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socalclimber


Jan 6, 2003, 6:01 AM
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Question for Copperhead about copperheads
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Howdy,

I've been making my own heads for about 2 years now. All in all, they work just fine. I've been wondering though, what gives with the "swage gauge". I guess it's called a Nico Gauge????

Should I be using this thing?

Thanks,
Robert


copperhead


Jan 7, 2003, 2:26 PM
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Yes!!! The Nicopress gauge is quite simple and inexpensive. It is made of a small plate of steel with several ‘notches’ of various widths in it, each specific to the given swage/cable size. If your crimped swage will fit into the appropriate ‘notch’, your swage has been properly crimped. This is important! Also be sure that the end(s) of the cable are flush with the end of the sleeve. Before crimping the sleeve, extend the end(s) of the cable +/- 1/16”, depending on the size sleeve you are crimping. As the sleeve is crimped, it lengthens (perpendicular to the rotational plane of the jaws of the swager), and thus is then flush with the cable end. A cable that sticks out beyond the sleeve will catch on webbing and poke into your fingers. A cable end that does not extend all the way through the sleeve will weaken the connection; pay attention to this when you swage!

Swagers have adjustments to control the amount of ‘crimpage’, or how much the sleeve/swage is pressed. Over time, swager parts wear-out and adjustment is necessary. While happily swaging away at A5, one of the parts of the swager broke, due to normal wear. That was the end of swaging for the day! The new part was ordered, assembled into the swager, and the swager was adjusted back to proper ‘crimpage’.

The bolt-cutter type swagers work well, but I prefer a bench-mount. I have mine mounted to a 2” thick by 10” x 30” slab of oak. It is portable and I can clamp it to a workbench or picnic table, or just use it on the floor of my apartment.

If you want to swage a bunch of gear, it is best to work efficiently. As you know, when making heads, you must loop the cable through the sleeve (that is placed in the rock) and double it back, without having the end of the cable poke out of the sleeve. To do this properly, I made a small device that is mounted on the right side of the slab of oak (the swager is mounted on the left side, parallel to the long dimension of the slab). The device is made out of a piece of right-angle steel that is 3” long with three counter-sunk holes in the base plate (to mount it to the oak slab) and a ¾” dia. hole with a ¼” wide slot extending to the left side of the hole, in the top plate (the base plate and top plate are at right angles to each other and are about 2” in width). Place the un-swaged sleeve and cable into the slot, position the side of the sleeve with the end of the cable against the surface of the device, grab onto the other end of the cable with a pair of pliers, and pull or yank on the cable. Be sure to be nice to the cable with the pliers (don’t damage the cable) and pull the cable until the end loop seats on the sleeve but does not slip into the sleeve. It is possible to swage the clip-in loop of the head first and use a biner to yank on the cable to seat the end loop (as just described) but I prefer to use the above method because if you screw up the yank part, you only have to pull the cable out of the sleeve, chop off an inch or two and start over, rather than waste a foot of cable and a sleeve (I work with the end of the cable that is on a spool; I don’t pre-cut cable lengths). Now you are ready to crimp the sleeve. Once the sleeve is crimped, cut the cable to the desired length. Instead of immediately swaging the clip-in loop on the head, put the un-finished head off to the side. Repeat this process until you have a small pile. I never let go of the end of the cable (from the spool) during the above process.

Sequence: loop cable through sleeve; yank loop tight in sleeve; crimp sleeve; cut cable to desired length. Once you have swaged enough un-finished heads (depending on how many you want to make of that size), swage the clip-in loops on all of the heads. This two-step process is more efficient than making them one at a time. Rivet hangers are simpler; they can be done in one step; pre-cut the cable lengths. Circleheads only require a single step as well. Pre-cut the cable lengths and crimp the ends of the cable first and the sleeve that will be hammered on second. Place the sleeves approximately 1/3 of the loop circumference apart.

Swaging isn’t rocket science but you do have to know what you are doing. Be sure to read all of the manufacturer’s literature that is provided with the swaging tool and seek qualified help if necessary; your safety depends on it. The thread below also contains some good info as well as contact info for suppliers. If you are not willing to fork out the dough to buy your own equipment, I recommend buying heads and the like from Shoreline.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=22508&forum=40&6

Happy swaging.


