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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Nov 21, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!

I'm planning on developing a cliff and I'm going to be placing anchors for TR. I'm thinking about using these because they're available to me for fairly cheap:
www.fastenal.com/web/products/detail.ex?sku=0152207
here is the performance spec from manufacturer:
www.itw-redhead.com/trubolt_perf_1.asp

These will be placed in granite and even if I consider it 2000 PSI concerete these are still advertised at over 4,500lbs tensile and shear.

Edit to add that I'll be bringing along a torque wrench...

Yay or Nay?


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Nov 21, 2008
Cool snow formation at the base.

Yay. The compressive strength of granite is going to be way higher than 2,000 psi. Depending on the rock quality, it will probably be higher than the 6,000 psi listed.

education.uncc.edu/cmste/summer/2005%20Rocks%20&%20Minerals/>>>

Each anchor would be over 36kn if that's the case. Is there a reason you're using 1/2" over 3/8"? I assume you're power drilling as opposed to hand drilling these. Just watch out for air pockets in the rock and don't over torque them.


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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Nov 21, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!

Thanks for the response sqwirll. I couldn't get your link to work, but that's what I figured as well. I do plan on power drilling them but I'm not opposed to hand-drilling if it resorts to that. Just looking at the increased tensile and shear stepping up from the 3/8 to 1/2 size makes me go 1/2. I'd rather be overkill than killed and want these things to last a LONG time.

Edit: I went to the www.education.uncc.edu and ran a search for rock, minerals, jonathan and came up with the granite to concrete test. Good read, thanks!


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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Nov 21, 2008
Secret Crag

sqwirll wrote:
Yay. The compressive strength of granite is going to be way higher than 2,000 psi. Depending on the rock quality, it will probably be higher than the 6,000 psi listed. education.uncc.edu/cmste/summer/2005%20Rocks%20&%20Minerals/>>> Each anchor would be over 36kn if that's the case. Is there a reason you're using 1/2" over 3/8"? I assume you're power drilling as opposed to hand drilling these. Just watch out for air pockets in the rock and don't over torque them.


Is there somewhere to get a comparison or rating for different types of stone for compressive strength? I have been planning to do some bolting in Quartzite and have been concerned about the resulting strength. I tried the link you posted but it doesn't work. Thanks in advance.

Robert


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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Nov 21, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!

Robert, look at my edit above. I had the same problem.


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Nov 21, 2008
Cool snow formation at the base.

Not sure why that link isn't coming up right, but google granite psi and it's the first thing that comes up. 1/2" bolts would take forever to handrill fyi. I can get a 3/8"x 3" bolt installed in granite in about 35 minutes by hand. I wouldn't even consider hand drilling a 1/2" bolt. Have you found a good deal on stainless hangers as well?


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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Nov 21, 2008
Secret Crag

craig512 wrote:
Robert, look at my edit above. I had the same problem.

Thanks Craig, I saw that after I posted. I still haven't been able to find info for quartzite. I am looking to use the same type of bolt as you only in 3/8" dia. I see that it's tinsel strength in 4000psi concrete is 3850lbs so I believe it would be plenty strong. But like you I want to be safe.


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Nov 21, 2008
Cool snow formation at the base.

Robert 560 wrote:
Thanks Craig, I saw that after I posted. I still haven't been able to find info for quartzite. I am looking to use the same type of bolt as you only in 3/8" dia. I see that it's tinsel strength in 4000psi concrete is 3850lbs so I believe it would be plenty strong. But like you I want to be safe.


They get into it a little bit here under the section "A rock and a hard place".

safeclimbing.org/education/mechbolts.htm


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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Nov 21, 2008
Secret Crag

Looks like I found what I need......I love when I can answer my own questions. :)


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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Nov 21, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!

Well, to be honest, I've never done either type of drilling and plan on practicing with a power drill and by hand on a pet rock first. No sense in drilling useless holes on a piece of precious stone! I might end up with the 3/8 anyway but will make sure the rock is bomber first.
In regards to hangers...no I don't have a good lead on them yet. My buddy has a machine shop though and we've contemplated home-made ones...if we could test them. LOL. But like I said before, overkill is the name of the game.


