Basic re-bolting question


Original Post
Hunter Enochs · · Cookeville, TN · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 0

I have read everything I can find online, including the ASCA, Access Fund, and Fixe site tutorials. Unfortunately I haven't been successful in finding a local mentor yet.

There is one basic question that I have yet to see answered explicitly and so I must ask:

When replacing a bolt and using the existing hole; must you re-drill for and use a bolt that is bigger than the bolt you are replacing, or can you use the same size bolt as the previous one?

For instance, if you are replacing a 3/8" bolt, must you drill for and replace it with a 1/2" bolt? If so, are glue-ins the only option with which to replace a 1/2" bolt?

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500

Depends on the rock. Granite- you can probably get away with using the same size hole, although someone else can probably speak to that directly. Sandstone, not so much if you're pulling a wedge bolt.

In general, though, best practices are that if you are using a power drill to replace hardware, you should install 1/2" bolts. If you're hand drilling, you may not have the energy or time to drag a full replacement kit up, instead opting to chop and replace.

Glue-ins are a good option, but 5-piece are also fine. Many areas are moving to a glue-in standard for replacement (Red Rock, Thailand, the Red), but plenty are sticking to mechanical bolts with a mind for future replacement.

Edit: I saw that you're in Salt Lake- get involved with the Climbers Coalition up there- they're really active and will have resources (including mentors) for you.

dameeser · · denver · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 196

I don't think it's a good idea to give this advice on a public forum so I sent you a PM.

Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 540

Definitely check in with the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance: saltlakeclimbers.org

Beyond that, the local standard varies on the rebolting project. A lot of the sport areas replaced recently in the Wasatch have been glue-ins. We did some re-bolting up in Ogden not too long ago and used some mechanical bolts for replacement as well. I'd say there is a move toward stainless, 1/2", and long-lasting (i.e. glue-in) or easily replaced (ClimbTech Legacy or Fixe Triplex). But as noted, variables like rock type, droll used, and access can all affect the choices. There's also still plenty of development being done with 3/8" plated wedge or 5-piece stuff, too.

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 85
dameeser wrote:I don't think it's a good idea to give this advice on a public forum so I sent you a PM.
Then don't comment publicly .

This is the Forums > Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors Thread.
I would like to know what your concerns are about having an open discussion ? What is Wrong with sharing here? The conversation is important. The OP has voiced his in-experience and asked for help.

There is a current thread, A Question about glue-in's :

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/glue-question/112192319#a_112215571
dameeser · · denver · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 196
Michael Schneider wrote: Then don't comment publicly .
I didn't. I sent him a PM.

Edit: Do you mean I should have posted anonymously? I guess I could have done that.
Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 85

You are missing my point, what about re-using an existing hole V's drilling a fresh one
Is potentially so controversial that it can't be talked about openly?

Hey, I'm just interested in the thinking behind what you did post. This is the place on MP, to ask questions about bolting.i don't feel the need to quote back and forth, It just seemed to go against the spirit of sharing the knowledge.
The community here likes to share the wisdom of those who have more experience.
Ugh- I'm sorry when I type my screen goes blank?any way it's all good.
I'm not doing any bolting
It is a Good morning
1st I need to grab some coffee plug this deck into charge. Then grab some gear and scare myself
Placeing it in gritty un-climbed cracks that have been waiting for this perfect weather.

dameeser · · denver · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 196

I think it's a great question to ask. I have been a little concerned lately with liability so I did not want to give this advice publicly. Bolting and especially re-bolting involves so many variables and honestly not everyone should be doing this type of work. I would rather give my advice to one stranger than to many strangers.

I didn't miss your point I just didn't respond to it. :P

Hunter Enochs · · Cookeville, TN · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 0

Thanks for the help. I should update my profile, I am in Tennessee and the rock is hard sandstone, similiar to Obed or the Red River Gorge. If only I had the community resources available in SLC!

Most of the bolts look to be 3/8" and a few 1/4", but there are a few 1/2" cold shuts I'm trying to figure out what to do with. I will most likely be using a power (rotary hammer) drill.

Thanks again, please keep it coming!

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,575

IMO you should almost always go up a size,,there's not that much material there. If you are replacing 1/4" or 5/16" , they are short and a 3/8" will be easy to drill out. With say a 3/8 hole/ new 3/8" hole you gotta watch any wobble in the bit, it can warp the hole in seconds then you got a mess.

I think pull and patch works best ..unless you use glue ins

jeep gaskin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 10

i think it's great that you are seeking advice from MP users about bolt replacement. here is some of what i know about re-bolting granite.
you are unlikely to remove wedge anchors from granite. they generally have to be cut off. i use a saw, but others break them with a hammer or wrench, inducing metal fatigue until they break. my experience with this method leaves a wallowed scar with a broken metal center. i think it looks sloppy, hence the saw. a professional quality hack saw will have alignment tangs that allow the blade to be oriented at 45 degrees. this works fairly well. better is a battery powered reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade. if there are people on the ground beneath you, make sure they move. things will fall.
Use 1/2" stainless bolts and stainless hangers for granite replacements. obviously you will need a knew hole. i use 4" bolts, machine drilled. Mechanical bolts are fine. 5 piece bolts are more difficult to install than wedge anchors and more likely to fail prematurely. on the other hand they can be replaced using the same hole, limiting rock damage over time. lots of other considerations. think about and be proud of your work. camo the hangers if you need too. shift the bolt to accurately align with the direction of the route, but don't change the stance where you clip. consider whether to patch the old holes or not. leave behind improvement not a junkyard. prepare for criticism.

