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By randy88fj62
Apr 24, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades


So I'm looking to fabricate a large hook. There are a lack of large hooks on the market. Fish and vermin aren't producing so I'd like to take a stab at it. I have two designs I'm thinking of. Haven't gotten serious yet but you have to start somewhere.

I have access to a machine shop for fabricating and a kiln for heat treating. My trouble is with steel plate. I have no experience bending or forming plate.

So here's my first design which assumes I can find elliptical steel tubing. If not, I have another design I'm looking into.

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By DrApnea
From Wenatchee, WA
Apr 24, 2013
I'd be interested.

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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Apr 24, 2013
Have you looked into making a custom bending brake? This would give you many more geometry options and allow the use of flat stock. If you can get the steel past critical it should bend fairly easily. Then normalize and heat treat.

I wonder if 6AL4V would be strong enough. It would be much lighter, and is easy to form.

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By Ryan N
From Palo Alto
Apr 25, 2013
RJN
Nice plan. I've worked with metal quite a bit in the past. I think that even with a vice, cutting a tube that's not round(and 1/8" thick) on the angle you've shown would be quite a task without a proper jig. Looks like your on the right track though. I'd be interested in one if your selling them at some point.

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By Kirk B.
From Boise, ID
Apr 25, 2013
belay slaving on some route I forgot the name of way right of Bloody Fingers.
I'm fascinated.

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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 25, 2013
Andrew Gram
Seems thin. One of the nice things about the big burly Fish hooks is that they feel bomber to leave for pro on top of large flakes that otherwise aren't protectable. That is one of the main reasons for extra large hooks in my mind.

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Ryan,
Cutting tube at the correct angles is easy for me. I have a cut off saw that can clamp down at measured increments.

Andrew,
I agree that the fish hooks are burly. I have had them in my hands a year ago. The thickness that fish uses is a bit too much for me to work with and I wish they still stocked them.

I have a vermin V4 hook in my hands right now borrowed from my climbing mentor and I feel I can make a crude cheap rendition of it with basic tools.

I'll post my second design shortly and see where to go from there. I'm talking with the metallurgist at my work to see what options I have. Chromoly is too expensive and there are cheaper alternatives that give the same hardness and corrosion resistance.

The design I posted took about 30 mins so I'm sure I can come up with better curvature and optimized hole sizes and locations with more thought. My second design uses off the shelf tubing but requires welding which I can do.

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Dobson wrote:
Have you looked into making a custom bending brake? This would give you many more geometry options and allow the use of flat stock. If you can get the steel past critical it should bend fairly easily. Then normalize and heat treat. I wonder if 6AL4V would be strong enough. It would be much lighter, and is easy to form.


Dobson,
I have not looked into producing a brake yet. I have a tube bender for making offload roll cages and tube bumpers but I'm still trying to see if I can adapt it to use with plate. Until then I'm looking at easier fab methods that use conventional tools found in my garage that anyone can buy at their local hardware store (like a press, angle grinder, welder, and chop saw).

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By ACR
Apr 25, 2013
I would be interested. Looks like a neat project!
I've made many ring angle hooks in the past and have found that the reach of the hook is a tricky concept to get right.
Shaping the best ring angle hooks required cutting about an inch off the end and being careful not to buckle the rails of the piton when you bent it. I shaped a few nice ones on the concrete parking bumps in the camp 4 parking lot. They always ended up with a tighter radius than the Fish hooks but worked pretty well.

In a bunch of years of climbing I've only left a hook for "pro" once or twice and didn't expect miracles from it. Mainly these big hooks have been the most useful when bolting on lead or hooking on rounded sandstone flakes in the desert.

Just my thoughts... If you're interested I'll try to find some pictures of my ring angle hooks, PM me if I can help at all.

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Apr 25, 2013
God do isometeric views burn the eyes, and shame on you for leaving out units. That being said my quick perspective thumbnail of the hook is off :P

Some revisions for your consideration. I was orginally thinking the bending bit. Then realized with the tube section it'd be easier to cut/ grind out the middle area.

comments to a hook idea by another member
comments to a hook idea by another member

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
NorCalNomad,
I agree with you on the lower tips being bent in for stability. The Vermin Hook I have has that feature.

I hardness tested the V4 Vermin Hook and it reads at 48 Rockwell C. I will be looking into other steels that are cheaper and can be heat treated afterwards.

The kiln I have access to is an air kiln so scale will form on the surface unless I cover the part. Because of this I am thinking of an amateur case hardening using charcoal to cover the part. This allows the steel to absorb more carbon during the heat treat and also keeps the surface of the metal from producing scale and losing carbon which is bad for the hardness.

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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Apr 25, 2013
Russ
Looks like a neat project.

Couple of thoughts:

Use 4130 and not any 10xx style steel.

Case hardening is fun and all but when used on a 10xx steel the results are unpredictable when the hook is under load. I tried this early on and the hooks would literally explode instead of flexing. Not a good thing.