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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Nov 21, 2008
Secret Crag

Looks like most Quartzite has a compressive strength of over 20,000 psi. Tho the actual range is 2000 to about 70,000 (at least according to the site I found).

So I guess my next question would be is 17-18kn strong enough for TR or belay anchors?


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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Nov 21, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!

I think TR would be just fine, since they won't (edit: shouldn't) suffer a big shock load ever...but a multi-pitch anchor could potentially take a huge fall and people do dumb things, maybe someone climbs with a static rope and tries a Dan Osman maneuver?
I think going 1/2" is the safest bet for multi-pitch. It may take longer to drill and be a little more expensive, but I think those are the only downsides.


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Nov 21, 2008
Cool snow formation at the base.

Robert 560 wrote:
So I guess my next question would be is 17-18kn strong enough for TR or belay anchors?


That is per bolt, so when they anchor is properly equalized it's going to be signifantly higher than that. A 200 lb climber generates about 10kN of force during a factor 2 fall for reference.


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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Nov 21, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!

I guess that puts it in perspective pretty well. I've just been looking at the numbers, and after taking another look, the numbers on the 3/8 should be high enough. I guess I'll debate with my buds about what they feel best about.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 21, 2008
Stabby

Let me jump in for a second -
Without costing too much more, the Kwickbolt from Hilti is far, far superior to Red Head. I'm a contractor, so I get special prices. A box of 50 3/8" x 3 1/2" runs me about $12.00. Set just one of each and you will notice the difference.

Better yet, for TR anchors use Powers 5 pc., if you can find them.


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Nov 21, 2008
Cool snow formation at the base.

Is that $12 for 50 stainless bolts? If so, hook me up. Iprefer the Kwikbolts as well.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 21, 2008
Stabby

sqwirll wrote:
Is that $12 for 50 stainless bolts? If so, hook me up. Iprefer the Kwikbolts as well.

Oh sorry, I missed the S/S detail. That price is for plated.


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By Brent Kertzman
From Black Hills, SD
Nov 21, 2008

The Hilti Kwik Bolt II works great in rock types that have compression factors greater than the tensile strength of a given bolt. The Kwik Bolt is my bolt of choice for the varying granite we have in the Black Hills. Our LCO-BHCC used Hilti Kwik Bolts in our replacement program for a number of years. Now we have enough funding to purchase FIXE Triplex bolts.

Your quartzite's psi will generally excede the bolt strength. In light of this the Powers 5-Piece will be overkill at least considering the cost. 5-Piece bolts work great in suspect rock (chossy volcanics, sandstones, Limestones, etc...) due to the larger expansion zone/sleeve configuration.

One thought about using 5-Piece bolts is you are giving up the shear strength and tensile strength proportionate to the hole diameter. In effect the 1/2" 5-Piece bolts are being held near to the 3/8" bolt shear and tensile strength. This is limited by the actual 3/8" bolt that constitutes the shank within the 1/2" sleeve. In the end why drill a 1/2" hole for a bolt that is slightly stronger than a 3/8" bolt?

The Triplex is similar in construction to the 5-Piece and both are quirky at times due to becoming spinners before you ever set them. They are both removeable with a little effort. Using a 1/2" bolt makes sense when recycling a 3/8" hole during a replacement project. If a bolt is removeable the hole can be recycled for use as a glue in when the need arises for future replacement.

If the rock you are drilling in is bomber then consider starting with a SS 3/8" x 3-3/4" Kwik Bolt. Hilti is the only constuction grade bolt that holds itself to a true higher standard. IMHO Hilti bolts are well worth the extra money spent vs the cost of Red Heads.

One possible way to search for more info and get a better understanding is to look for info pertaining to "Mohs Scale of Hardness". Steel comes out being weaker than most rock at the end of the day.


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By Greg Barnes
Nov 22, 2008
Hanging out with Karin on the summit of Warlock Needle. Photo by Josh Janes.

Actually Brent, the very commonly repeated error that a 5-piece bolt is weaker than a stud bolt because the bolt core is 5/16" is just plain wrong.

Go check out the strength ratings - 3/8" 5-piece bolts are STRONGER than 3/8" stud bolts. Don't forget that the threads on a stud bolt reduce the actual diameter significantly. Also, the nut/thread/hanger interface is much more subject to work fatigue and loosening.

