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copperhead


Jan 1, 2004, 9:24 PM
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Posts: 668

How To Make A #2 Copperhead - And Everything Else...
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Have you ever wondered how to make your own heads? Are you tired of paying $2.00 for something that could cost you 15 cents? Well, fear not; the information in this post will help you to become a swaging fiend. I borrowed some of this text from one of my posts from several months ago. Others prefer a slightly different method/sequence but this is what works for me.
Check out the old thread for details:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=23169&postdays=0&postorder=asc&topic_view=&start=0


Thanks to Bigwalling for asking me to post some pictures.
Apologies for the quality of the pictures – my digital camera is a POS freebie.

So, here goes:



Swaging:

Welcome to Copperhead’s copperhead manufacturing plant, home of the Techno Geek.


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22768
Photo #1:
This is the swager. It is a Nicopress model 510 bench mount with a model 64-CGMP jaw. It is mounted on a slab of oak that is 2” by 10” by 30” making it portable. It can be clamped to a workbench or a picnic table, or can be used on the floor/ground. I made a small device that is mounted on the right side of the slab that is used for pulling a bend of cable tight in a sleeve. The device is made out of a piece of right-angle steel, 3” long with three counter-sunk holes in the base plate (to mount it to the oak slab). It also has a 3/4” dia. hole with a 1/4” wide slot extending to the left side of the hole, in the top plate. I have marked off a scale of inches on the front with a Sharpie for measuring cable. This setup has worked quite well for me for the past 9+ years.



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22769
Photo #2:
This is the whole setup. In addition to the swager, you will need pliers, cable cutters, and swaging supplies (cable and sleeves). For specific information on cable cutters, cable, and sleeves, see “Tools and Materials” below.



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22770 http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22771
Photo #3 and #4:
The first step is to pull several feet of cable off of the spool (don’t cut it) and thread the end of the cable through both holes in a sleeve such that it forms a small loop. Place the cable (and un-swaged sleeve) into the slot in the ‘special device’ or whatever device you can come up with – I used to use the side of the jaws but over time, it will tweak the swager. 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 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. I have never had a problem with damaging cable and have never had a head fail (the head itself that is, not the placement…).

It is possible to swage the clip-in loop of the head first (other method) 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.



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22772
Photo #5:
Place the un-swaged head into the appropriate slot in the jaws and make sure that the sleeve is centered – sleeves are usually a hair wider than the jaws (#1 and #2 sizes). The end of the cable should extend beyond the sleeve by about 1/16 of an inch. As the sleeve is crimped, it will become wider and cover the extra bit of cable. The cable should be flush with the edge of the sleeve after it’s been crimped. If the cable sticks out past the sleeve, it will catch on slings/webbing and poke your fingers; if the cable doesn’t extend all the way to the edge of the sleeve, then it won’t be full strength. Over time, you will get a feel for the right positioning.



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22773
Photo #6:
Measure the length of cable, including the swaged head. Length can vary, though you will lose reach with added length. A short head can always be extended with a supertape tie-off (loop it or girth-hitch it) to prevent a biner from being cross-loaded over an edge.


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22774
Photo #7:
Cut the cable. New cutters will make a clean cut and should last long enough to make several thousand heads (unless you are only making #4s). Retire worn-out cutters. If the cable does fray, twist it back together so that it will thread into a sleeve. See “Tools and Materials” below for specifics on cutters.



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22775
Photo #8:
The next step is to thread the cable through a second sleeve, leaving enough of a loop to easily clip. Make the loop big enough so that a bunch of heads slide easily on a biner when racked and such that two biners can just barely be clipped through the loop – this is for when you clip the head into the rope – you don’t want to un-clip your daisy and then clip the rope. Having both clipped during the transition insures that you are always clipped to the head. Press down on the handle and crimp the sleeve.



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22777
Photo #9:
This is the finished head. Don’t it look purdy? I forgot to use a plated sleeve for the clip-in loop (see below). Oooops!

Oh well. Now go smash it!



