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By Dan G0D5H411
From Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 29, 2010
Dan on Hurricane
I'm trying to move away from wedge anchors towards bolts whose holes ~MAY~ be usuable in the future. Can anyone give me a list of all the potential 'removable' bolts out there? Pros and cons for each would be highly appreciated! Has anyone heard of Rock River? Has anyone bought sleeve anchors from McMaster-Carr. They do not list the actual manufacturer of the bolt they are selling which makes me reluctant to buy there. I am pretty sure it's a Powers 5-piece but don't know for sure: mcmaster.com/#92403a201/=9252g...

Thanks for any help and suggestions!
Dan Godshall

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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 29, 2010
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of ...
go with Fixe Triplex.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Sep 29, 2010
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
What size bit do you need for those (the Triplex)? I have always used Rawl 5 piece SS 1/2" for granite, but would like something cheaper but of equal or better quality. The removable part is a big plus too. Are they actually removable and reusable, for instance if you found you put it in a bad place and want to move it over a foot?

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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 29, 2010
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of ...
M Sprague wrote:
What size bit do you need for those (the Triplex)? I have always used Rawl 5 piece SS 1/2" for granite, but would like something cheaper but of equal or better quality. The removable part is a big plus too. Are they actually removable and reusable, for instance if you found you put it in a bad place and want to move it over a foot?

12mm bit.

have never removed a Triplex, and i doubt they would be reusable (esp the sleeve). though the hole would be reusable.

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By Dan G0D5H411
From Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 29, 2010
Dan on Hurricane
Assuming the Powers 5-piece hole is reusable (perhaps you could tell me this is not the case in actual practice?), what makes the triplex a better bolt?

Thanks,
Dan

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Sep 29, 2010
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
It is actually a PITA to fully remove a Rawl bolt to be able to reuse the hole. Removal of the cone and sleeve requires some tricks and work. The bolt it's self can be removed easily and patched though.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Sep 29, 2010
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
I can pick up a 1/2" bit at a Home Depot for about 9 bucks. How is the availability and price of a 12 mm? That may negate a cheaper cost of the Triplex.

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By Michael Schneiter
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Sep 29, 2010
Goofin' on the Grand after soloing the Upper Exum ...
Darren Mabe wrote:
12mm bit. have never removed a Triplex, and i doubt they would be reusable (esp the sleeve). though the hole would be reusable.



The 12mm bits tend to be pricey. I've never found a cheap source for them while you can find good 1/2" bits for about $5.

I've removed and reused Triplex bolts numerous times. I often use them as a "working" bolt when I'm unsure of a bolt/anchor placement. I'll drill a 1/2" hole, place the bolt (which is "sloppy" and not good for the long term) and then when I'm sure of its placement I pull the Triplex and fill it with a much cheaper 1/2" Rawl 5-piece. In the long run, I doubt you could reuse a Triplex bolt that had sat out for a long time just because eventually that sleeve would probably get rusted but in the long run you're probably more interested in reusing the hole, not the bolt. When Triplex bolts sit for a short time, even a few years, they are easily reusable. The sleeves might get a little mangled but they've always worked for me again.

It's been my experience that pulling Rawl 5-piece bolts can be hard. If they're old then the sleeve gets rusted in the hole and is super hard to get out. If they're new, then it's not too bad to get out. There's a process to do so that's been discussed elsewhere like on the ASCA website. If it's a 3/8" Rawl, it's doable to drill out the sleeve and cone with an old bit and a good drill. Then, you can enlarge the hole to 1/2" and reuse the hole.

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By Michael Schneiter
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Sep 29, 2010
Goofin' on the Grand after soloing the Upper Exum ...
M Sprague wrote:
I can pick up a 1/2" bit at a Home Depot for about 9 bucks. How is the availability and price of a 12 mm? That may negate a cheaper cost of the Triplex.


The 12mm bits are expensive and the Triplex bolts are quite expensive, when compared to 1/2" Rawl 5-piece plated steel bolts.

That being said, the Triplex is a great long term bolt to use because you can reuse the hole easily.

