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Which Hanger Size for 1/2 inch Powers Sleeve Bolts

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Taylor Krosbakken · · Duluth, MN · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 658

First time ordering 1/2 inch sleeve bolts (edit: 4.75 in long) and Climbtech's website states (I think, as its poorly worded) to use 3/8 in hanger and then not use the washer. This seems to conflict with some older posts I read on here to use a hanger with a half inch hole. I assume either way works but would like to hear if there is a recent consensus on this. I have to order hangers anyway so it doesn't really matter either way for me.

Obviously you use a 3/8 in hanger with a 3/8 in sleeve bolt, so I would think when you move up to a 1/2 inch sleeve bolt you also change the hanger.

Thanks!

Andy Bennett · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 381

I've used both. The ASCA provides 1/2" sleeves with 3/8" hangers, while Fixe sells 1/2"+1/2" set. Not sure why there's this discrepancy and Fixe never responded to my inquiry about it. Maybe Greg Barnes and other more knowledgeable people will weight in here. The nice thing about using the 3/8" hangers is they don't slide off the bolt (though the 5pc bolts have a habit of unscrewing and falling apart when you least expect them too..Ive taken to adding a small strip of masking tape since that little blue dot does nothing after a ride in a pack and on your harness/bolting kit)

Taylor Krosbakken · · Duluth, MN · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 658

Thanks Andy. Climbtech never got back to me either. 

Scott E · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 312
Andy Bennett wrote: Fixe never responded to my inquiry about it. 

Kevin Daniels at Fixe USA has never responded to anything

Josh Janes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 9,157

You can use either. If you have a 1/2” hanger it will sit around the sleeve. If you have a 3/8” hanger it will sit around the bolt itself. You have to make sure there is still enough bolt insertion into the cone, so with a 3/8” hanger you may have to remove the little metal spacer (if present - only on very short bolts) - the hanger becomes the new spacer. Otherwise you could remove the washer or swap it for a less beefy washer. Powers 1/2” bolt washers are really thick/large and won’t fit flush against the curvature of some hangers (PETZL and Climbtech come to mind). I definitely remove or switch the washers in those cases.

Taylor Krosbakken · · Duluth, MN · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 658
Josh Janes wrote: Powers 1/2” bolt washers are really thick/large and won’t fit flush against the curvature of some hangers (PETZL and Climbtech come to mind). I definitely remove or switch the washers in those cases.

That is probably the reason Climbtech says to ditch the washer.

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,824

ASCA provides 1/2" hole hangers with 1/2" sleeve bolts in general.

If we run low on hangers we'll save the 1/2" hole hangers for the long sleeve bolts (4.75"), since the short 1/2" bolts (2.75") come with a small metal sleeve/spacer that you can remove to use 3/8" hole hangers.

If you install the long Power-Bolts (which are 4.75") with a 3/8" hole hanger without removing the washer, the end of the threads may not have enough engagement in the cone to properly tighten. This is why Climbtech recommends removing the washer with 3/8" hole hangers. In the '90s we used to cut the spacer sleeves down on long 1/2" 5-piece so we could place with Metolius rap hangers, or the bolt end would only engage maybe a thread or two of the cone.

The 5-piece (Power-Bolt) is a very robust design, and it works well even when installed poorly. I replaced the short 3/8" 5-piece bolts on a route last year where the original installer had not even tightened the bolts down at all (!!!), and the bolts had held years of falls (not on an overhang). As long as the threads are engaged and the bolt tightens up when you install it, and you don't over-torque it to the point the bolt snaps, you're probably fine.

Please note that some folks are using Power-Bolt+ these days (the non-stainless bolts), and those are MUCH weaker than the original design, so those are much more likely to snap when tightened if you over-torque them. I have not examined how those bolts fit with hangers/washers/spacing, since they should not be used for climbing (non-stainless, and the 3/8" version are super weak).

