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By Tito Krull
Mar 26, 2013
hey i was doing some searching online and found out old climbers used machine nuts as chockstones way back when, i plan on doing this myself is there any legitimate reason not to? and my brother is a machinist, and we might be making some friends anybody have experience in making gear i need help with that? any info would be very appreciated and helpful to me thank you...

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By ChaseLeoncini
From San Diego, California
Mar 26, 2013
El Cajon Mtn. Leonids. 5.9.
buy gear

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By Kevin Brooks Henry
From Iowa City, IA
Mar 26, 2013
close up
Here's a post I did a while ago, if you have any questions shoot me a message!

mountainproject.com/v/building...

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Mar 26, 2013
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Tito Krull wrote:
hey i was doing some searching online and found out old climbers used machine nuts as chockstones way back when, i plan on doing this myself is there any legitimate reason not to? and my brother is a machinist, and we might be making some friends anybody have experience in making gear i need help with that? any info would be very appreciated and helpful to me thank you...


Making gear can be fun, just make sure that you know what you're doing and don't get killed by trying to save a few bucks. I've made several cams, but as far as the old machine nuts as chockstones thing goes, the main reasons not to do that is that they are heavy, and I would be a bit worried about the threads cutting through the cord that you tie them with.

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By wivanoff
Mar 26, 2013
High Exposure
Since your brother has access to a machine shop, you could probably make some stuff. I've made some nuts, hexes, belay plates and nut prys BITD. But, never made a cam.

Don't forget that some early pitons were made from sawn off iron stove legs. There's a long history of homemade gear.

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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Mar 26, 2013
I made my own V-threader after getting frustrated with the commercial ones. It wasn't easier or cheaper than buying one. It is lighter, more durable and more functional.

When you make your own gear, you won't save money. Hopefully you'll make a better tool or at least gain more understanding of what you're using.

V-threader
V-threader

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By Tito Krull
Mar 26, 2013
thanks everyone for the replies, i really appreciate it. i plan on de-threading the nuts before slinging them, and possible drill some weight reduction holes, still tryin to convince my bro about the cams he is a cnc machinist so we could punch out a bunch of stems all at once, and then put all the lobes different sizes through the machine.

thanks much- Tito

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By mattm
From TX
Mar 27, 2013
Grande Grotto
Frankly, unless it's a piece that doesn't exist to meet your needs, unless you're doing it for "fun" I see no reason to make nuts etc from old parts. There's a reason nuts have evolved so much since the early days. Spring sales are in full force right now. Buy a set and do more climbing!

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Mar 27, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
Tito Krull wrote:
is there any legitimate reason not to?



The time and money you would invest in making something that may or may not be up to par for its intended use will be negligible when compared to just buying the gear that is rigorously tested and proven to be safe in its intended use.

You recently started a thread on suggestions for a beginner rack, and now you want to make gear? Bad idea- generally speaking.

Any gear you make, assuming it is even usable, will likely be heavier and more cumbersome than gear you could buy.

There's more to making gear than you probably know. Machining is only part of the equation.

Testing the homemade gear before use is necessary. It's safe to assume that most people don't and don't feel any need to test gear bought from reputable manufacturers- they just go use it.

Time spent making and testing homemade gear is time that could be spent climbing on purchased gear.

But, if you want to do it for shits and giggles, have at it. Just be aware of what you're doing and the potential risks involved- just like anything else.

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By Bryan Ferguson
From Castle Rock
Mar 27, 2013
Marvin and Greg scoping Crow's Heads Spires - snowed out on fall 1982 attempt
My friend, Greg D. manufactured "number 6" "Friends" (SLCD) for the FA of Block Top, in Canyonlands. He did very nice work and was able to make two of them on a home-use Dremel lathe. At the time, the biggest Friend you could buy was a number 4.

There is a tradition of making gear and there is certainly room for innovation and improvement - no reason that couldn't occur in a garage. Product testing is easily accomplished on a low budget with a scale and winch.

