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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Dec 1, 2008
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. Sorry, but the "at all cost, use the VERY best" argument just does not hold any water for me.



Guessing you have not mashed any threads or had a spinner yet eh? Just wait.......

When you have replaced several hundred bolts maybe you will understand where I am coming from........Until then thank you for at least using stainless! Would love to know where you are getting $2.00 SS hangers/bolts?!?!

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By Strider
Dec 1, 2008
Kevin Stricker wrote:
Guessing you have not mashed any threads or had a spinner yet eh? Just wait....... When you have replaced several hundred bolts maybe you will understand where I am coming from........Until then thank you for at least using stainless! Would love to know where you are getting $2.00 SS hangers/bolts?!?!


You are right, no spinners or mangled 3/8" bolts yet. This is probably more luck than anything else. I have screwed up a couple 8mm rivets, those bastards are tricky.

And since you have replaced hundreds of bolts, I would think you would see my side of it, lol. So can I ask, how long do you think my SS wedge bolt and SS hanger will last? 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? And because I climbed a route first, how long should am I responsible for keeping it well equipped with hardware? Sorry to say but the ridiculous cost of buying 5-piece SS bolts is too prohibitive for me to make replacement 20 years down the line in any way a priority for me. Each generation of climbers has their cross to bear...

As for where I get my bolts... If you keep your eyes out on the internet for deals, you can usually score SS hangers for a buck plus a 10 cents. I can also get Faders SS hangers from Liberty mountain for wholesale of $1.49. As for bolts, I get the Powers 3/8" x 2 3/4" SS wedge-all bolts from Fastenal, a contruction fastener dealer. I went in to the store, asked to talk to the manager and he gave me a deal of $110 for 100 bolts, so $1.10 a piece. He was amazed at my hobby and was really friendly about helping out. He said he might be able to get Powers 5 piece, but they aren't really used in construction so he wasn't sure it would happen.

Quote from J. Thompson:
"...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"

Yes, they will replace my bolt but it ain't my fault it is dangerous and I feel in no way liable for that bolt. I have done my duty by using the best hardware I could with a justifiable expense. As far as rock scarring, instead of a crow bar to remove a bolt, how about a hacksaw? Cut the bolt close to the rock and most of the time there is a little bit of room behind the bolt so you can push it further in and patch the hole. Quick and easy and a hacksaw is a hundred time lighter than a crowbar. And yes, they will replace the bolts at their cost, just like I bore the cost of putting in the originals.

But you did put up an excellent defense against my very slanderous term of calling people "lazy" so I apologize for that. Because who am I but a lazy first ascentionist who feels the need to bolt every piece of choss, then sing it from the mountain tops... =)

-n

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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Dec 1, 2008
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
Strider wrote:
Because who am I but a lazy first ascentionist who feels the need to bolt every piece of choss, then sing it from the mountain tops... =) -n



I wasn't talking about you specifically.

I was talking about BobD.

....dives for cover.....just kidding Bob.

Let's go climbing !

josh

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By Jeremy H
Dec 1, 2008
fastenmsc.stores.yahoo.net/po1...

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By Strider
Dec 1, 2008
Quote from Jeremy H: "fastenmsc.stores.yahoo.net/po1...

Almost, but not quite. Those bolts are 1/2" x 2.75" plated (not SS), box of 50 for $83.

The bolts size I use are 3/8" x 2.75" SS. They don't have that so I would use their 3/8" x 3" but they are $280 for 50. Here is my link:
fastenmsc.stores.yahoo.net/poh...

That comes to $5.60 per bolt. Add $1.10 for my hanger price and you get $6.70 for 1 ss bolt/ss hanger combo. Compare to my price of $2.20. Works out to almost exactly 3 times more expensive. In a cost vs. reward basis, still ain't cheap enough for me.

But wait, there's more! I further checked your link and I found my bolts for sale cheaper than I get them through my Fastenal guy! Your website sells my bolts (3/8" x 2.75" SS Powers Wedge-all) for $47 for 50! Now my bolts cost me $.94 a piece and my combo cost is now $2.04! Sweet! Thanks for the link, next buy up I will go with these guys. Although I better check the shipping costs.