I can't tell you how many people repeat this error. Almost as many as think that plated bolts are stainless (you wouldn't believe how many people think that all bolts are stainless).

Stud bolts of any sort can't be removed in the future. At least everyone here is talking about stainless steel stud bolts - which are probably going to last a very long time, especially in arid areas. Especially with 1/2" stainless as the original poster is planning on using. The ASCA no longer uses any stud bolts - only 5-piece (Power-Bolts) and Fixe Triplex - simply because both of those can be removed for future replacement.


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Nov 22, 2008
Cool snow formation at the base.

Greg Barnes wrote:
The ASCA no longer uses any stud bolts - only 5-piece (Power-Bolts) and Fixe Triplex - simply because both of those can be removed for future replacement.
I think most climbers would like to use these, but at $10 for a bolt/hanger it's hard to swallow.


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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Nov 22, 2008

sqwirll wrote:
I think most climbers would like to use these, but at $10 for a bolt/hanger it's hard to swallow.



If you are putting up a quality line that will hopefully be enjoyed for generations does it really make a difference if it costs you $150 for quality hardware that can easily be replaced vs $30 for cheap hardware?


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By Strider
Nov 26, 2008

Kevin Stricker wrote:
If you are putting up a quality line that will hopefully be enjoyed for generations does it really make a difference if it costs you $150 for quality hardware that can easily be replaced vs $30 for cheap hardware?


Sorry but I have to take issue with this argument. In the past 5 years, my partner and I have placed over 200 wedge-style stud bolts, exclusively by hand, in several different areas. For my costs to go from $2 per SS bolt/SS hanger (current costs) to $10 a bolt makes a HUGE difference. So yes, it does make a big difference to quintuple my cost outlay so that 20 years from now a lazy climber can more easily replace my bolt.

Sorry, but the "at all cost, use the VERY best" argument just does not hold any water for me. And if you think me callous, also consider that I could go cheaper than my current $2 price tag. I could use plated bolts at $.25 a bolt with a $1 SS hanger, cause corrosion issues and 5 years from now kill someone.

I care, just not at all costs.

-n


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By Billcoe
Nov 30, 2008

Yah! on your choice.

Long version -I was just asked a similar question the other day via email and here was my email response. Thought it would fit right in here and you all can add or debate it. I've emailed my issue with the 5 piece to Greg Barnes and he said they still use SS Wedge anchors as well. I think it's area specific. Certainly 5 piece will work well in dry sandstone areas, better than perhaps anything else short of a glue in. We live in a relatively damp environment here.

"Here's my take on Karl's question with the subject line "Recommended standard bolt lengths/sizes and types of rock". First point so it isn't buried: Stainless Steel ONLY!!

Karl: good on you and your buddies for finding new routes and new areas! It's a great feeling. I know it's new cause traditionally for ethical reasons climbers don't bolt someone else's routes till everyone and their dog has weighed in on the issue first. You don't say much about the rock you are looking at, and it can make a difference. For bolts, given basalt rock that's not just loose shit which you will be rotohammer drilling, the 3/8 X 3- 3-3/4" and up to 5" length stainless steel wedge anchors would be the choice. I've mostly use 5" long stainless steel anymore as a SDS 6" carbide bit will get that depth for me (and no more). As I noted - it's rock dependent, at Cathedral I'm using 1/2" x 7" stainless steel wedge anchors for pro placements. Do not use Powers 5 piece plated steel as I describe below, they are a ticking time bomb for our brother climbers who will be following and at some point I feel a fatality will back up this judgment, but it might not be till after I've departed the earth. The stainless Powers 5 piece are fantastic but will cost you a left testicle. Personally, I think buying on price makes sense as long you make absolutely sure they have an ICC-ES approval and you'll be good to go. The construction industry standard (icc-es) has some strong critical checks and approvals much like the climbing CE rating and the Uiaa rating. If it doesn't have the ICC-ES construction rating pass on it. Plenty of anchor companys have that rating: Powers, ITT Phillips Red Heads, US Anchor, Hilti, Simpson, etc etc. Just make sure that your choice lists it and you'll be fine. Did I say stainless Steel ONLY!! Even for Smith where it's dry in my opinion, but especially in wet West Slope areas.

