Perhaps nothing hinders a project more than dealing with a broken bolt. When a bolt breaks in a hole, removing it is often difficult and time consuming. Understanding some of the different methods for removing a broken bolt out of a hole makes the process a much easier to handle. Bolts break for different reasons, but with a little knowledge, a few tools, and the right preparation, extracting a broken bolt is possible.
Removing a Broken Bolt from Metal
Removing a broken bolt from metal can present challenges. There are bolt removal kits available, but when these are not on hand, other tools come in handy. When removing a bolt from metal, caution is important since the tools used are dangerous if not handled properly.
Some common supplies used for removing the bolts include an electric drill, pliers, a heat torch, and oils. The penetrating oils work their way into the holes and help release the stuck bolt. The types of oils vary and a common one used for this purpose is WD-40. Having all of the supplies on hand saves time during the extraction process. When using a heat torch, users should wear safety glasses and gloves for protection.
Removing the Bolt
If the top of the bolt is protruding, use vise grips and tightly clamp around the bolt shaft. Try turning the bolt to see if it loosens. If this is not effective, use a heat torch to heat the bolt up slowly. When metal is heated, it tends to expand. Overheating however, can cause the metal to melt and turn soft, which hinders the overall removal process. After slowly applying heat to the bolt, use the vise grips to turn it. Repeat the process several times until the bolt loosens. If this method is ineffective, take a metal file and grind the head of the bolt until it is completely flat. After the head is flat, take a drill and add a bit slightly smaller than the size of the bolt. Begin drilling until the bolt is penetrated. Reverse the drill and unscrew the shaft. If parts of the bolt threads remain, a threading tap helps to clean it out.
Drill Bit Sizes
Drill bits come in an array of sizes, and the one needed to remove a bolt greatly depends on the bolt in question. When choosing a bit, it is necessary to use one a size smaller than the bolt. If this is not effective, users can then try the next size up.
It is vital to ensure the bit tip does not round off as this can hinder the bolt removal process. Some brands may also vary slightly in size, but they commonly all use fractions in inches to denote size.
Removing Bolts from Wood
Less commonly used in wood products, bigger builds or projects may contain bolts for strength and stability. Removing a bolt from wood requires a different set of tools. As with metal however, removing a stuck bolt from wood is possible with a little work and a few tools.
Bolt Sheared Above the Surface
When a bolt is sticking out above the surface of the wood, a pair of locking pliers come in handy. Use the pliers and grip the head of the bolt as tightly as possible. Slowly turn the pliers counter-clockwise and try backing the bolt out of the hole. Keeping the pliers parallel to the wood is most effective. It may take several tries to loosen the bolt.
Bolt Sheared Below the Surface
Removing a bolt sheared below the surface takes a little more effort to remove. To begin the process, take a hammer and a chisel and carve a space around the bolt. If this is not possible, take a drill and chisel out the wood around the holes. After chiseling down the surface completely around it, take pliers and lock them around the head of the bolt. Turn the bolt counterclockwise keeping the pliers tight until it begins to unwind. When a bolt shaft lies evenly with the wood surface, using this same process is beneficial.
How to Buy Bolt Removal Tools on eBay
While removing a broken bolt from a hole may seem overwhelming, it is easy with a few tools. When purchasing the needed tools on eBay, you can filter products by size, brand, and price. If you already have a specific item in mind, you can also search for it directly. When selecting an item, ensuring a top-rated seller has the product makes your overall buying experience a positive one. For larger or heavier items, finding a local seller who offers pickup can also save on costly shipping prices.