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Inexpensive bolt extractor


Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,321

The speed of the video is deceptive. I think they are actually turning clockwise. Slow it down to 0.25x speed and you can tell some of the time.
Since the working end of the bolt has no threads in the rock, it makes no difference which direction you turn it. 

Zay Redux · · Mariposa · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 36

Greggor, what is the name of the hydraulic tool they use after scouring (the one with which they use thr spacers in the video with bruce, clint, and john at pinnacles?)

It looks smaller than a similar device ive seen in another one of your videos.

depending on price, i might just buy one

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523
Isaiah Foulks wrote: Greggor, what is the name of the hydraulic tool they use after scouring (the one with which they use thr spacers in the video with bruce, clint, and john at pinnacles?)

It looks smaller than a similar device ive seen in another one of your videos.

depending on price, i might just buy one

I think it's called the greenlee punch driver. They ain't cheap. 

Zay Redux · · Mariposa · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 36

googling... holy **** looks like im making an inexpensive bolt extractor!

dameeser · · denver · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 251

You can get a knock off version.  I have this one, works fine.

http://ez-tools.us/spd/K-8E/Hydraulic-Hole-Puncher-Set-22-60-mm-7-8-2-3-8

Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,321

The hydraulic tools have plenty of pull for the job, but they all have about a 1.000" travel. That means adding spacers to pull any bolt longer than 1 inch, which can be a pain in the ass in practice. I have a knockoff Greenlee that I got for ~$120, but I just leave it in the truck as a backup tool in case I wreck my Doodad. 

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523

Pulled my first wedge bolt today. 


Also figured out what I was doing wrong with previous wedge bolts. I had been using the nut to tap the stud in with a hammer in order to disengage the cone, which consistently left me with not enough threads outside the hole to get the spinner tool on correctly. Today I used hammer mode on the drill instead to disengage the cone.

The first one actually spun all the way out and I had to put the bolt back in the hole and use the hurley jr because I wasn't able to get the bolt off of the spinner tool. Expanded the hole to fit a 1/2" ASCA bolt and then put the lowering hardware back on. This success was soon undercut by an unexpected failure, however.

I started spinning the other anchor bolt and I think it was almost ready for the hurley jr when the drill battery died. I couldn't even get my spinner tool off the bolt. Unfortunately, it was late enough in the day that I knew that if I tried to recharge the battery and come back it would be too cold outside (the cliff is east facing). So I had to just leave my spinner tool up there for another day. Good thing nobody climbs there this time of year, though.

Do y'all usually carry more than one battery when you go out to do some rebolting?
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523

Another question for the rebolting experts out there:

At one of the crags here, I've been replacing just any bolt that had rust on the stud knowing that it's going to have to be replaced soon anyways because they're all either 20+ year old PS or carbon steel bolts in limestone. I've also pulled a few that looked good on the outside (because the bolt needed to be moved to a different location) but had surface corrosion inside the hole. All of the bolts I've pulled at this particular crag had surface corrosion inside the hole and some outside the hole.

The question I've been wondering this whole time, though, is how bad does the surface corrosion actually affect the bolt's holding power? My thinking is that the stud itself is still pretty strong so it ought to be good for a load in sheer. But the sleeves are so thin that surface corrosion might penetrate deep enough to compromise its strength.

Is that the case or am I just being a pansy over a little bit of rust? What would y'all say about these bolts? Good enough or ticking time bombs?

Drew Nevius · · Oklahoma · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 1,884

Glad to hear the first one went well! I would use needlenose pliers on the bolt and a wrench on the spinner tool to get it off the bolt if I have to, though my preferred method would be to justput the drill in reverse and spin it off the bolt. Keep up the good work Eli!

Aaron Glasenapp · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 811

I ran into the issue of having the spinner tool get stuck on the bolt as well. Even with a needle nose vice grip on the bolt and spinning the drill in reverse would not get it off. I think this was caused because the bolt goes up against the set screw in the coupling nut of the spinner tool, and the SDS part of the spinner tool is pushing on the set-screw from inside. I don't quite understand the physics, but I did figure out that loosening the coupling nut from the SDS part of the spinner tool with 2 adjustable wrenches (thus releasing the force on the set-screw), made the bolt unscrew from the spinner tool very easily. Not sure if others have come across this or perhaps understand the physics a little bit better.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523
Aaron Glasenapp wrote: I ran into the issue of having the spinner tool get stuck on the bolt as well. Even with a needle nose vice grip on the bolt and spinning the drill in reverse would not get it off. I think this was caused because the bolt goes up against the set screw in the coupling nut of the spinner tool, and the SDS part of the spinner tool is pushing on the set-screw from inside. I don't quite understand the physics, but I did figure out that loosening the coupling nut from the SDS part of the spinner tool with 2 adjustable wrenches (thus releasing the force on the set-screw), made the bolt unscrew from the spinner tool very easily. Not sure if others have come across this or perhaps understand the physics a little bit better.