Here's some more info you might find handy. In the old days, as you know Gent from climbing in the valley where a lot of this stuff still exists, almost all climbers used what was called "Rawl bolts" because they were deemed the best (and easiest to install with the hand drilling equipment available) . They were the split shank construction bolt made by the Rawl corp. out of high alloy steel and had a shitload of problems relating to design, size and material. Powers (formerly called Rawl corp) has a web site you can check these out as they are still sold to this day as Powers Drives. www.powers.com/pdfs/mechanical/03601.pdf

1st issue was the size. They were ľ diameter and either 1", 1-1/4 or 1-1/2" long. Due to the design of the split shank, the holding power was not at the bottom of that short length, but closer to ĺ of the way down. All the strength was almost at the surface of the rock.

2nd issue is that they rusted quickly. The plating would get scraped at the exact location they relied on for their strength as you banged it in, being high alloy they rusted fast.

3rd, the split in the shank needed constriction to cause it to hold, as you tapped the anchor into the small hole, as it started to squeeze the split shank, the pressure would often break the rock at the top of the hole and thus blow out the hole. This occurred more frequently on Tuft and Basalt than on Granite. At Smith, it was very problematical in the soft welded Tuff but they got used there as well, (along with some other types like the Star Nail-in (Star Dryvins) which used to dot the West Face of Monkey Face and a few other places.


These little guys, when brand new, would hold up to 2000 lbs on their very best day in ideal conditions. Climbers didn't ever really see an ideal placement though.You can check out the strength on the link above as the Rawl Corp was renamed Powers and they still make the little pups. Of course, in rock, conditions even on the same cliff can be hit and miss, let alone some poor pumped out dude in a near death state trying to hand drill a hole with a dull drill bit as his feet are greasing and smeared off. Yet this was the defacto standard and was widely used on most routes and for most anchors throughout the US on 90 percent of climbing routes on non-sandstone. You still run into these little workhorses today, standing up after 30-50 years. The West Face of Monkey 1/4"ers were the star nail drive style and lasted @ 40 years and gradually loosened up till some unfortunate was rumored to have zippered 8 of them out. For years when you clipped some of those, you had to push the thing back in the hole and push the nail in to get it to hold your body weight. And even then, the other rumor was that the guys who put them in were taking turns both drinking from a pony keg of beer they hauled to the base and jugging the ropes to bang in some bolts. In soft rock with heavy climbing traffic they still surprisingly worked for many many years.

Failures were remarkably and shockingly rare. I carried a split shank and the homemade aluminum hanger that had pulled out under body weight on the 1st bolt of Middle Cathedral East Buttress in @ the 1980s in my chalk bag for many years as a reminder that they do fail.

When 3/8 bolts came into vogue. The length of them jumped immediately as well. Shear and tensile went up by a large factor, but most importantly, the holes were not being banged out and weakened during the installation process, and the strength was coming from close to the bottom of the length being used, unlike the split shank construction bolts. The Link above will get you to wedge anchor strength figures. Wedge anchors of 1-3/4 length were not uncommon as hand drilling was still in use, and longer than that was rare although there was a bird or 2 using 2" or 2-1/2 here or there in the desert or in weaker rock, but not often around here in the harder basalt, and certainly not in granite. With the use of roto-hammers, size and embodiment have gotten bigger and deeper and size matters less on the installation end. But if you look at the strength of a single 3/8 x 3-3/4 stainless wedge anchor in a good placement, you will see in order to stress it to the point it will failure, the human body attached to the other end would have most likely not survived that force.

I suspect that a 3" long anchor bolt is overkill for 99.5 percent of rock. If you want longer ones because you think the rock is fractured or weak, that's not a bad idea, as I said above I've been installing 1/2 x 7" wedge anchors in that new cliff for instance, so it is very specific to the rock. The installer needs to examine carefully at the location which they are going to put the hole to make sure its not in a fracture plane or loose section. The drill should be perpendicular to the rock as well, so orient it square to the slope so that the nut sits flush.

-Check the ASCA web site for more information, although there seems to be less info than before, it's full of great stuff yet. Rockclimbing.com use to have a great thread started by RRRadam, who was an inspector in nuclear plants and other critical installations but it looks like he edited it. Might do a search there.


