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Old 31-05-2020, 14:29   #1
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$%#@ cotter pin

I wanted to recaulk my chain plates, which requires removing the deck plate, which requires taking the toggles off the chain plate. The toggles are secured with clevis pins and cotter pins, which are very difficult to remove. On one clevis pin, I have broken of both sides of the cotter pin and it sits in the hole. How do I get it out? Two more questions: is there an easy way to remove cotter pins and would you recommend circle clips instead? I have a 28' sloop. Thanks.
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Old 31-05-2020, 14:59   #2
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

The solution is always "get a bigger hammer". Clamp a pair of Vice Grips (mole grips) on the head of the cotter pin at right angles to the cotter pin. Do your best to straighten out the cotter pin legs, then strike the side of the Vice Grips with a hammer to pull the cotter pin out. If the legs are left broken off in the clevis pin hole, drive them out with a punch and hammer.

There is actually a cotter pin tool https://www.acehardware.com/departme...E&gclsrc=aw.ds , but who needs a tool when you have Vice Grips and a hammer.
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Old 31-05-2020, 15:04   #3
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

Use a copper hammer if you are worried about damaging the steel by missing your shot, but aside from that, what wsmurdoch said sums it up.
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Old 31-05-2020, 15:07   #4
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

Good morning, Dean...

Have you released the rig tension on the stay you want to remove the cotter pin from?

Assuming you have, you'll need a punch to drive out the broken cotter pin. It is possible that it was opened too far, and re-used, so that it work hardened, and became brittle. Do not go to the circle ones, lines snag on them and open them. When you do replace them, only open them about 20 degrees. When you re-tighten the rig, before the wire comes tight, you want to aim the open end towards the coach house, away from where the sheets will go.
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Old 31-05-2020, 15:39   #5
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

Drive it out by putting a punch or screwdriver in the loop head of the cotter pin and tapping on it. I advise against circle clips unless the hole is big and you can put one in there nearly as thick as the cotter pin.
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Old 31-05-2020, 16:27   #6
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

just as an aside : you only need to keep the split pins slightly bent - 45 deg or so on each leg - not the 'full circle' that some seem to think necessary.

this is enough to stop them coming out, and makes it much easier when you do come to dismantle the cotter pin

NB : remember the easiest / quickest way to disconnect rigging in event of a dismasting is NOT bolt cutters...it is to remove the cotter pins !

cheers,
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Old 31-05-2020, 21:46   #7
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

Quote:
remember the easiest / quickest way to disconnect rigging in event of a dismasting is NOT bolt cutters...it is to remove the cotter pins !

Yes, and save the turnbuckles! You have a choice of cotter pins to remove!
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:27   #8
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

A common problem I see is that people will jam the biggest cotter pin in the hole that will fit, and then overbend it. Too often I've had to drive a pin out with a punch. Use a cotter pin that wiggles in the hole, so that when it's straightened for removal it doesn't bind. There is literally a mind-boggling array of diameters and lengths available, and no reason to use the wrong size if there's a boating or hardware store within reach.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:06   #9
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

If the eye of the cotter is still left, I would tap in in a little and then try to tap the remainer of the legs a little straighter and then pull on the eye with a pliers or tap a small punch or old scewdriver through the eye and use it as a handle for removing it.

If all the externals of the cotter pin are gone, it's down to drilling out or using a pin punch or filing or cutting the remains smooth enough to allow the pin the exit the rigging, then replace with new or deal with it on a work bench. A pin punch is nice. One could possibly fake one with a sacrificial drill bit or finishing nail but you won't have a nice handle or the same grade steel.

Interesting comment about the rings. I have some on the daysailer. I also have one pin that is a 'pushbutton' with a self-contained mechanism. I should probably go through everything and end up with spare pins and cotters as the rig goes up and down often and it is easy enough to drop or lose things.

PS: +1 on not using a too big of cotter for the hole too.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:25   #10
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Re: $%#@ cotter pin

Diagonal cutters (dikes). Gently grip the head and pry it out. If you break it off flush, use a pin punch.
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