Scatterbrain · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 85

Save yourself the money and effort and get in touch with the SCC as they have the money and connections to get the job done. Not that rebolting is rocket science, but if you don't know what you're doing, it's best to let someone else do it for obvious reasons. If the SCC can't or won't help, try to reach out to other local orgs. I think there is a group of folks heavily involved with the Obed. But, there are plenty of folks in TN who are experienced in bolting/rebolting. Ask to tag along and help and learn. And Jeep is dead on the money with the latter part of his last paragraph.

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 85
jeep gaskin wrote:i think it's great that you are seeking advice from MP users about bolt replacement. here is some of what i know about re-bolting granite. you are unlikely to remove wedge anchors from granite. they generally have to be cut off. i use a saw, but others break them with a hammer or wrench, inducing metal fatigue until they break. my experience with this method leaves a wallowed scar with a broken metal center. i think it looks sloppy, hence the saw. a professional quality hack saw will have alignment tangs that allow the blade to be oriented at 45 degrees. this works fairly well. better is a battery powered reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade. if there are people on the ground beneath you, make sure they move. things will fall. Use 1/2" stainless bolts and stainless hangers for granite replacements. obviously you will need a knew hole. i use 4" bolts, machine drilled. Mechanical bolts are fine. 5 piece bolts are more difficult to install than wedge anchors and more likely to fail prematurely. on the other hand they can be replaced using the same hole, limiting rock damage over time. lots of other considerations. think about and be proud of your work. camo the hangers if you need too. shift the bolt to accurately align with the direction of the route, but don't change the stance where you clip. consider whether to patch the old holes or not. leave behind improvement not a junkyard. prepare for criticism.
An excellent response! Thank you. As we stride into this next generation where
crowding and gym training has led to people climbing in their own 'bubble' to preserve the experience.
We must not for get to bring along the next group of stoked climbers by sharing openly, the
information is very important.

Thanx for sharing that here!
V, V, V, V
dameeser · · denver · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 196

Wedge bolts and sleeve anchors can be removed and re-used pretty close to 100 percent of the time if you have the patience. Wedge bolts are actually really easy to remove. Search the forums for re-using holes. Search Greggerman posts.

I think we need to be re-using holes so we are keeping the routes original to the FA. It's also a way to save our limited resources. There are only a few spots to drill a hole in a certain location, sometimes only one. I hate seeing patched holes or chopped bolts.

Cheers,

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,575

To add to jeep's post..I like to counterpunch the bolt if i can..sink it down below stone level, then patch. The problem is that many(most) bolts are barely deep enough for this..you don't know. it can be easier with 5 pc after removing the center bit and punching the cone in, you can sometimes even pull the sleeve part out as well.

Save you rock dust for patching after !

Compression type bolts, rawl drives and splits can sometimes crack the surrounding rock when removed. If the f/a team didn't flatten the rock well this can create a saucer dish which sucks. Patch and place new hole

S.Mckinna · · CaƱon City, CO · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 1,405
dameeser wrote:Wedge bolts and sleeve anchors can be removed and re-used pretty close to 100 percent of the time if you have the patience. Wedge bolts are actually really easy to remove. Search the forums for re-using holes. Search Greggerman posts. I think we need to be re-using holes so we are keeping the routes original to the FA. It's also a way to save our limited resources. There are only a few spots to drill a hole in a certain location, sometimes only one. I hate seeing patched holes or chopped bolts. Cheers,
I was about to suggest Gregger Man as well.
Harrison Laird · · Davis, CA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 173
dameeser wrote:Wedge bolts and sleeve anchors can be removed and re-used pretty close to 100 percent of the time if you have the patience. Wedge bolts are actually really easy to remove. Search the forums for re-using holes. Search Greggerman posts. I think we need to be re-using holes so we are keeping the routes original to the FA. It's also a way to save our limited resources. There are only a few spots to drill a hole in a certain location, sometimes only one. I hate seeing patched holes or chopped bolts. Cheers,




Greg has some excellent tools to facilitate sustainable re-bolting, I have his "doodad 2.0" puller and his spinner tool and they work great.
dameeser · · denver · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 196

The action fund is going to be selling these tools on their website soon. Contact them for details.

Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 540

Your local org is the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, who might be able to help you out. If they are unresponsive, try the Carolina Climbers Coalition (some cross-over there) and they may be able to get you in touch with the right folks.

I used to be based in the Southeast. If you get no response, PM me and I'll see if I can dig up some locals who'd be willing to help you out.

Chris Whisenhunt · · Fayetteville, WV · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 930

We have some of the tools from the Access Fund and we are no where near 100% pullout. I'd say maybe 60-70% of the time the bolt breaks off in the hole. We are on bullet hard sandstone, so the bolts don't like to move much.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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