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Old 15-05-2013, 19:10   #46
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

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Originally Posted by brutb View Post
Use a SS wire brush or a SS wire brush with a shank for a hand drill. Works great. Available at Home Depot and Ace Hardware or for a more expensive version try West Marine...
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Old 15-05-2013, 20:16   #47
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

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I dont know guys, I think thread quality has a lot to do with it. Look at a thread under a microscope sometime. How sharp the cutter was, how the cutting was done (at best feed and speed, or simply as fast as they can?) makes a difference. How the thread is subsequently finished makes a difference too. (passivation takes away all the fuzzy/hairy/sharp material left on the tips of the threads). In addition, a nut cut to one side of the tolerance, and a bolt cut to the other side of the tolerance can make a big difference. Why is an aircraft SS bolt/ screw/threaded item so expensive? One reason is tolerances as well as finish and material control that machines better. There are a lot of reasons.
The high end turnbuckles on my Passport 47 were all 316 stainless, most are a combo of bronze and stainless to avoid galling. Why didnt these gall? Because the thread tolerances were held tight. The threads also looked like they may have been rolled. Not sure.[/
Actually most threads these days are rolled threads which tend to be much smoother, as well as stronger since it doesn't cut thru the grain. And yes metal has grain. Boeing always want certs on grain direction when fabricating parts.

Rubbing two pieces of SS together is like rubbing two pieces of molding clay together. Where bronze is a natural lubricant when put against other metals. That's why they make/put bronze bushings in a lot of machinery. Add oil, and wa la you have a bearing surface, and lots of oil, then a coolant. All 300 series SS will try to gall if it's not lubed. But 400 series is a bit more resistant. On rigging a thick waxy substance is best since it only gets hot in the sun, which melts and seals the threads from salt water.

All day today I've been machining 316 SS. Sometimes it can be a bitch and others it's a blessing. But it's something boats can't do without in that its just a bit better then bronze when installed properly, and less expensive too.
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Old 15-05-2013, 20:45   #48
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

Wonderful info in this thread....thanks, guys. Wish I had know this a couple of years ago when I installed a 1/2" Lewmar chain stopper on my foredeck.

It's a chunky, very nicely machined, heavy piece of gear. Mounting requires four 5/8" s/s bolts with hex heads....the only type of bolt head which will fit into the four recessed bolt holes. These heads take a large Allen wrench.

I got the thing positioned OK with the four holes drilled through the deck, put a proper backing plate in place, and put on the washer, lock nuts, and nuts. Three went on OK, though one had significant resistance in places. I incorrectly assumed this was due to thread imperfections.

The fourth nut turned out to be a bear. It seized about an inch short of tightening up as it should have against the backing plate. So, stupidly, I just used more and more force to tighten the nut. This involved larger and larger wrenches. I wound up using a 1/2" socket wrench with a really long handle....about 18"....to apply an incredible amount of torque to the nut.

This idiotic effort resulted in some movement of the nut. Then, almost but not quite as tight against the backing plate as it should have been, the nut seized for good. No way in hell could I move it in either direction.

Now I've learned my lesson, after this most galling experience and reading the advice in this thread :-)

Thanks, again.

Here's the chain stopper...it's OK despite the one offending bolt.

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Old 15-05-2013, 21:14   #49
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

I recently replaced all my chain plates and used all new 316 fine thread bolts with nylocks. I had 3 of the sieze up on me. It is just amazing how tight they get. Could not get the nuts off no matter how big a tool I used. Had to cut the heads off with my mini grinder and start over. As for drilling stainless, I have basically used cobalt bits, slow speed and lots of pressure. No real problems there.
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Old 15-05-2013, 21:32   #50
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

Just to clarify:

Poor quality threads undoubtedly are extra-prone to galling.

However, galling does not necessarily imply poor threads.

Swagelok fittings have some of the best quality threads you'd find anywhere.

However on their high-vacuum stainless pipe fittings, the female threads are silver plated. Otherwise they will gall.

You can't use lubricant in high vacuum, because it will prevent you ever reaching a high vacuum, by boiling and outgassing.
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Old 15-05-2013, 21:36   #51
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

Galling can happen in an instant, especially when loosening tight bolts/nuts and it releases under heavy load, turns 1/8 turn and seizes. At that point you will probably be better off getting the cutting wheel out.
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Old 15-05-2013, 21:40   #52
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

It's amazing reading all these reports of stainless bolts and nuts seizing up. After two major boat rebuilds and horsing around with numerous more and having inserted or removed literally hundreds of stainless fasteners, I've rarely encountered the problem. In fact the only issue I've ever experienced in anything approaching disturbing numbers is burring the head of philips screws (since solved by my trusty rattle gun as described earlier). Whenever I have had problems with the nuts seizing to the shank of a bolt, it just about has always been caused by the shank of the bolt being slightly bent.

Having said that, I do use TefGel, silicon spray and lanolin grease fairly liberally when I work, but not always. I'm wondering if certain threads are more prone to this problem? In my case I just about exclusively use metric threaded fasteners anywhere from 4mm to 12mm size.
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Old 16-05-2013, 00:13   #53
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

One reason some may not have trouble with galling is in most cases people are installing deck fittings. And in doing so they use a poly sealer of some kind to seal the bolts/holes.

I've found that the poly sealers work great for a lubricant for SS. I've installed a couple hundred deck fasteners (using sealant) and not one of them has galled. But putting some hardware on railings I've locked up a few.

One tends to get to become forgetful when moving onto other environments.
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Old 16-05-2013, 01:05   #54
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

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Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
I would be running a die nut over them. In the absence of that, use a hacksaw and put a slit right down the side of the nut - this will work as a primitive die.
On reassembly, I always use Loctite or one of its equivalents.
Regards,
Richard.
Finally...19 posts later and someone finally suggests the correct tool. Buy an adjustable die and take your time.
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Old 16-05-2013, 03:19   #55
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

I used to work in the bolt industry ( though not making bolts!), just use some lubricant on stainless threads particulary anything under load. spray it on on tightening and loosening the bolts, No galling. Galling tends to be a problem in power toll applications in my experience.

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:14   #56
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

Unfortunately Stainless just Galls. Slow RPM helps, as does clean threads. But it does it and when you least need it, it locks up. Only really solution is a good stainless lubricant and it should be Nickel Based like Loctite 771 - a spary of that will do the trick. Differing grades can help but it is the differing hardnesses that make the difference. Soa 304 nut and 316 bolt MIGHT help but no guarantee - but you don't really want 304 on the boat anyhow as it will Tea-stain. For lubricating on boats Lanotec is also good as it prevents corrosion also and Tef Gel is great to prevent Galvanic Corrosion, ideal when it is Stainless on Aluminium - masts etc.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:18   #57
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Re: Stainless bolts seize up

and definitely never let carbon steel or iron filings (steel wool) anywhere near Stainless. The iron will oxidize - kick starting corrosion - Cut off wheels and tools used should be good ones designed for stainless, only should be used with stainless. Good Stainless Guide here.
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