For hand drilling, something which should be considered in remote locations. 1/4" still get handrilled and used on new routes as they drill fast and are light to carry on long alpine routes. If a person wanted to bulk up, the 3/8 X 2.25 stainless steel wedge anchors would be perhaps as good as anything you could find. I certainly would use them before the Powers 5 pc in Steel, and the Powers 5 pc in Stainless is way too expensive. The Powers 5 piece in steel will, I believe, be a nightmare in a few years for the brothers who follow us, as you cannot determine via a visual check when they have turned to shit. All that rusting happens below the surface right at the threads, which is 100% invisible and no checkable. The big selling feature of the 5 piece, that they are removable, is not true. They are removable for a couple of years, then they rust below grade, right where the threads of the bolt end at the threads of the cone, after a few short years in a wet environment, they are stuck fast and not removable. Attempting to back out the bolt will snap it out. This is in the 3/8 diameter size, which has a 5/16 diameter grade 5 bolt in it. I haven't tried to replace a 1/2"er yet as I haven't seen one old enough to have rust on the hex head and they are just real rare around here. Note that if you go with the SS version of this carefully check the low torque required to install these on the Mfg web site, as it is significantly less than a 3/8" wedge anchor and easy to botch the install by over torquing. Once of the great features of the 5 pc is the blue plastic sleeve which acts as a lock and anti-vibration device to keep it tight. If you've ever climbed up to a wedge anchor with a loose nut, it's something which is appreciated. The nuts on the standard wedge anchor can be standard Esna (nylon insert locknuts) to achieve the same effect. Just tororqe with the regular nut so that the anchor won't spin, then back off the hx nut and put on the Esna nut of the same material. Alternatively, just use a dab of loctite as well.

Hand drilling 3/8" diameter holes in granite or basalt though, whew- plan on @ half an hour depending on how bad your forearms are pumping and how sharp your drill is. The last time I had to do this as an emergency I learned that I had none of the 10 essentials, no water, no time left in the day as indicated by the setting sun and no brains as the bit I had brought was dull. I'd still be hanging on that remote wall had I not given up and penjied over to a 3" diameter tree which still has a sling on it as a reminder of how lucky I was that day. BTW, reminder to self, tell someone where your secret spot is and don't solo there might be good things as well.

However, it was brought to my attention by Mark Deffenbach that any dumbass climber can easily over torque and thus weaken a 3/8" diameter wedge anchor on a brand new installation. To do a proper installation correctly, a torque wrench should always be used to install wedge anchors and each different Mfg installation instructions and materials consulted for proper torque, or as a minimum at least learn what 20-28 foot# (read the materiel for your brand) of torque feels like with your box end or little Crescent wrench to "calibrate" your arms for your climbing wrench. So as such, if you don't have a torque wrench, per Mark, 1/2" diameter should be utilized to avoid the potential to over torque and thus weaken the bolt on the installation. I have never heard of anyone installing a 1/2 bolt by hand drilling though, and never heard of a 3/8" bolt ever failing. Ever. I bet it's happened someplace, but the point is that wedge anchors have a specific torque they should be set to. Not more, not less.

For hand drilling don't try to bite it all off at once. A sharp bit and a good hammer will get you far along as will strong forearms. Tap tap tap twist tap tap tap twist Tap tap tap twist tap tap tap twist, get a rhythm and let the rebound of the drill do the work. Don't tap too much before twisting, you'll feel it. If you are way out on lead pissing your pants, a light sling can be put over the drill bit right where it is next to the wall once the bit starts to get some depth, to relieve your aching calves and tendons. Don't weight it too much as a snapped drill bit would suck and that use to happen with the 1/4"ers on occasion, it's for supplementary assistance only until you get the hole down where you can put the wedge anchor in. If you are on anything but a nice stance, you'll be peeing your pants for sure, it's a very uncomfortable and muscle aching feeling. Very insecure. When the hole is deep enough, add a few more hammers blows to make it deeper than needed to make sure. Inserting the bolt upside down will sort of work, but better yet is to put some tape on your drill bit when you are safe at home watching the Flintstones to mark how far you need to go based on your bolt length. I have put in bolts without blowing the dust out of the hole, the twisting motion of the bit will clear the hole, but best to take a McDonalds straw or plastic tubing and blow the hole out. Better yet, take a length of plastic tubing and use it instead and you will be further away from the rock when the dust poofs out at ya. They make brushes as well, and using both the brush, the air hose and the torque wrench will pretty much guarantee a perfect install and not a spinning bolt as long as your hole is deep enough. You should have already put the nut and the hanger on so the nut is flush with the top of the anchor stud, then slowly tap in the bolt until it is flush. Slamming the bolt in may be what causes spinners on clean holes and it causes rock dust to slick up the insides again. Some brands are more susceptible to this. Believe me, you don't want to do a spinner when you're at a crux or planning on rapping on it! Tap it in then set it by wrenching it to the recommended torque and you're done baby! Clip that puppy and hang like the crybaby motherfucker you feel like......err, wait, I don't know where that came from, I mean clip and send, that's it, clip and SEND BABY! (Note to self: No hanging damnit, no crying damnit, no peeing the pants.... again.... damnit.)


