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By Rob Fielding
From Las Vegas, NV
Jun 2, 2012
Third pillar of dana descent.

I'm tired of all the silly topics on MP, how about something different for a change...

Lets hear everything about bolts. Favorite types to place at your local crag whether it's sandstone, granite, or limestone. Methods you use, articles you've read, or any relevant information for the topic.

Here's some good information from the ASCA.
www.safeclimbing.org/education/mechbolts.htm
www.safeclimbing.org/education/bomberbolts.htm

As far as sandstone goes, expansion bolts seem to be very popular, but after seeing some bolts replaced w/ glue ins, I find them very attractive for popular routes as well as for the sugary rock that is not as sound. Only problem is, they really appear to be a pain in the ass to place and take twice as long as your regular expansion bolt.


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By mattm
From TX
Jun 2, 2012
Grande Grotto

When you get a good system and rhythm going, Glue Ins don't take that much longer than a mechanical bolt. Certainly not twice as long.

I'm currently using SS Hilti KB3s (Wedge or Through Bolts) on higher PSI rock and Glue Ins on the softer stuff (can be routes right next to each other where I am...)

12mm Tit Bolt with SS QL and A7 Glue
12mm Tit Bolt with SS QL and A7 Glue



Hilti KBS in SS with MadRock SS Hanger
Hilti KBS in SS with MadRock SS Hanger


Wave Bolt in Limestone with A7 glue
Wave Bolt in Limestone with A7 glue


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By bus driver
Jun 3, 2012

rawl powers 5 piece are sweet and seem to be kind of the standard in the west but suck for drilling on lead because they usually take two hands to place.

glue ins are sweet with stronger longer lasting potential and many have a shape that you could thread a rope through if you are pooching. But they take longer to set up so you have to wait some time before sending your new route. make sure you blow the hell out of the hole. dust and sugar lining the hole could kill the pullout strength.

stud bolts are sweet because they are easy to place one handed and if you f up the hole depth you can still get a strong placement with what is in the rock. You can also see how long these bolts are by the letter stamped on end so you know how much is in the rock when you clip one.


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By bus driver
Jun 3, 2012

good thread.

I have been digging alot of the new school routes that are long and have bolts interspersed with gear. And just some fun new all bolted routes.


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By mattm
From TX
Jun 3, 2012
Grande Grotto

bus driver wrote:
rawl powers 5 piece are sweet and seem to be kind of the standard in the west but suck for drilling on lead because they usually take two hands to place. glue ins are sweet with stronger longer lasting potential and many have a shape that you could thread a rope through if you are pooching. But they take longer to set up so you have to wait some time before sending your new route. make sure you blow the hell out of the hole. dust and sugar lining the hole could kill the pullout strength. stud bolts are sweet because they are easy to place one handed and if you f up the hole depth you can still get a strong placement with what is in the rock. You can also see how long these bolts are by the letter stamped on end so you know how much is in the rock when you clip one.


Depends on the glue you use. Mine is full strength in 35 min at 75deg.

If you use studs you need to take the time to drill the hole the correct depth. Poor form to under drill and leave a long shaft sticking out. I typically OVERDRILL mine (not hand drilling mind you) so they can be pounded flush and patched if need be. I use 316SS or 304SS so hopefully that day is a LONG LONG way off. I've read about recent progress with core drilling the the wedges for removal so it may not even come to that. With 316SS it'll be a while...


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By jasoncm
Jun 3, 2012

Are they those twisted rings from bolt-products. I bought a heap of them and they are awesome, no having to countersink the ring.


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By Alex Whitman
Jun 3, 2012
Luxury Liner, Indian Creek

What do you guys know about the removal or replacement of glue-ins? The appear to be exceedingly difficult to deal with. It is not as if you can pull the bolt and drill a new hole. Do you chop it at the surface and patch?

I feel that these are a great (relatively) short term option, but what are future climbers going to do when these wear out? I fear future crags severely scarred by any rebolting efforts. Thoughts?


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By Allen Corneau
From Houston, TX
Jun 3, 2012

Alex Whitman wrote:
What do you guys know about the removal or replacement of glue-ins? The appear to be exceedingly difficult to deal with. It is not as if you can pull the bolt and drill a new hole.


My understanding is that with the Bolt Products bolts you can do just that: basically "unscrew" the bolt then drill it out the glue so you can reuse the same hole.

Honestly though, a properly placed SS glue in should be good for 50 years.


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By Jim Titt
From Germany
Jun 3, 2012

johnL wrote:
I've used and placed Jim Titt's bolts and think that they are the best product out there. I don't think they are quite as removable as he claims though. When it's time to replace them it'll be due to corrosion in a sea environment. They'll probably break when you try to unscrew them. As long as you are proactive and replace them early, they rule. I'm guessing 10 years for the ones in Bermuda. They'd probably outlast the epoxy inland.


