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Old 11-01-2010
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Help removing teak toe rail

Hi all, my 1967 35 footer was hit in a storm last month by another boat. I am attempting to repair my forward, starboard teak toe rail which was banged up a bit, but repairable...I need to remove it first to repair it as its already lifted off the deck a bit. I drilled through the teak bungs this weekend with a 5/8" Forstner bit thanks to some good recommendations I found online and it worked really well. I now have the teak toe rail bolts all exposed with clean holes. I tried turning the bolts with a proper sized screwdriver but they are too tight. I will try with a powered screw gun this coming weekend, but I am not sure what to do if I can't get them to turn. I ordered some EZ Outs online and also some Unscrew 'ems from Jamestown Dist but not sure that is the right approach. Any thoughts? I am worried if I use a substance to loosen them that it will bleed into the wood and stain it.
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Old 11-01-2010
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Use an electric impact wrench to remove them. It will likely be far easier, faster and more successful than using a powered screw gun, which will likely just strip the screws.
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Old 11-01-2010
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I would use a impact screwdriver, check auto parts stores. I use them often for stubborn screws. They crack the screw loose. Pretty much assume they are screws and not bolts? I would guess screws.

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I find that impact drivers are far less useful than an electric impact wrench. They're far more likely to cause damage than an electric impact wrench.
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They are flat head screws with about 1/2" head. There is no hex shape outer edge to grip a wrench on. From what I can tell, there may not even be a nut on the underside of the deck (which was a little surprising) though it could have supported one. I will see what Home Depot has on electric impact wrenches this evening. So the higher torque will in theory allow the flat head screw bit to turn the screw without stripping? I won't have pictures until I can get to the yard this coming weekend. Its a really nice piece of teak and I have the skills to fix if I can get the thing off the boat. Thank you for the feedback.
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Something comes to mind -- don't inadvertantly make this more difficult than it already is.

Have you confirmed that the fasteners holding your toe rail down are actually wood screws? It might be worth the time to make sure that they are not machine screws, complete with nuts/washers on the back side. If they are machine screws, consider before disassembly how you're gonna get them back together once you're done with your wood repair.
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After a quick google search, it looks like the proper term for what I am seeing is binding head slotted machine screws. I don't see nuts and washers on the underside but I only have one exposed right now and need to remove some interior woodwork paneling to see the remainder (not super difficult). Regardless, I can access the underside so I should not have a problem re-assembling.
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An electric impact wrench can be used with screwdriver bits as well as sockets, and will work just fine on slotted head screws.

BTW, PorFin's advice is sound... make sure that you can re-assemble the teak toe rail.

BTW, are you filing an insurance claim against the other boat owner for the damage? If so, you should get an estimate of the repair before doing any work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saladpe View Post
They are flat head screws with about 1/2" head. There is no hex shape outer edge to grip a wrench on. From what I can tell, there may not even be a nut on the underside of the deck (which was a little surprising) though it could have supported one. I will see what Home Depot has on electric impact wrenches this evening. So the higher torque will in theory allow the flat head screw bit to turn the screw without stripping? I won't have pictures until I can get to the yard this coming weekend. Its a really nice piece of teak and I have the skills to fix if I can get the thing off the boat. Thank you for the feedback.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I find that impact drivers are far less useful than an electric impact wrench. They're far more likely to cause damage than an electric impact wrench.
Different experience I guess. I have both. An electric or pneumatic impact will tend to strip a Phillips head screw, whereas a impact driver will preserve the head, because it drives down as it turns. I use a pneumatic often for hex heads which is best for that application. Only problem with impact drivers is you need to back up thinner items so you don't bend/break them. But something solid like this would be perfect for an impact driver.

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Thanks, yes, I have an estimate from a good yard. However, they want to replace the toe rail and I think it can be saved. I would like to repair the original.
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