I want to say thanks for everyone here for an interesting thread. I learned a lot and am now even more convinced to stick to SS for bolts and hangers. And while I may not share the view of using the more expensive removable bolts, I appreciate the view and if it should be financially feasible for me, I will make the switch.

Finally, as per the OP and the bolts you want to get, drop the size to 3/8" unless you are in soft rock, stick with SS on both the bolt and the hanger and if you have the money get the 5 piece so it can be removed later. If you don't have the funds then I guess my minority view is to switch to the wedge bolts at a fraction of the cost and move the f&^% on. =)

Climb safe
-n

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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Dec 2, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!
I must say this has been a very informative post, thanks to all who have contributed. Strider, I'm pretty much in agreement with you and after a little research I think we'll be using 3/8 bolts for all of the climbs we end up bolting and 1/2" for all the TR anchors, since the climbs will be mostly TR'd. I do like the price on those Wedge's and probably won't use 5 pieces anywhere unless we score a really good deal on them. I need to talk to my guy and see what he can do! We'll definitely use SS for everything and we're still contemplating making our own hangers, the prototype we tried held up longer than the carabiner but we still have more testing to do. We'll be using 3/16" 304 SS if we do make them, so quite a bit thicker than a standard hanger.

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By snowdenroad
Dec 2, 2008
bolts
I have been bolting just east of the cascade crest in oregon using powers power-bolt, 5 piece 3/8 X 3", carbon steel, $1.40 each. In SS these are $5.5 each.

Assuming 4,000 psi concrete, 2" depth, these are rated at about 6,425 lbs (ultimate-shear) and 1,605 lbs allowable. (Metolius wire-gates rate at 6,295 lbs, which I assume compares to the ultimate strength)

The powers power-stud wedge, compares at 3,760 lbs & 940 lbs, less than 60% as strong. Ratings are the same for SS vs CS. The SS wedge, 3" is about $1/bolt.

Bottom line for me is I want a stronger bolt, that I don't need to worry about over-torqueing, at a decent price - aka the 3/8 CS. I have replaced 2 1/2" anchor bolts over a decade old (placed by others), and found no visible corrision looking at the bolt, and in a few, very light rust on the bolt. I'll post pics tomorrow.

How much corrision would be needed to reduce the CS to the SS limit??? I don't know, but would assume if the CS is not visibly rusted and pitted, its stronger. And, I'm gonna be keeping an eye on these for years to come.

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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Dec 2, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!
Although just as strong and WAY cheaper, I don't want to have to "keep my eye" on my bolts. Life is uncertain and I may not be around to play Dr. on my routes.
Also, what type of hanger are you using? If you're using SST you could be inhibiting rusting by combining the two different metals...

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By Strider
Dec 2, 2008
Just for a little perspective...

The old standard bolt used to be the 1/4" Rawl split shaft bolt. You can still find hundreds, if not thousands, of these littered around crags all over the US. Today, these bolts are ticking time-bombs and are not to be trusted because the compressive strength of the steel deteriorates over time. But at the time they were used, they were the best around, completely trusted and when newly placed they were bomber. Now I have no idea now strong the ones made Back-in-the-Day were but you can check here:
powers.com/pdfs/mechanical/036...
for the modern version of the 1/4" split shaft bolt. This modern bolt has 1760 lbs shear strength. By the numbers, this bolt looks too weak but has anyone heard a story from BITD when a newly placed Rawl split shaft placed in granite ever broke? I know I never have. And I am sure 5/16" bolts that were the next evolution are not much stronger.

The point being, in my very humble opinion, 3760lbs of strength on my wedge bolt, combined with the long lasting strength of the SS, is plenty safe for me.

To each their own... =)

climb safe
-n

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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Dec 2, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!
Also...and this is an interesting comparison...I'm sure I'll end up using the RedHeads Trubolt vs. the Powers Power-Stud because I think I can get the RedHeads cheaper.
The Trubolt is rated at 6,120 Tension and 4,500 Shear (at 3" embed)
itw-redhead.com/trubolt_perf_1...
While the Power-Stud is rated at 6,025 Tension and 3,760 Shear. (at 3" embed)
powers.com/pdfs/mechanical/074...