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22778
Photo #10:
Be sure to use a swage gauge. This gauge will determine whether or not your swager is adjusted properly. If the head fits into the appropriate notch then it is good. Pretty simple, really. The literature that is included with a swager will instruct you on how to adjust the swager. If you are making a large quantity of heads and you know that your swager is adjusted properly, it is not necessary to check every head made – check one in every 10 or 20. I have seen some heads (#3 and #4) on the market in the past that appear to be lop-sided or crooked (i.e. the swaged sleeve is tweaked to one side instead of being straight). This occurs when the two main bolts on the jaws (see pictures) are not tight. Basically, the two sides of the jaws do not line up properly and it forces the sleeve to slightly rotate during the crimp. This should only be a problem if you are not nice to your swager or you swage a quadzillion heads. Swager adjustment is critical to producing high-quality heads and swager maintenance (oil and clean) will prolong the life of your swager. Replace worn-out parts when necessary.



The steps above describe how to make a #2 head but the same principles apply to all sizes. #1 heads are basically the same as a #2 but #3, #4, and #5 heads require three crimps on each sleeve as opposed to one (see pictures of jaws and image below). With the larger sizes, you will need to stick the end of the cable out from the sleeve a little more before swaging – maybe 1/8” for #4s. Aluminum sleeves will extend more than copper sleeves.

http://www.thomasregister.com/olc/46007001/slv3.gif

#5 heads are rarely used and are sometimes referred to as “cow heads.” Aluminum sleeves should be used for the ‘head’ of a #5 head. A special ‘X’ jaw can be substituted for the ‘CGMP’ jaw in your swager but really isn’t necessary. The ‘P’ size crimp will work, even though it looks a little funky. Fear not. Use #4 cable and a #4 sleeve for the clip-in loop and a #5 sleeve for the head. I don’t remember the last time I placed a #5 head. Unless you feel the need, don’t bother making any.

If you want to swage a bunch of gear, it is best to work efficiently. Instead of immediately swaging the clip-in loop on each head as shown in the pictured sequence above, put the un-finished head off to the side and repeat the process until you have a batch. Once you have swaged enough un-finished heads (depending on how many you want to make of that size), then you can swage the clip-in loops on all of the heads. This two-step process is more efficient than making them one at a time.


Double heads have more holding power than single heads, due to the greater surface area of contact between metal and rock, but are not used that often, especially in the larger sizes. A double #3 alumihead might be used at a belay or in the middle of a long string of junk with big whipper potential. A double #4 head is pretty much overkill and your arms will feel like they are ready to fall off by the time you finish placing one. Double #1s can be quite handy for super-thin seams – the ‘secret ticket.’ To make a double head, follow the same steps as you would for a single head except thread two sleeves instead of one (obviously…). The loop of cable doesn’t need to be as snug as it does for a single head because a small gap (1/16” or more depending on size of head) needs to be left between the two sleeves as the second sleeve is crimped. The gap is left so that the sleeves barely touch each other when crimped. If a gap is not left, the crimped sleeves will exert stress on the cable and weaken it; I have seen double heads break between the two sleeves because they were not made properly. To increase the strength of a double #1 head (and sometimes a #2), it is best to use the double-cable design. Follow the same steps as you would for making a rivet hanger (see below), except use a longer length of cable (+/-10” for #1; +/-11” for #2) and thread two loose sleeves before crimping the third sleeve that connects the two ends of the cable. Adjust the cable in the two loose sleeves such that the third crimped sleeve is properly located. Pull the loop of cable semi-tight and then crimp the two sleeves, starting with the end sleeve. Remember to leave a gap!! The ‘double double’ should look like a giant teardrop when finished.


Circleheads are used for horizontal placements and require a slightly different sequence to make. Unlike making regular heads, the cable should be pre-cut. Cut a batch of cable lengths before you begin to swage. (See table below for lengths – these are just general figures – you can make the lengths longer or shorter if you want to.) Thread one of the sleeves on the cable and leave it loose. Next, thread the second sleeve on the cable and then thread the other end of the cable, making a loop (or circle). Crimp the sleeve that secures the ends of the cable first. Then, swage the loose sleeve – keep the two sleeves about 1/3 of the loop circumference apart (or 120 degrees). The loose sleeve should be oriented such that the side of the sleeve that DOESN’T have the cable running through it is on the inside of the circle. This is important! Sometimes, I make #3 and #4 circleheads with only two crimps (equally spaced) on the loose sleeve instead of three crimps – this makes the crimped sleeve slightly larger but you can still make it smaller by continuing to paste it. #1 and #2 circleheads can be made with a double loop of cable so that the loose sleeve has two lengths of cable running through it. The two loops ‘float’ and it’s like a butterfly (or whatever) – when the circlehead is clipped, it acts as a single cable. A double head circlehead can also be made (see below).