It is regrettably so that they are harder to remove than we first thought. At the time we were using a pure epoxy which softened with heat (and relatively low temperatures at that) and we could heat the bolt enough to get to unscrew. With polyester we could also heat it enough that it caught fire and broke down (exciting on a rope!). However the more common vinylesters and epoxy acrylates used these days donīt respond too well. Vinylester has better fire resistance and is used in fire sensitive applications and most building codes call for this these days for structural work, epoxyacrylate usually has a fire retardent added for the same reason.

Core-drilling is the best at the moment for most bolts including wedge bolts but still is slow and a hassle, it works well in an area with easy access and lots of routes all together when itīs worth getting organised with a decent power supply, water etc but ideal would be if we could get some SDS core drills made that would work with standard drills and without water cooling. I found a company willing to make some prototypes but they arenīt exactly cheap, Iīve applied for some funding for this so might get somewhere on this in the winter. They will leave a rather large hole though which is another issue!

Lifespan of stainless glue-ins is another issue which isnīt really ever going to be resolved, some places they are 40 years old and look like new, other places they look like hell after 10 years. I can get a definitive answer on stainless life depending on the grade from the manufacturers but only if I provide a full analysis of the air, rock, run-off water and climate which no climber is ever going to provide or afford.
Getting a definitive answer on glue life from the manufacturers is also like talking to a politician, best you ever get is "up to 20/50 years" depending on who you talk to, one problem being that most of the glues havenīt been around long enough to know how they deteriorate in the conditions we use them since they are tested for construction purposes.


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By BurtMachlan
Jun 3, 2012

This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.


By mattm
From TX
Jun 3, 2012
Grande Grotto

Allen Corneau wrote:
My understanding is that with the Bolt Products bolts you can do just that: basically "unscrew" the bolt then drill it out the glue so you can reuse the same hole. Honestly though, a properly placed SS glue in should be good for 50 years.


In Texas I'm thinking more like 100 for 304SS and even more for my 316SS. That's assuming they don't have other factors like rock fall or thoughtless lowering wear kill them first...

Time will tell


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By Ed Wright
Jun 3, 2012
Magic Ed

Bolts for new route in the Potrero Chico.
Bolts for new route in the Potrero Chico.



magicedspotrerochico.com/?page_id=2387


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By Joseph P. Crotty
From Broomfield, CO
Jun 3, 2012
Maltese cross.

Can anyone comment on experiences using Fixe Triplex 3-piece vs Powers 5-piece with respect to ease of installing and replacing? The Triplex design strikes me as clean and simple, but I have heard mention of spinners on install in both sandstone and granite even when care was taken to properly blow out and clean. I think the Powers 5-piece designs are nearly impossible to screw up on install assuming all things equal, but probably a good bit more work to get out.


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By Rob Fielding
From Las Vegas, NV
Jun 3, 2012
Third pillar of dana descent.

bus driver wrote:
stud bolts are sweet because they are easy to place one handed and if you f up the hole depth you can still get a strong placement with what is in the rock. You can also see how long these bolts are by the letter stamped on end so you know how much is in the rock when you clip one.


I'm able to place the expansion bolts on lead with one hand, but it's definitely a pain in the ass on the steep stuff. I'd like to give the stud bolts a go.


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By Perin Blanchard
Administrator
From Orem, UT
Jun 3, 2012
Racking too much gear, as usual.

Joseph P. Crotty wrote:
Can anyone comment on experiences using Fixe Triplex 3-piece vs Powers 5-piece with respect to ease of installing and replacing?


See here and here.

The short version is that the Fixe is only (easily) removable in temporary installations with the sleeve flange above the hanger. With the sleeve flange above the hanger it is possible for repeated loadings to pull the sleeve out of the hole if the nut is loose.


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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Jun 3, 2012
Belay

Despite having clipped thousands of them over the years and despite a good amount of curiosity about these things, I have never actually taken the time to experiment with bolt placing. I have always wondered: how long does it actually take to hand-drill a modern 3/8" bolt in various types of rock? How much easier & more efficient does it get if you're placing your thousandth hand-drilled bolt vs. your first?

Obviously it depends on a number of factors, but can anyone give me some basic stats for granite vs. limestone. vs. sandstone, etc?


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By Rschap
From Grand Junction, CO
Jun 4, 2012

Peter Franzen wrote:
Despite having clipped thousands of them over the years and despite a good amount of curiosity about these things, I have never actually taken the time to experiment with bolt placing. I have always wondered: how long does it actually take to hand-drill a modern 3/8" bolt in various types of rock? How much easier & more efficient does it get if you're placing your thousandth hand-drilled bolt vs. your first? Obviously it depends on a number of factors, but can anyone give me some basic stats for granite vs. limestone. vs. sandstone, etc?


