I've got a baby high chair which has had one of the heads
of a supporting Allen Bolt shear off.
So I've got a bolt stuck in the chair. I'd like to get it out
myself, otherwise we're looking at 2 weeks without the chair
while the manufacturers decide if they want to replace it....
My guess is I need to somehow get a slot etched into the top so
I can get it out with a flathead. But how can I do that since its
flush with the wood?
I hear EZouts are a bad idea, since they're prone to snap off...
Rasputin :: Jack of All Trades - Master of Nuns
Mmm, Rasputin - you should have known this would happen........... :-)
Depends how it sheared off: when tightening, when trying to loosen it, or it
just plain fell off!
Your slot idea sounds good - isn't that the sort of thing those Dremel chaps
are good at doing?
If it sheared off when loosening, then unless the bolt was faulty, the stub
will be tight. One way to do it is centre punch the stub and drill it out
progressively - eventually you will break into the thread and it should come
out no bother - slight risk of knackering the thread though. I would have
though Easyouts would be fine on a baby's chair - it's when you use them on
heavy duty & corrosion riddled stuff like car bits that they can break. You
don't say what diameter the bolt is - it's obviously tricker drilling out
smaller diameter bolts. If possible, try drilling out from behind, that way
the stub may well come out of it's own accord.
If it was when tightening, or it just fell off, then the stub may not be
that tight so either use a sharp punch to gently tap it round or try try
drilling a small hole in the centre and jamming a piece of rod or similar in
the hole and extracting with a pair of mole grips - (I assume you don't have
Easyouts). Or if you can try drilling from behind..........
With either method, a bit of WD40 or the like in advance wouldn't go
And if the bolt happened to be stainless steel, perhaps you should forget
the drilling out idea.......
A word of warning though - if you have a go yourself, you can probably kiss
goodbye to any warranty............
Remove packaging from e-mail address before replying
As the other posters say, it depends how tight and if anything is locking
it, and what the bolt is made of.
If it is 'finger tight' and just below the surface, a dab of superglue on a
bolt may do it. Take care this only touches the bolt though, or it will
compound your problem.
Can you get at the other end of it? Is there enough of it to lock a mole on
and unscrew it or screw it right through?
If you are going to drill it, it is often easier to drill the other end,
after putting a punch mark, and this sometimes 'unthreads' them enough to
use a mole.
It may be worth taking it to your local garage and see if they are kind.
email@example.com wrote in uk.d-i-y:
Apparently the missus noticed the tray was a bit wobbly and when she looked
closer it had broke.
Hmm, me and Santa are going to have to have words....
I just took the other sides bolt out to have a look.
It was about finger tight which handy.
Its 36mm long, about 5mm wide - also looks tapered at the end.
I cant get to the other side as it beds into the back of the chair.
Based on that I'll leave drilling out as a last resort, will try planB.
Someone has suggested a reverse threaded drill bit to coax it out...not
sure if thats a 'tartan paint' kind of thing, will find out if local
hardware shop laugh at me.....
Im hoping its cheap crap - I wouldnt be posting if it wasnt >:)
Thanks a lot to all who replied !
Rasputin :: Jack of All Trades - Master of Nuns
No, urs not a revrese drill. Its a stuf=d extracor - essentiall a hard
steel self tapper with a reverse thread. You drill the end of the bolt,
and then screw this in backwards. The harder tyou try to unstock teh
bolt, the toghetr the self tap stud extractor winds itself in.
Used extensively to remove sheared studs from cylinder blocks. Standrad
piece of kit, tho probly not at B & Q.
You will struggle finding one. Try your local engineers supplier, he might
be able to point you to a reverse twist drill. They do exist, as they are
used in automatic drilling heads in the engineering industry.
About 20 years ago I was fixing a (very expensive) disk drive, and the
repair operation required the head actuator rails to be removed. I put
the allen key into one of the bolts, and the bolt sheared without much
effort - it appeared to have been seriously weakened over time.
As we didn't have any other options available the disk drive was
stripped down to a pretty bare shell and then taken in the back of my
car to a local metal worker factory. As I recall they used something
called a spark erosion tool to "eat" the remainder of the bolt out.
I'm not sure how these spark eroders work as I've never used one, but
I think it's a machine which causes a spark to jump between workpiece
and electrode (or the other way around....), and that causes the
workpiece to be nibbled away - very slowly over a period of hours or
Certainly fixed that problem!
Had a s/s exhaust pipe on the bike fixed this way recently. Some twerp
had used a mild steel Allen bolt, which rusted solid. Spark erosion
removed it beautifully where my attempts to weld a new head on the bolt
had failed miserably. It was expensive though +50 UKP, but the pipe
would have cost >180 to replace so it was worth it. Don't know if this
is true for a high chair though...
SIMON MUIR, UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY, BRISTOL www.ukip.org
Ther are things made called stud extractors. Its basically a sor of
posidtve screw with a left hand theread, and a hex sectiobn on top[.
You drill the stud, and screw the extractor in, and extract away.,
Unlikely to be a problem with threaded things - but when I was drilling out
the thermostat probe from my boiler the main problem I had was that the
probe would rotate when I tried to drill it. This meant that it wouldn't
remove any of it (or only a small amount before it started spinning).
Pulling it out wasn't possible as it was slightly larger than the hole it
seemed. Patience (2.5 hours) worked in the end!
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