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Sheared screws in mast step

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wobble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sheared screws in mast step
    Posted: 15 Jul 19 at 11:40am
The mast step in my Flying Fifteen has worked loose. When I tried to remove it, two of the forward fixing screws sheared off rather than screwed out, creating even more movement, as it is now held in by just two screws aft.
Would anyone have any tips for removing the screw stubs left within the deck, doing the least damage possible? I'm thinking drill out and fill with epoxy, but wondering if there are better methods.
Thanks in advance!
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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 19 at 12:02pm
The broken screws will be brass, bronze or stainless steel and much harder than the wood or GRP they are fixed into. This will make them incredibly difficult to drill out as the drill will constantly try to wander into the surrounding material. Try heating the screws with a large soldering iron before gripping the end with a mole grip (same for the remaining two, heat before trying to remove). It'll leave a divot around the top of the screw hole but might leave the most of the depth still functional.

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 15 Jul 19 at 12:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wobble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 19 at 12:58pm
Thanks for your very quick response Sam.

The problem is that the screws (they look like low-grade stainless, and much lighter than I would have expected) are broken beneath the surface, so I have no way to grip them externally.

The other two have already been removed and replaced with new stainless screws, up one size.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 19 at 1:11pm
Tis a tricky one, and it's a while since I had to do it. Can you get a drummer* and put a slot in the top then apply heat? What's probably happened is that the screws were coated in varnish or something when they were fitted and heat will soften that, also expansion may break the grip the wood has on them. Failing all else drilling them will probably result in a much larger hole which you could fill with epoxy and microfibres as you originally suggested. Good luck.

Edit :- * Yup, Dremmel obviously though I know a drummer who might do it...........


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 15 Jul 19 at 5:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wobble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 19 at 2:45pm
What's a drummer?

Apart from that, looks like a drill and fill!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Noah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 19 at 3:34pm
I think drummer may be an auto-correct from Dremel...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote didlydon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 19 at 10:15am
If you can get in there to use a Dremel,  use a small diamond burr to "spot" it then gradually enlarge the burr keeping it on course till its gone. Patience & perseverance needed here!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wobble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 19 at 11:33am
Thanks Sam and didlydon both. All a bit scary.

I'm thinking of taking a swerve and drilling two new holes in the mast step. It'll be a bit weaker, but the attachment to the boat a bit stronger, I reckon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jharvey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 19 at 5:27pm
Is there any room to move the mast step forwards or backwards an inch and have 4 new holes?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wobble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 19 at 6:11pm
Good idea, thanks! I'll check to see if there's room for manoeuvre.
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