If I can get a good deal on the Hilti Kwik Bolt 3 then I might use it instead. It's rated at 7,730 (2.5" embed) and 8,055 (3.5" embed) Tension and 5,475 Shear.
us.hilti.com/data/techlib/docs...

Per the safeclimbing article the Petzl wedge anchor is even stronger, but I can't find which one they used.

So for the same size bolt we're looking at a difference in shear between the Power-Stud (weakest) and Kwik Bolt 3 (strongest) of 1,715lbs. With the Trubolt being stronger by 740lbs.

Edited to add: Isn't this a huge difference in Shear strength for the same size bolt? I guess it goes to show how different bolts can be from company to company!

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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Dec 2, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!
Dang, I called Hilti and they quoted me $218.39 for a box of 50 of the 3/8" X 3" SST us.hilti.com/holus/modules/prc...
That's $4.37 per! Sheesh.
The link above has the Power-Stud at $49.99 for 50 or $1.00 each (roughly).
fastenmsc.stores.yahoo.net/wed...
Fastenall has the RedHead at $125.50 or $2.51 each.
fastenal.com/web/products/deta...
EDIT:
I found the RedHead Trubolt for $0.86 here:
toolup.com/itw-ramset-red-head...

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Dec 2, 2008
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
In Mechanical Bolts -- The Nuts and Bolts, Duane Raleigh recommends using bolts with a shear strength of at least 5,000 lbs.

I use the Thunderstud 3/8" x 3" 304 stainless-steel wedge bolt which has a shear strength of 6,232 lbs. in 6,000 psi concrete: Thunderstud performance data. Cost is $149 for a box of 100 + $31 shipping, or $1.80 each.

Here is a comparison of the ultimate shear strength of 3/8" x 3" stainless-steel wedge bolts in 6,000 psi concrete:
 
Bolt Ultimate shear strength (lbs) Cost
in 6,000 psi concrete
Hilti Kwik Bolt 3 7,005 $2.20 (updated price)
Thunderstud 6,232 $1.80
Redhead Trubolt 4,500 $0.86 (updated price)
Power Stud 3,760 $1.00

I think the Thunderstud and the Hilti Kwik Bolt 3 have greater shear strength than the Redhead Trubolt and the Power Stud because they are only partially threaded instead of fully threaded:

Thunderstud:


Hilti Kwik Bolt 3:


Redhead Trubolt:


Power Stud:


The Thunderstuds are plently strong for Boulder Canyon granite, and somewhat less expensive than the stainless-steel Hilti Kwik Bolt 3. For me, they provide the best cost vs. strength tradeoff in bolts of this size and type.

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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Dec 3, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!
Thanks Ron! I forgot you had mentioned that one previously and so I didn't do a comparison. The problem I had with the Thunderstud was that it was being advertised that it was also known as all of the other types of anchors. This seemed like a cheesy marketing ploy to me. I since found the manufacturers website and it seems more legit now. Although even the manufacturer website does not list the strength ratings, which seems very odd to me. The Tension strength is lower than the Shear, which also seems strange since the other bolts are opposite of this.
Looking at all the prices and shear strength, I'd agree that the Thunderstud is the way to go.
Also, my prices I quoted above didn't include shipping so you could actually reduce the price per on the Thunderstud to $1.49 which makes it that much better.
The threaded argument makes sense too, I'd bet that is what weakens it the most.

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By Brian in SLC
Dec 3, 2008
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Ron Olsen wrote:
Here is a comparison of the ultimate shear strength of 3/8" x 3" stainless-steel wedge bolts in 6,000 psi concrete


Great info, Ron, thanks!

One thing I'd be curious about though, is, I wonder if there's been any independent testing of the Thunderstud bolts?

Hilti has a bunch of test data, required I'd imagine when a contractor bids on some type of gov't job (highway, bridge contruction, that type of stuff) and the job requires independent testing of anchors.

