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Custom Toe Bails


Original Post
Sterling Falconer · · California · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Does anyone know where you can find custom toe bails to fit certain crampons with certain boots that have thin toe welts?

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 337

Pro tip I recently received from a  super-pro:  If your welts are getting thin, heat up a crampon bail over a stove or fireplace and press it into the welt.  You can melt a few millimeters into the welt and make a perfect fit.  

Disclaimer:  I have never tried this myself.

Apparently some folks do this while on long Himalayan expeditions when their welts are running thin but they can't easily get new boots.

julio412 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 0

If you do something like this, buy a second set, as heating the bails will destroy the heat treatment of the bails.
Grivel and Petzl both sell front bails the convert a fully automatic crampon to a semi auto; bail to strap

Sterling Falconer · · California · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
Chris C. wrote: Pro tip I recently received from a  super-pro:  If your welts are getting thin, heat up a crampon bail over a stove or fireplace and press it into the welt.  You can melt a few millimeters into the welt and make a perfect fit.  

Disclaimer:  I have never tried this myself.

Apparently some folks do this while on long Himalayan expeditions when their welts are running thin but they can't easily get new boots.

Thanks for the protip!

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 337
julio412 wrote: If you do something like this, buy a second set, as heating the bails will destroy the heat treatment of the bails.
Grivel and Petzl both sell front bails the convert a fully automatic crampon to a semi auto; bail to strap

You could probably even do it with a wire coat hanger.  The context given to me was for in the wild, so probably just making due with what's on hand.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800
julio412 wrote: If you do something like this, buy a second set, as heating the bails will destroy the heat treatment of the bails.

Not a metallurgist here... but exactly what sort of heat treatment is applied to toe bails? I would guess it's something to make them springy and tough. Not necessarily tempered for hardness. If so, heating them and cooling them as suggested might soften them, but I can't see it making them brittle. So risk of catastophe i.e. breakage shouldn't be a concern.  But I personally would be loathe to stick my crampons over the Jetboil in the middle of a big mountain expedition.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,146

Pro-tip #1 Most ice tools have a hammer head, use that to beat the bails into submission. After which they will have a custom shape.

Pro-tip #2 Put the crampons on your boots while beating the bails into submission. After which they will have a custom shape that fits your boots.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800
Allen Sanderson wrote: Pro-tip #1 Most ice tools have a hammer head, use that to beat the bails into submission. After which they will have a custom shape.

Pro-tip #2 Put the crampons on your boots while beating the bails into submission. After which they will have a custom shape that fits your boots.

Maybe I don't hit them hard enough, but I've hammered on plenty of toe bails. While it works to force them onto the welt/lip, I don't think I've ever truly changed the shape of a bail that way.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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