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Apr 7, 2013
The there's also the question of how close you live to actual climbing.... Without a nearby after-work crag, making gear is a nice alternative to watching tv. Aric Datesman
Joined Sep 16, 2008
145 points
Apr 7, 2013
Marvin and Greg scoping Crow's Heads Spires - snow...
Leo Paik wrote:
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?


Recalling my reading, back in the day of gathering nuts along the railroads tracks on the approaches to the gritstone quarries, the fellas realized early on that giving the nuts a taper, like modern nuts have, improved performance - they shaped them in the 60's.
Bryan Ferguson
From Castle Rock
Joined Apr 16, 2008
789 points
May 5, 2013
north wash
ChaseLeoncini wrote:
buy gear

Another insightful addition from our friend chase.
mr. mango
Joined Jan 18, 2012
102 points
Oct 13, 2014
Slashface goodness taken by RTM
Just curious if the OP ever made the gear he was hoping to.

I made some nuts awhile ago, but it wasn't economically advantageous as the stainless cable, ferrule and swaging is more expensive than a nut off the shelf. It was fun though.

I had begun working on making a cam for a final project in school but I wouldn't have had the time to finish it and the cost/time makes it pointless except for the fun of it. Someone had commented on making the lobes on a lathe, while this is feasible it is very time consuming as the lobes are a logarithmic spiral and would need to be carefully offset with multiple setups on a manual lathe or a CNC lathe would be needed. It would be much easier to make on a CNC mill as other operations need to happen on the face of the lobe anyways.

As far as any concerns about the safety of making your own gear, obviously gear makers have been engineering, reiterating and testing their for designs a few decades now so they have their shit together but they don't posses a magic wand that provides bomb proof gear. As long as some research is done and nothing is done half asked there is no reason why someone couldn't make their own gear.

With that said I would be amazed if someone could produce a cam (or even a nut) that is comparable to anything off the shelf for the same price.
Mike Brady
From Oregon City, OR
Joined Jul 14, 2014
496 points
Oct 13, 2014
Orgasm Direct, Devil's Lake, 5.11a  c. 2008
mattm wrote:
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.


Because it's fun and satisfying to make things on your own that work, and work well. Whether or not it can be done better/faster/lighter/prettier by someone with more money than you, the making of a thing is its own reward.

Aric Datesman wrote:
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.


Baloney mythologizing. For every Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison there were 10,000 other people who never made or innovated a thing in their lives. That was true then and it's true now. You didn't learn about them in your triumphalist history classes because they were ordinary people, like most of us.
Dylan B.
Joined Mar 31, 2006
487 points
Oct 14, 2014
Slashface goodness taken by RTM
Dylan - I would have to agree, maybe a touch less fervently, with your assessment of Arik's statement. I work in the manufacturing field so I may be a bit biased, but I feel their is no shortage of innovators in our country, I would actually argue that there are more now then there has ever been. Space X, JPL, Tesla,etc., are housing the giants of our time and I feel that for everyone of them there are many more in the general public doing the same thing on a smaller/different scale. With the proliferation of information over the internet the DIY scene has been made extremely accessible to most anyone that has basic mechanical aptitude.

In Arik's defense our manufacturing sector has suffered quite a bit from a lack of education/inspiration steering young talent into the manufacturing fields. And you will never catch me arguing that we don't buy to much imported goods.
Mike Brady
From Oregon City, OR
Joined Jul 14, 2014
496 points
Mar 31, 2015
Look.  Imma git them coconut chips.  Trust.
B-B-Bump

With some assistance from a new friend (see: mega-sewing skills and legit machine), I finally finished a project I've had in mind for a while. 6 screws across the chest. VX-21 fabric and Kevlar thread. Nice and light and fits just right. Trying to minimize the clusterf*ck on my harness, and stab-bed thighs on lead.







Adam Burch
Joined Jan 9, 2012
904 points
Mar 31, 2015
Leashless bliss. 3 points of contact
Ahhahaha sweet Adam!

