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Poorly Installed and Bent over Wave Bolts

Original Post
Taylor Krosbakken · · Duluth, MN · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 1,086

So I found these the other day on a new route. Climbtech wave bolts with AC100.  They look like they were installed with a rock for a hammer and they all stick out an inch or so and then bent over. I would be ashamed if it was my work, but how bad do you think these are? Worth redoing?  Its a pretty small list of people that probably did this, so I can likely talk to the person. Encourage that they redo it? 

Another thing I worry about is, what else did they do wrong? Did they get enough glue in there? Did they clean the hole properly? 

They all look like this. About 10 bolts.

Garry Reiss · · Guelph, ON · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1

You have good reason to worry, this is an abomination.

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,885

I'd talk to them quietly and encourage a re-do.  If they don't then up the ante and re-do yourself.  If said person continues with poor work, publicly call it out as a safety issue.  That's super shoddy work and it looks like they beat the ever living sh*t out of them.  Waves are LONGER than most realize at more than 4in AND they get really tight in the claimed 1/2" hole. I think they elongate a tad as well as the legs are compressed. This combo results in the mistakes pictured more often then it should.  Those are probably ok strength wise ASSUMING they glued properly which is a reach given what's pictured.  Perhaps share examples of good work?

Salamanizer Ski · · Off the Grid… · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 18,929

Looks like they didn’t have a drill bit that could drill deep enough. So they bent the eye down to make contact with the rock. Among other things :-/

Bobby Hutton · · Grizzly Flat, CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 1,153

Those photos demonstrate about everything that make Wave Bolts difficult to install. Though if you screw it up ten times in a row that is an installer issue. 

I have installed dozens of Wave Bolts and I am willing to admit to a handful of installations I am not proud of. I feel they are a specialty bolt that has some pretty serious draw backs for general use. The interference fit when used with the recommended 1/2" hole is so extreme that it is difficult to fix issues during installation after problems surface. Real hard to pull it back out if the bolt won't orient correctly  or doesn't go all the way in especially if you are using the recommended AC100. I have also observed that the forcefull taps required to seat the bolt will sometimes create air pockets, an issue I have never seen with similar bolts. Based on my experience with the bolts and a few tests I would whip on those bolts but I would be pretty embarrassed if I had installed them. 

I am willing to bet that install would have gone a lot better with Twist Bolts. 

If those do get replaced I would be super interested in the method used to remove them. 

Taylor Krosbakken · · Duluth, MN · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 1,086

Thanks for the replies everyone. 

Bobby, I actually have removed a couple of wave bolts for the same reason at a different crag (why do I always find these?) and it was really pretty easy. I was mixed climbing so had an ice tool on me. With a foot and a half of leverage, I was able to twist the bolt around about 2 revolutions until it sheared off flush with the rock. Took like 30 seconds. Much better than sawing off.  I assume this twisting method wouldnt work as well for a properly installed flush bolt, but when they stick out, it worked really well!

peter graupner · · stillwater,mn · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 45

Were these at Palisade Head/ Shovel Point? It looks like the same rock

Bobby Hutton · · Grizzly Flat, CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 1,153
Taylor Krosbakken wrote:

Thanks for the replies everyone. 

Bobby, I actually have removed a couple of wave bolts for the same reason at a different crag (why do I always find these?) and it was really pretty easy. I was mixed climbing so had an ice tool on me. With a foot and a half of leverage, I was able to twist the bolt around about 2 revolutions until it sheared off flush with the rock. Took like 30 seconds. Much better than sawing off.  I assume this twisting method wouldnt work as well for a properly installed flush bolt, but when they stick out, it worked really well!

Really? I will have to try that. Pretty suprising that the steel failed with only that amount of leverage. 

A solution where you could re use the hole is preferable of course. 

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,885
Bobby Hutton wrote:

Those photos demonstrate about everything that make Wave Bolts difficult to install. Though if you screw it up ten times in a row that is an installer issue. 

I have installed dozens of Wave Bolts and I am willing to admit to a handful of installations I am not proud of. I feel they are a specialty bolt that has some pretty serious draw backs for general use. The interference fit when used with the recommended 1/2" hole is so extreme that it is difficult to fix issues during installation after problems surface. Real hard to pull it back out if the bolt won't orient correctly  or doesn't go all the way in especially if you are using the recommended AC100. I have also observed that the forcefull taps required to seat the bolt will sometimes create air pockets, an issue I have never seen with similar bolts. Based on my experience with the bolts and a few tests I would whip on those bolts but I would be pretty embarrassed if I had installed them. 

I am willing to bet that install would have gone a lot better with Twist Bolts. 

If those do get replaced I would be super interested in the method used to remove them. 

One of our other local bolt guys drills down the sides of waves with a long, thin SDS (1/4"?) and says that frees them up a fair amount.  Ive not seen it done so can't tell you how hard/easy it is.  
I'd use something like this 4 cutter from Bosch 4 Cutter 1/4" SDS

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,885
Bobby Hutton wrote:

Really? I will have to try that. Pretty suprising that the steel failed with only that amount of leverage. 

A solution where you could re use the hole is preferable of course. 

Jim notes past 540 you can snap them off in this post https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/message/117884148

jonathan knight · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2006 · Points: 265

We've pulled a few Wave bolts after drilling 3/16" holes on each side. It's hard on the tip and flutes of the bit when they carve into the legs. Using a burly puller (acme threads), they straightened and pulled smoothly. A while back, I was thinking it would be nice to quantify how much tension is needed with a test rig. 

