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  • How to Unscrew a Nut that's Stuck on a Bolt (without ruining threads)

    Irwin makes a 'vice grip' just for use on hex fasteners, I own all 3 sizes and they're indispensable for when things are between sizes due to rust or partially rounded and an open wrench wants to slip but you can't get a boxed wrench or socket on it. They're called Locking Wrenches with part numbers 10LW, 7LW, and 4LW. I agree that the threaded rod can be clamped in wood without damaging the threads, oak is softer than steel but when clamped firmly will grab it very tightly especially if it's given a long length of thread to grab onto. If you ever find that the two nuts want to just let the rod spin through, try adding a lock washer between the two nuts and re-tighten them, that should keep them from spinning on the threads. That shouldn't be a problem unless the nut is really stuck on ...see more »Irwin makes a 'vice grip' just for use on hex fasteners, I own all 3 sizes and they're indispensable for when things are between sizes due to rust or partially rounded and an open wrench wants to slip but you can't get a boxed wrench or socket on it. They're called Locking Wrenches with part numbers 10LW, 7LW, and 4LW. I agree that the threaded rod can be clamped in wood without damaging the threads, oak is softer than steel but when clamped firmly will grab it very tightly especially if it's given a long length of thread to grab onto. If you ever find that the two nuts want to just let the rod spin through, try adding a lock washer between the two nuts and re-tighten them, that should keep them from spinning on the threads. That shouldn't be a problem unless the nut is really stuck on there. Heat can be used to distort the size of the metal temporarily to help break a stuck fastener loose, a MAP gas or propane plumbing torch will get most things hot enough to work them loose. No oil dissolves rust, only acidic or caustic reactions will dissolve rust, rust can be converted from ferric oxide into other ferric materials. Cola works because it contains phosphoric acid which converts the ferric acid into ferric phosphate which is more stable but only does so on the very surface. In my experiences the best steps to remove a rusted and seized fastener are to mechanically clean the fastener and threads of rust, heat the fastener, quench it with oil slightly, then start working it back and forth in small movements adding oil as needed or reheating when it becomes difficult to move. Motor oil has a high enough flash point that it's generally safe to apply in small amounts to a hot fastener without open flames appearing, however the smell and fumes are a bit noxious. Lighter oils like penetrating oil will simply flash off on contact and provide no lubrication. If reheating is needed simply rinse the area with water to float away the bulk of the oil and then heat the object and repeat the steps. Large fasteners or fasteners on large objects may need oxy/fuel heat as the mass will absorb and shed heat away faster than it can be added from a small source. The goal is to create one part substantially hotter to cause it to distort or expand slightly to break the mechanical binding that's seized it into place.

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