Loosening old rusted bolts with a round slotted head

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Old 05-16-16, 09:28 AM
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Loosening old rusted bolts with a round slotted head

I am trying to disassemble a 20 year old bench where the bolts affixing the deteriorated boards to the metal frame are locked up due to age and some rust. The bolts have a round head with just a slot so I can't use a ratchet and I am having no luck with a large screwdriver. The bolts screw into the frame in an enclosed spot so there is no nut on the interior. I have tried spraying the bolt with WD-40 to loosen them up but to no avail. Any advice on how I might loosen up and remove the bolts? I am trying to reuse the bench frame which is still solid.
 
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Old 05-16-16, 09:55 AM
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More torque with a screwdriver bit on a ratchet.

Might help to see - can you post a pic or two?
 
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Old 05-16-16, 10:09 AM
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Thanks. The bench is at another location that I won't return to for 2 weeks so I can't post a pic sat this point.
 
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Old 05-16-16, 10:12 AM
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Sometimes it's better to just cut the bolts and replace with new if you plan to reassemble.
 
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Old 05-16-16, 12:09 PM
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Bolts

Try an impact driver with a straight bit. Use a lot of pressure to keep the bit in the slot.
 
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Old 05-16-16, 03:32 PM
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Sometimes you can use a Dremel tool to cut a part of the head off on each side leaving flats for an adjustable wrench. If you were really good you could cut all four sides to fit an 8-point socket but not something I'd try.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 07:32 AM
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Ken suggests an impact driver. The one I have uses a hammer and you set it to rotate CCW for removal. The hammer blow provides a lot of downward pressure and the simultaneous rotation often works.

How many of these do you need to remove? I would also take a grinder along.

Bud
 
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Old 05-17-16, 07:39 AM
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Heat it with a torch.______________
 
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Old 05-17-16, 07:54 AM
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Nothing against WD40, I use my share of it, but not for what you're doing. It's doing nothing for you. If the threads are gritty or rusty, pick up a can of Break Away or PB Blaster. Otherwise, I think that you have been given some good ideas. If they're as I am imagining, round heads recessed into the wood, and none of the aforementioned ideas work, I would probably drill the center of the head with a bit the size of the bolt or slightly larger.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 08:08 AM
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Nothing against WD40, I use my share of it,
I only use WD40 if it happened to be there. I would never buy it.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 08:24 AM
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Name:  Bolts2.jpg
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Size:  27.6 KBGot a friend to take pics. See attachedName:  Bolts1.jpg
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Size:  41.9 KB

Cutting the bolts won't allow me to reassemble the bench with new bolts which is the whole point. I need to remove so I can use the bench frame.

Thanks all for the advice to date.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 08:27 AM
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A snug-fitting bit in a ratchet or a square-shank screwdriver with an adjustable wrench holding the driver shaft from spinning. If you don't plan to re-use the wood you could chisel or gouge your way down to the head and grab it with a stout pair of vise-grips.
If rust is bad the bolt will snap--and that's a blessing vs. running a rusty nut all the way off the threads.

If either end is not recessed I would just cut them off with an angle grinder fitted with a thin fiber cut-off disk.

EDIT to add:
Now that there's pictures I would recommend using a 1" holesaw with the pilot drill removed to cut the wood away from the bolts. Wrap tape around it just shy of the thickness of the wood. The remainder around the bolts will crush and crumble with vise-grips or channel-locks. THEN use the PB Blaster to free up the threads in those inserts.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 09:32 AM
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A lubricant and some heat should loosen those up once you get them exposed as shown. As mentioned, putting flats on 2 sides of those screws would let you use a wrench.

Bud
 
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Old 05-17-16, 03:56 PM
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Bolts

After removing the wood slats, use curved jaw vise grip pliers, gripping the edges of the bolt heads.
 
 

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