Is there a way to rebed deck hardware without an assistant? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-13-2009
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Is there a way to rebed deck hardware without an assistant?

I am in the process of rebedding practically everything on my deck. I don't have a helper. Is there a way to do this? The problem I have had in the past is that I cant stop the screw from turning when I try to tighten the nut underneath. I drop the screw in through the top and put a little 4200 around the base of the head of the screw. Then I go below and tighten. The screw spins around and makes it questionable that the 4200 is going to stop a leak around the screw head.

My idea which I have not tried yet is to drop the screw in through the top, then put on the washer and nut from below, thread the nut up by hand, and then use a vise grip to clamp the end of the shaft of the screw while I tighten the nut.

Are there any better ideas? Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2009
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Yes that will work except that you might have to cut the excess length off of the bolt; and it's slow working with an end-wrench. If you don't mind socket head screws or hex head; you could get a few vice-grips and then when you drop the component on with sealant go down below and put the nuts on and clamp vice grips on to each nut. Then go back topside and use a socket wrench to tighten everything up.

Having someone to help with this is a huge time saver; ask someone on your dock to hold a wrench for you and offer to do the same for them when they do their decks. Or if there are any young sailors living aboard with parents you could offer 10 bucks an hour to help.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Vise grips are a great solution, but it's the one I normally use for removal.

For tightening, run them all the way in, then put a drop of super glue on them, it will normally hold well enough that they won't turn.
some glues can be cleaned up with water, others need a solvent. I normally try to use one that uses water, as I figure when it's time to remove it the bond will be broken.

For some you just have to get creative!

Ken.
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Old 03-13-2009
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One method for holding a bolt from turning while working from the bottom is to take a nut and using a hack saw, cut a slot from one flat to the center. You can then thread the nut onto the end of the bolt and squeeze the nut like a collet to hold the bolt from rotating. No damage to the threads.
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Old 03-13-2009
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What I do..

Hex head bolts and an impact wrench!! I convert all the screw head bolts that I can over to hex heads then I can tape a wrench to the deck with Gorilla tape and go below and hit it with my impact driver.

Even on screw heads you can most often tighten from one side only as the micro blows created by impact wrench can tighten from one side in about 80%-90% of the situations..

Ryobi has a great and inexpensive one that is a must own for boat work, and at that price who cares if if gets ruined..
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Old 03-14-2009
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I do the opposite of what Maine Sail does, and use a wrench and duct tape to hold the nut in place, and then tighten the screw from the topside. If you countersink the fastener holes properly, there's no need to let the sealant "cure" before snugging the fasteners down completely. Hex heads don't work in all to many applications, but I would use them where ever possible, since they're far more difficult to strip than Phillips head machine screws are.
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Old 03-14-2009
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needlenose visegrips with duct tape wrapped around the jaws to prevent marring the threads.

Or, take a few minutes and build yourself a deck-dummy. You're going to need a screw driver you don't mind sacrificing, and some epoxy. find an old plastic soft-drink bottle or tin can, drill a hole in the bottom just big enough to poke the shaft of a short handled phillips screw driver through. epoxy the screw driver to the bottom of the can/bottle. Fill the bottle with water to provide weight, or fill the bottle with cement, if you REALLY don't care about the screw driver.. now, drop your deck hardware into the hole, lay a roll of duct tape, electrical tape, or even a couple of wood blocks around the hardware to act as a base for your deck dummy, allowing the screwdriver head to engage the hardware without wobbling or falling off. insert your screwdriver head into the hardware, and go down below and snug everything up. If you are dealing with a high-torque application, you may want to then vice grip the nut and go topside to tighten up each fastener.
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Tap and thread the hole to accept the fastener. Screw it down from the top side and then attach the nuts from underneath.

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Old 03-15-2009
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Your better to turn the nut than the fastener, in most cases...

as turning the nut will tend to spin the sealant out of the hole. I suspect Mainesail knew this.

Tighten part way, squeezing some sealant out, then tighter just a little while later. This depends on the application and the load, to some extent.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
as turning the nut will tend to spin the sealant out of the hole. I suspect Mainesail knew this.

Tighten part way, squeezing some sealant out, then tighter just a little while later. This depends on the application and the load, to some extent.

This is completely unnecessary if you've countersunk the fastener holes properly. Doing this will also generally break the seal between the sealant and the fastener, leading to small, very difficult to trace leaks.
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