Screws won't "bite" in grab rail installation

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Merrily, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    We are sprucing up some old Lasers for our Learn To Sail program, and we took the grab rails off to paint. There were plastic inserts in the screw holes that we cut the heads off of and knocked out. Now when we try to install new plastic expansion inserts, they turn with the screws. They seemed like they should be tight, as I pounded them in with a mallet. What to do?
     
  2. captfallin

    captfallin New Member

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    If you can get the inserts back out you could apply 5200 and reinsert, give it time to set. I find if you use a screwgun for something like this it will often spin them, a hand screwdriver lets you start gently until they start to grab. On my old boat I think I drilled some out and used the next size plastic anchor from the hardware store.
    I hope this helps.
     
  3. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I did hand tighten them, as we couldn't find the screwdriver bit for the drill! We were able to get the inserts out with a bit of work. Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. Barometer Soup

    Barometer Soup New Member

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    I have used some really great inserts that are available at West Marine. I will see if I can find one of the packages next time I go to my workshop. You just drill the proper size hole, slide it in, slip a little collar that is on the plastic Zip tie looking part, snap tie plastic off, and put the new(specific) screw in. They work great, but they are alittle bit pricey.

    Barometer Soup
     
  5. Barometer Soup

    Barometer Soup New Member

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    They are called "Toggler stainless steel fasteners". West marine sells them for about six bucks each! I looked around on the web and was able to find them for between 1 and 2 dollars each. They really do work great, but you will want to be careful if you pay what West marine charges! They are available in 10-24, 3/16", 1/4", and 1/2" diameters.

    Barometer Soup
    Park City Sailing Association
     
  6. glasky

    glasky Member

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    The re-fastening of grabrails was featured some time back on the DR Laser Site - Not sure if Fred Scroth was the contributor.

    From memory it sounded messy - like using bits of sponge dipped in resin and poked thru the holes to form a sort of 'backung plate'. after the resin dried the outside was fared flish, a hole drilled and fastners used.
     
  7. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks guys. I got the Dr. Laser instructions. We may use the epoxy soaked sponge method.
     
  8. Kaiser

    Kaiser Member

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    I squished a little Marine-Tex (an epoxy with a putty-like consistency) into each hole, let it dry, drilled pilot holes, and reinstalled the screws.
     
  9. Bungo Pete

    Bungo Pete Member

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    Hey Merrily, can you post the "epoxy soaked sponge method" specifics? I'm intrigued.

    Kaiser, I've tried the Marine-Tex method and have not had much luck. The stuff seems to crumble. Do you tweak the mixture?
     
  10. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    OK, I've had to re-write the text in my own words because the original is copyrighted by Shevy Gunter (drlaser) and he does care.

    Drill the holes to 3/8" and clean with acetone. Mask with tape around the hole. Place the boat on its side, resting on the gunwale and put lots of layers of newspaper in the area. This is messy. Cut a sponge into 2" long cylinders and up to 1/2 inch diameter, (15-20 mm by 50mm). Prepare epoxy resin with hardener and saturate a cut sponge in it. Push the sponge into the drilled hole and leave it protruding slightly on the cockpit side. Repeat with the rest of the holes for that grab rail. When the sponges are almost dry, past gelled, cut the protruding bit off with a sharp blade. If you wait until it is totally dry, you'll have to use a hack saw.

    Allow it to totally cure overnight, then sand the plug flush with the cockpit wall. Drill pilot holes and using stainless steel drywall screws, mount your grab rail.

    Turn boat and repeat for the other rail.

    Note: The use of the resin adds weight. "(This WEST SYSTEM repair technique was originally noted by J. Feaver)"
     
  11. Krycek

    Krycek Member

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    I do many boat overhauls with the sailing center I work out. What I like to do is mix in some filler with West System Epoxy... the high density filler... not the sanding/fairing stuff. I believe it's the West System 503 filler? Dont quote me on that.... Then, once it begins to harden I put the screws in. As it finishes hardening, you end up with holes that care custom fitted to the screws you put in. This works really, really well. I like to fix things so they dont ever move again.

    On the same note... make sure you put the screws in before the stuff gets too hard otherwise its a pain to get the screws in!!
     
  12. Bungo Pete

    Bungo Pete Member

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    Question, do you use a release agent such as petroleum jelly or WD-40? This would be so that you can get the screws in and out.
     
  13. Krycek

    Krycek Member

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    I don't. I also don't plan on taking the grab rails off. If you really wanted to get the screws out all it takes is a little bit of palm sweat and a screwdriver to remove it. The nice thing about the expoxies is that it is soley an adhesive agent and not a chemical bonding agent. Once it hardens completely you should be able to get the screws out with relative ease. Epoxy won't bond to the screws, it will only cure tightly around the screws. That's one of the reasons I like the stuff so much.
     
  14. OceanracerSF

    OceanracerSF New Member

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    Barometer Soup, I just got a V15 which has the same grab rails as the laser. I just wanted to confirm that the togglers are still working for you. Did you also use 5200 around the holes? Are these the Togglers you used? FASCO FASTENER Stainless Steel Togglers | West Marine
    Did you use the 10-24 size?

    Many thanks,

    OceanracerSF
     
  15. Bungo Pete

    Bungo Pete Member

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    I have used Togglers and they work really well. My outhaul/cunningham upgrade cam cleats are held to the deck with them because the plywood core had rotted and I could not reach the underside from the inspection hole. I had never thought of using them for this application. Regarding the use of 5200, it would be my last choice. All you really want to do is keep the water out. for that, life seal will work just fine.
     

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