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Old 11-03-2011, 14:25   #1
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Challenge: Nuts, Washers and Screws in Tight Places

Everyone has been in this situation...trying to get a nut with washer started on a bolt you can barely reach and can't see at all. Last night I was trying to attach a piece of deck hardware (sunfish boat) with a SS Panhead #10 screw and double fender washers as backing plate followed up with a lock nut. Access to the underside of deck via a 4" inspection port was ok but the lack of finger room inside to juggle the washers and nut to get them started was really pissing me off. Literally I only had room for for the tip of one finger to touch the bottom of the screw. Then I remembered what the good ole boys in nascar pit crews do with lug nuts...they glue them on the wheel. So I got my wife's hot glue gun and stuck a pair of washers together. Then glued the lock nut to the washer assembly and bingo...balanced the invention on the tip of my finger...reached into the hole and...easy as pie. Try it...you'll like it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 14:54   #2
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Re: Nuts, Washers and Screws in tight places

I spent a couple years working for McDonnell Douglas in Toronto in 79-81. First job I had was working on the tail sections. Working on those while they were in the jib was a real joy at times, especially for a big guy like me. We used to invent tools on a regular basis as we encountered new problems. Sometimes we'd borrow ideas from the older guys, sometimes come up with new ones. I had half a dozen nut holders in my tool box that could be slipped in between the stringers and the skin clips or frames. Fingers wouldn't even come close to getting in under the frames. Mostly we just put nuts on the fasteners but if we needed to put washers on, we'd glue them onto the nuts with the grey sealing goop they used between the wing skins. Working by feel is soooo much fun

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Old 11-03-2011, 14:56   #3
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Re: Nuts, Washers and Screws in tight places

Grease works real well too... I coat the nut and washer stick them together... more grease on the fingertip and the whole mess sticks quite well!
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Old 11-03-2011, 15:48   #4
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Re: Nuts, Washers and Screws in Tight Places

And if the nuts and washers are really small, spit works well too.
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Old 17-03-2011, 12:05   #5
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Re: Challenge: Nuts, Washers and Screws in Tight Places

It's just this title... I couldn't resist this.

So an inmate escapes from an asylum for the criminally insane, he gets to a town and enters a launderette where he rapes a woman who was doing her washing, then he runs away. Headlines in next day's newspaper:

NUT SCREWS WASHERS AND BOLTS
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Old 17-03-2011, 17:50   #6
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Re: Challenge: Nuts, Washers and Screws in Tight Places

When dealing with fasteners that are un-cooperative, try neopreme cement (wetsuit glue). I've used it as a quick all-purpose lock-tite on both engines and problem Nor-Lock washers that would come loose at -40 degrees. I use it in both the wet and dried form. I 've glued parts together with it for ease of assembly, and then am surprised that its still holding together well after 10 years on the engine in my truck. The more you use it, the more clever ideas you come up with for using other ways. It is not aircraft quality, but it sure is convenient and surprisingly durable.
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Old 18-03-2011, 01:07   #7
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Re: Challenge: Nuts, Washers and Screws in Tight Places

I've used Door Ease like that for years. It's really sticky wax made for drawer slides and door edges and the like. I have a stick in my work toolbox for car door strikers, one at home for drawers, and one on the boat for the drawers and the sliding companionway hatch. It also does a beautiful job of sticking washers together.
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Old 18-03-2011, 02:47   #8
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Re: Challenge: Nuts, Washers and Screws in Tight Places

All these reminds me of the old adage "If you see it OR feel it, you have assess".
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Old 18-03-2011, 09:10   #9
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Re: Challenge: Nuts, Washers and Screws in Tight Places

another trick I have used is to tie a piece of dental floss to the bolt then to slip the washers nuts and bolts on the floss and trace them back to the bolt. If it is hard to get to the bolt you can put the floss thru a bendy straw with a slip knot on the end of it and use that to position the floss and then tighten the floss around the bolt. The nut will usually cut the floss when tightened.
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