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Bolting Bible - Replacing Climbing Wedge Bolts with Powers Bolts

Original Post
Ryan Jenks · · Lodi, CA · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

This was a sugar loaf in Tahoe like our last video.  Your feedback is awesome.  Let us know tips we didn't mention in here and I'll add it to the Bolting Bible journal for our next update.  Cheers!

Bolting Bible is at www.howNOTtoHighline.com and most of this stuff is in the "Book of Pulling Out"
Clint Cummins · · Palo Alto, CA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,235

Good demo of the spinning process for wedge bolts.

The only thing I heard that I don't agree with is that "Stainless or PLX are good".
Only Stainless is good - that's why ASCA gave you Stainless bolts.
PLX (plated) will rust quickly like the bolt you just pulled out.
[edit:  see posts below; PLX is not plated, but is a type of stainless]

rocknice2 · · Montreal, QC · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,194

PLX is a duplex stainless steel.

Ryan Jenks · · Lodi, CA · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0
Clint Cummins wrote: Good demo of the spinning process for wedge bolts.

The only thing I heard that I don't agree with is that "Stainless or PLX are good".
Only Stainless is good - that's why ASCA gave you Stainless bolts.
PLX (plated) will rust quickly like the bolt you just pulled out.

PLX or duplex steel is the newest popular metal being used as it is a bit better than 316 stainless.  Fixe had issues with theirs but I believed that is solved now and you can read all of that in the metal section of the bolting bible.  You are right though... zinc plated bolts should not be used outside.

Max Tepfer · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 1,742

You should use a torque wrench.  It's one thing if you've been doing it for 30 years and you know pretty well what the spec torque feels like without one, but if you're producing a 'how to' video, odds are the intended viewer doesn't, so you (and more importantly they) should be using a torque wrench.  Doubly so if you're rebolting w/ASCA bolts vs. putting in your own hardware that you paid for.

Clint Cummins · · Palo Alto, CA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,235
rocknice2 wrote: PLX is a duplex stainless steel.

Thanks for the correction; I was wrong thinking it was merely plated.

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,829

Clint, duplex stainless steels are also strongly attracted to magnets, unlike 300-series stainless steels. So the magnet test doesn't distinguish between duplex and plated.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

PLX steel is actually a highly formable grade of mild steel produced and marketed under the designation PLX by SSAB Steel in Sweden and widely used for formed roof cladding.
Why Fixe decided to confuse matters is hard to understand.

Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 1,220

A few coments on the video and the previous video about removing the bolts at the top of the climb

-using a spinner tool.  If you put a 3/8" nut on the bolt stud first then screw on the spinner tool and lock the two against each other it makes working the bolt much easier.  Another option is to put a stop inside the spinner tool that allows the tool to only go on for 1/4" to 3/8".  You can use a short piece of threaded rod(and loctite) or a pin to do this.

-I would recommend adding a scoring compound such as fine grit sandblasting powder to your water solution.  It helps score the cone a bit more quickly.

-keeping the threaded insert inside the spinner tool from backing out of the tool.  Use red loctite on the outer threads of the insert and screw it back in.

-tuning fork.  Using a 1/4" tuning fork to remove larger diameter bolts(called 5/16" in the video, but actually 3/8" Rawl split shaft buttonheads) will ultimately cause the fork to fail as you can only bend it back so many times.  You can make a tuning fork for larger diameter bolts by getting a Lost Arrow piton and cutting out the slot with a hacksaw.

-carabiner on tuning fork.  You should remove the carabiner close to the fork as it whips around as you hit it.  Either remove it or put on a longer leash and clip the carabiner at the end and to your harness so you won't accidentally drop it.

Timothy Fisher · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0
Bruce Hildenbrand wrote: A few coments on the video and the previous video about removing the bolts at the top of the climb

-using a spinner tool.  If you put a 3/8" nut on the bolt stud first then screw on the spinner tool and lock the two against each other it makes working the bolt much easier.  Another option is to put a stop inside the spinner tool that allows the tool to only go on for 1/4" to 3/8".  You can use a short piece of threaded rod(and loctite) or a pin to do this.

-I would recommend adding a scoring compound such as fine grit sandblasting powder to your water solution.  It helps score the cone a bit more quickly.

-keeping the threaded insert inside the spinner tool from backing out of the tool.  Use red loctite on the outer threads of the insert and screw it back in.

-tuning fork.  Using a 1/4" tuning fork to remove larger diameter bolts(called 5/16" in the video, but actually 3/8" Rawl split shaft buttonheads) will ultimately cause the fork to fail as you can only bend it back so many times.  You can make a tuning fork for larger diameter bolts by getting a Lost Arrow piton and cutting out the slot with a hacksaw.

