Counter-clockwise Drill bits

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PeteThePen1
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Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by PeteThePen1 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:43 pm

Hi Folks

I have a small problem and would welcome the views of this learned readership.

The Problem: There are two ¾” BSP malleable iron plugs in the inspection ports at the end of the mud drums of Frances Ann's boiler. These are now rusted in place and attempts to free them with various amazing penetrating oils have failed. The trusty ‘heat them up with a good hot torch’ method has not been tried as it is expressly forbidden by the insurance documents to use naked flame tools in the boat.

The Solution: The solution is to drill them out as the plugs actually contain very little material. Advice found on the Internet suggests using counter-clockwise drills as this will possibly help to release rather than tighten the plugs if the drilling action starts to break the rust.

The Question: Where can I get counter-clockwise drills of the necessary size, preferably of the Blacksmith variety, i.e. fairly short and with a reduced shank? I need the latter as there is little room in the boat and the job will be done with a hand held tool.

My thought is to make the first hole with a half inch drill as that is the size of the recessed square socket. After that, use something a bit bigger and then finally the counter-clockwise drill for the ¾” BSP hole (24.6mm?).

Thanks

Pete
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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by TriangleTom » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:59 pm

Not a drill, but have you considered an impact wrench used in tandem with a bolt extractor? After a pilot hole is drilled with a conventional bit, you can drive one of these left handed tools in to bite into the plug and force it out.
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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by Mike Rometer » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:00 pm

Pete, if they are that tight then I wouldn't worry about them getting tighter when being drilled, just keep the drill speed down so they heat up less from the drilling. C/wise drills I can 'Blacksmith' for you or if they will go in your own lathe chuck you could manage do them yourself.

Pete, just had a thought, I've got a 1/2"sq drive impact wrench, if you've room to swing a 2lb hammer.
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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by Lopez Mike » Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:21 am

In the past I've electric welded a large bolt to the offending fastener and then used in air or electric impact gun to remove it.

The thermal shock really loosens up the rust.
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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by TahoeSteam » Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:57 am

Even tried the automatic transmission fluid and acetone mix?
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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by fredrosse » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:09 am

"The trusty ‘heat them up with a good hot torch’ method has not been tried as it is expressly forbidden by the insurance documents to use naked flame tools in the boat."

I think the actual condition is that the insurance company will not insure the boat if it becomes a "loss" when the torch heating process is used, a reasonable position for the insurance company. However you can indeed use a torch, at your risk, if you so choose. If you have good safety provisions, fire extinguisher standing by, proper heat shielding of materials nearby, then using the torch with reasonable "common sense", then you can take that risk.

Understanding that each and every action you take involves risk, and insurance for everything is not a realistic option for many situations.

Penetrating oil: Kroil I have found to be the best in 60 years of beating on rusted fasteners.

Welding a large bolt? I think the insurance company would have the same position as they have on torch use.

Left hand drills, the previous post about them being un-necessary is,in my view, very correct.

Do not forget to use "Never Seize" on the threads on re-assembly.
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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by PeteThePen1 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:08 pm

Hi Everybody

Many thanks for all your useful suggestions.

I have tried 'Corrosion Block' the marine version of ACF-50 which is used extensively by the RNLI. I was kindly send a free sample by Adams Aviation Supply Co Ltd who make it. I kept applying it for a long time, but I now suspect that there may be paint filling the joint between the drum and the plug which is preventing penetration. I will give some thought to shifting that paint.

Kroil seems to be well loved from a quick scan in the Internet, so will probably be worth acquiring. It is hard to imagine that these will be the last rusted fitting to pass through my hands. I like your analysis of risk Fred and can see that would be a good way to go. I suspect that my plumber's torch is not quite up to the job though.

I will be in touch with Mike Rometer since we are not a million miles from each other and see if we can get a plan of action in place. There is now a bit of a time constraint as we have a buyer for our house and the boat will have to come out of the garage in the not too distant future.

Regards

Pete
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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by RNoe » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:52 pm

Pete:
I have successfully used Kroil as a penetrant for decades.
Before each locomotive rebuild (90-ton logging locomotives) I would acquire a 5-gallon can of Kroil.
It worked, and I still use it.

If your boat has to come out of "hiding" in the garage, that could be a good time for some "heat treatment" on that stuck bolt.
All fire prevention cautions applied, of course.

(This morning my steam launch gets Sea Trial #2! Leaving here in 1 hour for that.
Will report back.)

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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by DetroiTug » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:20 pm

Sometimes a good rap with a one pound hammer straight in to induce shock in the threads will do the trick. Pipe fitting material is very malleable. I'm generally not so patient though and just weld a small block of steel to it that I can get a pipe wrench on. Works every time.

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Re: Counter-clockwise Drill bits

Post by Mike Rometer » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:32 pm

Pete sent me a photo today and I'm sure he wont mind me sharing it. Once seen it shows the obvious problem of even welding a stub to it, remembering also that the boiler is in the boat and this is a bottom plug, so at floor level. I/we have the kit, I'm sure a short (properly distanced) trip for me to Cheshire and we will have it sorted.

IMG_20200806_Rusted Plug.jpg
IMG_20200806_Rusted Plug.jpg (85.24 KiB) Viewed 744 times
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