Try wearing that rig through a TSA checkpoint!
Tom-onator
From trollfreesociety
Joined Feb 15, 2010
800 points
Mar 31, 2015
John Sherman
Adam, Step 1. Now make it so that you can rack 13cm/10cm opposing in one sleeve, without risk of either side falling out. With a total of 8 screws minimum in the roll-up and so it doesn't roll up like shit in the shape of a hammer. Step 2. Profit Tom Sherman
From Bristol, RI
Joined Feb 23, 2013
245 points
Mar 31, 2015
Look.  Imma git them coconut chips.  Trust.
Sherman, can't I just skip straight to Profit? Attention Span = real small


Onator, glad you approve. Figured I'd take the time I waste pounding on everyone's favorite forum morons, and do something useful. Couldn't have done it by myself, my sewing skills are about zilch.
Adam Burch
Joined Jan 9, 2012
904 points
Mar 31, 2015
John Sherman
Maybe I'll post up a pic of my gear sling i made this winter. I stole Steph Davis' simple gear sling ideology and had my gf's mom sew one up for me. Yet to use it but hoping it lasts for years to come. Tom Sherman
From Bristol, RI
Joined Feb 23, 2013
245 points
Mar 31, 2015
Look.  Imma git them coconut chips.  Trust.
Please do, Tom - would love to see it. Adam Burch
Joined Jan 9, 2012
904 points
Mar 31, 2015
girl40
Climbed multipitch for a decade in this harness and took endless falls on it. Was broke at the time and made it on a Singer Featherweight with whatever thread was in it.

Healyje
Joined Jan 31, 2006
127 points
Mar 31, 2015
Moss
Healyje wrote:
Climbed multipitch for a decade in this harness...


Finally proof that nylon doesn't fall apart after 4 years, 8 months, 6 days, 12 hours, and 42 minutes!
Jason Todd
From Cody, WY
Joined Apr 21, 2012
511 points
Mar 31, 2015
Look.  Imma git them coconut chips.  Trust.
Sweet! What's up with the daisy-chain looking setup in yellow? Adam Burch
Joined Jan 9, 2012
904 points
Mar 31, 2015
So, i have been thinking about melting down some old figure 8s and an old atc and pouring the liquid aluminum into a mold for some new ones. Has anybody tried this, I mostly worry about bubbles forming that would be invisible to visual inspection, only later to be exposed by rope wear, and simultaneously shredding the rope sheath. jacob m s
From Provo, Utah
Joined Apr 19, 2011
109 points
Mar 31, 2015
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
A buddy of mine made an awesome backpack very similar to the Hyperlite ones. His pack works well and is a great ice breaker at the crag.

I made a bowl outta of an ice screw and some trash.. Does that count?
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
143 points
Mar 31, 2015
John Sherman
Steph Davis' Simple Gear Sling

Should be:
Minimalist (lightweight yet, comfy)
Fit You (gear is out of way of harness loops)
Full Strength (able to use as a runner)
Inspectable (look at bar-tack/ entire sling)

I used a purple black diamond runner. I think I got lucky with the size because when I put it on it feels to small, but when I am wearing it almost looks to big. I'm 6'2", so others may not be so lucky to just use a 60cm runner. Double layer of fleece for padding. Make sure you are able to see the bar tack and the runner to look for any damage. In a pinch you can use it to sling horns, clip gear, rap off, etc... I chose these retro contrasting colors because I thought it would look cool as it aged in photos.

Simple Gear Sling
Simple Gear Sling


Simple Gear Sling, Racked-Up!
Simple Gear Sling, Racked-Up!


Clear of Gear on Harness
Clear of Gear on Harness


Simple Gear Sling, Up Close
Simple Gear Sling, Up Close
Tom Sherman
From Bristol, RI
Joined Feb 23, 2013
245 points
Mar 31, 2015
Look.  Imma git them coconut chips.  Trust.
I'm telling Steph Adam Burch
Joined Jan 9, 2012
904 points
Apr 4, 2015
girl40
Adam Burch wrote:
Sweet! What's up with the daisy-chain looking setup in yellow?