A heavy hammer is nicer than a light hammer, the Kong Eagle is one of the best for this, they make 2 versions the heavy one rules. A5 if you can find one without mortgaging your left nut, although they are lighter heads, the heads or forged and wickedly strong steel. Other good choices are like a Forrest wall hammer, or Black Diamond which are almost as good. John Mittendorf, on El Cap with an A5 hammer which he had mfg, says that he thought he held the record for fastest 1/4" split shank installed at like 47 seconds. The moral there is to invite John Mittendorf along on your projects. Stay away from some of the real light European hammers (Bonati, Petzl, Salewa) which are really designed to be carried up easy 3000' faces in the alps to just reset a piton or 2. You'll be working your ass off to get a hole drilled with one of them and whacking in a 3/8" bolt is too much work as well. If you want to save some money, borrow your granddads ball-peen hammer, drill a hole in the handle the thread some cord so you don't drop it and you're good to go.

Did I mention to always use stainless steel wedge anchors Karl? Even in Eastern Washington and Oregon. Seriously, otherwise, someone is going to have to replace it, and you can't get the 5 pc out within a few years in western Oregon with a wrench cause of the invisible and below grade shit-rust which welds the threads of the bolt to the threaded wedge insert inside. You wind up snapping the head off when you try and replace it and then you have a grade 5 bolt which you ain't drilling out easily bubba, so you have to put the next STAINLESS bolt next to the snapped off 5 pc and cover the shithole with 2 part epoxy. Or you can leave it and let it rust away in the rock, invisible to the naked eye. Probably last many many years anyway, but at some point........rust will win the day as it always does.

The lifetime of the 3/8 x 1-3/4 I was handrilling in the real wet part of Oregon have all lasted at least 30 years, and although I think they have all been replaced with stainless recently, they were all holding up still, but showing some visual rusting. With that as a backdrop, the lifetime on 304 stainless in a non-marine environment must be well over 50 years somewhere, and the type 316 stainless may easily last 100 years. No one knows yet! If you are going to be anywhere near the coast, seriously consider 316 SS as the minimum, and put on a tight rubber washer first, so that it is under the flatwasher and nut assembly. That's where stress corrosion cracks happen. The UIAA has run tests of failed Eurobolts and recommended this. For our pristine Northwest air, it probably wont matter one whit. In Limestone near the ocean which has its own corrosion issues, the insanely expensive Ushba Tortuga Titanium glue ins pretty much stand alone right now as the best.


There's probably more, but my fingers are getting tired of typing and I'm at work right now."


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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Nov 30, 2008
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.

Strider wrote:
So yes, it does make a big difference to quintuple my cost outlay so that 20 years from now a lazy climber can more easily replace my bolt.


Whoa there slugger.

A "lazy" climber?
Most of the replacement folks I know are alot less lazy than you imply. Plus they do it for the safety of joe blow climber. And generally they do it out of their good graces, with no one even knowing what they did.
Unlike certain First ascentionist who feel the need to bolt every piece of choss, then sing it from the mountain tops.

