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DIY cable draws

Original Post
EJN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 233

It's wet here so I've been looking into goofy ideas. I'm wondering how feasible making DIY cable draws are with swaging tools, galvanized steel cable, etc.

Here's the stuff I've been looking at:
1/4 inch (or even 3/16 seems strong enough at 16kn when swaged?) https://www.e-rigging.com/1-4-galvanized-cable
matching aluminum swages https://www.e-rigging.com/_p_3449.html
30" swaging tool https://www.e-rigging.com/_p_6654.html
Go/No Go gauge https://www.e-rigging.com/go-no-go-swage-gauge

Would this setup allow me to make my own cable draws safely? The go/no go gauge seems like a great way to double-check my work. However, I also know that DIY climbing gear is often dubious at best.

The goal is to replace anchor webbing permanently without having to haul chain everywhere, especially up a 10 pitch route. Swaging cable directly to a bolt hanger (with an eye thimble) seems kinda sweet, especially with a thimble. I live in the desert, so galvanized steel cables last a long time here.

It seems like once I make about 20 draws that the costs are reasonable. Has anybody else done this?

M Hanna · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 5

The majority of available galv wire rope has become a poorly galvanized  imported version of the good stuff available in years past.  Aluminum swage ovals are not compatible with galv wire rope. Copper ovals are needed.

Lightweight stainless minimal gear setups for multi pitch are detailed well in many posts on MP
mh

Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an… · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

So the answear is... sort of... i

 priced all this out myself. (I am a theatrical production rigger in vegas/LA). JUST the cost of buying all the tools (if you buy nice tools, which you should for this purpose) will pay for an enormous amount of prefabbed cable units. Especially once you factor in the increased costs you will cary by buying in small allotments.

If you order enough, or can get friends to order enough climbtech will offer very good rates.

As far as a thimbled connection to the hanger. I prefer my anchors to be modular and individually replaceable.  5/16 chain to 3/16 is more than strong enough for use in anchors. Its not that heavy and good deals abound.

Additionally, if you just want this for anchors on tall routes. Consider threading cord/thin rope through tubular webbing. Thats a 20 year textile solution to me. 

The Morse-Bradys · · Lander, WY · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 3,593

Is this for fixed draws on long multi pitch sport climbing because that seems unusual?  
Or is it for multi pitch anchors? Cable draws are not typical anchors.  Most climbers will prefer factory machined rings at anchors while multi pitching for many reasons.  
I’m sure the situation is unique as so many routes are.
Anyways personally I cringed anytime I clip into somebody DIY creation and typically note in my mind as in need of an upgrade no matter how bomber it may in fact be.
Whatever the best solution is it always pays off to do it correctly and safely the first time with quality materials.

EJN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 233

It would be for multi pitch rap anchors. In the desert webbing gets blasted by UV all year, and it's easy to go through a cordalette or two replacing rap anchors on a 8-15 pitch route. A lot of routes don't get climbed enough to always have fresh tat so I thought making cable draws might be a nice solution. Currently the solution is hauling chain up or factory made cable draws for permanent rap anchors.

mike h · · Denver, CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 20
EJN wrote: It would be for multi pitch rap anchors. In the desert webbing gets blasted by UV all year, and it's easy to go through a cordalette or two replacing rap anchors on a 8-15 pitch route. A lot of routes don't get climbed enough to always have fresh tat so I thought making cable draws might be a nice solution. Currently the solution is hauling chain up or factory made cable draws for permanent rap anchors.

Maybe I'm not understanding, but why not just a quicklink and rap ring on each bolt? No cord or cable needed... cheaper, lighter, and easily replaceable.

Jon Frisby · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 120
mike h wrote:

Maybe I'm not understanding, but why not just a quicklink and rap ring on each bolt? No cord or cable needed... cheaper, lighter, and easily replaceable.

Threading rope through anchors is hard

Darren Mabe · · Parks, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 4,055

Booty stoppers

EJN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 233
mike h wrote:

Maybe I'm not understanding, but why not just a quicklink and rap ring on each bolt? No cord or cable needed... cheaper, lighter, and easily replaceable.

Sometimes bolts need to be spaced out due to rock quality, or are already not perfectly even. Also spaced out rap rings twist the shit out of ropes sometimes.

mike h · · Denver, CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 20

I think ropes only get twisted when lowering off of spaced out rings. In my experience, rapping off of spaced out bolts without chains is no problem, and quite common.

Darren Mabe · · Parks, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 4,055

Ate you drilling these anchors? Or kitting out existing ones? If so, drill them in vertical pattern. Thanks!

EJN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 233
Darren Mabe wrote: Ate you drilling these anchors? Or kitting out existing ones? If so, drill them in vertical pattern. Thanks!

Both. I like the vertical pattern too. It uses less tat material or chain, and is lower profile visually.

The Morse-Bradys · · Lander, WY · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 3,593


Just because these 2 things were sitting around 3/8 chain vs. factory made cable draw.  About a 1/2lb difference.  Both 16” total length. 
The Morse-Bradys · · Lander, WY · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 3,593

Classic ring setup
Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 636
mike h wrote: I think ropes only get twisted when lowering off of spaced out rings. In my experience, rapping off of spaced out bolts without chains is no problem, and quite common.

No it gets twisted pulling as well if they are spaced further apart. The old metolious rap hangers are the worst offenders for this, had a nearly new rope turn into medusa's hair after rapping off a route with those.

On the weight note for these, switch to 5/16" chain, it is a pretty significant drop in weight. Just use links large enough to thread a rope through in case the rings actually get significant wear. It's less effort than swagging cables. 
Ben Horowitz · · Tokyo, JP / Berkeley, CA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 131

To the extent the rope gets kinked pulling through rings, it will often get unkinked when you pull it through for the next rap and by your body weight while rapping. Personally if I came across some sort of cable-draw setup like the OP describes potentially making I likely wouldn't use it, even if it means leaving my own biner (or, more likely, setting it up with just the quick-link and getting the cable draw out of the way somehow). The only way I would use it is if it was clear the rope wouldn't pull correctly or would pull across some jagged edge if it wasn't used.

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,381

I seem to recall an accident a few years back where a rap anchor was made from cable and failed, dropping a guide to his death.  Something like the swage area was corroded through.  Jim has posted on here in the past about issues using wire for anchors and basically, it's a no no.  That Cable draws made of non stainless materials have become so popular is likely going to become an issue at some point...  

Vertical spaced rings sounds like the best option.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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