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What's going on with these SS 5pc Bolt heads?


DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 341
rkrum wrote:

Hmm, I have not had that issue. In the last couple years, I've personally placed probably 30+ of the 1/2 x 4.75" SS power bolts. Zero have spun. All but I think 3 have been in relatively soft rock (wingate and entrada sandstone). However, in my experience, the harder the rock, the fewer turns of the wrench required for the bolt to torque down properly.

Over the same couple of years, I've watched my partners place probably an equal number of the same long 1/2" SS power bolts, and only witnessed maybe 5 spinners total. Those were all in somewhat exceptionally soft rock, about the softest I'd try to place an expansion bolt in.

Fwiw, I've found the longer bolts to be exceptionally intolerant of worn drill bits.

The powers 5 piece are designed for a 13mm drill bit not 1/2 inch which is 12.7mm. It is indicated in small lettering on the bolt sleeve if I recall correctly.  Spinners can usually be tightened by putting a cut out washer (side cut out so it can be slid behind) behind the hanger then removing it after it bites.  Also they need to be retorqued after 48 hours as they can lose up to 50% of the initial torque in this time according to a powers representative.  

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,421

Never had an issue with 1/2" either.  Just 3/8".

I mic my bits...concur worn bits are trouble.

Cheers!

climber pat · · Las Cruces, NM · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 215
DrRockso wrote:

The powers 5 piece are designed for a 13mm drill bit not 1/2 inch which is 12.7mm. It is indicated in small lettering on the bolt sleeve if I recall correctly.  Spinners can usually be tightened by putting a cut out washer (side cut out so it can be slid behind) behind the hanger then removing it after it bites.  Also they need to be retorqued after 48 hours as they can lose up to 50% of the initial torque in this time according to a powers representative.  

Power's documentation says 1/2 drill.  http://www.powers.com/pdfs/mechanical/06914.pdf


rkrum · · Here and there · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 40

DrRockso - I believe 1/2 inch power bolts are to be used with a 1/2 inch OR 13mm bit. "1/2 in (13mm)" is what is stamped into the expansion sleeve on the side. I tried pretty hard to find a 13mm sds masonry bit stateside and was completely unable to find one. Aside from ease of install, I figured the added diameter if anything would give me longer drill bit life - sandstone seems to wear out bits exceptionally fast. Even called up powers, since I guessed that if you were supposed to use a 13mm bit to install their bolts, they might know where to get one. Nope.

Interesting to hear about re-torquing bolts. That never came up in conversations about spinners, drill bit size, etc with a couple of different powers reps. I'll have to carry up a wrench next time I'm on a route with recently placed bolts and check that out.


Brian - Ah gotcha. For some reason I just assumed we were talking 1/2. I've never tried the long 3/8 iteration, but I could see that being more... temperamental.

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 341

I've used a 1/2" bit in Corbin Sandstone with little issue.  I suspect the 13mm may help in harder stone and likely would have prevented someone pounding the ever living shit out of the bolt shown in the OP.

Paul Hutton · · Flaming Gorge, UT · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740

My carpenter's hammer has done that to SS bolts. Waffle hammer, as mentioned above. 

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,346
DrRockso wrote:

The powers 5 piece are designed for a 13mm drill bit not 1/2 inch which is 12.7mm. 

They are not. The sleeve says "1/2 (13mm)" but it's designed for a 1/2" hole as is stated in the manual. I've never had a problem installing them in a 1/2" hole and I install them in some very hard rock, although I havent tried the longer version. I only install the 2.75" stainless version.

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 341
  • Many people have had problems with spinners,  I suspect using a 13mm bit would solve these problems and also make installation easier.  It seems the sleeve on the SS version is slightly larger than on the plated since they are a heck of a lot harder to pound in than their plated counterpart. Full disclosure,  I've only used them with 1/2" bits, I've had 2 spinners in 60 bolts.  
slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

i would think that using the slightly larger drill bit would INCREASE the chance of a spinner, particularly in soft rock, as it would be more difficult to develop the internal friction to hold the end cap in place while the bolt turns into it.  i haven't ever had any problems with the 1/2 x 4-1/2 rawl/powers 5 pieces spinning, but i am really particular about trying to keep the bit from wallowing out the hole.

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 341

Never seemed to be a problem with the dynabolt gold (rip) or climb tech legacy (rip) which were both placed by hand (No hammering) never had a spinner with either of these bolts.  Regardless it's just a suggestion for something to try if you fit into the category of people who are having a lot of problems with them.  I personally won't use the SS 5 piece anymore because of problems with post placement loosening on overhung and sideways pulled bolts.  Area developers have had ~10 bolts unscrew to the point of failing over the last 2 years, all a result of negligence to tighten spinners.

Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 7,207

Using all types of bolts, including 5 piece, I have never had a spinner when placed in "good" rock.  That being said, in soft sandstone this IS a problem.  So here is a trick I learned.  Tap the bolt in a bit, and then tighten a little.  Repeat. Work the bolt in slowly until seated.  Then finish tightening.  This has worked well for me in soft choss.

davidbr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 10
Roy Suggett wrote:

Using all types of bolts, including 5 piece, I have never had a spinner when placed in "good" rock.  That being said, in soft sandstone this IS a problem.  So here is a trick I learned.  Tap the bolt in a bit, and then tighten a little.  Repeat. Work the bolt in slowly until seated.  Then finish tightening.  This has worked well for me in soft choss.

How far do you tap in before tightening a little between taps?

Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 7,207

About 1/2 way.  Not sure why it works...seems counter intuitive, but it has worked many times for me.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,421
slim wrote:

i would think that using the slightly larger drill bit would INCREASE the chance of a spinner, particularly in soft rock, as it would be more difficult to develop the internal friction to hold the end cap in place while the bolt turns into it.  i haven't ever had any problems with the 1/2 x 4-1/2 rawl/powers 5 pieces spinning, but i am really particular about trying to keep the bit from wallowing out the hole.

What I've seen is a smaller than spec drill bit causes the cone to smush onto the bolt threads and then not turn.  Sometimes, with a soft cone material (aka stainless ha ha), the threads on the cone will get stripped by driving the shaft of the bolt through the cone in a tight hole.  At least with a slightly oversize hole, if the cone is static at all in the hole, the sleeve will slide down and expand when the bolt is tightened.

Which is why I measure my drill bits to make sure they're still big enough to drill a properly sized hole.  You can sharpen a bit to get more life out of it, but, once you wear the sides down in diameter, you can't make it bigger...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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