Innovation agitates and so, it's tough to go it alone. You should feel emboldened by the doomsayers - at least you know they aren't competitors (or are they?)

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 27, 2013
OTL
Jake Jones wrote:
You recently started a thread on suggestions for a beginner rack, and now you want to make gear? Bad idea- generally speaking.


B-I-N-G-O

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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Mar 27, 2013
while I don't endorse this endeavor, I think it's an apt time to post one of my favorite pictures ever -


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By CraigS.
Mar 27, 2013
This:

Why not to make your own . . .

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By wivanoff
Mar 29, 2013
High Exposure
Doing some spring cleaning I found some of my old homemade gear. Only one stopper and no hexes - must have thrown out the rest during a previous spring cleaning.

Photos show: Homemade belay plate, home sewn sling (they weren't really available when I made this - most people tied slings), a homemade stopper, two homemade drill holders. (GASP! I'm from CT!)

The broken carabiner is from a test of my homemade sling. I stitched two lengths of webbing together at one end and knotted the other ends with a ring bend. I pulled the sling apart between two cars. First the ring bend broke. I retied it. On the next test, the carabiner broke. At that point, I figured my stitching was "strong enough".

The carabiner part embedded in plastic was from a test that an metallurgist friend did of the broken carabiner from my pull test. It was embedded in plastic and machined in half lengthwise so it could be photo-micrographed. His analysis was that there was nothing wrong with the carabiner. I had stressed it beyond it's design load.


Carabiner, Belay plate, sling
Carabiner, Belay plate, sling


stopper, drill holders
stopper, drill holders


"Taking responsibility for your own actions and possible consequences is one of the games of climbing. Just because you do something doesn't mean you're encouraging others to do the same."

"Just spitballing here, but have we become such a consumer-oriented society that even the thought of thinking for one's self is scary?"

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By Bryan Ferguson
From Castle Rock
Mar 30, 2013
Marvin and Greg scoping Crow's Heads Spires - snowed out on fall 1982 attempt
CraigS. wrote:


Black Diamond used to be called Chouinard. Yvon Chouinard changed climbing, revolutionized climbing through experimentation and innovation.

If you’re scared you're gonna die, stop climbing or at least don't dare to innovate but don't discourage others along the way.

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By jonathan.lipkin
From Brooklyn, NY
Apr 1, 2013
I would be concerned about the threads on the inside of a nut. They are sharp, and might abrade whatever you put through it. If your brother has a tool which can drill them out, or blunt them, this would make the device safer.

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By Aric Datesman
Apr 2, 2013
Once upon a time the US was a country of innovators and tinkerers. Now we're mindless consumers of offshore crap, scared of even changing a lightbulb. It's sad, really sad.

If using machine nuts, drill out the threads, chamfer the hole (both sides) and knock down any remaining edges with a file. Dead simple, and exactly how stoppers were developed.

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By mattm
From TX
Apr 2, 2013
Grande Grotto
It's not that people are trying to discourage innovation etc etc etc. The OP is not talking about making some new, non-existant gear to fill a gap in equipment. He's talking about making BASIC GEAR in a machine shop. Making BASIC nuts in machine shop is NOT the same as making say, an OW sized cam ala the Aric project.

When Frost, Chouinard, Lowe, Jardine etc etc etc were tinkering with gear there was a MUCH larger hole in climbing equipment. The market was extremely small and commercial gear was very limited in availability. Now, many decades later, NUMEROUS hardware companies exist and fill a market with equipment. Over those numerous decades, said companies have also had numerous engineers, inventors etc working on improvements to existing products and well as new and innovative ones. That's a lot of product cycles to improve upon the drilled out hex nut.

While you certainly COULD make your own nut, I ask WHY? What possible upside is there to a drilled out steel hex nut vs a commercially available option? I am in no way saying don't innovate - please do - but drilling out a nut rather than buying one is like making a fishing pole out of a stick.