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By Tristan Higbee
From Cambodia
Sep 29, 2010
Me on a mixed route Crisco and I did in Rock Canyo...
Dan Godshall wrote:
Has anyone heard of Rock River? Has anyone bought sleeve anchors from McMaster-Carr. They do not list the actual manufacturer of the bolt they are selling which makes me reluctant to buy there. I am pretty sure it's a Powers 5-piece but don't know for sure: mcmaster.com/#92403a201/=9252g... Thanks for any help and suggestions! Dan Godshall


The drawing of the hex head bolt there on that page is not a Powers 5-Piece. The drawing of the flat-head bolt looks more like a 5-Piece, apart from, of course, the flat head... If it doesn't say Powers, it's not Powers. I get my Powers bolts here.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Sep 29, 2010
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
Tristan Higbee wrote:
The drawing of the hex head bolt there on that page is not a Powers 5-Piece. The drawing of the flat-head bolt looks more like a 5-Piece, apart from, of course, the flat head... If it doesn't say Powers, it's not Powers. I get my Powers bolts here.


I got my last batch of Rawls from them too. Be very careful you don't get put down for next day shipping or you will have a nasty credit card bill. I'm trying to get my money back ($79) for that shipping. There is no way I would have authorized that amount to just get them a few days earlier. I'll let you know if they have responsible customers service and do the right thing.

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By Greg Barnes
Sep 29, 2010
Hanging out with Karin on the summit of Warlock Ne...
Power-bolts (5-piece) are not easily removable. But, and particularly relevant to replacement since 95% of 5-pieces that need replacement are old non-stainless 3/8", you can unscrew the bolt core of a 3/8" 5-piece and simply power-drill through the sleeve and cone with a 1/2" drill bit - by far the easiest way to replace.

If you want removable, go with the Triplex. More expensive but MUCH easier to remove. If you place a Triplex with a 12mm hole hanger (such that the entire bolt slides through the hanger, as opposed to placing a 10mm hole hanger between the top of the sleeve and the nut), they are SUPER easy to remove. All you do is loosen the nut, clip with a quickdraw, and yank.

Which is why if you leave them that way on the cliff you should use thread-lock to make sure the nut doesn't loosen up. For that reason, when the ASCA uses Triplex we use them with 10mm hole hangers. It will require more effort to get the sleeve out for future replacement (thin pins carefully worked under the lip of the sleeve), but the chance of accidental loosening and the bolt just popping out when someone just grabs it is too high (and besides we use all stainless so it will be quite a long while before they need replacement).

Triplex are reusable with no probs as long as they don't get rusty (and you can buy stainless if you want). I reused a couple multiple times (ground anchors for new routes rope-solo).

Another option for removable bolts are Hilti coil bolts. Strong and easily removed and reused (a bit of fishing for the coil might be needed).

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Sep 29, 2010
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
That's good information, especially about the hanger hole size. Thanks

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Sep 29, 2010
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
fastenmsc.com emailed me back and apologized for the shipping overcharge and will be crediting me for it. They got right on it when I brought it to their attention.

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By Jaaron Mankins
From Bayfield, CO
Sep 29, 2010
San Juans.
I use all Power's 5 piece bolts, and they are easy to replace. When placing new bolts, simply drill you hole approximately 1" deeper than the bolt you plan on using. If you need to replace the bolt, simply unscrew the bolt, tap the cone in an inch with a punch and put new bolt in old hole. I have also had to drill the cone out, and it is much easier with a cobalt steel drill bit. Drill out the cone, replace bolt. Studs are much more trouble.

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By Dan G0D5H411
From Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 29, 2010
Dan on Hurricane
Greg Barnes wrote:
Another option for removable bolts are Hilti coil bolts. Strong and easily removed and reused (a bit of fishing for the coil might be needed).


I started looking into the Hilti Coil but never really considered it. How many have people seen in the field? Have they been there long enough to show how they hold up against time? Has anyone tried pulling a couple, that have sat for an extended amount of time to see just how reusable they are?

Thanks for all the previous posts!

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By Michael Schneiter
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Sep 29, 2010
Goofin' on the Grand after soloing the Upper Exum ...
Greg Barnes wrote:
you can unscrew the bolt core of a 3/8" 5-piece and simply power-drill through the sleeve and cone with a 1/2" drill bit - by far the easiest way to replace.