-carabiner on tuning fork.  You should remove the carabiner close to the fork as it whips around as you hit it.  Either remove it or put on a longer leash and clip the carabiner at the end and to your harness so you won't accidentally drop it.

I think those really were 5/16. The 3/8 button heads are 2 inches long. You really need the fork made from the sds wide chisel like shown above for the 3/8. 

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,381
Bruce Hildenbrand wrote: A few coments on the video and the previous video about removing the bolts at the top of the climb

-using a spinner tool.  If you put a 3/8" nut on the bolt stud first then screw on the spinner tool and lock the two against each other it makes working the bolt much easier.  Another option is to put a stop inside the spinner tool that allows the tool to only go on for 1/4" to 3/8".  You can use a short piece of threaded rod(and loctite) or a pin to do this.

On most of my SDS to fine thread adapters there a philips cone head screw (reverse threaded).  I back that out enough that it engages the stud inside the inner thread adapter although on short studs I need to use the nut trick you mention.

Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 1,220
Timothy Fisher wrote:

I think those really were 5/16. The 3/8 button heads are 2 inches long. You really need the fork made from the sds wide chisel like shown above for the 3/8. 

Nope.  Those were 3/8".  You can tell by the size of the buttonhead.  The difference in size between a 1/4" and 5/16" buttonhead isn't all that much, but the 3/8" is significantly larger.  You can't tell just by the length of the bolt.

John L · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 176
Max Tepfer wrote: You should use a torque wrench.  It's one thing if you've been doing it for 30 years and you know pretty well what the spec torque feels like without one, but if you're producing a 'how to' video, odds are the intended viewer doesn't, so you (and more importantly they) should be using a torque wrench.  Doubly so if you're rebolting w/ASCA bolts vs. putting in your own hardware that you paid for.

Max - do you have a torque wrench recommendation? I have a torque wrench for working on my truck but its huge. The max ft/lbs for bolts is something like 30, right? 

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,829
Bruce Hildenbrand wrote:

Nope.  Those were 3/8".  You can tell by the size of the buttonhead.  The difference in size between a 1/4" and 5/16" buttonhead isn't all that much, but the 3/8" is significantly larger.  You can't tell just by the length of the bolt.

No Bruce, those were definitely 5/16" buttonheads (in the previous video, not this one which is an old 3/8" wedge/stud bolt). 

The head of a 5/16" is huge compared to a 1/4", and they just look big (which is why they are often found on early sport routes without people even noticing that they aren't 3/8" bolts). And 3/8" are MUCH larger - too large to ever be seen with a SMC hanger. I've only seen 3/8" buttonheads with homemade hangers or 12mm hole hangers. Most 3/8" split-shaft bolts are the thread-head style (since those could be used with 3/8" hole hangers).

Timothy Fisher · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0
 Bruce you may be right but it doesn't look that way to me. Obviously I have way too much time on my hands. I don't have a 3/8 button head handy. The threaded version for reference. bolt in SMC hanger is 5/16. One just to the right is 1/4. New 5/16 to the right of that.
Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,829

Dug out some buttonheads - the 3/8" is actually a Spike bolt since I couldn't find a 3/8" buttonhead, but should be about the same diameter. Bruce, I think you actually gave me the new 5/16" buttonhead years ago! It would be theoretically possible to fit a 3/8" buttonhead in a SMC hanger if you expanded the hole from 3/8" up to about 12mm, so they actually could be seen with a SMC hanger that someone had drilled or filed out.


3/8" Spike, 5/16" buttonhead, 1/4" buttonhead, stainless SMC hanger with 3/8" hole.
Max Tepfer · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 1,742
John L wrote:

Max - do you have a torque wrench recommendation? I have a torque wrench for working on my truck but its huge. The max ft/lbs for bolts is something like 30, right? 

There are a few recommendations here: mountainproject.com/forum/t…

There's also some really good discussion of why using a torque wrench is a good idea. (in particular w/SS hardware)  It's a short enough thread that you can pretty easily actually read it as opposed to skim and miss out on a lot of the info.

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,381
Max Tepfer wrote:

There are a few recommendations here: mountainproject.com/forum/t…

There's also some really good discussion of why using a torque wrench is a good idea. (in particular w/SS hardware)  It's a short enough thread that you can pretty easily actually read it as opposed to skim and miss out on a lot of the info.

This is the one I use.  I don't work for JPL so I'm not too worried if it's off a few % points but it gets me in the ball park and isn't too heavy.

Tekton Torque Wrench​​​
John L · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 176

Thanks Matt and Max!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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