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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Apr 2, 2013
mattm wrote:
It's not that people are trying to discourage innovation etc etc etc. The OP is not talking about making some new, non-existant gear to fill a gap in equipment. He's talking about making BASIC GEAR in a machine shop. Making BASIC nuts in machine shop is NOT the same as making say, an OW sized cam ala the Aric project. When Frost, Chouinard, Lowe, Jardine etc etc etc were tinkering with gear there was a MUCH larger hole in climbing equipment. The market was extremely small and commercial gear was very limited in availability. Now, many decades later, NUMEROUS hardware companies exist and fill a market with equipment. Over those numerous decades, said companies have also had numerous engineers, inventors etc working on improvements to existing products and well as new and innovative ones. That's a lot of product cycles to improve upon the drilled out hex nut. While you certainly COULD make your own nut, I ask WHY? What possible upside is there to a drilled out steel hex nut vs a commercially available option? I am in no way saying don't innovate - please do - but drilling out a nut rather than buying one is like making a fishing pole out of a stick.


I get what you're saying, and as stated earlier I don't think this is a great idea, but I think that telling people not to bother because it's already been done an extremely detrimental attitude to have. It's kind of like asking "why make a movie if you can just watch a movie?" or "why take a picture if a picture already exists?" and the answer for a lot of people is that they enjoy the experience of creation more than the end product. It's like when people build small engine motorcycles instead of buying one. They end up costing about the same amount (if not more with how cheap single carb hondas are) but you get experience and knowledge from building a bike that you wouldnt' be able to get from purchasing.

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By Aric Datesman
Apr 2, 2013
Matt- Who said anything about a needing a machine shop? A cordless drill, pliers and drill bit is all he'd need to make nuts. Or he could even skip all that and simply use a round file. It'll take longer, but dead simple. The fact that his brother is a machinist only makes it easier, and possibly open up the possibility of doing larger/more complicated things like hexes and cams.

As for why, I have to ask why not? Can't get much cheaper than a handful of machine nuts picked up at the side of the road. Which, I might add, is how it started out. And who's to say going back to the basics won't lead them in a different direction and possibly branching into something completely new?

Btw, on an amusing note trout season just opened here and I've been wanting a longer rod to reach through branches on the local streams. And since I've got quite a nice stand of bamboo, I'm strongly considering of doing exactly as you suggest... :-P :-)

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By Bryan Ferguson
From Castle Rock
Apr 4, 2013
Marvin and Greg scoping Crow's Heads Spires - snowed out on fall 1982 attempt
Dang, I thought this would be more interesting - great OP.

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Apr 4, 2013
Aric Datesman wrote:
Btw, on an amusing note trout season just opened here and I've been wanting a longer rod to reach through branches on the local streams. And since I've got quite a nice stand of bamboo, I'm strongly considering of doing exactly as you suggest... :-P :-)


Fly or bait? My mom just built herself a steelhead fly rod.

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By Aric Datesman
Apr 5, 2013
NorCalNomad wrote:
Fly or bait? My mom just built herself a steelhead fly rod.


tenkara-style fly.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Apr 5, 2013
I'm surprised no one has said it, maybe they assume you are a troll...

You're gunna die!

(we all die, but you will die prematurely makign your own gear)

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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Apr 6, 2013
FWIW, one of the limitations back in the days with machine nuts chocks was that they were symmetric. A big improvement was that they made asymmetrics which gave you 3 size options.

I'm into making things by hand (v-thread hooks, fishing poles, lures, arrows, etc.) , but the question comes to me as if you have the free time, would you rather climb or make equipment?

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By Kirk B.
From Boise, ID
Apr 7, 2013
belay slaving on some route I forgot the name of way right of Bloody Fingers.
That depends on you & how you see things, Leo.
Making stuff can be pretty damn rewarding. Plus, YOU get to use it first. That's good stuff, right there.

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