So, that's an aspect of those "cheap" studs that has me a bit nervious. You don't see them commonly used for the types of jobs that require "quality" hardware. Be neat to have a few busted in shear just to check their spec. numbers. Pull out strengths would be interesting too.

I like the KBIII's. That new designed wedge really seems to snug down tight. I never get a spinner from a KBIII. The Thunderstuds have an older design with a couple of tabs sticking up, that, in the longer lengths tend to get beat down when driving into a hole. Not nearly as reliable, I'd think, and not much material driving the wedge sleeve onto the cone. I'd think their pull out strengths would suffer a bit with that design.

I've bought KBIII's at a fairly decent discount from Canada in years past, anyone have a inexpensive source for them?? Please post it!

Cheers,

-Brian in SLC

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By snowdenroad
Dec 3, 2008
bolts
pics are full screen for detail, so I only included a link.

Carbon Steel bolts pulled for one reason or another. Age 3 to 7 years. Only a few, upper rt in photo, had any discoloration. Two had obvious surface rust, deep in the hole.

i90.photobucket.com/albums/k27...

This close-up shows the rust, and where I took a swipe at it with 360 grit sand paper. There is also a ding near the head of the bolt, from yarding it out of the hole with the hammer claw, a tactic needed when the rock dust isn't fully blown out. So it *may* be that holes not fully cleaned of rock dust, retain more moisture???

i90.photobucket.com/albums/k27...

I really like to be able to fully remove bolts I've placed, and obviously I do. Thus, I don't like wedge bolts.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Dec 3, 2008
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
craig512 wrote:
Thanks Ron! I forgot you had mentioned that one previously and so I didn't do a comparison. The problem I had with the Thunderstud was that it was being advertised that it was also known as all of the other types of anchors. This seemed like a cheesy marketing ploy to me. I since found the manufacturers website at marksmenmfg.com/ and it seems more legit now. Although even the manufacturer website does not list the strength ratings, which seems very odd to me.

Thunderstud strength ratings are on the Marksmen website here: marksmenmfg.com/thunder-stud-f...

Brian in SLC wrote:
One thing I'd be curious about though, is, I wonder if there's been any independent testing of the Thunderstud bolts?

Thunderstud technical info is also listed here:
confast.com/products/technical...
According to this page, the Thunderstud bolts are:

"Listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), City of L.A. Meets or exceeds U.S. Government G.S.A. Specifications FF-S-325 Group 11, Type 4"

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By craig512
From Nor-Cal
Dec 3, 2008
This is the move after the dyno, pretty reachy!
Aha! Thanks Ron, I knew it had to be on there somewhere!!!

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Dec 3, 2008
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
Brian in SLC wrote:
I like the KBIII's. That new designed wedge really seems to snug down tight. I never get a spinner from a KBIII. The Thunderstuds have an older design with a couple of tabs sticking up, that, in the longer lengths tend to get beat down when driving into a hole. Not nearly as reliable, I'd think, and not much material driving the wedge sleeve onto the cone. I'd think their pull out strengths would suffer a bit with that design.

I've placed more than 500 Thunderstuds, and have had only a few (<5) spinners. I use a blow tube and a test-tube brush to remove rock dust from the hole before driving the bolt; maybe that helps.

Here is a comparison of the ultimate tension (pull-out) strength for the 3/8" stainless-steel Hilti and Thunderstud:
 
Bolt Embedment Ultimate Tension in
Depth 6000 psi concrete (lbs)
Hilti Kwik Bolt 3 2.5" 7,270
Thunderstud 3" 5,975

Thus the Hilti KB3 has superior tension strength, though I would argue that the Thunderstud is "good enough".

I think the Hilti KB3 is superior based on design and performance if price is not an issue. If one is placing carbon-steel bolts, which are significantly less expensive than stainless steel, then the Hilti KB3 is clearly the winner.

However, for stainless steel, I find the Hilti KB3 is out of my price range, and I'm willing to settle for the lesser (but still adequate) performance of the Thunderstud, at a much more reasonable price.

