Forums > Kitesurfing Foiling

Foil repair WA

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Created by Kraut 29 days ago, 27 Sep 2021
Kraut
WA, 512 posts
27 Sep 2021 10:37AM
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I have a fairly new Axis S set up. Aluminium mast. Despite using Tefgel 3 out of 4 larger bolts going in the mast seized after about 3 months or so. Yes I know, should have taken it apart more frequently despite Tefgel, despite washing each time. Salt water getting stuck in the mast surely must lead to damage. I already damaged the head of one bolt so will now just leave it and use it. Whenever I need to take it apart, I guess I need to find someone who can drill into the bolts to recover them, without damaging the mast/fuselage/baseplate.

Is there anyone in Perth who carries out such repairs?

cbulota
WA, 1341 posts
27 Sep 2021 11:55AM
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Hi Kraut,

I've dealt with this issue a few times before. It's surprising that Tef gel didn't prevent this from happening. Since I started using it I don't have anymore problems even if I'm not unscrewing my screws regularly as I should and as you pointed out.

It's not the salt water that causes this problem. I've had the same issue foiling in only fresh water for a couple of months.

It's the chemical reaction between the aluminium and the stainless steel called Galvanic corrosion:
www.albanycountyfasteners.com/blog/stainless-steel-and-aluminum/

Drilling the screws out without damaging the thread will require some precision machinery. I don't have a reference in Perth but I'm sure you can find someone in an industrial area like Osborne Park who can do it.

Before doing this, it's probably worth trying one of these damaged screw extractors ?

www.bunnings.com.au/frost-5-piece-extractor-screw-set_p6360083

Good luck

Christian

Kraut
WA, 512 posts
28 Sep 2021 10:37AM
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Select to expand quote
cbulota said..
Hi Kraut,

I've dealt with this issue a few times before. It's surprising that Tef gel didn't prevent this from happening. Since I started using it I don't have anymore problems even if I'm not unscrewing my screws regularly as I should and as you pointed out.

It's not the salt water that causes this problem. I've had the same issue foiling in only fresh water for a couple of months.

It's the chemical reaction between the aluminium and the stainless steel called Galvanic corrosion:
www.albanycountyfasteners.com/blog/stainless-steel-and-aluminum/

Drilling the screws out without damaging the thread will require some precision machinery. I don't have a reference in Perth but I'm sure you can find someone in an industrial area like Osborne Park who can do it.

Before doing this, it's probably worth trying one of these damaged screw extractors ?

www.bunnings.com.au/frost-5-piece-extractor-screw-set_p6360083

Good luck

Christian



Thanks Christian for this. Will try.

Probably at this stage just keep riding it. As damage is already done and it holds together well. But eventually will have to look into trying to rescue the mast/fuselage/baseplate.

weebitbreezy
531 posts
28 Sep 2021 4:43PM
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I was able to extract a similarly stuck bolt using the candle wax method (search youtube and you can see its a real thing for freeing bolts in engines)

Effectively 'my' process went:

1. grind off the head of the bolt using oversized drill bit and extract the other bolts.
2. Take off the fuselage. You should now have the top cm or so of the bolt visible.
3. either cut a notch into the bolt with a hacksaw or get a big pair of stilsens.
4. Use a heat gun on the bolt till it gets very hot.
5. Dip the candle onto the top of the bolt so wax runs down the threads
6. Attempt to turn the bolt.
Repeat 4-6 for about 15 minutes until the wax penetrates far enough down the threads and it frees up.

If you have access to a really good vice you might just be able to clamp the protruding part of the bolt into the vice and twist the mast? Its probably worth doing a few heat cycles of the bolt first though as it might loosen a bit with the expansion/contraction.

Kraut
WA, 512 posts
28 Sep 2021 4:51PM
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Select to expand quote
weebitbreezy said..
I was able to extract a similarly stuck bolt using the candle wax method (search youtube and you can see its a real thing for freeing bolts in engines)

Effectively 'my' process went:

1. grind off the head of the bolt using oversized drill bit and extract the other bolts.
2. Take off the fuselage. You should now have the top cm or so of the bolt visible.
3. either cut a notch into the bolt with a hacksaw or get a big pair of stilsens.
4. Use a heat gun on the bolt till it gets very hot.
5. Dip the candle onto the top of the bolt so wax runs down the threads
6. Attempt to turn the bolt.
Repeat 4-6 for about 15 minutes until the wax penetrates far enough down the threads and it frees up.

