some. About five minutes, I wiggled the Vise Grips that was clamped to the stump, and it moved freely. I don't think it was the Blaster, but letting the oil do its work and get sucked in. So, if you use penetrants, let them soak long enough to do their work.
Last: Pay attention to your gut when it says, "It feels like if I twist this any farther, it will snap." 99% of the time, my gut was right.
Steve
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maxodyne wrote:

This method takes "a touch" that I don't have... got a lovely Studebaker exhaust manifold with a melted flange to show for trying it :( guess I need to find something consumable to practice on, but drilling really isn't so bad.
nate
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On Sun, 30 Dec 2007 19:54:23 -0800, Grant Erwin

Helicoils!
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wrote:

What are you afraid of? It isn't neurosurgery. Harbor Freight has entry level MIG's at decent prices, and for the $$ you spend on one you'll save hours and hours of time that you would otherwise waste screwing around with drills, guide bushings 'easy (not) outs', busted taps and all the other hassles. Bill M is dead right on the technique. Personally, I have quite a few decades of auto repair work involving cylinder heads both high performance and stock. The oxyacetylene torch and the MIG rig are your friends, and you will find, as I did, that the time saving and quality of work is worth more than you realize. HTH
Joe
HF welders make good boat anchors. If you're serious about learning to weld, you can find a used Lincoln or Miller for the same price and have a REAL welder.
Steve
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