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Old 25-01-2021, 11:59   #1
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Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

I’m in an awkward spot.

One of my roof support columns is giving me grief.

The first one went on just fine. The second one is a mess! The inside diameter of these flanges is smallest at the top and gets slightly wider at the base. I had to sand out a tiny, tiny bit of the column that went together correctly. The one on the left. It slid right in after sanding out the ID of the bases by a tiny amount. In fact, one is loose enough it needs the tape holding it or it’ll slide down.

The second one is a nightmare. I sanded inside the flange, I took a grinder to the aluminum pole. That was just enough to get it in. Did that to both ends.

Because the flanges are supposed to get wider at the base, I got them in and tapped them down. Then gave them some good whacks hoping to get past the sticking point.

Now they are stuck!!

The aluminum is the same length and both columns are supposed to be the same length. So you can see how much of the column still needs to slide into both flanges.

Question: Should I tie the ends to a tree and my truck and separate, ruining the paint on the flanges? Or should I try to keep going and put a car jack to it to try to force it on more?
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:09   #2
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

Surely you jest ? How can the tube on both of them be the same length ?


If its that far off, take it to a machine shop and have them separate it and give a skim to the inside of the flanges and OD of the tube so that they fit properly. If the shorter one is the "right" length, have the shop make the other one match. Hand tools are not always the right solution to every problem...
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:10   #3
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

Take it apart and do it right, scratched paint vs cracked flange
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:12   #4
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

I would go the remove-more sanding route. That's just my experience from previous things like this.

Why not bolt the flange to something the way it is supposed to be and then pull/wiggle on that. That way if you damage any paint it will the paint under the bolt head, which will likely have sealer and be covered later on anyway?
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:13   #5
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

Are the columns and the flanges both made from aluminum? If not, try cooling the aluminum column. That will make it shrink a little bit - may help get it moving.



Dissimilar Metals Thermal Expansion and Contraction
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:16   #6
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
I would go the remove-more sanding route. That's just my experience from previous things like this.

Why not bolt the flange to something the way it is supposed to be and then pull/wiggle on that. That way if you damage any paint it will the paint under the bolt head, which will likely have sealer and be covered later on anyway?
I have nothing to bolt that to.

But I can use some rope and a tree and my truck to pull it. Putting the rope through the bolt holes.

Itís on there real bad because I thought Iíd make it past the sticking point ďany secondĒ. I never did.
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:19   #7
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

Well, I hear the unanimous advice from everyone to pull it back apart so I’ll go with that.

I’ll try tapping it first then truck if not.

I’ll have to get a very long sanding tool or make one up to sand inside the flanges.

Flanges are FRP
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:55   #8
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

You need to hone the bases until the pipe fits. Access to a lathe would be better. Finishing is thus named because it is the final step of manufacturing
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:58   #9
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

Once you get it apart, you could probably find an appropriately sized boring/honing tool at an autopart store. Maybe like something for rebuilding a brake cylinder.
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Old 25-01-2021, 13:11   #10
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

try dropping the flange with post attached into a bucket of boiling hot water....just deep enough so that the post is not in the water....it might just provide sufficient expansion to lose it's grip on the post. A wet towel with ice in it, wrapped around the post will keep the post cool.

If you have a heat gun available, you could try that too...heat the the part of the flange that holds the pole. As above, you could wrap the pole in a wet towel with some ice in it, to prevent any heat from transmitting to the pole..
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Old 25-01-2021, 13:15   #11
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

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You need to hone the bases until the pipe fits. Access to a lathe would be better. Finishing is thus named because it is the final step of manufacturing
Yes, I have determined finishing is not much fun. Ha ha ha.

I would definitely prefer sailing, but as can be seen, a long way to go to have the interior pretty.
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Old 25-01-2021, 13:16   #12
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

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Originally Posted by wholybee View Post
Once you get it apart, you could probably find an appropriately sized boring/honing tool at an autopart store. Maybe like something for rebuilding a brake cylinder.
I think Iím going to use a rolling pin with a lag bolt in one end of it.

Thatíll attach to my drill and work well to hone out the inside that they made too narrow.
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Old 25-01-2021, 13:57   #13
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

Once you get them apart you can always try the temperature tricks. Put the end of the tube in a bucket of ice water and the flange in a bucket of hot water. Let them thoroughly change temperature then see if they will slide right together.
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Old 25-01-2021, 14:01   #14
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

Most seem to advice to take it apart. If you unmount it now go are in known territory, it went in (with force), so you should be able to take it apart (with a slightly higher force).

If you "keep going" you are in unknown territory, which means you can not know if you will EVER get to the end result that you wish to achieve.

So unless you are superhuman the rational choice is "Back Off".
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Old 25-01-2021, 14:20   #15
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Re: Do I Keep Going or Back Off?

It didn’t work.

Working it just hand: wouldn’t budge

Sledge hammer: wouldn’t budge.

Using 3/4” dock line to tie it to a utility pole and the hitch on my truck: broke 3/4” dock line and took the pant off the flange.

There is no backing off. Damn it.

Any ideas from here? I even got up a little speed to give it a really good tug with the 3/4” dock line that parted.

Buy all new stuff? I certainly hope not.

Ideas for getting it the rest of the way on?

Also, anyone think this is strong enough to hold my roof in place? Ha ha ha ha. It’s insane.
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