[ This Message was edited by: copperhead on 2003-01-07 22:04 ]


russwalling


Jan 8, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Copperhead! What you are about to read truly is the BETTER WAY (unlike some of those other better ways)

You are making your heads backwards. Try this next time for some super speedy production. Precut all cable. Thread the clip in loop (but do not crimp yet) on all the precut cable. Crimp the clip in loop (this is the key!) and set them all to one side. Thread the "head" portion and just snug up the cable in the head while threading. Now, load all the clip in loops and unswaged heads onto an OVAL biner. Now, I use the edge of a vice/anvil, (nice and square) but you put the head on the opposite side of the vice from where you are standing and lean back while holding onto the biner. This forces the cable into the head but since the sleeve is against the edge of the vice, no cable can escape from the head. It makes the cable flush with the edge of the sleeve everytime and with minimal effort. You can flip the unpulled heads into position on the biner as fast as you can rock in and back from the vice. Now with all the cables pulled tight into the head, keep them on the biner and do the final swages on the actual head..... fast and easy. Repeat.....
and C-Head is right.... use the gauge to ensure the integrity of your crimps. The tool will have some float that will eventually get out of spec.
Good luck!
Russ


copperhead


Jan 8, 2003, 7:37 PM
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Quote:
You are making your heads backwards.


No I am not. I have tried your way and I prefer not to pre-cut cable. But then again, If I told you that you had to do it my way and that my way was better, then I would be...

Use whatever method works for you. It's all good.



[ This Message was edited by: copperhead on 2003-01-08 19:40 ]


elcapbuzz


Jan 8, 2003, 8:02 PM
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Haa haa, this is GOOD. REALLY good. I know BOTH you guys are VERY experienced in making heads.

That's why it's so funny.

Bryan's favorite quote: "whatever works"

Welcome aboard Fish, Ammon


copperhead


Jan 8, 2003, 8:55 PM
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"Cheers matey! Heave to and prepare to be boarded, AYEE!!!"

Where's Kap K when you need 'em?

-Clan of the Wall Pirates.



taxexile


Jan 9, 2003, 12:49 AM
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I can personally vouch that Russ truly does have the Better Way when it comes to copperheads. He takes your money and forgets to send them!

Just pulling your chain Russ, but you did forget to ship them with the stuff I ordered a while back (and I was charged)!


socalclimber


Jan 9, 2003, 3:53 AM
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Many thanks to both Bryan and Russ for your help! At the moment I don't own a swager, I have to borrow one that's up in L.A.! I generaly make them as I need them in batches of about 50 at a time.

I'll be sure to get the Nicopress gauge!
Robert


intrepid02


Jan 9, 2003, 6:23 AM
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All right guys. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is aid climbing gear. If it holds your body weight, it works. Duh!


atg200


Jan 9, 2003, 7:40 AM
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ok, you are wrong intrepid02. heads have been known to hold falls. if nothing but a string of heads is between you and a bone breaking ledge, do you want to shoot yourself in the foot with a crappy swage?


epic_ed


Jan 9, 2003, 7:43 AM
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Well, sure. But I'd rather have a copper/aluminum head made by soeone who knows what the F they are doing, than by...oh, I don't know...ME. When I get to the point that I'm climbing stuff that is sick enough to need heads, be certain that I want the best ones made. I want all my gear to have a fighting chance to save my lard ass in case of a fall. I've heard too many stories from people who have been amazed that #0's and #1 unexpectedly held a fall. I know a big part of it is HOW the head was placed, but the other factor is how well the head was made.

Ed


russwalling


Jan 9, 2003, 11:05 AM
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>>I can personally vouch that Russ truly does have the Better Way when it comes to copperheads. He takes your money and forgets to send them! >Just pulling your chain Russ, but you did forget to ship them with the stuff I ordered a while back (and I was charged)! <<

93.76% of the time the customer throws the heads away with the packing materials. But, if this shortage is in fact true, you need to let us know so we can buff you out.
adios,
Russ


russwalling


Jan 9, 2003, 11:13 AM
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>>No I am not. I have tried your way and I prefer not to pre-cut cable. But then again, If I told you that you had to do it my way and that my way was better, then I would be... "the better way".
Russ


socalclimber


Jan 9, 2003, 7:24 PM
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Well, yes you can buy heads. I have bought a ton of them. I find that making them has given me some insight into into what makes a good copperhead. I have the perfect area to test my handy work, and I have more than enough qualified people to inspect my work. To each their own. I have just found that the more your learn and understand any given process, the better off you are.

Robert


russwalling


Jan 20, 2003, 11:00 PM
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Just getting this back to the top of the list... seeing that I asked two questions and got ZERO replies..... well? How many per hour and who is the guy who said I never shipped his heads....
Russ


taxexile


Jan 21, 2003, 12:03 AM
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Russ
I'm the headless guy. I checked the packaging pretty thoroughly when the shipment arrived, and no sign of any metal. Since I don't hold onto shredded paper I can't double check, but your stats may need revising downwards. I'll PM you.
Duncan


copperhead


Jan 21, 2003, 8:56 AM
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Russ,

Sorry for the lack of a response. To be honest, I don’t know how many heads I can make in an hour. I think I estimated a while back but didn’t write it down. I haven’t been swaging large batches of heads anymore because I no longer sell them. If I were still selling heads, I wouldn't be here telling people what to do. My technique seems to be efficient and works well. Try it if you like and tell me how it works for you.

To me, quality has always been more important than quantity.

Cu #29
Al #13



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