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Author Topic:   3M 5200--A Cautionary Tale
elaelap posted 05-03-2003 01:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for elaelap   Send Email to elaelap  
Despite many threads warning about difficulties with 3M 5200 adhesive, I decided to do a lazy man's quick fix on the bolt holes left when I removed the kicker bracket from the transom of my Katama...I squirted 5200 into the holes, cleverly leaving 1/2 inch below the gel coat inboard and outboard, intending to Spectrum paste over the declevities.

Well, the stuff expanded and bulged out past the level of the gelcoat, and (as folks have repeatedly warned at this site) it is amazingly tough and nasty to deal with. I'm using an Xacto knife to slowly shave away tiny bits of the stuff...very, very tedious!

Any ideas?...I've already tried sanding (ha!) and dremelling (ha!) and thermonuclear explosives (ha!), but the damn stuff just sits there and laughs.
Anybody know of any chemical or acid that that might work, or do I just have to Xact away for the rest of my life?

Moral: listen to the advice of those more experienced, Tony.

OutrageMan posted 05-03-2003 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
Tough stuff isn't it. Basically you are limited to mechanical means for removal. If it were me, I would tape around the area to preven damage and use a very sharp chisel to knock it away. When I say sharp, I don't mean some cold chisel, or one used for upening paint cans, but one that you would use for woodworking and is sharp enough to shave with.


Whalerdan posted 05-03-2003 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Try drilling it out.
kingfish posted 05-03-2003 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Whalerdan named it - start with a drill smaller than the original boltholes and move up in steps to full size. If you start full size, it *may* work OK, but it also may want to drill at least partially into the transom stock.
hooter posted 05-03-2003 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
have'nt tried it, buit am told it will soften with heat, as from a butane torch. But be careful as fiberglass doesn't much care for heat either.
Jerry Townsend posted 05-03-2003 11:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
I have not used the 3M 5200 - but from the comments and experiences noted, you might try a small diameter milling machine flute cutter and use it in a 1/4 or 3/8 inch drill. But, if the stuff is that hard, I am surprised a dremmel tool with an abrasive head would not work.

I would not use heat - remember fiberglas resin and gelcoat burn. The last thing you need to do is to burn your boat up. ------ Jerry/Idaho

elaelap posted 05-03-2003 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Yeah, I kinda agree with Jerry, hooter. With my mechanical skills, if I tried a torch or other heat source my old Katama would end up looking like that boat in the Marketplace thread, "Here's a Fixer-Upper."

And Jerry, it's not that the stuff is's rubbery and incredibly tightly bonded (an engineer or chemist could more properly describe its properties). I can imagine that for the correct applications the stuff is dynamite...but not for filling boltholes, my friends.


Steve Leone posted 05-03-2003 11:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Steve Leone  Send Email to Steve Leone     
A cordless drill with a Forsner bit works well. The bit needs to be new and slightly larger than the hole in question. They are very inexpensive and generally used for wood. Steve
elaelap posted 05-04-2003 12:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Thanks for that, Steve. I'm fishing tomorrow; maybe I'll buy one at Home Depot on the way back. By the way, when are you going to get over to Bodega Bay...we've been getting them pretty good for the last 10 or 12 days at the fifty fathom line 4-5 miles straight out from the Head. Just heard that Dave in the Blockbuster took his clients all the way south of Point Reyes today...nothing much doing down there, and a lot of fun pounding back up, I imagine.

Look forward to fishing with you...I'm on channel 77 mostly, sometimes 9. My boat is the LooLee3.


doobee posted 05-04-2003 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
Boatlife makes a product called release, which is supposed to soften products like 5200 and Life Seal. It may take several applications though.

There is also something out there called Anti-Bond.

larimore posted 05-08-2003 12:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for larimore  Send Email to larimore     
Seems easy enough...

Cut it flush, then Kingfish has it right with the drill... I don't think the Forsner is a good choice, use regular drill bits.
Same way I get my tubes of 5200 open everytime I reuse them.

Eric posted 05-11-2003 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
The last time I used a tube of 4200 I vacumn sealed it with my Foodsaver vacumn packer, and put it in the freezer. I have been keeping 5200 and 4200 in the freezer, and it keeps for several months but can still be hard to open.
I hope that the vacumn will make it just like a new tube when I use it next.
kingfish posted 05-12-2003 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Hope if anyone confuses that with anchovy paste and spreads it on toast, they recognize the error of their ways before they take a big mouthfull...

(Sorry - couldn't leave the idea alone of a tube of something like that in the freezer with the hamburger and the popsicles.)

Scarface posted 05-17-2003 04:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Scarface  Send Email to Scarface     
Does that stuff look like heavy duty caulk?
I just bought a whater and theres a place thats filled with the stuff I was thinking of tryying to sand it down tommorow.
kingfish posted 05-17-2003 07:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Yeah, it looks just like caulk, usually white (not sure what you mean by heavy duty caulk). If it's 5200, it'll be soft (still very tough, just not brittle), and hard to sand, like rubber.
Scarface posted 05-18-2003 02:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Scarface  Send Email to Scarface     
DOH!!!!!! I got a big section of it toward the the rear of the boat right next to where my motor mounts. ehh I guess Ill go out and by a sharp chissel.

Hehehe It almost looks like a small scoop of icream that melted and turned hard. Its that bad.

elaelap posted 05-18-2003 06:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
I ended up drilling the damn stuff out with one of those 1/2" flattened drill bits designed for wood...I don't know what they're called ($3.00 at Ace). I drilled down about 1/2" and then filled up the hole with gelcoat; worked OK.

There's a moral in this somewhere, and it has to do with stubborness and laziness and the refusal to heed good advice...

Oh well, God's punishing me...gale force winds here north of San Francisco for the past three days, so no salmon fishing.


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