Holy Hardened Bolts Batman! (Extraction Experts Comment Here Please)

I’m on the last roller that needs to be disassembled in order to replace all failed bearings and then reassemble the baler... and I have hit a problem. Four problems. Four very, very, very hard problems.

7/32nds? who the fuck uses 7/32nds heads on an application like this?

This particular section shows signs of previous failed attempts at disassembly, notably one welded-over bolt (who knows what’s under there) and one that had been partially drilled. I have been applying heat and penetrating oil to the two bolts with in-tact heads, so far fruitlessly, but I was being patient with them...


I’m not excited about taking the angle grinder to the welded one... but I decided while I’m waiting for the penetrating oil and heat to (hopefully) work, I’d finish drilling out that partially-drilled bolt.

You can see that I succeeded in making the already existing hole shiny. That’s about ALL I succeeded at.

I quickly discovered why it was only partially drilled out.

First I killed the left-hand bit in my shitty extractor kit. Not really a surprise.


Then I killed a cheap Ryobi bit. Also not surprised about this.

Then I killed a decent Milwaukee bit. Hmmm, these things have proven to be pretty robust in the past, but maybe all the metal drilling I’ve done with them previously was a contributor.


Then I killed a pretty nice DeWalt branded bit that was kinda expensive and sold in a single pack, as opposed to part of a kit.

uh oh.

This was a sharp, fresh, high-quality (though not tungsten) bit and in the past these things (not this exact bit, but others from the same line) have cut through 1/4" steel plate like butter, multiple times, without signs of slowing down after 10 holes.

Not just dull, blunted. And It was lubricated, and it made only a few small chips before giving up.

whoever was here before me gave up, and nowI see why. These damn things have too-small heads and are hard as fuck. not just hard, but REALLY hard.

at least a couple of those chips came from the BIT not the bolt :(

I’m torn as to whether my next step is to buy another expensive bit and have at it again, or attack it with the angle grinder (or a die grinder), or attempt to weld a lever to it... I sort of think the welded-over one on the other side might have been the ultimate fallout of a previous attempt to do that...


Oppo bolt-removal-expert suggestions?

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