More just so it wasn't flopping around though I did end up occasionally clipping stuff to the first loop on each side like a piece or an autoblock backup for rappels
Healyje
Joined Jan 31, 2006
127 points
Apr 4, 2015
Adam, that is *very nicely* done. Beautiful job by yourself and your sewing friend. Do you mind posting some detail pics with rough dimensions (i.e. size of each slot while laying flat, etc). Where did you get the nice nylon fabric, and how did you arrange the sling? Can you share some or all the details with us if you don't mind so others with a sewing machine (like myself) can maybe do something similar? That looks very pro, again, awesome job. Linnaeus
From New England/ Baltimore
Joined Aug 22, 2011
4 points
Apr 18, 2015
jacob m s wrote:
So, i have been thinking about melting down some old figure 8s and an old atc and pouring the liquid aluminum into a mold for some new ones. Has anybody tried this, I mostly worry about bubbles forming that would be invisible to visual inspection, only later to be exposed by rope wear, and simultaneously shredding the rope sheath.


There are a few reasons you shouldn't do this. I will try to be concise, but I usually fail at that.

With aluminium alloys there is a very fine line between the correct composition of the metals and minerals. The melting point of aluminium is so low that there are often components of the alloy that are below their melting point, but diffused with the original solution to create the alloy. When you heat up the aluminium it will oxidize, creating a layer of dross. That layer may or may not attract the metals/minerals that are vital to the correct alloy composition. This dross layer has to be removed before casting, effectively weakening your metal through oxidation and material loss.

I would wager about 90% of aluminium in climbing gear is cold wrought and not cast. This is for strength and durability. In Aluminium stock creation they have two designations. XXX.X - T# OR XXXX - T#. The two categories are for cast(201.0 - T4) or cold formed (7075 - T6 / 6082 - T6). Below are two links for the strength rating and chemical makeup of these three metals to show the strength differences. You would be casting closely to a 2XX.X series metal if you just threw those into a steel pot over a fire.

6082 - T6
A201.0 T4
7075 T6

The strength ratings in cast aluminium are sub-par when compared to cold formed, even with a T4 temper which you won't get at home. Less strength and a good chance that bubbles will form makes the problem stray away from rope wear and more towards the device shearing. It may not, but you'd have to test it until it broke to be sure. If you use the "lost foam" casting, you WILL get bubbles and a weakened metal from the urethane gas compression.

Lastly, like it was stated before. You will spend a significant amount of money and time creating your new belay devices when compared to purchasing a new one, for an inferior product. If your goal is to make something, then do it and see what happens. To hell with the data and nay sayers. That's the fun part about science!
Eliot Augusto
From Boulder, CO
Joined Dec 29, 2013
35 points
Apr 19, 2015
I have made several modified nut tools by welding a piece of solid round stock on the handle end. It makes a baby hammer of sorts but more importantly gives a nice round end to pound on with your hand - doesn't hurt near as much. Seeing as how I'm not trusting my life to it - I doubt I'm gonna die :). It has saved me a few pieces over the years by using a second tool and this one as a hammer to pound stuck pieces out. Also no bruised palms. Chris Rice
Joined Jan 11, 2013
15 points
Apr 19, 2015
Jewel Tower RRG
jacob m s wrote:
So, i have been thinking about melting down some old figure 8s and an old atc and pouring the liquid aluminum into a mold for some new ones. Has anybody tried this, I mostly worry about bubbles forming that would be invisible to visual inspection, only later to be exposed by rope wear, and simultaneously shredding the rope sheath.


Eliot gave a great explanation. I'll give a quick one: Casting yourself will give you a significantly weaker material due to not being able to control the crystalline structure and chemical composition vs commercially cast parts. In addition, there is a huge difference between wrought/forgings vs casting. So, if you are comparing home made casting vs a forged part; you have 2 significant things working against you.

Don't do it for anything safety related.
polloloco
From Diamond Bar, CA
Joined Mar 25, 2014
129 points
Apr 19, 2015
thanks for the info, i hadn't looked to close into yet. I'm just in the process of finishing finals right now. So most of my time has been spent worrying about finishing my degree rather then building 8s. For me i like building things, so thats part of the reason why i considered it. jacob m s
From Provo, Utah
Joined Apr 19, 2011
109 points


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