If you have access to all this stuff, make up your time and money by buying 4130 strip and gong from there with a bending jig.

Heat treat is a bit like voodoo. Have a Rockwell rig on standby.

The old FISH Hooks were rated to something like 3000lbs. I have hauled off them and used them as an important part of the anchor. No worries.

We have some large (2" +/- ) RingAngle claws that are currently available. I don't have a pic on me (out of the office right now) but will send a link later today. These are not as strong as the real FISH Hook, but have a nice nostalgic feel to them and work great.

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
I was just looking into heat treating 10XX series steel and it is trash as you mentioned. Seems like the carbon content is too low to create any real hardening effect.

I will going with a 4XXX series steel if needed but I'm still exploring other options that could potentially provide the same strength requirements but have a higher ductility in its base form to make the initial cutting and forming easier.

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Russ Walling wrote:
Looks like a neat project. Couple of thoughts: Use 4130 and not any 10xx style steel. Case hardening is fun and all but when used on a 10xx steel the results are unpredictable when the hook is under load. I tried this early on and the hooks would literally explode instead of flexing. Not a good thing. If you have access to all this stuff, make up your time and money by buying 4130 strip and gong from there with a bending jig. Heat treat is a bit like voodoo. Have a Rockwell rig on standby. The old FISH Hooks were rated to something like 3000lbs. I have hauled off them and used them as an important part of the anchor. No worries. We have some large (2" +/- ) RingAngle claws that are currently available. I don't have a pic on me (out of the office right now) but will send a link later today. These are not as strong as the real FISH Hook, but have a nice nostalgic feel to them and work great.



Russ,
Any idea why the initial Fish hooks were discontinued? No plans to make another run?

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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Apr 25, 2013
Russ
They were simply discontinued because we ran out of stock. In order to keep the price low, (for the amount of work and materials cost) which is not really that low since they were like $18, we had to order tons of them and had fairly giant batches done at the same time.

I'll toss in machinist trouble too as the deadbeat was/is painfully slow and continued to raise prices until there was no real profit left in the product.

There has been a lot of interest in getting these hooks back out there and there is a new machinist that has actually made me some samples. Whether it will go forward is unknown.

Way back we would sell a few hundred of these hooks a year to all the dealers in our network. Nowadays I don't want to get stuck with a 9 lifetimes supply since we only do web sales and there is a very limited market.

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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Apr 25, 2013
randy88fj62 wrote:
I was just looking into heat treating 10XX series steel and it is trash as you mentioned. Seems like the carbon content is too low to create any real hardening effect. I will going with a 4XXX series steel if needed but I'm still exploring other options that could potentially provide the same strength requirements but have a higher ductility in its base form to make the initial cutting and forming easier.


What about the eutectic and hyper-eutectic 10xx series steels? They can get plenty hard for almost any application.

If scale is an issue with your furnace, use stainless foil. Russ is right about heat treatment being touchy. Professional heat treatment isn't expensive, and a good heat treater is a valuable source for advice. I usually pay between $4-$20 per blade depending on quantity and alloy.

It would be cool to see how strong a hook in marquenched 52100 would be. The bainite structure should be ideal for this application.

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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Apr 25, 2013
Russ
FISH Ring Angle Claw
FISH Ring Angle Claw


Here are the current rigs we are sorta selling. They are not on our site yet, but when people ask about big hooks I offer these up.

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Russ Walling wrote:
Here are the current rigs we are sorta selling. They are not on our site yet, but when people ask about big hooks I offer these up.



How much do they run for? Are they for sale?

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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Apr 25, 2013
Russ
They go at $20 each. Handmade and quickie quenched. Good hook for regular aiding around but I would not hang a car off them. I make a few here and there as people request them or are desperate for some sort of big hook.

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Russ,
pm'd you regarding a hook.

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Here's another cheap design using plate and a tube half welded together.


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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Apr 25, 2013
Russ
I don't think the PM thing works for me. Email me.

Russ@fishproducts.com

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By Travis Spaulding
From Las Vegas, NV.
Apr 25, 2013
The first pitch belay on Chips and Salsa (5.3) Red Rocks, NV.
Russ' ring hooks are working well for me, have had them for several months now. Old school cool and stable.

I happen to have a set of his REALLY big hooks, but it took me a good while to get them. The ringers will work over a wide range.

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By randy88fj62
Apr 25, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Russ Walling wrote:
I don't think the PM thing works for me. Email me. Russ@fishproducts.com


email sent.

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By Moof
From Portland, OR
Apr 25, 2013
Russ,

A while back you bent one up at 2.5" for me. That thing was awesome, till I dropped it. The 2" model (I still have that one) is just not enough bigger than the BD Grappling Hook in my opinion, and it rarely makes the cut to bring along.

Any chance I could order up a 2.5" copy again?

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By ACR
Apr 25, 2013
Nice ring angle hook! Old school works.

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