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 392

I know that you can remove many glue-ins by heating them with a torch which melts/burns the glue.    I don't know if that works for all glues, but I think there's a good chance it would.  

bob steed · · Gilroy, CA · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 66

My 2 cents- those wave bolts may not be pretty, but I doubt there is any structural issue.  How about proof loading a few instead of making a mess of the wall by snapping them off and drilling 10 NEW HOLES?  Something like 2,500 lbs proof load.  If they pass the test, leave them in.  Don't punish the rock for someone's less than perfect work or a for some sense of hardware aesthetic.  Contact Dan Merrick or Jim Titt for info on how to rig a testing device.  

Mark S Warren · · Bend, OR · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 0

They are probably strong enough but yeah, having multiples installed like that is bad form and the person should be talked to. Approach  it as befriending / education opportunity since shaming just sews drama and division which never solves anything. 

I think ac100 should just be retired from climbing use myself for something slower curing so there is a decent amount of time to make sure things go in right. Especially for newer installers. I never use it anymore, though I can correctly, and would never go back after using better glues.

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,885
bob steed wrote:

 instead of making a mess of the wall by snapping them off and drilling 10 NEW HOLES? 

Keep in mind you can drill the new hole directly on top of the old one so the loop hangs down to cover/hide the chopped bolt.  I've had to do this on several occasions with a rebolt here and it works quite well.  If you're careful you can smear a bit of glue over the chopped area and it blends everything together.  Perhaps  easier than proofing ugly bolts.  

Mark S Warren  wrote:I think ac100 should just be retired from climbing use myself for something slower curing so there is a decent amount of time to make sure things go in right. Especially for newer installers. I never use it anymore, though I can correctly, and would never go back after using better glues.

A lot of these issues have as much or more to do with how much a PITA the Waves are to install with 1/2" holes as Bobby notes above.  You can't test fit them before hand so most over drill the hole and waste glue and even then, if you have a hidden pocket in the hole (happens in limestone a fair amount) you can fully seat a Wave and not have ANY glue squirt out.  Also not good.  14mm holes solve these issues.  We had 130 Wave and, using 14mm holes, were able test fit them or remove and add glue as needed.  They almost always had a TINY amount of interference fit so they never slid out.  A7+ was our glue of choice (anecdotally it sounds like it has a slightly longer gel time than AC100+).

Mark S Warren · · Bend, OR · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 0
mattm wrote:

Keep in mind you can drill the new hole directly on top of the old one so the loop hangs down to cover/hide the chopped bolt.  I've had to do this on several occasions with a rebolt here and it works quite well.  If you're careful you can smear a bit of glue over the chopped area and it blends everything together.  Perhaps  easier than proofing ugly bolts.  

A lot of these issues have as much or more to do with how much a PITA the Waves are to install with 1/2" holes as Bobby notes above.  You can't test fit them before hand so most over drill the hole and waste glue and even then, if you have a hidden pocket in the hole (happens in limestone a fair amount) you can fully seat a Wave and not have ANY glue squirt out.  Also not good.  14mm holes solve these issues.  We had 130 Wave and, using 14mm holes, were able test fit them or remove and add glue as needed.  They almost always had a TINY amount of interference fit so they never slid out.  A7+ was our glue of choice (anecdotally it sounds like it has a slightly longer gel time than AC100+).

I totally agree that the wave design makes them finicky to install and is a core issue. I just additionally think the fast cure/gel glues makes it additionally challenging when there are products without that attribute. If it gets caught on a inside pocket lip or something the glue can solidify too much before you have a chance to really re-fiddle it. I've only seen this happen in the field once but it looked super annoying. To me, I'd just prefer a slower setting glue. I do have a special 14mm bit just for these, too. :-)

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 392
Mark S Warren wrote:

I totally agree that the wave design makes them finicky to install and is a core issue. I just additionally think the fast cure/gel glues makes it additionally challenging when there are products without that attribute. 

Just wanted to strongly agree with this.  

And also agree that, once you've used a slower-setting glue and experienced all the advantages that it buys you, using a bargain-basement glue just isn't worth the money saved.

 I do have a special 14mm bit just for these, too. :-)

Yup.   This too.

Shawn Snyder · · Bishop CA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0
mattm wrote:

I'd talk to them quietly and encourage a re-do.  If they don't then up the ante and re-do yourself.  If said person continues with poor work, publicly call it out as a safety issue.  That's super shoddy work and it looks like they beat the ever living sh*t out of them.  Waves are LONGER than most realize at more than 4in AND they get really tight in the claimed 1/2" hole. I think they elongate a tad as well as the legs are compressed. This combo results in the mistakes pictured more often then it should.  Those are probably ok strength wise ASSUMING they glued properly which is a reach given what's pictured.  Perhaps share examples of good work?

Much obliged to whoever installed this bolt. It definitely shows attention to detail and is acceptable in our national and state parks. 

Shawn Snyder · · Bishop CA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0
This post violated Guideline #1 and has been removed.
Shawn Snyder · · Bishop CA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0
Mark S Warren wrote:

I totally agree that the wave design makes them finicky to install and is a core issue. I just additionally think the fast cure/gel glues makes it additionally challenging when there are products without that attribute. If it gets caught on a inside pocket lip or something the glue can solidify too much before you have a chance to really re-fiddle it. I've only seen this happen in the field once but it looked super annoying. To me, I'd just prefer a slower setting glue. I do have a special 14mm bit just for these, too. :-)

Anyway you can provide us some videos or photos of some of your installation or removal work?

Colby Wangler · · Reno · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 321

Seems as if many of the holes were drilled at the wrong angle in relation to the stone. Probably why they stick out so far. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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