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Fixe Triplex vs. Rawl Expansion
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By Nathan Welton
From Estes Park, CO
Nov 17, 2006
which is better in soft sandstone: fixe triplex (12mm) or rawl expansion bolts (1/2")? i've heard fixe, but i don't see why it would be any beter than a rawl bolt.

insight?

thanks
nathan

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 18, 2006
Stabby
The difference is that the Fixe bolt is made of stainless steel whereas the Rawl is merely zinc-plated. Sandstone being porous means that the embedded bolt shaft is exposed to moisture that remains for a long time. Also, sandstone tends to be alkaline, which adds to the corrosion effect.

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 18, 2006
Stabby
In fairness i just looked up the specs for the Rawl bolt, and it is available in stainless as well. But that would probably be a special order.

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By btraxler
From Prescott, AZ
Nov 18, 2006
If you have time I would use glue in type bolts. They are stronger (when placed correctly) than any other bolt and will last much longer. The down side is that they are a little messy and almost never can be placed on lead. If you are planning to retrofit a route use glue ins! Many routes could be saved the bolt scars if a little more effort was put into placing long lasting bolts. In Europe this is the standard. On new routes I would try and use the triplex bolt (In bomber sandstone) with Glue ins at the belays, unless there is gear of course. Or put in every other bolt and rappel later to place more glue ins.
As far as triplex versus rawl expansion. Both have weakness and strengths. The triplex is thought to be stronger when placed correctly. I won't go into much more detail because there are a ton of resources online about bolting. Check out the link below for a ton of info on how to and which ones to use.

safeclimbing.org/education.htm

The American safe climbing association is probably one of the best resources.

happy climbing! and put in bomber gear for us!

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By Nathan Welton
From Estes Park, CO
Nov 18, 2006
Thanks, guys.

Does anyone have any online stores that have good deals on 1/2" threaded rod stock (preferably pre-cut to 4" lenths for bolts) and glue capsules?

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By Rick Shull
Administrator
From Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Nov 18, 2006
Grip strength training, Nevada style.
Here on the Northern California coast we have experimented with all of the mentioned bolting techniques. When replacing old bolts in coastal sandstone, the most difficult to "chop" were the half inch non stainless rawls(now powers). Even though these bolts were exposed to direct sea spray for more than 15 years I had to grind the heads off and camo the spot. Every attempt to "pull" these bolts resulted in the rock around the bolt breaking first. Several brands of stainless snapped off at the rock when a wrench was placed on the nut and "stepped on", some times with less than full body weight. Glued in 1/2" stainless rod stock works great as long as the force in directly in line with the hanger. The problem with glue ins, is that they can fail when a "twisting" force is applied( side ways or traversing fall). When placing glue in eye bolts they are only "safe" when the base of the "eye" is recessed slightly into the rock. This requires carrying a 1/2" and a 3/8" bit. First drill your 1/2" hole, then use the 3/8 " bit to "sculpt" a slot on the top and bottom of the hole. Make these just deep enough so that the eye fits snuggly and cannot spin. It is best to use a glue/mortar "gun" when placing these as the cartridges do not have enough "glue" to fill the slots and pocket formed by the back of the eye. A properly placed glue in will look like a "U" bolt. As for purchasing stainless rod stock, you can find it online but you will probably have to cut it yourself. Use a hack saw as to not change the "temper". I hope this helps.
Rick

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By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
Nov 19, 2006
I have used the triplex bolts in limestone and they were ok, plus they're removable. I have also placed a drilled 3/4" baby angle in Sedona sandstone, the rock is soft. I felt comfortable with both but the drilled angle seemed perfect in the softer rock, and I also added glue to the hole prior to placing the angle. M

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 19, 2006
Stabby
A 4 1/2" grinder with a cutting wheel will cut all-thread (what threaded rod stock is called) with a vise. If you are going the glue-in method, use 6" minimum pieces. Do a quick bevel on the thread-ends and check with a nut. Stainless steel has little or no carbon in it, so it resists corrosion well but has less tensile strength. I am currently the piping superintendant at the Gross Reservior Hydroelectic Project, by specifications we have to use either stainless or hot-dipped galvanized hardware for all anchors. Hot-dipped galvanized is technology from like the '20's, (ancient Denver Water Dept. spec.s) but I think it is probably the best overall. Tensile strength of steel and high corrosion protection. All-thread comes in 10' lengths commercially, you'll have to drive to a supplier to pick it up or pay for UPS shipping to your door. I'd combine hot-dipped galv'd allthread with stainless nuts if your;e going to order. To find the stuff online, Google "B-Line Support Systems", and follow links to a local rep. Call them and ask if you can do a "cash-sale",(as opposed to having a credit account set up with them).

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By Jeff Chapman
From Boulder, CO
Nov 20, 2006
Polar Sun Spire Baffin Island 1996
I know just enough about steel to sound like I know what I'm talking about, but don't take this as expert advice, though I think there is some validity to it:

The variations in steel are almost limitless. Some stainless steels can be heat treated (hardened), and some cannot. Carbon steel can be heat treated depending on the carbon content. For climbing anchors, you want a steel that has been hardened somewhat. If it is too soft, like a typical grade 2 bolt from the hardware store, then it could break from repeated stress (like you can break a coat hanger by bending it back and forth a few times). If it too hard, then it will be brittle and could snap as well. Grade 5 bolts, which have three hash marks on the hex head and are typically used in automotive applications, are about right for climbing.

What I'm trying to say is that you want the right hardness of steel, and unless you know exactly what you are getting and that it is appropriate for climbing, stick with commercially available anchors that are either Grade 5 (or equivalent) or specifically made for climbing.

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By Rick Shull
Administrator
From Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Nov 20, 2006
Grip strength training, Nevada style.
One thing I forgot to mention when using 1/2" stainless threaded rod. In order for the glue to work properly, the hole needs to be 5/8". also you will probably have to drill out your hangers to fit. I think the only available hangers with a big enough hole are Petzl. See www.safercliffs.org/code/bolt_guide.html for really good bolt info.
Rick

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