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Old 05-04-2013, 06:38   #1
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Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

I removed handrails and need to replace the 8 screws and bolts. They measure 3.25" and are a flathead w/ 1/4 inch diameter. I am having trouble finding a 3.25 inch. SS machine screw seem to be either 3 or 3 1/2 inch and we need in between that to make it work.

Are machine screws ever cut down? If so, how would I do it without messing up the threads? Or also, is there anywhere that makes or creates custom length screws?

Thanks!

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Old 05-04-2013, 06:58   #2
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

I havent't haeard of a place making custom length, and prolly the price would be prohibitive anyway.
I cut mine all the time, and never had a problem.
Place the bolt in a vise or somewhere the screw is secure between two pieces of plywood or something soft, use a hacksaw then use a steel file to file the little nick that remains after the short piece falls off - run your finger around the sawed edge and file anything that feels sharp. Have a nut handy and try to thread it, if it does not go then file a bit more around the edge and try again.
Then remove the bolt. Not a problem, done hundreds of time.
Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:11   #3
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

Put a nut above the place you make your cut. After the cut, remove the nut and it will clean the thread. Touch up with a small triangular file if needed.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:16   #4
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

Uh... You own a boat and never cut down a bolt or a screw???

Anyway... As Tatia says except put a nut on first and back it off after you cut to clean up the threads.... a bench grinder and wire wheel will help... Buy yourself a thread file is another approach....
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:29   #5
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

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Put a nut above the place you make your cut. After the cut, remove the nut and it will clean the thread. Touch up with a small triangular file if needed.


This is called "chasing" a thread. While a nut works, it is much better to chase thread with the correct die. That's a standard 1/4-20 bolt, super easy. All boaters should own a decent tap and die set, with bottoming taps too.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:53   #6
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

I have done it with a nut, bench grinder and a bench wire wheel.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:07   #7
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

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Uh... You own a boat and never cut down a bolt or a screw???
...
No, I never have or I wouldn't have asked. But I have sailed across oceans. Does that allow me to ask a question when I need help?

I make do when I have an issue by asking it on forums and getting good helpful responses from people like David M, Minaret, Tatia, TheOffice etc. I consider unhelpful comments like yours to be like gnats on a beautiful summer day...an annoyance, but no big deal.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:32   #8
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

Ha Ha, but anyhow P Traveller, try McMaster Carr, the have all kinds of fasteners and next day shipping, just checked , 18-8 flathead phillips 1/4-20, #3 drive 3.25 long $11.46 for 25. [cutting your originals is cheap and easy]
Bruce. + they are an awesome source of stainless hose clamps.http://www.cruisersforum.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:12   #9
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Ha Ha, but anyhow P Traveller, try McMaster Carr, the have all kinds of fasteners and next day shipping, just checked , 18-8 flathead phillips 1/4-20, #3 drive 3.25 long $11.46 for 25. [cutting your originals is cheap and easy]
Bruce. + they are an awesome source of stainless hose clamps.http://www.cruisersforum.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif
Thanks Bruce. We have used them... We needed beveled and I didn't see them...I saw 3 & 3 1/2", but maybe they are there somewhere.

In any event...we have a tap and die set and I just used that to clean the dried epoxy and bent threads on the old screws and reused them. They were bent a little, but after rethreading were usable, so rather than getting into cutting down new screws we just dealt with the old screws and the handrails are now successfully re bedded. Woo hoo... next project....

Grazie!
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:58   #10
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
Thanks Bruce. We have used them... We needed beveled and I didn't see them...I saw 3 & 3 1/2", but maybe they are there somewhere.

In any event...we have a tap and die set and I just used that to clean the dried epoxy and bent threads on the old screws and reused them. They were bent a little, but after rethreading were usable, so rather than getting into cutting down new screws we just dealt with the old screws and the handrails are now successfully re bedded. Woo hoo... next project....

Grazie!


The advantage to replacement is that it's an opportunity to get rid of those damned slotted bolts and use something a little easier to work with. Glad you got it done quick and easy though.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:17   #11
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
No, I never have or I wouldn't have asked. But I have sailed across oceans. Does that allow me to ask a question when I need help?

I make do when I have an issue by asking it on forums and getting good helpful responses from people like David M, Minaret, Tatia, TheOffice etc. I consider unhelpful comments like yours to be like gnats on a beautiful summer day...an annoyance, but no big deal.
Pamlico... You seemed to think that I intended to offend or insult you... I can assure you that was not my intention... Apologies for doing so... I was merely surprised...

Additionally, I DID offer helpful suggestions, as well as take the time to look for your fasteners on the web... McMaster and the like... Nothing yielded 316, which I would consider to be the proper replacement...

If you look at my previous posts... You will see that I spend the majority of time going out of my way to help others with knowledge I have gained through the years... NOT looking for the easy marks to belittle...
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post

Pamlico... You seemed to think that I intended to offend or insult you... I can assure you that was not my intention... Apologies for doing so... I was merely surprised...

Additionally, I DID offer helpful suggestions, as well as take the time to look for your fasteners on the web... McMaster and the like... Nothing yielded 316, which I would consider to be the proper replacement...

If you look at my previous posts... You will see that I spend the majority of time going out of my way to help others with knowledge I have gained through the years... NOT looking for the easy marks to belittle...
Thanks MdR ... No harm done and I appreciate your comments and help....
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:38   #13
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Re: Finding fastener - 3.25 inch machine 1/4 "diam

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Thanks MdR ... No harm done and I appreciate your comments and help....

PS: One boat on your Outer Banks currently....
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