The Inaccessible Nut




About: When I was a boy, I was amazed how my grandfather could make flotsam and jetsam into useful things. I am proud that I have inherited some of his skill.

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

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

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.

Step 3: An Unexpected Phenomenon

When I was gluing the stainless steel washers to the nuts, I accidently got one out of line. I immedately attempted to slide the washer more directly over the hole.

It didn't move. I tried harder. It still didn't move.

As this was only about a second after I put the washer on the surface of the nut, I was rather surprised. Normally, superglue requires thirty or so seconds to 'grab.' I tried it again with another nut and washer. Same thing - the glue stuck them together instantly.

This may be common knowledge, that superglue reacts immediately when used on stainless steel, but I didn't know it. Assuming that there is someone else that hasn't heard it, I thought I would mention it in this Instructable.



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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    very interesting solution and I didnt realize sg stuck that quickly either


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Superglue (cyanoacrylate) sticks almost instantaneously when:

    • both surfaces match exactly and they aren't porous.
    • y/o they have a little humidity.
    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks - I didn't know why, but I gathered it might involve the fact that both surfaces were very smooth.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    7 years ago on Step 2

    May never use this, but it was interesting read and always nice to have the info in my back pocket. Thanks for sharing.