Peter Thomas · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2018 · Points: 39

I've done it both ways. I prefer 1/2" hanger with the washer. On one occasion when using a 3/8 hanger, I missed the bolt and clipped the hanger while getting the bolt started. This  caused the hanger to drive the sleeve over the cone, slightly bending it. After that, the sleeve hung up on the hole and I had to use a new bolt. with a 1/2" the hanger can be completely out of the way as you get the bolt started in the hole.
I've talked with Kevin, and his response was more or less "do what you want" with the explanation that if you look at the powers specs, the hole in the material you are anchoring is sized slightly larger than the bolt diameter. this is likely only to allow you to drive the assembled bolt through it (cone won't fit through a 1/2" hole). Keven has suggested you should never need to disassemble to bolt, but this is moot since you still need to disassemble it to get the 1/2" hanger on.

J Achey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 150

Hi, Taylor. This topic has been debated quite a bit, and I think it's fair to say most experienced bolters don't think it matters. Mechanically, in theory at least, a 3/8 hanger ensures that all the force applied to the hanger will be transmitted to the bolt shaft, an action that tends to activate the wedging action of the bolt, perhaps increasing the holding power. With a 1/2-inch hole in the hanger, there will be some direct pull on the sleeve part of the device (and/or the spacer and compression washer), which in theory might supplement the absolute shear strength of the bolt while partially deactivating the wedging action. But in practice - forget about it. And you don't have to worry about voiding the manufacturer's warranty, because climbing is an unapproved use of the product anyway! It IS true that you cannot use the stock washers with ClimbTech hangers no matter what the hole size - the bend in the hanger is too close to the hole. Petzl has recently redesigned their hangers, making them a bit larger, and they MIGHT now accommodate the washer. The massive Fixe hangers definitely accommodate the washer. As far as the bolt is concerned, the hanger pretty much acts like a washer anyway. The much more important thing is that you drill your holes absolutely perpendicular to the hanger seating surface, so the washer or bolt head sits 100% flat on the hanger. Sounds easy, but it's pretty shocking how many bolts are drilled out of line. It's harder to see it while drilling than you'd think, unless you sight from right, left, up down, several times while the hole's still shallow enough to adjust.

John Ryan · · Poncha Springs, CO · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 170

I got sent 3/8 inch double ring anchors when I ordered 1/2 inch SS double rings from FIXE with 1/2 inch bolts. I was told by FIXE that this was an error and the 1/2 inch anchors should be used. 

Andy Bennett · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 381

My mistake Greg, I should've clarified that the ASCA sets I've personally installed were 3/8" hangers + 1/2" bolts. I always assumed this combo was supplied on purpose so as to have the hanger directly in contact with the actual bolt instead of the sleeve (which I assumed was a stronger position) but I see that I was mistaken.

Josh Janes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 9,157

One thing to keep in mind: The wedging action of the bolt occurs in two places. The first is obvious: The cone is drawn into the sleeve, spreading the sleeve and creating a wedging action. The second is often overlooked: The bolt itself, when it reaches the end of the cone, forces the cone itself to wedge apart (it's why the cone has little slots to allow for expansion). For this reason it's important to make sure that you remove the spacer (if present) or washer if using a 3/8" hanger, otherwise the "stack length" of everything won't allow the bolt to reach into the cone far enough to expand it, create a secondary wedging action, and for the bolt to achieve full-strength.

J Achey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 150

Interesting, Josh, I've never heard of that secondary action, so I disassembled a new Powers 1/2-inch SS bolt, removed the spacers, then spun the bolt past the end of the cone - but there was no secondary wedging. Bolt continued to spin freely on the cone threads. Maybe I misunderstood, maybe your observation is for a different kind of bolt, or maybe the design has changed?

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,824

Jeff, the end of the cone is oversized (which is why you can't slide a 5-piece into the hole one-handed). So the slots in the end of the cone allow the end of the cone to compress, then when the end of the bolt reaches that point, it expands the end of the cone into the rock. So you won't see anything happen unless you compress the end of the cone down into a 1/2" hole first.

Josh Janes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 9,157

Jeff, actually the cone is pre-expanded (it's why the bolts don't just drop into the holes - you have to hammer them in to compress the cone). Once you screw the bolt into the cone it forces the cone apart again. You wouldn't be able to see this action in your hands - you'd have to squeeze the ends of the cone together with pliers or in a vice (to 1/2") then try screwing the bolt in.