I recently hand drilled 7 bolts on a new sport route I put up in Western Colorado. I drilled 3/8”X2 1/4" in granite. The first bolt took me 10min the last bolt took be 30min. It takes a lot out of you.


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By meigsrock
From Anchorage, Alaska
Jun 4, 2012

I am planing on puting up some routes on a new wall and am wonering if I can hand place them, use my standard cordless drill, or if I need to throw down some serious coin for that fancy climbing hammer drill that is on the market.

I have the rawl 5 pc bolts but need to get a drill. Any suggestions?


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By mucci
From sf ca
Jun 4, 2012

ED-

Plated steel hangers says a lot about a man and his "Routes".

  • Wedge bolts are the only type that can be placed "one handed" while on lead.

Though this feature is not important to the top down installer.

Edit: One handed meaning the bolt sits IN the hole, and you can let go to grab your hammer. 5 piece require (usually) a hand to steady the bolt during the first few strikes. Fear of the thing just coming undone is ever-present.


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By Ed Wright
Jun 6, 2012
Magic Ed

Not quite sure what you mean by your comment. Here in the Potrero we don't have to worry about moisture and freezing and thawing etc so plated works fine and stainless is not necessary.


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By Zappatista
Jun 7, 2012
Book me, officer.

Plated bolts are fine for desert environments. What's next, moochi? Want to bust the stainless crowd's chops for not switching to all Marine Grade the day they came out?

Plated bolts matched with plated hangers will outlast stainless hangers with plated bolts-99% of the replacement I've had to do in Red Rock. Galvanic corrosion is the enemy, here-not Ed for putting up routes with appropriate hardware.

I, like, to, use, comm,a,s, t,oo, Burt/Dex/Dorsey. Can you live your life without being a walking excuse for a yeast infection on this site for, say, a day straight?


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By Jon O'Brien
From Nevada
Jun 7, 2012

why lay out all those bolts like that and not paint em?


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By Zappatista
Jun 7, 2012
Book me, officer.

Yeah, Jon! Out here, we paint the chains at the base of the climb, Vegas representin'!

Joking. But that did happen at the Trophy, so maybe it's more sad than anything.

Thumbs up to camoing efforts.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jun 7, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Jon O'Brien wrote:
why lay out all those bolts like that and not paint em?


I dunno, I think there are good reasons NOT to cammo. It depends on the crag. Obviously its essential to keep a low profile at certain crags (like those with lots of non-climbing visitors). But for a 15 pitch route in Mexico, at a crag where climbing is embraced by the local non-climbers, nobody except climbers will see 95% of the bolts, and they are probably hard to see at that. Its not a bad thing to keep them easy to find when wandering up a 2000' face.

In Spain I've seen hangers that are color-coded for certain routes, on faces with multi-pitch lines that cross each other.


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By ABB
Jun 7, 2012

Perin Blanchard wrote:
See here and here. The short version is that the Fixe is only (easily) removable in temporary installations with the sleeve flange above the hanger. With the sleeve flange above the hanger it is possible for repeated loadings to pull the sleeve out of the hole if the nut is loose.


Perin, you're referring to the Fixe Triplex? Assuming one has an appropriate hanger, meaning the bolt-hole in the hanger is properly sized for the bolt, it would be impossible to install the Triplex in a way that the flange would be on the front of the hanger. The sleeve will not fit through an appropriate hanger. Yet if it did as you noted in your first sentence, such an installation could be deathly wrong since the leverage, when weighting the hanger, would result in the hanger pulling the sleeve out of the hole if the nut is the least bit loose. The flange must be seated between hanger and rock, not on the outside or front of the hanger.

As for ease of removal, it's simple. Back-off the nut to the end of the stud but do not remove the nut from the stud. Tap the nut, which keeps you from tapping the end of the stud and potentially damaging the threads. The tapping pushes the stud/expansion cone out of the sleeve and slightly deeper into the hole. Remove nut from stud. Using a thin blade of some sort to pry under the flange and pliers to grab the flange, remove the sleeve from the hole. Remove the stud. You're left with a clean hole.

Removing a Triplex is far easier than trying to fish-out the pieces of a 5-piece.

The core-drilling procedure sounds very problematic on many levels; expensive and requires ever-increasingly larger holes for every replacement cycle.

Peter, drilling speed depends on several variables (type of rock, sharpness of bit, hammer weight and ability to continuously pound hard from a solid stance. Holes alone can take from 10-30 minutes.


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By Dan Greenwald
Jun 7, 2012

Fixe triplex should have the flange outside of the hanger. ie. nut, flange, hanger and then rock. as per fixe's instructions. This requires the 12mm hanger.


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