Removing Rusted Bolts

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by mcambrose, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. mcambrose

    mcambrose LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    I recently learned a really useful trick for removing rusted nuts and bolts from an old gunsmith that I thought was worth sharing. I have already used it three or four times with great successs. First, heat the nut with a portable torch. Get it to almost the point of starting to turn orange. Pour cold water on it. The shock causes the bolt and nut to release. Of course you can't use this in every instance. Below is the story behind the gunsmith's learning of this trick.

    The gunsmith said he learned it the first day he was hired to become a machinist apprentice. He said the boss told him and three others to go out to the yard and to disassemble some rusted dozer tracks. At lunch they still hadn't removed any bolts. Two of the boys left for lunch and never returned. The other at his sack lunch and then wen't back to work. At about 2:00 the foreman came out and asked how he was doing. He said he hadn't made any progress. He told the young man to go get the torch and a bucket of water. He said to heat the bolts to cherry red and then pour water on it. He tried it and had instant success. He asked the foreman why he didn't tell him earlier. He said I accopmplihshed two things. First, I got rid of those other two boys who didn't have the right work eithic to stay and I taught you a lesson you won't ever forget.
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I've been heating bolts/nuts/studs for years till they are cherry red. I've never had one not come loose. And I've never had to quench them with water.:weightlifter:
  3. MowerMedic77

    MowerMedic77 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Good tip if you have to reuse the bolt/nut or if its just extra tight, but in my shop if it rusted to the point of needing the gas wrench to remove it I don't waist time I cut that bad boy off and get a new one.:)
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Same here MM just Cut-R-Off and.......

  5. nmurph

    nmurph LawnSite Senior Member
    from ga
    Messages: 668

    heating will definitely work. i have never needed to quench one, either. besides, that sudden shock will change the temper of the bolt.
  6. Georgeharry

    Georgeharry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Still a good story,and could prove helpful sometimes.Thanks
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    BFH and a hot metal wrench, 50% of of what every shop needs

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