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  #1  
Old 03-15-2008
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Winch removal

I picked up a pair of single speed Lewmar winches from someone who was scraping a burned sailboat. The winches were removed from the boat by simply cutting the deck around the winches.

The winches are now held to the pieces of deck by what looks to be 3M 5200 (or equivalent). What's the best way to remove the winches from the pieces of decking?

It looks like I could pry them off, but I don't want to damage the base of the winch. I've also thought of using a solvent (acetone?) to loosen the adhesive, but I'm not sure if that will damage the winch base either.

Any ideas? What's the best approach?

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Old 03-15-2008
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3m has a product that will remove the bond of the 5200.
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What you want is called De-Bond. Small tube for around $20.
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Heat, lots of it. Use wood shims to put & keep tension on the goo. The heat shouldn't hurt the metal, the M5200 will soften. Pry slowly.
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Get a thin blade putty knife and shove it in between the winch base and the cut deck. If you can clamp the deck down to a workbench that will help. You can keep doing this and work around the perimiter or wedge a screwdriver in beneath the putty knife and pry it up. Use heat or remover to get the bulk of the 5200 off of the winch base; you will want it clean and shiny before you re-bed it (use a wire wheel or roll-loc on a die grinder or wire wheel on a bench grinder to polish the base).
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Old 03-15-2008
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You could try a piece of strong wire (like a guitar string), stretched between a couple of dowel handles (or dig out your old garrotte!)

Clamp one part in the vise and use the taut wire to cut the calking/adhesive underneath.
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Thanks for all the great tips! I used some heat and a couple of putty knives and they both came apart fairly easy. Whatever the sealant/adhesive was, it didn't hold nearly as tight as I thought it would.
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