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Discussion Starter #1
I'm replacing a bunch of old grommets in a Hyside and I was wondering i anyone knows of a tool or simple way to remove the old, bent grommets. Right now I'm using locking pliers and really wrestling with the things. Any advice would help. Thanks!
 

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They way I've always gotten grommets off in the past is to drill them (never done it on a raft though). Get a drill bit that is slightly larger than the hole of the grommet and drill. It will slice through internal metal sleeve that holds the grommet together without damaging the material the grommet is in (assuming no twisting and your'e relatively straight with the drill).

I'm guessing with a raft it's going to be a larger diameter grommet, mandating a larger drill bit/drill as well.

If you have the floor removed from the raft, I'd try to do it with a vice/drill press where you could really clamp everything down to prevent the rubber from twisting too bad and tearing (assuming these grommets are at the floor connection). Or, maybe get a couple of buddies over- 1 with a drill and 1 with vise grips?

Best of luck. Let me know how it turns out. Sounds like it could be a painful process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks st2eelpot. Drilling sounds like an interesting choice, but I have to be careful not to damage the hole in the fabric that the grommet is protecting. Using a vice would probably be just as, if not more, time consuming than my current method.

Has anyone heard of a hand tool that works well for this?
 

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In addition to the vice grips, a good pair of wire cutters has been helpful to me in the past. Take small bites of the grommet as you are able to bend part of it away from the material. the best case is if you can work from both sides and get the grommet cut all the way through in one spot.
 

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I've never tried this, but what about a step bit? The smaller size would act as kind of a guide inside the grommet. The next step up would cut through the "outer ring" of the grommet. Then you could slide it out... maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice everyone. I've actually gotten pretty good with the locking piers by now. Lots of grommets to go....
 

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On my old Hyside I took a pair of needle nose pliers and got them mostly staitened out then took a gromet setting tool and re-set them. It worked pretty well.
 

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I would recommend against a step bit- each of it's depths isn't deep enough in my experience (i.e. I've screwed up some grommets in the past trying this).

For me, once the grommet was cut, the step bit hit the "next size up" and damaged the underlying material (if done with a hand-held drill).

I worked (rookie level) many years ago at a machine shop. I'm not saying it can't be done, more so that I have not successfully made it happen- especially if we're talking about many grommets. Plus, a step bit is expensive compared to a single bit!

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
For anyone researching grommets online in the future, I thought I'd include the following:

No. 216 & No.217

Number 217, for spur grommets, in a size 4 is the appropriate tool to use for installing new grommets on old Hysides. You can buy the grommets and webbing direct from Hyside.
 

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Have you installed any yet? I've. Ot had good luck with grommets myself, they always seem to split. That may be a product quality issue, i'll keep your source in mind
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have, though I used a fancier sort of grommet setting tool. I'll let you know how the Osborne tool works when it arrives, but I expect it will work great. It's all about getting the right grommets. The Hyside grommets are tough as hell - very heavy duty, hence my hassle removing them.
 

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I be their beefy. I'm more interested in lighter duty grommets, ones for tarps that I can use in gear I've sewn. That crappy sewing store grommets just split.
 

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Don't chew just ate tatoo erect?
 

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Ihow- I picked up a grommet kit at Home Depot a couple of years ago for light duty stuff (added more grommets to my paco, for example). They've worked fine for me. I haven't had any problems with them splitting or anything like that.
 

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Do you have to put the grommets back in the holes? We have an old Avon that has grommeted drain holes. Several grommets have become bent or sharp on the edge. We just remove them and have never worried about replacing them. Avon quit putting grommets in their holes years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Do you have to put the grommets back in the holes? We have an old Avon that has grommeted drain holes. Several grommets have become bent or sharp on the edge. We just remove them and have never worried about replacing them. Avon quit putting grommets in their holes years ago.
Hey Dan! You know, I thought about leaving the holes as is, but figured I'd do it "properly." If one of them snagged, especially with the little bit ragged shape of the old, post-grommet holes, I'm afraid it could tear all the way to the V-tape. This is probably never going to happen, as Hypalon is tough, but the grommets were there for a reason.

If you want any more boats for your collection, give me a shout. I have several '90s 14 foot Hysides with I-beam issues that will be listed for sale cheap next week. Hope you're doing well Dan!
 

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I'm afraid I have enough boats with I beam issues.......

Our problem was the same as yours......I believe the guys at IT in Denver told us to just pull the bad grommets out and leave the holes as is. If the edge of the hole becomes ruff, reshape or oblong it to remove any rough edges and stress points. The old grommets are stainless steel and need to be pressed in with hydraulic force to properly seat them. If they weren't so hard to remove.....we would have taken them all out. They are very sharp and dangerous when they do get bent. If you figure out an easy way to remove them.....let me know.

Brass will not work....which is what most grommets are made of. Brass is easily workhardened by hitting them too much when setting them......thus one reason for their cracking.
 
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