If you have access to a really good vice you might just be able to clamp the protruding part of the bolt into the vice and twist the mast? Its probably worth doing a few heat cycles of the bolt first though as it might loosen a bit with the expansion/contraction.


Thanks weebitbreezy.

Raw Boards
WA, 54 posts
28 Sep 2021 10:20PM
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Hi Kraut,
I do all sorts of repairs on aluminium and carbonfiber foils and boards.
Cheers Michael

KBGhost
QLD, 161 posts
29 Sep 2021 7:37AM
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I recently had one mast to fuse connection that was very nearly seized. It was a bit surprising as I had it apart about a month previously. I was able to get the bolts moving eventually but it was a close run thing to snapping a head off. Even after 20 rotations I was still leaning full body into a 2 ft extension to the torx driver. Thankfully axis uses beefy bolts and torx heads which don't strip like hex.

I believe the cause was TOO MUCH TEFGEL. I've read a lot about this issue lately. Too much tefgel can cause hydraulic locking when trying to do bolts up, but it can also set like concrete in threads if there's enough to bead up. In this case there was set tefgel in the threads and the bolts wouldn't go back in either as they were. I had to clean the threads out really will with a pick and afterwards, with just the slightest smear of tefgel, they are smooth as silk again and still going well some months later with no sign of seizing.

Just FYI, my 2c, not sure if I'm right but I have used axis foils only for the last few years. I have really dialled my tefgel use back now.

Kraut
WA, 512 posts
29 Sep 2021 7:35AM
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KBGhost said..
I recently had one mast to fuse connection that was very nearly seized. It was a bit surprising as I had it apart about a month previously. I was able to get the bolts moving eventually but it was a close run thing to snapping a head off. Even after 20 rotations I was still leaning full body into a 2 ft extension to the torx driver. Thankfully axis uses beefy bolts and torx heads which don't strip like hex.

I believe the cause was TOO MUCH TEFGEL. I've read a lot about this issue lately. Too much tefgel can cause hydraulic locking when trying to do bolts up, but it can also set like concrete in threads if there's enough to bead up. In this case there was set tefgel in the threads and the bolts wouldn't go back in either as they were. I had to clean the threads out really will with a pick and afterwards, with just the slightest smear of tefgel, they are smooth as silk again and still going well some months later with no sign of seizing.

Just FYI, my 2c, not sure if I'm right but I have used axis foils only for the last few years. I have really dialled my tefgel use back now.


Thanks, that's interesting. I would probably tend to use too much. Instead of using the little brush it comes with. Not easy to evenly distribute when the viscosity is that of a chewing gum. Will try this method with the remaining healthy bolts to at least keep those alive.

Kraut
WA, 512 posts
29 Sep 2021 7:37AM
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Select to expand quote
Raw Boards said..
Hi Kraut,
I do all sorts of repairs on aluminium and carbonfiber foils and boards.
Cheers Michael


Thanks mate. Wasn't sure you have all that gear and do such repairs too. Awesome. Will reach out but for now probably just ride it. Your board is still going strong and I love it. It's just the aluminium parts on the foil being the nuisance.

ActionSportsWA
WA, 807 posts
Wednesday , 20 Oct 2021 1:24PM
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Hi Guys,

We occasionally remove corroded bolts from foils. Drill the head of the bolt off first, remove the fuse or wing. Use penetrene or diesel fuel as it works like a penetrating oil. Let is seep in for a couple of days, adding a drop whenever necessary to keep it wet.

When ready to remove it, use a Stilson wrench (Plumbers wrench/Pipe wrench) and heat the aluminium NOT the bolt quickly with a gas torch. Aluminium heats and expanded more quickly than the stainless or Titanium bolt and eases the tightness. Once nice and hot, use the stilson and crack it, add more oil and repeat until it is removed.

If you heat the fuse slowly, the heat will transfer through to the bolt and they will both expand together defeating the purpose of adding the heat.

If worse comes to worse, you can drill the bolt out with a smaller drill and then use a tap to rethread the hole. This would need to be done with a drill press and vice to assure a straight and perfectly centered hole.

* Be cautious using an EZ-Out to remove the bolt because if you snap it in the bolt, the high carbon steel of the EZ-Out will be impossible to drill unless you use Tungsten drills.

DM



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