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Thread: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    I'm top mounting oarlocks on three inches of wood. I understand wood screws could eventually come loose and that machine bolts might be a better choice.

    The other thing is the close proximity of the screw hole to the larger hole for the neck of the oarlock socket. I'm thinking if I drill the screw hole too big the screw will be weaker and if I drill the hole too small I might split the wood because it's so close to the larger hole.

    All this leads me to think a bolt hole is probably the way to go. Unfortunately the silicon bronze bolts I've found cost as much as $5 a piece and fender washers as much as $25 (can you believe that?). For four stations that really adds up. I've intentionally done some stupid things in my life but this would take the cake.

    I guess what I need here is a #10 or 3/16" countersunk bolt 3 1/2" long. What material?
    Everything is practice
    Pele

  2. #2
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    I'd think you could do better for price and don't seen the need for fender washers, but stainless steel would be fine in every way as long as you don't mind the sparkle or paint the heads.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    If you have 3 inches of wood, use long skinny screws, lubed. You going to put a 50hp motor on those oarlocks?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    If the barrel of the socket is a snug fit in its bore, there won't be much load on the screws.
    I'd guess that 1-1/2" #12 wood screws would fit the fitting and do the job well.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    If you don't like wood screws, bore and thread for a suitable bolt you stick in from the top. I like to use some thin epoxy to harden the threads. A little smear at the bottom of the bolt and then thread it in will do. You've plenty of depth to make it strong and the point about correctly sizing the socket hole is well take. The thing will pretty much stay in place with that. You might consider a small rove and rivit on each side of the hole. This is easily made from a short bit of copper rod and a couple of suitably drilled pennies. Old real copper pennies are seriously rare but the modern zincified pennies won't have a problem used thus.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    You can buy individual bronze fastenings on-line from Hamilton Marine. You should only need to pay about 50 cents a piece from the right size bronze wood screw or machine screw. You do not need a bolt all the way through. Just enough to keep the socket in place because the main hole in the pad will be carefully sized for the socket.

    To avoid splitting the oarlock pads, you can rotate or offset the flange of the sockets by 45 degrees (relative to the centerline of the pad) so that the holes are not in a line.

    Brian

  7. #7
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    A lot of good comments. It's got me rethinking what I want to do. A couple mentioned the socket being firmly imbedded so the mount takes the torque and not the screws. The neck of my sockets are tapered. About 7/8" at the top and 3/4" at the bottom so I drilled the mount accordingly. It's a tight fit but not perfect and in time I think the sockets will work loose. My question here is; can I fill the gaps between the neck and the mount (which is 1" thick) with epoxy and cement the socket in place? The socket is silicon bronze with a very rough bubbly surface. Will the epoxy adhere to the bronze?

    I like the idea of offsetting the sockets. I have 2" #10 bronze screws.
    Everything is practice
    Pele

  8. #8
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    Morticed for and tightly socketed, there is still considerable torque and lifting force (in much of the stroke the pull is up as well as forward, otherwise the blade will lift out of the water) if you pull at all hard -- and why not? sometimes you need to pull hard. My experience is that screws are fine but they will loosen with time, so I like bolts. We expect a good tight fit and epoxy around the socket (where it is hard to drill the tapered hole perfectly) may help, but good through fasteners make sense to me.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    You could epoxy them down. If you do you will never get water in the joint. When you want to replace them, if ever, just chisel, plane and sand them off, not difficult. Bedding the socket in adhesive caulk like Sika will keep water out of the bored hole and keep it located.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: mounting oarlocks; screw vs bolt

    Well you've not described your boat, but I typically use screws with the top mounted oarlock sockets of my lapstrake boats. I've put many miles on my own 16. These are bronze sockets for 1/2" oarlock shafts - the sockets have a depth of between 1" and 1 1/4". I typically mount the sockets on pads that are then screwed to inwale and outwale. Solid as a rock. Occasionally I mortise the top plate of the socket into the pad. The socket is very much captured by the bore, 11/16 if I recall correctly. Maybe if I had those extended standing oarlocks I would reconsider. Anyway, in case any of those numbers correlate . . .

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