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Oscillating Tool vs 5200

Sep 24, 2018
1,451
O'Day 25 Chicago
Man this stuff sucks! I'm in the middle of a rebedding project and pulled out six out of the eight attachment points for the cabin top handrails. The last two wont budge at all with the plastic pry tool I've been using. I've seen a number of people mention a scraper blade with an oscillating multi tool. What's the likely hood of putting marks in the gelcoat with this method? I'm concerned with the gelcoat around the fitting, not underneath where nobody can see
 
Dec 2, 2003
615
Hunter 260 winnipeg, Manitoba
If cabin top is relatively smooth you could try a guitar string or high strength fish line attached to a couple of toggles and “saw” through the 5200 (think a garrotte). A bit of masking tape around attachment point can further protect the gel coat.
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,713
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
If cabin top is relatively smooth you could try a guitar string or high strength fish line attached to a couple of toggles and “saw” through the 5200 (think a garrotte). A bit of masking tape around attachment point can further protect the gel coat.
I've tried the piano wire approach. It doesn't work if the pieces don't have enough separation to allow the wire beneath. Try Debond. That uses a chemical reaction and might not be effective in winter temps. If that doesn't work, heating the metal with a torch might also work, but be careful not to overdo the heat, it can damage the fiberglass.
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,451
O'Day 25 Chicago
I totally expect to mark up the gelcoat under the fitting and am ok with this. The gelcoat has a texture on the cabin top

I can get the wedge style pry tool about 3/8" under the wooden rails and then it refuses to go any further. I'm guessing I'm just deforming the wood at the edge. I have some stainless wire that might work

I've read that denatured alcohol can soften 5200. Has anyone tried this?
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Man this stuff sucks! I'm in the middle of a rebedding project and pulled out six out of the eight attachment points for the cabin top handrails. The last two wont budge at all with the plastic pry tool I've been using. I've seen a number of people mention a scraper blade with an oscillating multi tool. What's the likely hood of putting marks in the gelcoat with this method? I'm concerned with the gelcoat around the fitting, not underneath where nobody can see
Could you use a thin metal plate as a stand-off to protect the gel coat from the oscillating tool and cut the base of the wood? Once the handrail is off grind off the little stub that’s left.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,870
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
pulled out six out of the eight attachment points....... I can get the wedge style pry tool about 3/8" under the wooden rails and then it refuses to go any further.
No picture so I am left to assume that we are talking about a teak rail on the deck. Are you sure there are no screws or bolts imbedded in the wood rail holding the unit to the deck?
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,922
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Bit of Trivia: The first oscillating tool, created by Fein, was developed to remove plaster casts without hurting the patient. I remember when it was marketed as an easy way to remove window caulk. Fein was the only one available, and like everything Fein, it was expensive. It's purposes have exploded since then.
 

LloydB

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Jan 15, 2006
537
Macgregor 22 Silverton
First thought is if you were to stick a bumper sticker down you would never get through it to the gelcoat your only problem would be getting a bumper sticker back off the gelcoat without damage.
Researched thinwaters answer after posting mine is this probably a better solution after reading this:
boatus.com/magazine/tomneale/debond-to-the-rescue.asp
 
Last edited:
Nov 30, 2020
55
Macgregor 22 Dania, FL
Piano wire comes in different diameters and lengths. If you have a local music store, ask about a spare mandolin string.
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,607
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 28400 Portland OR
I stripped off ALL of our deck hardware a few months ago. Ericson used 5200 for everything. Yikes.
Tiresome work to "get under" the parts. I settled on several shiny ss scrapers in various widths, and the flexible ones work well.
Use a 2# short hammer to gently "thump" the blade handle. Take your time. As noted above it can help to put some good quality (metal surfaced) tape right up the base of the part. You will need multiple blades to work your way into and under all sides of the parts. Go slow, and steady. As you work the blade under, wiggle it from side to side, and the material will give way.

That said, we did have some small teak chips that were torn away from the base of some parts, but nothing that would not glue back.

Further, and no, you did not ask, but even will the tenacity of 5200, we found that a number of port light frames and deck pieces had evidence of moisture sneaking in under them Almost to the point where it would have reached the coring if ignored another few years. So, even with a 'high end' boat, after 30 years it is Time to rebed everything.
As a mechanic friend of mine likes to say regarding maintenance : "That's why it's called Preventative Maintenance!". :)

"Good luck Storming the Castle", as Miracle Max said with a grin !!
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,922
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
A very thin Japanese pull saw might work. Still need to mask off the exposed gelcoat.
 
Sep 25, 2008
1,096
CS 30 Toronto
Debond is very very good. Not cheap but works. Never use 5200 for that purpose again. It's called the devil's glue.
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,451
O'Day 25 Chicago
Could you use a thin metal plate as a stand-off to protect the gel coat from the oscillating tool and cut the base of the wood? Once the handrail is off grind off the little stub that’s left.
I've actually been using a dough scraper for this purpose. Ive found that it's useful for getting bolts out if you push it up against the threads
I'm also not opposed to losing a millimeter or two of wood at the base. I assume that would happen if I were to use an oscillating tool
No picture so I am left to assume that we are talking about a teak rail on the deck. Are you sure there are no screws or bolts imbedded in the wood rail holding the unit to the deck?
You are correct about the teak! The rails have hanger bolts in them. I removed all the nuts on the inside of the cabin. There was some rust stains so I'm guessing a PO had "cured" the issue by using 5200. Solve one problem and create another!
Bit of Trivia: The first oscillating tool, created by Fein, was developed to remove plaster casts without hurting the patient. I remember when it was marketed as an easy way to remove window caulk. Fein was the only one available, and like everything Fein, it was expensive. It's purposes have exploded since then.
I actually had one used on a cast a few months ago. I thought the thing was going to cut open my skin the blade was so close! As for using it as a tool, it's awesome!
we found that a number of port light frames and deck pieces had evidence of moisture sneaking in under them Almost to the point where it would have reached the coring if ignored another few years. So, even with a 'high end' boat, after 30 years it is Time to rebed everything.
Good to know how long it lasts
A spatula works great to use as a guard to protect the deck from the oscillating saw blade.

Don't take the one from the drawer in your wife's kitchen though, go down to the Dollar Store and get your own.
I'm using a dough scraper from the dollar store ;)

I'll try a few suggestions mentioned here before shelling out $30 for Debond. I'll let everyone know what I try and what the results were
 
Jan 22, 2008
60
Hunter Catalina 400 PORT JEFERSON, NY
Removal of Devils glue
On my C400 I had to replace my rub rails, both sides, a total of 74 linear feet bedded with 5200. Until I learned to put a slight stretch between the rub rail and fiberglass and then insert the oscillating tool I made almost no progress. Once I learned to stretch (I used a wedge between the rail and the glass) I finished the boat in two hours. A great tool.

Alan J C400 S/V Skol
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,451
O'Day 25 Chicago
I wasn't able to get to the yard this week. Out of curiosity, would a nichrome wire with a small amount of current melt its way through the 5200?

Removal of Devils glue
On my C400 I had to replace my rub rails, both sides, a total of 74 linear feet bedded with 5200. Until I learned to put a slight stretch between the rub rail and fiberglass and then insert the oscillating tool I made almost no progress. Once I learned to stretch (I used a wedge between the rail and the glass) I finished the boat in two hours. A great tool.

Alan J C400 S/V Skol
Wow! That's a lot of 5200 to deal with. It's equally impressive that you managed to get it done in two hours once you figured out the key. I'll definitely give it some light to medium tension as I use the oscillating tool