A narrowboat renovation project by Nick Goodall.


Progress in millimeters

17th September 2023

Well, the weeks where days happen. That bolt thread is still stuck, but I did make some progress today, which you can read about later. I also discovered “thread repair kits” on a recommendation, which are threads inside threads. You drill a larger thread and “shrink” it, in a sense. There is hope!

Oh and remember the fancy drill bit I bought? That lasted for all of 5 seconds before I snapped it, and the original 4mm of thread sticking out was quickly whittling down to 2mm, then 0.2mm. Literally reaching the end of the thread; that Tuesday evening I measured the boat for battens before helping a friend install some shelves. A small win, at least. Spread the joy.

Luckily part of me was still functioning, as on Wednesday I woke up from a dream about how to drill a pilot hole with nothing to guide a drill, and it seemed so obvious: bolt on the old water pump to guide it. But this was a day for different tasks, and with access to a garage and a welder I got to installing the multipoint lock in the door:

Installing multipoint lock

And an amazing day it was! It works incredibly well:

What a high.

I’m now waiting for the final coat of paint to dry before I can install it, and then I need to cut the bolt and latch holes in the other door as well. So close.

On Thursday I managed to drill a little hole in the thread, thanks to my dreaming self, and like an idiot tried another bolt extractor. It snapped. This time I laughed however, and nobody called me a fucktard. The problem with these bolt extractors is how hard they are; harder than any drill bits I have, even cobalt or carbide ones. I finally searched YouTube for my predicament, and found a guy who’d been in a very similar situation. After much more experimenting, there was only one thing he recommended: carbide burrs to grind it out.

On Sunday they arrived, and right away I could see them working. PROGRESS, finally. With the stuck bolt extractor disintegrated I could drill once more, which went rather smoothly, at an angle. Yes, the hole was not straight, and I’m fairly sure some of the engine block has come with it. Tomorrow starts the delicate task of grinding the rest out; slowly, patiently.

Until next Sunday!

- Nick

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