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post #1 of 10 Old 06-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Filling bolt holes on steel deck

Sometime in the past, my boat had a teak deck laid over steel. The previous owner removed the teak as it wouldn't stay down.

Thing is, a good portion of plywood was left near the bow, held down with brass bolts. The wood was in bad shape, and had failed in places allowing water to sit under it.

I removed the wood and was left with the bolts. The bolts mostly broke off when I tried to remove them, so I ended up cutting them off with a grinder. I will probably drill out the remaining brass as I am not sure if that would be a good permanent plug.

My question is, what should I fill the holes with? I am thinking epoxy. I just filled a few with epoxy putty and it seems to work well. Is this a good long term solution? The holes would then be sanded down, then primed and painted.

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post #2 of 10 Old 06-08-2013
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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

DT,

Instead of plain epoxy, I'd lean towards JB Weld (which is epoxy thickened with metal instead of silica or micro-balloons.)

The best solution would be using stick welder, then fairing/priming/painting.


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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

I would think you could use epoxy with a number of different fillers. You might try using chopped steel wool. They use it in concrete to make it stonger. I can't imagine why you couldn't use it in epoxy. I don't believe using plain unfilled epoxy would be very good. Of course you could just have a welder fill in the holes and grind flush. I think that would be best.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

For some reason I had it in my head that welding the holes could be a bad idea if the right type of stick isn't used. Would a welder be 100% able to tell which one is correct?

JB Weld is a good idea, maybe better than epoxy putty. Does JB Weld have any flex to it? Actually the holes are small (1/4") and the steel pretty thick, now that I think about it, I doubt flex is even a concern.

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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

If there is no foam insulation under it to catch fire, welding it would be a good idea. A 100 amp alternator from the Auto wreckers makes a good welder, if you use a 10 inch pully on the engine to get it going fast enough. I have been using such a welder for years now. 6013, 1/8th inch rods work well.

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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

Good point, the area the holes are in is above the v-berth. I remember smoke coming out of one of the holes after the bolt I grinded fell in, smelt the burning foam.

I think I will use JB Weld.


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If there is no foam insulation under it to catch fire, welding it would be a good idea. A 100 amp alternator from the Auto wreckers makes a good welder, if you use a 10 inch pully on the engine to get it going fast enough. I have been using such a welder for years now. 6013, 1/8th inch rods work well.

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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

J-B for a quick and dirty fix..weld for permanence!
Isolate/insulate the foam under and use a copper backer to the weld. Stick & 6011/6013 "glue" would be OK, MiG would be better..TiG might be best. Any ironworker/welder worth his salt should be able to do it properly.

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post #8 of 10 Old 06-09-2013
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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

If you can locate each hole with a sharp probe like an ice pick,cut a slot in the header/foam and press a copper heat sink to the steel .a piece 2in x2 x1/4 on a rt angle handle Weld away. Two man job.
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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

The foam is behind nicely done, and as far as I can see, fairly permanently installed wood. Taking all that apart properly would take time away from other stuff I need to get done on the boat. If the JB Weld proves to be anything but a permanent fix, I can revisit welding then.


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post #10 of 10 Old 06-09-2013
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Re: Filling bolt holes on steel deck

JB weld or similar will do just fine.

DO NOT USE STEEL WOOL AS A FILLER. Rust streaks will be the inevitable result.

Clean the holes first with acetone on Q tips.

[ Spent 7 yrs cruising an old steel boat. Epoxy was my friend. ]
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