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Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Freeing stuck steel and aluminum?

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Old 12-06-2007, 05:42:07 PM
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Default Freeing stuck steel and aluminum?

Okay, im worken on a vintage snowsled, and it has slide suspension, it has 2 cross shafts that turn to work properly, they are in side the Steel tubes for the A frames, well one is steel no problem there, the other is an Aluminium shaft...and guess what hasn't been greased in forever and corroded to the steel tube...are they any trick for getting the aluminum to ease outa the steel tube?
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:12:27 PM
Bob Shannon Bob Shannon is offline
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Default Re: Here's One For Ya

apply a little penatrating oil and let it sit for a day or 2. Then warm up the steel part with a torch and it should slide out. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:18:14 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Here's One For Ya

Aluminum expands more when heated than steel. You may need to chill the part to seperate. A CO2 fire extinguish can be used to chill the part.

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Old 12-07-2007, 11:14:20 AM
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I was thinken extreme chill might be need, always thought that too about aluminium that it expanded more then Steel when heated.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:17:03 PM
J Dayman J Dayman is offline
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Default Re: Here's One For Ya

If you go the penetrating oil route first, you might try and drill a few small holes in the steel tube along the length, to get the oil all the way in.

Sometimes 15 minutes tapping on the end of a stuck part every day for a week or two with a small hammer will gradually break the bond down, along with the oil. I did say a small hammer, and lots of taps. It's the repeated SMALL impacts that do the job, NOT one big bang.

Just repeated heating to dull red and then cooling sometimes loosen parts.

I find with old stuff patience is the number one thing. If you natter at stuck parts gently and repeatedly it will give up eventually usually. Just pester it often and it loses it's resolve or so it seems. When I take the gentle and repetitive approach I seem to wreck a lot less stuff too. I was taught this by an old English fitter I worked with when I was a kid. On one job at an old factory we had to remove stuck nuts on studs holding on an ancient pump cover, which was not replaceable. We tried many things, then finally he said "we'll start tapping." So we did, he set 6 apprentices 2 per shift tapping the damn things with 10 oz hammers 24/7 with three shifts, and all nuts finally let go by day 9. We just about went nuts too though.

If all else fails, you can probably drill the alum. out, using the steel tube as a guide for the drill. Long drills are available at good hardware stores for contractors. They are sometimes called contractor bits. McMaster Carr also sell long drills.

Good luck anyway, Jeff
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