Instructables
Picture of The Inaccessible Nut
I have long arms, but sometimes they aren't long enough.

While installing a trolling motor mount to my kayak (Really? You're supposed to paddle them?) I realized that I could reach the head of the nut with a ratchet in my right hand and box wrench in my left, held under the deck, but my arm wasn't long enough to start the nut on the threads.
 
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Step 1: Attempt #1

Picture of Attempt #1
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My first attempt at getting the nut started was to wrap a piece of blue masking tape around the sides and bottom of the box wrench. Ideally, the nut would sit in the wrench, the tape would keep it from falling out, and I could start it with the ratchet.

It should have worked. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep the washer balanced on the nut long enough to get it threaded. I tried taping the whole works together, but I kept either knocking the washer out of line with the nut or pushing the nut hard enough to make the tape come loose.

Step 2: Attempt #2

Picture of Attempt #2
It occured to me about this time that I had heard NASCAR pit crews glue lug nuts to the wheels, to help them change tires quicker.

Sounded like a good idea to me. I lined up a row of stainless steel fender washers and put a drop of super glue on each one (you really can use too much.) Then, I carefully placed stainless nuts on each -  the idea being, the washer would keep the nut from dropping through the wrench. Plus, I needed a big washer under the nut anyway, as I was bolting through the kayak's plastic deck.

It worked as well as I could have hoped. The nut and washer sat there, held nicely by the wrench, and I merely turned the ratchet to get the bolt started. Once I figured out how to do it, it took no time at all.
l8nite3 years ago
very interesting solution and I didnt realize sg stuck that quickly either
rimar20003 years ago
Superglue (cyanoacrylate) sticks almost instantaneously when:

  • both surfaces match exactly and they aren't porous.
  • y/o they have a little humidity.
RangerJ (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thanks - I didn't know why, but I gathered it might involve the fact that both surfaces were very smooth.
spiderham3 years ago
I usually hold the nut with a pair of channel lock pliers and "glue" the washer to the pliers with a bit of anti-seize. For an installation like yours I would mount a stainless steel plate on the inside of the kayak with holes pre-drilled and tapped or with nuts welded to the underside of the plate to help spread the load of the motor.
scole jr.3 years ago
May never use this, but it was interesting read and always nice to have the info in my back pocket. Thanks for sharing.