10. Use Your Mind Before Resorting To Muscle

 

Removing Stuck Fasteners

The natural response, when encountering a stubborn fastener, is entering into an escalating battle of wills. A good rule of thumb is: If you’re breaking a sweat, you’re doing something wrong. So, before reaching for that three-foot breaker bar for “just a little more leverage,” pause for a moment to ponder the offending part. Is it corroded? Perhaps you should clean it with a wire brush, apply some penetrating oil (like Liquid Wrench), and then shock the threads with a hammer blow to the bolt head. Is the bolt binding up after turning a little? Treat the bolt like a tap and screw it back in an eighth turn after every quarter turn out until it frees up. And apply more penetrating oil. Could the fastener be held in place by permanent Loctite? Heat, followed by a hammer shock, could help.