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*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

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It has taken me until yesterday to finally get the hitch plate remounted on the ATV, because of the difficulty I experienced removing those two sheared off bolts. Well, and also due to the fact I spend most of my days away at the day-job instead of working on things that need fixing at home!

When gentle methods proved insufficient, I drilled through the bolts in order to use an “easy-out” bit to turn them out. I was able to pound against one of them to break the rust bond, and then it spun out effortlessly. For a minute, I forgot the reality of all such projects and I felt hopeful about quickly finishing the second bolt using the same process. Silly me. It wasn’t to be.

DSCN3905eTry as I might, I could not get the second bolt to jar loose from the threads in the frame. And I did try, over and over again. I tried adding heat, I tried cooling with ice. I pounded it in every direction. I soaked it with rust-breaking fluids. I worked repeatedly to get the easy-out bit to rotate, all the while being cautious about not breaking that off in the hole. It never budged.

After days of effort, I was forced to make progress in order to get on with the next task at hand. I drilled out the bolt fragment as large as possible without completely trashing the threads, and put in a smaller diameter bolt that was long enough to secure with a nut on the bottom.

It wasn’t the perfect resolution to the problem, but it was a completely effective work around. The hitch plate is mounted again, and I can pull the trailer for chores. First order of business: relocate the composted piles of manure.

I needed to make new space for manure because I was running out of a place to put it. Out of the 6 piles I had in our composting area, 4 were no longer “cooking.” I spent most of the afternoon distributing composted manure to a variety of spots. Some is being used as fertilizer, but a lot if it is currently being used as fill in areas that need it. That happens to be the most convenient solution to two different issues.

I quickly get new space in the compost area, and at the same time, get to fill low spots that need it most. That’s good enough for me.

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Written by johnwhays

September 8, 2015 at 6:00 am

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