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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pair of 3-piece Sawyer PoleCat oars that have seriously stuck TiteSet connectors. I am using the official Sawyer TiteSet tool (not well made aluminum) and it is bending nicely instead of removing the TiteSet plugs. I removed both plugs from one oar by drilling a 1/2 inch hole in the plug, driving in a 1/2 inch chisel and turning the plug with channel locks on the chisel. Yes, these plugs were really stuck. The oars are brand new and never been in the water, but they were sitting in a fly fishing store for a long time. The cast threads in the shaft connector are damaged but still seem to work. The threads in the Duramax blade need to be cleaned up with a tap or bolt. The second oar has the same problem as the first. My question is: Is this a problem with the TiteSet connectors? Do the connectors degrade with age. Has anyone else had similar problems? Also, what should I lubricate the threads with? I have been on the phone to Sawyer for a week and sent 3 emails through their website without a response. I have three pairs of Sawyer wood oars and I have been using them happily for 20 years. I hope this is not a problem with the new counter-balance MX shafts that I just ordered.
 

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The Old Troll
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I only say this because it happened to me and I don't think you're impaired or anything. You said you had other Sawyer oars so you probably know how they work so please excuse me for asking but is it possible that your are turning them the wrong way?
 

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The Old Troll
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Well that was my first inclination. However the plastic bolts screw into the shaft to release the blades. So in this case there was very little LOL-ing. Replacement bolts are available on the Sawyer website for 13 bucks.


Rightie tightie? Lol!


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First thing I checked. The slightly damaged shaft joint works with a new plug and they are righty tight and lefty loosey. If you have Sawyer oars, you should take out the TiteSet holding in your blades and make sure they work.
 

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The Old Troll
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Unfortunately I have performed this chore after the oars caught on the side of my garage whey I was taking out my boat. This was my first mistake and an expensive one too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All ready have the replacement bolts. The shaft threads are screwed up but still work. The threads are cast in resin, so I am very curious as to how the bolt got stuck. The threads are sticky and feel like they need lubrication which is weird for resin threads and a plastic bolt. The threads in the DuraMax blades are bunged and I am looking for a bolt or tap to straighten them out. Pretty shoddy work from Sawyer.
 

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The Old Troll
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After I bought the Sawyer tool and stopped trying to use a big ass screwdriver and turned them to the right I had no further problems.

I'm thinking the cleaning personal at the shop used some kind of cleaning product in the shop that degraded the resin.
 

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Skinwalker-

If you wanted to try lubricant, the only thing I would use is graphite spray. Once it dries it shouldn't leave anything behind that would attract silt or sand.
Sawyer and everyone else was at Outdoor Retailer (the huge yearly trade show for our industry) in Salt Lake City over the last week, so that's why they were hard to get in touch with.
I haven't seen the actual threads messed up before, but given that everything is done one-up by hand it's certainly possible. I have had to use the Sawyer tool once or twice.
For anyone else reading this thread make sure you turn the bolt clockwise to take the blade off, and counter-clockwise just enough to back it out into the blade hole when putting the blade on.
Bruce, the original owner at Sawyer, told us it is best to just use a nickle or quarter to turn the bolt when installing blade. That way you cannot over-tighten it when going counter-clockwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Boat People:

Thanks you just explained the problem. I was not told to screw the TiteSet clockwise into the oar to remove the blade and joint. Everyone I talked to including Sawyer showed me a disassemble TiteSet and unscrewed the plug counter-clockwise. My problem is that I was trying to get the screw to pass through the shaft and, clearly now, that is not how the TiteSet works. Sawyer really needs to put interaction for us newbies (to composite oars) on their website. I will tell the sales rep at Sawyer how the TiteSet works, because he did not seem to know, or it is so obvious, he did not think about it. I am heading out the garage to see if I can rescue my oars.
 

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The Old Troll
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Sorry I was not able to explain this in a way that made sense to you but that was my point. Just remember Righty Lucy Lefty is mighty tighty. Good Luck David
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks David:

The Boat People comment explained the problem. I saved the oars at a cost of three $4.50 plugs. I am going to yell at Sawyer tomorrow and see if they will comp me more plugs and a new TiteSet tool. My problem was that when the TiteSet was first stuck, I called Sawyer. I was told that they had no idea why the TiteSet was stuck and how the TiteSet actually works was not explained. The obvious problem that the plugs are supposed to go into the threaded socket and not out was not mentioned nor is there any description of how the TiteSet works on the website. Having all of the repair warranty guys out of the shop and not communicating did not help the situation. We will see how well Sawyer steps up. Now that I understand the TiteSet, I like it. Just has an obvious flaw that you can screw it up turning the plug the wrong way. Clear instructions and recommendations for lubrication, if any, need to be on the Sawyer website. And it is not lefty really tighty, it is lefty stripy and breaky.
 
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