Edit: with the new lower price of $2.20, the 304 stainless-steel Hilti KB 3 is more competitive in price with the Thunderstud at $1.80, and its superior design and performance deserves serious consideration.

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By Dan Levison
From Boulder, CO
Dec 3, 2008
personal photo
Hilti KB3's are the best wedge/stud bolt hands down. Powers' powerbolt (aka 5-piece) is the best sleeve bolt. You really can't go wrong with either of these.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Dec 3, 2008
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
Dan Levison wrote:
Hilti KB3's are the best wedge/stud bolt hands down.

Agree, Dan. Do you know where you can buy the 3/8"x3" stainless-steel Hilti KB3 at a reasonable price? $4.37 each (the price quoted by Hilti) is a bit steep for me.

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By Brian in SLC
Dec 3, 2008
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Dan Levison wrote:
Hilti KB3's are the best wedge/stud bolt hands down.


I'd also consider (and have placed) the Fixe and Raumer as well. I really like the double cone Raumer for softer rock. Both are pretty burly bolts. Way more "mass" than a comparable Hilti.

Concur on the Powerbolts.

-Brian in SLC

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By Kirk Miller
From Golden, CO
Dec 3, 2008
Bugaboos, 1978 Photo by Ken Trout
Even stainless corrodes eventually, 1/2" 5 piece Powers bolts are removable thus maintainable. I guess it comes down to the question of whether or not you want to doom your route to re-drilling & patching long after your gone. Swiss cheese

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Dec 3, 2008
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
Kirk Miller wrote:
Even stainless corrodes eventually, 1/2" 5 piece Powers bolts are removable thus maintainable. I guess it comes down to the question of whether or not you want to doom your route to re-drilling & patching long after your gone. Swiss cheese

I've seen reports of problems trying to remove the Powers 5-piece bolts, so not all of them are removable.

As far as replacing stainless-steel wedge bolts: one more hole a few inches from the original hole? The original bolt sunk into the hole and covered with rock dust and epoxy? Probably 20-30 years or more down the road? Hardly swiss cheese.

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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Dec 4, 2008
Ron Olsen wrote:
As far as replacing stainless-steel wedge bolts: one more hole a few inches from the original hole? The original bolt sunk into the hole and covered with rock dust and epoxy? Probably 20-30 years or more down the road? Hardly swiss cheese.





This is an oversimplification, often the rock is not condusive to another hole 4" away because of it's features. Also if you are going to place a new bolt every 20 years it IS going to be swiss cheese before too long!

I just don't understand this line of thinking...So what if the bolt has to be chopped to be replaced, that's someone elses problem.

How about if it is your route to take the pride in your ascent to place an anchor that can be removed and replaced without damaging the rock or having to drill extra holes. But hey THAT would be expensive and you have a dozen other routes you want to bolt SO.........

Instead we are talking about finding the best deals on sub-par anchors so that we have lots of money left to bolt lots of other routes.

Basically it's "Screw the next generation...it's not like they are going to have any virgin stone to bolt anyways so they can clean up the mess"

Triplex bolts are completely removable....just an FYI

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Dec 4, 2008
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
Kevin Stricker wrote:
This is an oversimplification, often the rock is not condusive to another hole 4" away because of it's features. Also if you are going to place a new bolt every 20 years it IS going to be swiss cheese before too long! I just don't understand this line of thinking...So what if the bolt has to be chopped to be replaced, that's someone elses problem...Basically it's "Screw the next generation...it's not like they are going to have any virgin stone to bolt anyways so they can clean up the mess"

Wedge bolts do not have to be chopped -- just remove the nut and pound the bolt into the hole. I overdrill all my holes to allow this. Also, all my routes are in Boulder Canyon -- hard granite. Invariably another good placement a few inches away. All my routes are moderates, and exact bolt position is not critical.

And stainless-steel bolts and hangers are likely to last far longer than 20 years in the dry Colorado environment.

I do take pride in my routes, and work very hard to make them clean, safe, and fun.

So maybe wedge bolts don't work for you -- but they do work for me -- and I'm not "screwing" the next generation by using them.

FLAG


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