I haven't always had the best luck doing this because I find in softer rock, like limestone, if you try to drill through the old sleeve and cone with a 1/2" bit, it ends up making the hole wider than 1/2", making for a suspect bolt placement. In hard rock maybe it's not a concern but in softer rock I prefer to try to drill out the old 3/8 with a 3/8 bit first to avoid this widening effect.

Just my experience Greg, I know you've replaced a lot more bolts than I have.

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By Kenny Thompson
From woodfords, california
Sep 29, 2010
gorge
Buy powers bolts from white cap const. supply

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By Greg Barnes
Sep 29, 2010
Hanging out with Karin on the summit of Warlock Ne...
Michael Schneiter wrote:
I haven't always had the best luck doing this because I find in softer rock, like limestone, if you try to drill through the old sleeve and cone with a 1/2" bit, it ends up making the hole wider than 1/2", making for a suspect bolt placement. In hard rock maybe it's not a concern but in softer rock I prefer to try to drill out the old 3/8 with a 3/8 bit first to avoid this widening effect. Just my experience Greg, I know you've replaced a lot more bolts than I have.

Very good to know that Michael - I've never done it on soft rock, just hard rock. It does make sense - I bet as you drill through the old cone you are creating pieces of fairly hard metal that dig into the sides of the hole.

And of course that method is useless for hand-drilling applications...which is why people go to greater lengths to remove all the sleeve and cone when hand drilling. But experience shows that with 20+ year old 5-pieces that are all rusty, it is very hard to remove all the pieces (the sleeve typically fragments and the cone is often rusted into a solid piece with the end of the sleeve). One optional solution is to get as much as you can out, then if the hole is deep enough, just place a shorter stainless bolt. This can work well when the original bolts were 3" (or longer) 5-pieces and the new bolt is a 2.25" 5-piece. Or if the original were 2.25", you can sometimes use shorty stainless stud bolts. Not the optimal solution, but functional, particularly in hand drilling situations.

For the Hilti Coil, some friends of mine tried them a bit for 1/4" hand drilling and found them to be very good (for 1/4"). The stats look good on larger sizes as well. They are not stainless, but might be another option.

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By chosspector
From San Juans, CO
Sep 30, 2010
Tristan Higbee wrote:
The drawing of the hex head bolt there on that page is not a Powers 5-Piece. The drawing of the flat-head bolt looks more like a 5-Piece, apart from, of course, the flat head... If it doesn't say Powers, it's not Powers. I get my Powers bolts here.


Incorrect. Both of those are powers 5-piece power-bolts. If you look at the 5-piece specs on the powers website you'll see that they're available in two types of heads. I've clipped lots of the allen-key type. seemed fine to me. The only drawback is the reduced amount of head that rests on the hanger. The McMaster-Carr specs state that the bolts are grade-5 sleeve bolts. What more do you need?

I buy fasteners from McMaster-Carr regularly for building weather stations for avy work and they have great customer service. Just give them a call and they'll clear it up for you.

Use 5-piece. Triplex loosen over time- no nylon compression ring.

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By Tristan Higbee
From Cambodia
Sep 30, 2010
Me on a mixed route Crisco and I did in Rock Canyo...
chosspector wrote:
Incorrect. Both of those are powers 5-piece power-bolts. If you look at the 5-piece specs on the powers website you'll see that they're available in two types of heads. I've clipped lots of the allen-key type. seemed fine to me. The only drawback is the reduced amount of head that rests on the hanger. The McMaster-Carr specs state that the bolts are grade-5 sleeve bolts. What more do you need? I buy fasteners from McMaster-Carr regularly for building weather stations for avy work and they have great customer service. Just give them a call and they'll clear it up for you. Use 5-piece. Triplex loosen over time- no nylon compression ring.


If you reread my post, you'll see that I'm not saying that it's not a 5-piece because it's an allen-key type. I'm saying the one on the left isn't a 5-piece because it doesn't look like a 5-piece. (Take a look at the pic again; apart from the heads, the bolts are still not identical). It doesn't have the five separate pieces (it's missing the blue plastic separator thing in the middle). Not talking about the head, but about the bolt itself. Not having the five pieces would, by definition, mean that it's not a 5-piece bolt. Is it more or less the same kind of thing? Yes. Is it a Powers 5-Piece bolt? No.

