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Spray Foam insulation in Petzl Aztarex tools?
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By Hoag
From Littleton, CO
Dec 3, 2012
Me seconding the Hobbit Roof after Jarod Sickler's...
I just bought a pair of Petzl Aztarex tools and love them. One of their attractive features is how lightweight they are. One of the reasons they are lightweight is because of the hollow, non-insulated shaft.

I'm probably going to tape the shaft to get a better grip but I don't want to make the shaft too fat by using thick tape. So, has anyone out there used the spray foam insulation to fill the shaft of an ice tool? It seems like a lightweight solution that wont alter the functionality of the tool but I thought I'd run it by this crown before I do anything stupid.

Thoughts?

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By ZakM
From Boulder, CO
Dec 3, 2012
I'm not an ice climber but my engineering intuition tells me that filling the shafts with foam isn't going to help keep your hands warm. The heat is conducted away from the bottom of the axes almost entirely though the metal of the shaft and not though the air in the center of the shaft. You will have better results using tape of some kind to keep your hands insulated from the cold shaft.

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By H..
From Washingtonville NY
Dec 3, 2012
^+1

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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Dec 4, 2012
Hoag wrote:
I just bought a pair of Petzl Aztarex tools and love them. One of their attractive features is how lightweight they are. One of the reasons they are lightweight is because of the hollow, non-insulated shaft. I'm probably going to tape the shaft to get a better grip but I don't want to make the shaft too fat by using thick tape. So, has anyone out there used the spray foam insulation to fill the shaft of an ice tool? It seems like a lightweight solution that wont alter the functionality of the tool but I thought I'd run it by this crown before I do anything stupid. Thoughts?



I think that may be a sweet way to add a bit of vibration damping to the tool. I doubt that it would do anything for warmth.

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Dec 4, 2012
I see ice caked on my handles all the time, just hanging there. I have metal shafts covered in shrink wrap with O-rings underneath for "traction".

Warming the handle might be worth something. Has anyone thought of this? If you've got a hollow and easily accessible handle area, you could shove a chemical warmer in there.

I just have to think that if the metal under my grip was 40 or 50 degrees, that it would be like 25 degrees warmer than normally. That sounds like a big deal. A warmer lasts 8 hours.

Overcaffeinated and underclimbed right now I think this would be possible if your bottom spike connects with split shaft pins as mine do. You'd have to push them out and find a similar sized button head allen bolt attachment. Remove the spike and fill with spray foam. Once it's dry, carve out only the grip area. This is where the chemical warmer gets stuffed, the foam keeps it from sliding around. Bring an allen wrench with you and reattach the spike.

If there is oxygen inside the handles, I think this might work for about 8 hours at a time.

It also seems most realistic on the older more metal tools. If you're molded, bonded, or epoxy'd, it's best to probably not take it apart.


I'm probably not going to do this FYI

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By Jon H
From Boulder
Dec 4, 2012
At the matching crux
ZakM wrote:
I'm not an ice climber but my engineering intuition tells me that filling the shafts with foam isn't going to help keep your hands warm. The heat is conducted away from the bottom of the axes almost entirely though the metal of the shaft and not though the air in the center of the shaft. You will have better results using tape of some kind to keep your hands insulated from the cold shaft.


Zak is right. Adding foam insulation will do very little to help with hand warmth.

Hoag - tape barely adds any thickness to the shaft. Use "Scotch 2228 Self Sealing Electrical Tape" to wrap your shafts (haha). It is tacky, gives a great grip, insulates very well, and fuses to itself for an excellent seal.

Couple things to note: Make sure the sticky side faces IN (touching the metal), make sure to pull it very taut, and overlap 1/2 its width on each turn around the shaft. It is less than 1mm thick when tightened properly, and will have no discernible effect on the diameter of the tool in your hand.

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By Hoag
From Littleton, CO
Dec 5, 2012
Me seconding the Hobbit Roof after Jarod Sickler's...
All good thoughts. Thanks folks.

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By Gunkiemike
Dec 5, 2012
theyalwayscomeback wrote:
Warming the handle might be worth something. Has anyone thought of this? If you've got a hollow and easily accessible handle area, you could shove a chemical warmer in there.


I'd try this if I had hollow-shafted tools. I think it's a truly brilliant idea.

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By Unassigned User
Jan 29, 2013
I agree that I don't think it would help at all with keeping warmth in the shaft but sure would probably dampen vibration I would think. neat idea.

Wonder if my Viper's are hollow and there was a way to pump some liquid foam insulation into them - tho it might make them heavier than they need to be perhaps?

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jan 29, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Tape is the best solution I think. Warming the shaft with chemical heaters sounds like a good way to get your tool stuck in the ice until summer...I think there are benefits to having your tool the same temp as the air outside. Pure speculation tho

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By Goldsmith
From Ithaca, New York
Jan 31, 2013
ZakM is right, there will be minimal to zero change in flux from your hands to the shafts. Aluminum conducts heat so well that even though there is a decrease in surface area exposed to the ambient air, the rest of the tool still will radiate the heat away with a very very small change in rate. Tape up!

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