I think you're right that it has something to do with the set screw. I used needle nose pliers one the cone to try to get it out of the spinner tool but it just stripped metal off the cone. However, I was able to get it out of the hurley jr with just my hand gripping the bolt. 

Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,321

When spinning a bolt - 

  1. start in hammer mode to get it to start rotating
  2. use water to keep the heat down and don't pull too hard on the drill or it will break
  3. after 10-15 seconds, I put the drill in reverse and hold the coupling nut part of the spinner tool with a crescent wrench. I use the drill to unscrew the SDS adapter from the coupling nut, then screw the end of the Doodad into that same coupling nut.
  4. Pull

This order of operations keeps you from having to use needle-nosed pliers on a loose wedge bolt that is too deep in the hole.
Drew Nevius · · Oklahoma · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 1,884
Gregger Man wrote:I use the drill to unscrew the SDS adapter from the coupling nut, then screw the end of the Doodad into that same coupling nut.

This streamlined process sounds ideal. However, if using Access Fund supplies tools the issue is that they use different threads on the non-bolt end. Also, the coupler nut on the AF spinner tool is too large to fit inside the tube of the Hurley Jr. I brought this up with them after the first time I used it, but they said they aren’t sure it’s enough of an issue to warrant changing either tool

Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,321

IMO - streamlining the work flow is much more important than the strength of the puller tool. In a long day's work, little frustrating steps pile up and make the job less efficient and less enjoyable. I treat it like aid climbing and seek to combine/eliminate as many steps as possible.
The puller and spinner tools work in concert, so they should definitely have the same thread on the back end. 

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523
Gregger Man wrote: IMO - streamlining the work flow is much more important than the strength of the puller tool. In a long day's work, little frustrating steps pile up and make the job less efficient and less enjoyable. I treat it like aid climbing and seek to combine/eliminate as many steps as possible.
The puller and spinner tools work in concert, so they should definitely have the same thread on the back end. 

I dunno about y'all but for me, the limiting factor so far has not been time or effort. Instead it's been tools, know-how, and most recently battery life. Do y'all usually pack extra batteries for the drill? Yesterday the battery was dead after spinning one bolt out, drilling out a 3/8" hole into 1/2" and then spinnning another bolt.

I'm wondering if there's something up with the battery or maybe I'm just spinning too much. How long do y'all typically spin the wedge bolt before switching to pulling?

Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,321

I almost always carry at least two batteries. I've regretted it when I didn't. The cold weather doesn't help.
10-15 seconds is usually enough to switch to a puller tool, unless it is tracking out so much that I can pull the bolt out during the spinning. 

Drew Nevius · · Oklahoma · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 1,884
eli poss wrote:

I dunno about y'all but for me, the limiting factor so far has not been time or effort. Instead it's been tools, know-how, and most recently battery life. Do y'all usually pack extra batteries for the drill? Yesterday the battery was dead after spinning one bolt out, drilling out a 3/8" hole into 1/2" and then spinnning another bolt.

I'm wondering if there's something up with the battery or maybe I'm just spinning too much. How long do y'all typically spin the wedge bolt before switching to pulling?

If it goes well, 30sec of spraying and spinning can be enough.


Battery life is shorter in cold weather. That could be your problem
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523

I see. I was spinning it for a few minutes in 5-10 second bursts. Sounds like too much spinning along with the cold is probably the issue. Also, what do y'all think about those rusted bolts up thread? Bomber, time bomb, or somewhere in between? I know it can be hard to tell from only a photo but I'm curious about just a rough estimate or gut feelings. 

Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,321

My guess is that the sheer strength is still probably sufficient.
The axial strength of old bolts is a real crapshoot tho.
It would take an uncommon falling situation to get a pull straight out, but I’ve seen some rusty bolts slide out way too easily. 

Kent Krauza · · Vancouver Island · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 0
eli poss wrote: I see. I was spinning it for a few minutes in 5-10 second bursts. Sounds like too much spinning along with the cold is probably the issue. Also, what do y'all think about those rusted bolts up thread? Bomber, time bomb, or somewhere in between? I know it can be hard to tell from only a photo but I'm curious about just a rough estimate or gut feelings. 

I’ve wondered the same thing. I recently replaced what I think was a SS stud with mild steel nut and washer. I had to over torque and thus shear off the nut, and this photo shows the extent of the corrosion on the stud underneath. The threads were completely rusted out but the stud was otherwise solid looking. Does this mean the nut would have eventually stripped what is left of the threads and pulled right off on a lead fall? 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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