See http://anchors.dewalt.com/anchors/_documents/uploads/DWEBP_BLT_sellsheet.pdf?1565647718

Edit: Greg beat me to it! Ha!

Andy Bennett · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 381

Wondering if anyone here knows if the 3/8" hanger sitting on the (3/8") internal bolt on the 1/2" 5pcs is any more/less strong than a 1/2" hanger sitting on the sleeve?

J Achey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 150

Thanks, Josh and Greg - learned something today! That's why I follow these forums. One problem many of us have experienced with the Power Bolts is that they drive REALLY hard sometimes. I'd wondered if Powers made the cones a little too oversized, designing for a secure-enough grip in concrete rather than natural rock, which is much harder. But maybe sometimes the problem is that the bolt is threaded too far into the cone, so that secondary wedging action is coming into play during driving. I've always made sure the sleeve wasn't being expanded, but now I know there's another expansion to watch for. You don't want to back off too far and risk damaging threads or losing the cone, but I'd guess you must be at least halfway out of that cone to avoid the secondary expansion.

Josh · · Golden, CO · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 1,050
J Achey wrote: Thanks, Josh and Greg - learned something today! That's why I follow these forums. One problem many of us have experienced with the Power Bolts is that they drive REALLY hard sometimes. I'd wondered if Powers made the cones a little too oversized, designing for a secure-enough grip in concrete rather than natural rock, which is much harder. But maybe sometimes the problem is that the bolt is threaded too far into the cone, so that secondary wedging action is coming into play during driving. I've always made sure the sleeve wasn't being expanded, but now I know there's another expansion to watch for. You don't want to back off too far and risk damaging threads or losing the cone, but I'd guess you must be at least halfway out of that cone to avoid the secondary expansion.

I've noticed this issue before as well, especially with the 1/2" Powers bolts.  I think your description here matches my experience-- try to drive the whole 5-piece in with the bolt engaged into the cone, but not so much so that it it is already pushing the ends of the cone outward.  For me, this seems to be just at the point of tightness where the threads "stick" to the threaded interior of the cone (which also seems to be just about the position at which the little blue dot of tape holds the whole unit, or maybe just 1/8-1/4 turn tighter-- not that you should leave the blue dot in place when you drive the bolt).

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 15,749
J Achey wrote: Thanks, Josh and Greg - learned something today! That's why I follow these forums. One problem many of us have experienced with the Power Bolts is that they drive REALLY hard sometimes. I'd wondered if Powers made the cones a little too oversized, designing for a secure-enough grip in concrete rather than natural rock, which is much harder. But maybe sometimes the problem is that the bolt is threaded too far into the cone, so that secondary wedging action is coming into play during driving. I've always made sure the sleeve wasn't being expanded, but now I know there's another expansion to watch for. You don't want to back off too far and risk damaging threads or losing the cone, but I'd guess you must be at least halfway out of that cone to avoid the secondary expansion.

You might check your drill bit to make sure its not drilling too small a hole.  Worn drill bits usually mean over smushed cones on power bolts, sometimes ending up as non-tightening spinners.

Edit to add:  I've always had better luck seating power bolts that are shorter in length...the less that cone has to travel, the better, IMHO.
J Achey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 150

Thanks, Brian. I'm sure sometimes a worn bit was the explanation, but I think not always. I'm always using the 2.75" and you're right about the longer bolts - have been problematic in Wingate, kinda surprisingly. I also was too fond of my cute little old Chouinard crag hammer, which has a longer pick that's great for cleaning. Using a slightly heavier hammer has helped. Less surface mashing and more straight power deeper into the work. I think the key is do do all of the above! My main question was if anyone knew if there had been an intentional design change to the cone. So far no one has verified that.

Zacks · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 65

Probably already answered above but:

Fixe recommends using 1/2 hanger with 1/2 bolt and using the supplied washer

Climb tech recommends using a 3/8 hanger with a 1/2 sleeve bolt but not using the washer.  The hanger effectively is the washer.

It is important that you DO use the washer with 1/2" hangers and DON'T use the washer with 3/8 hangers on 1/2" bolts to maintain the correct thread engagement and cone interference.  And yes climtechs site is confusing 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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