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Expanding foam in Mast

lckeffer

New Member
I picked up a Mast that someone has filled with expanding foam. It is very heavy. I am seeking ways to remove this material. Using a screwdriver and a long drill bit I have managed to remove about 1 foot from each end but now I can't reach any further down. I have looked at auger bits and a plumbing snake to try and get this stuff out. The plumbing snake didn't work. Auger bits are pretty expensive for anything longer. I also tried driving a smaller diameter galvanized pipe into the end to nibble some material out. This has worked a little bit.

Does anyone have any other ideas on getting this stuff out of the mast?
 

danpal

Active Member
I would use a long wood pole like a handrail or closet hanging rod and drive it through with a mallet. You could also add a disk at the end that's a smaller diameter than the mast.
 

lckeffer

New Member
I think if I could get enough foam out to break the rest loose a handrail idea may work. Maybe I will try driving a 10 foot piece of 1/2" galvanized tubing all the way through to start braking it up. I have been worried that I will get the 5 foot piece stuck inside the mast.
 

lckeffer

New Member
According to the great stuff manufacture Acetone will only work on uncured foam. Once cured it is supposed to be impervious to chemicals. Despite this, it really likes to absorb water which is what has made it so heavy.
 

lckeffer

New Member
Hmmm, A pressure washer might work. My neighbor has one of those. I will ask him to give it a try. It certainly wont hurt anything.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
I'd grind one end of the galvanized pipe to sharpen it up and make a beveled circular cutting edge... angle grinder will work, bench grinder too if you have room for the pipe. Once you pull a "core sample" of foam out of the mast, it should be easier to remove the rest. You can buy longer drill bits too, but they'll only go so far... I reckon the galvanized pipe will do the trick, though it'll take some time to clear that cr@p outta there. :confused:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Make a few passes, increasing the diameter of the "punch" each time.

Finish with the pressure washer. (Good idea!)... :)
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I picked up a Mast that someone has filled with expanding foam. It is very heavy. I am seeking ways to remove this material. Using a screwdriver and a long drill bit I have managed to remove about 1 foot from each end but now I can't reach any further down. I have looked at auger bits and a plumbing snake to try and get this stuff out. The plumbing snake didn't work. Auger bits are pretty expensive for anything longer. I also tried driving a smaller diameter galvanized pipe into the end to nibble some material out. This has worked a little bit.

Does anyone have any other ideas on getting this stuff out of the mast?
Why is it heavy? :oops:
 

lckeffer

New Member
The sharpened galvanized pipe was my first idea. I would like to be able to put it in a drill and spin it but I can't figure out how to connect it to the drill chuck.

It's heavy because the expanding foam has soaked up a bunch of water. It's really nasty and smelly.
 

Tom L.

New Member
You could try heating it enough to soften the part of the foam in contact with the metal, and then push out the foam with a stick.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Another suggestion: figure out a way to attach a hole saw to a long metal rod, using clamps or whatever. You know what I mean by hole saw, right? The kind used to install doorknobs? That might work better than the pipe, with way less effort on your part. I've seen thin yet strong metal rods for sale, it only has to be strong enough to work for this purpose... :rolleyes:

Hmm, on second thought, it'd only pull out so much at a time, or cut up enough at one time for some other method of removal to work... :confused:

Maybe buy a fat drill bit and clamp THAT to the metal rod... ;)
 

lckeffer

New Member
Great minds think alike. I have two hole saws, They have a hex shape shaft, a long rod of some kind attached to them...

Heat? I wonder how hot that foam would have to get and would it warp the mast due to the uneven heat. Maybe I could heat the galvanized pipe...
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing: don't heat the spar, just heat whatever you're gonna use to push through the foam. :confused:

Hey, at least we're brainstorming and coming up with some ideas, LOL... I'm not in THAT big of a hurry to go pay bills. ;)

Those hole saws would certainly help to loosen up the funky foam... :rolleyes:

One more thing: even when wet, that foam may give off toxic smoke when you push hot metal through it... don't wanna breathe any of that cr@p. :eek:
 

RogerMusser

New Member
I am hoping that the foam is only at the top and bottom and not for the whole length of the mast. It seems that if you could get the foam to seal-off the top and bottom there would be no need to have foam all the way. The trapped air would certainly be lighter then foam.

There are lots of good suggestions posted, good luck!
 

nhsusan57

Member
How would someone have gotten the foam the whole length?

The Sunfish mast is 10' long.
So, take off the caps and start at each end.

A 5' journey for that spray foam stuff seems like a long trek.
 

lckeffer

New Member
When I started chipping this stuff out I thought that it was only in the first few inches. As I said in the beginning of this thread, I have now chipped away more than a foot from each end. When tapping on the mast you can hear that it is very solid sound all the way through. IDK how someone managed to fill the entire mast with foam but they did.
 

4cpus4me

New Member
I'd grind one end of the galvanized pipe to sharpen it up and make a beveled circular cutting edge... angle grinder will work, bench grinder too if you have room for the pipe. Once you pull a "core sample" of foam out of the mast, it should be easier to remove the rest. You can buy longer drill bits too, but they'll only go so far... I reckon the galvanized pipe will do the trick, though it'll take some time to clear that cr@p outta there. :confused:
Yes, even a small tube you could fit in a 1/2" drill and with some notches ground on the end of the pipe will cut through that foam in no time.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Rumor had it the mob put him in some stadium or ballpark while it was being poured, but that rumor might have been a red herring... the mob could've cut him into little pieces and jammed him into that mast!!! :confused:
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Maybe it's not all foam... you might find Jimmy Hoffa in there!!! :eek:
I am hoping that the foam is only at the top and bottom and not for the whole length of the mast. It seems that if you could get the foam to seal-off the top and bottom there would be no need to have foam all the way. The trapped air would certainly be lighter then foam.

There are lots of good suggestions posted, good luck!
The foam could've been dripped in. That would fill the mast completely.

For ten bucks, Amazon has solvents, which you'll probably need anyway as the foam goes away.

I've bought some pond foam (Great Stufftm), which is dark gray.

I like experimenting! :)
 

lckeffer

New Member
I tried gasoline and acetone on some bits I have removed. This stuff is just like a big sponge. Just soaks it up. The manufacture of great stuff says cured expanding foam is impervious to solvents. This appears to be true. I'm not interested in attempting to burn it as creating a large Roman candle will likely warp the tube.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
I like the idea of a power sprayer with the fine tip. You may be battling water draining back out
 
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