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By 20 kN
Administrator
From Hawaii
Oct 1, 2010
Michael Schneiter wrote:
The 12mm bits tend to be pricey. I've never found a cheap source for them while you can find good 1/2" bits for about $5. I've removed and reused Triplex bolts numerous times. I often use them as a "working" bolt when I'm unsure of a bolt/anchor placement. I'll drill a 1/2" hole, place the bolt (which is "sloppy" and not good for the long term) and then when I'm sure of its placement I pull the Triplex and fill it with a much cheaper 1/2" Rawl 5-piece. In the long run, I doubt you could reuse a Triplex bolt that had sat out for a long time just because eventually that sleeve would probably get rusted but in the long run you're probably more interested in reusing the hole, not the bolt. When Triplex bolts sit for a short time, even a few years, they are easily reusable. The sleeves might get a little mangled but they've always worked for me again. It's been my experience that pulling Rawl 5-piece bolts can be hard. If they're old then the sleeve gets rusted in the hole and is super hard to get out. If they're new, then it's not too bad to get out. There's a process to do so that's been discussed elsewhere like on the ASCA website. If it's a 3/8" Rawl, it's doable to drill out the sleeve and cone with an old bit and a good drill. Then, you can enlarge the hole to 1/2" and reuse the hole.


DO NOT PLACE TRIPLEX BOLTS IN 1/2" HOLES, YOU MUST USE A 12 MM DRILL BIT!!!!

I am not even kidding. I did a test not that far back where I drilled a few 1/2" holes and placed Triplex bolts in them. I tightened them to Fixe's specifications and pull tested them in tention (straight out). The average failure strength was only 7.5 kN. What ended up happening was because the hole was too large, the cone pulled through the sleeve 3/4", than the sleeve simply pulled from the rock.

Keep in mind I used a 10 mm hanger. If I had used a 12 mm hanger and placed it over the sleeve the bolt would have probably pulled at a much lower load because there is a flange on the end of the sleeve which causes excess outward pressure on the sleeve when the hanger pulls on it. If the bolt is loose, itís extremely easy to pull the entire bolt out.



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By Perin Blanchard
Administrator
From Orem, UT
Oct 1, 2010
Racking too much gear, as usual.
Dan Godshall wrote:
I started looking into the Hilti Coil but never really considered it. How many have people seen in the field? Have they been there long enough to show how they hold up against time? Has anyone tried pulling a couple, that have sat for an extended amount of time to see just how reusable they are? Thanks for all the previous posts!


Last year I pulled two Hilti Coil bolts that had been used to replace 1/4 inch buttonheads in quartzite the previous year (they had both become spinners - one was the crux bolt and the other was pulled to the side by rope tension in falls).

Both the coils and the bolt threads were mildly rusted (this is in the fairly arid Wasatch Range of Utah).

After looking at the amount of corrosion after only one year, and the fairly small contact surface area (because of the coarseness of the coil and threads) that is compromised by the corrosion, I decided that the Hilti Coil bolts probably aren't a great solution for rock climbing.

(I replaced them both with 1/2" x 4 3/4" stainless Power-bolts. There are still three other coil bolts on the route that I'll get to at some point. It'll be interesting to see if the others have corroded further in the intervening time).

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By chosspector
From San Juans, CO
Oct 1, 2010
Tristan Higbee wrote:
If you reread my post, you'll see that I'm not saying that it's not a 5-piece because it's an allen-key type. I'm saying the one on the left isn't a 5-piece because it doesn't look like a 5-piece. (Take a look at the pic again; apart from the heads, the bolts are still not identical). It doesn't have the five separate pieces (it's missing the blue plastic separator thing in the middle). Not talking about the head, but about the bolt itself. Not having the five pieces would, by definition, mean that it's not a 5-piece bolt. Is it more or less the same kind of thing? Yes. Is it a Powers 5-Piece bolt? No.


Still not following you. It is a 5-piece Powers power-bolt. The 2.5" version don't have a metal spacer between the washer and the nylon compression ring. And it still has five pieces: stud, washer, compression ring, expansion sleeve, and nose cone. The longer power-bolts are actually 6-piece but all are called 5-piece out of convenience. Nit-picking aside, I wouldn't hesitate to order those bolts.

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