Something else you should consider about your "lazy climber" statement. They will replace your old dangerous bolt. But instead of being able to pull the old, bad bolt and reuse the hole, they will have to chop the old bolt and drill a new hole. This will not only add a hole but also there may be visible damage from chopping the bolt. The last thing these "lazy climbers" do is use a bolt that can be replaced easily in the future....often times at their own expense.

josh


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By Dan Levison
From Boulder, CO
Nov 30, 2008
personal photo

It seems the age old debate in bolting routes these days is whether to use stainless steel or not. There are advocates of both. Stainless (SS) certainly isn't the panacea. It's not that black and white; typically, both non-stainless (zinc plated grade 5 steel) and stainless bolts will probably need to be replaced before corrosion is a major factor, especially in the dry, arid Colorado environment. Stainless bolts do corrode too, but at a slower rate, lasting longer than their counterpart. Having placed both and inspecting both after 12+ years in Colorado granite, the rusting on the powers zinc-plated non-stainless bolts is in fact trivial (surface rust at best). Zero corrosion was found on the SS bolts. The grade 5 carbon steel Powers Bolt is stronger and more durable than the typical 304 stainless version. Routes that are way steep or see tons of traffic and/or big falls should probably have Grade 5 steel hardware. Stainless bolts are softer [than grade 5 steel] so you can't torque them very high, often resulting in spinning hangers; however, many people say they will stretch and bend instead of snapping. Certainly the cost of stainless is one of the prohibiting factors to using them. There just arenít that many SS bolts out there so itís hard to draw conclusion when the test data is limited. More important than stainless vs. non-stainless debate, is to use a half-inch sleeve bolt e.g. powers 1/2 x 3.75 bolt (internal bolt is 3/8") that is removable for future replacement or a quality 3/8" Hilti KB III which can be easily countersunk and patched. In very corrosive environments, glue-in titanium is the way to go anyway (not stainless). Nothing lasts forever, so draw your own conclusion.


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By Billcoe
Nov 30, 2008

Dan Levison wrote:
Having placed both and inspecting both after 12+ years in Colorado granite, the rusting on the powers zinc-plated non-stainless bolts is in fact trivial (surface rust at best). Zero corrosion was found on the SS bolts.



No, it's possible that you haven't tried to replace one yet is all Dan. It is true that they won't rust as fast in dry areas. My experience is that the first time I tried to replace a Powers steel plated 5 piece (called the Power-Bolt) that was showing surface rust on the hex head I learned that it was badly rusted below the surface, invisible to the naked eye. I learned this as the bolt part of the anchor snapped off as I tried to back it out because it was rusted into the threaded sleeve, @ 3" below grade and fully not visible. That is when I learned that around here:
A) they rust real fast: and

B) you don't and CANNOT see how badly rusted it truly is because if the 2 I saw were indicative of what the other 5 piece around here are doing, there was shockingly much more rust UNDER the surface than ON the surface. I had assumed that the area IN the rock would stay dry. It did not, in fact, probably once it got wet, it stayed wet inside of the hole there.

That first one was only 3 years old. I went to replace another one, 2 (possibly 3) year old Powers 5 piece which I had installed myself originally much later and the same thing happened to me. I do not see many of them on the wet west side (they are more at Smith which is a dry area). Again, my info is very area dependent. The stainless hold up well around here, but the west slope of the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest is some of the wettest spots in the nation, and you know what they say about the wet spot:-).


Dan Levison wrote:
The grade 5 carbon steel Powers Bolt is stronger and more durable than the typical 304 stainless version. Routes that are way steep or see tons of traffic and/or big falls should probably have Grade 5 steel hardware.


Grade 5 steel has a higher PSI than stainless it is true, but that 5 pc 3/8 powers is more durable than a 3/8 wedge anchor hasn't ever been an issue. Have you ever heard of a 3/8" diameter stainless bolt failing...like ever (outside of an ocean environment)? I do not believe I ever have. I have seen them put in a bad placement where the rock was turning to shit and crumbling, but the actual anchor was fine.

Dan Levison wrote:
Stainless bolts are softer [than grade 5 steel] so you can't torque them very high, often resulting in spinning hangers;


You are wrong on the torque data if you are comparing wedge anchors. That is a true statement on the difference on ss vs steel for the Powers 5 piece only. 28 ft lbs max torque recommended for both the Powers steel and the Powers stainless steel wedge anchor. As I said earlier, if it is a wedge anchor - just put a nylon insert locknut on the spinner and torque it to Mfg spec with a torque wrench and you will not have a spinning hanger afterwards.

Cyall


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