Busting Off a Siezed-Up Nut
Can't budge that nut? Better to cut it. October 26, 2007
Any ideas on how to un-seize a spindle nut on a 1-13/16" spindle? It threaded snug by hand, was tightened by wrench, loosened by wrench, unthreaded by hand about 1 turn, and has seized mid-thread. We have tried about everything from heat and special sauces on the threads to re-tightening, re-loosening, and we've only moved it about 1 turn further. We're about to cut the nut off, but curious if anyone has a better idea. We've snapped our wrench twice. Switched to tractor tools and still can't seem to budge it with 5' bars on it.
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor R:
It sounds like it got cross-threaded somehow. I would try to go back the way it came; if it came out a full turn, then tighten it back to avoid further thread damage. Try tightening another nut up against it to pressure it, and then try to turn it away from the pressure nut. If you can get some movement, move the pressure nut against it and keep it going. A small washer or two between the nuts might help with working room. Try to heat the nut, but not the spindle, to get some expansion. Another last-ditch attempt is to grind a small indent into the nut where you can get the nose of a cold chisel and rap it with a hammer in the direction you want to go - vibration and impact might accomplish something.
From contributor H:
Get out the dremel and cutting wheel. Cut the nut down to just above the threads and split it with a chisel. Buy a new nut. With the forces you have explained trying to get it off, its only a matter of time before you ruin the threads or bend the spindle (if you haven't already). 5' bar, breaking wrenches? Lose the battle... win the war.
From Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor:
I agree with contributor H. Grind down the nut on both sides with an angle grinder or dremel tool, then split the nut. If this happened on one of the Asian imports, you may have had a thread break off when you tightened the nut with the wrench. If the nut went on well, it was most likely not cross threaded. You might also try heat from a propane torch to try to expand the nut before you cut it off. Either way, I would replace the nut and clean the spindle threads with a thread tool.
From contributor N:
Use a real torch red hot, even white hot.
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