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Old 09-05-2018, 22:58   #1
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dangers of using dremel on seized nut

Hello all,

I've got a 14mm nylock nut that refuses to move. I can't use heat. I've tried Kroil (by new favorite PB blaster; simply amazing) but I think the nylon is keeping the kroil from penetrating. That or the threads are galled.

I don't need the nut or bolt so I thought I'd try a Dremel with a steel cutting attachment. I thought I'd cut the nut on opposite two of the six sides. My question to anyone who has done this:

What are the dangers when the nut finally is freed? Will it shoot off releasing all those pounds of torque? Or does the gradual cut in the nut release the tension gradually?

I'm thinking the latter but figured I'd ask.


Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2018, 23:24   #2
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

No, it doesn't shoot off, sometimes cutting one side is enough, especially if you spray some of your wonder spray into the cut.
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:58   #3
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

I've got a 40 year old boat that's been neglected. Dremel is my second favorite wrench.
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:18   #4
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwedeking2 View Post
I've got a 40 year old boat that's been neglected. Dremel is my second favorite wrench.
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:34   #5
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

If you can cut a slot through one side of the nut without damaging anything then you can usually loosen it with a wrench. The cutting disk will generate a certain amount of heat and sparks. Usually removal is controlled but if you have a lot of stress on the bolt I wouldn't count on maintaining control, instead, put another nut on if there's room as a stop.

There are many situations where there isn't enough clearance to cut a slot so it is necessary (or easier) to cut through the bolt instead.

I have switched to a die grinder for these tasks, for the most part, because the dremel isn't really big enough. I wore out the bearings in my first dremel by using it on larger fasteners.
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:37   #6
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dangers of using dremel on seized nut

Google a “nut buster”.
They are wonderful tools if you work on older equipment with seized hardware.
They split the nut, making it easy to remove.
One thing to be wary of grinding or cutting on your boat is that steel can be imbedded in the deck, and you get rust stains that are pretty persistent, even SS can rust.
https://youtu.be/aV6sWfsVU9w
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:40   #7
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

If you can replace the bolt as well my preferred method is to just torque it odd till the bolt breaks lol. Much easier and less mess.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:04   #8
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

Biggest risk: metal shavings in your eye, wear saftey glasses!

Also as posted you will spray shavings around which will rust. Try to limiting their distribution, vaccum them up, then clean area again.

A cut off wheel on a nut will generate a lot of heat, like glowing metal hot, on the margins of the cut.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:43   #9
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

The problem with a Dremel tool is that the cut-off wheels are round such that you will not be able to cut completely through the face of the nut without also cutting into the underlay material the nut is bearing upon. It may be that simply cutting through the upper section of the nut where the nylon locking ring is situated may be enough to allow your freeing oil to penetrate. Frankly, however, for relatively little cost you can purchase a nut splitting tool that will do the job quickly and easily and be "on tap" for future use. For example see (click on) the Performance Tool Heavy Duty Nut Splitter.

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Old 10-05-2018, 10:02   #10
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

Thanks for all the comments and tips.

I think I will first try the nut buster to avoid the filings, but I don't think the device will be able to contact the entire nut. Maybe just the top half. If it does not work, I'll Dremel.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:19   #11
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

I dremelled a 20 year rusted nut in the bilge while hanging upside down on my Irwin 52. I used fiberglass embedded cutting disks - went thru dozens of them. After cutting about 3/4 of the way thru the nut, I put a chisel into the cut to complete the nut removal - works just fine. No danger at all, just use safety glasses to protect from the bits from the cutting disks.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:20   #12
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

In places where there is not enough room to use a cutting tool I have had good success by drilling down through the nut on opposite sides and then splitting it with a cold chisel.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:42   #13
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

Geeky Abrasive Information to follow! Warning! - I manufactured abrasive blades for a bazillion years. The sparks you see while grinding is the metal and not the abrasive particles. If you use a vacuum to control the dust, you can alleviate the oxidation issue. If you use a small cut off blade (not a grinding blade as it is a different design,) even with the dremel like tool, the resin that suspends the abrasive grains does have a melting point. What is then maintaining the structural integrity the blade is the fiber reinforcement usually in 3 plys. All this being said that using a dremel for continued cutting of a bolt should include recognizing that you are heating up the resin significantly and may cause structural failure. So, as you are cutting, let the resin cool down periodically in the midst of cutting for a few seconds. (your blades will last longer too) Don't press too hard while cutting but enough so that(you want to do the following) you are causing small fractures in the grains which break off exposing micro sharp edges to continuing the abrading. If you don't put the right balance of pressure, you will just ride the grains on top of the metal, polish them, think the blade is not working correctly, press even harder and cause immediate structural damage and think it is because you pushed too hard. Sorry to nerd out on everyone
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:48   #14
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

I've found that even Dremel-ing the top half of a frozen nut, then using a punch (or more likely an old flat screwdriver) and spreading the Dremel-cut will usually get the nut loose. Won't be able to use a socket on it, though.

No chance of getting an impact wrench in there?
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:22   #15
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Re: dangers of using dremel on seized nut

I’ve had to resort to using a Dremel (I then check the “Have you used a power tool today?” box). Push comes to shove, get the disk between the nut and washer and work in to get to the bolt.
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