Pre-cut cable lengths for single-cable circleheads:
#1 = 7 1/2”
#2 = 8”
#3 = 8 1/2” – 9”
#4 = 9 1/2” -10"
#5 = 10 1/2”


Rivet hangers are similar to circleheads in manufacturing process. Pre-cut the cable lengths (see chart below for cable lengths). Use an aluminum sleeve for the loose sleeve and a copper sleeve for joining the ends of the cable. Thread one end of the cable through both sides in the aluminum sleeve such that it forms a tight loop (not tight like a head) and the end of the cable sticks out about an inch. Join the two ends of the cable with a copper sleeve.

Pre-cut cable lengths for rivet hangers:
#1 = 7 1/2"
#2 = 7 1/2" – 8”
#3 = 8 1/2" - 9"
#4 = 9 1/2" - 10"


Cinch hangers are a little bit different than standard rivet hangers and are not as strong, due to their ‘cinching’design. A #1 cinch hanger should be considered ‘body-weight only’. Cinch hangers are not meant to hold falls. Use copper sleeves – important!! Start with the cable on the spool and make a loop as you would for the clip-in loop of a head. Because of the way that cinch hangers work, you will need to crimp the remaining edge of the sleeve after the sleeve has been normally crimped, to keep it smooth. If little slivers of copper squish out from the sleeve (between the ‘teeth’ in the jaws) then you will need to rotate the sleeve and crimp the slivers smooth. A few quick half-crimps will usually work. This step is not for strength but to remove the edge of the sleeve that would otherwise be jammed against the adjacent cable during cinching. This edge could weaken the cable. Next, cut the cable. Lengths will vary, depending on how big you make the clip-in loops and cable size. For a #2 cinch hanger, 8” of cable from the edge of the sleeve should be about right. Make a few hangers and you’ll figure out what works; the cinch loop should open enough to fit over a 3/4" dia washer. See “Cable” notes below.

Note: if you are paranoid about strength of #1 and #2 heads, rivet hangers, etc., you can do three crimps on the clip-in-loop sleeve/connecting sleeve – one regular crimp and one quick crimp on each edge to make it smooth.


A Funkness Device, as we now call it (PC modification of the original Yosemite term…), is a length of #4 cable with a clip-in loop at either end and is used to clean pitons and heads (in conjunction with a hammer). They are easy to make – simply make a clip-in loop at either end using copper sleeves. I recommend using a length of clear vinyl tubing to make the Funkness deluxe. Thread the end of the cable through the tubing before making the second clip-in loop and be sure to keep everything snug (i.e. no gaps between tubing and crimped sleeve). When finished, the Funkness should be about 21” in length, though some may prefer shorter. To properly rig your Funkness Device, you will need two designated cleaner-biners; duct-tape the biners to the cable loops such that they do not rotate (i.e. tape the piss out of ‘em).


Rurps and Beaks can be re-cabled with #3 cable for added cable strength. I recommend a small loop instead of the standard rivet hanger style loop with a loose sleeve – save yourself a sleeve and gain a little more reach. Stainless cable can be used for Rurps and Beaks and is a good idea if the pieces are to become fixed. See cable notes below for specifics on stainless cable. Beaks will need to be re-drilled and chamfered to accommodate #3 cable; Rurps and Peckers do not.


Another bonus of owning a swager is the fact that you can put cable wrist-loops on chisels and hand-drills. You can also put leashes on tuning forks. Use 7x7 #2 cable (see “Cable” below). For chisels and hand-drills, thread the end of cable (on the spool) through a sleeve as you would to make a clip-in loop. Place the loop around the chisel/drill groove, adjust the cable, and crimp. After crimping the sleeve, grab it with the pliers (with chisel/drill attached) such that the long axis of the sleeve is vertical, place the end of the loop against the swager board, and press down. This will spread the cables at the sleeve and make the loop round. If the cable still sticks to the chisel/drill then you have made the loop too tight; if the loop is big enough such that you may lose the chisel/drill when the cable stretches, then you have made the loop too big. You will figure it out after a few tries. As far as cable lengths, I use clear vinyl tubing on the cable - an 11” piece for the wrist loop and a 5” piece for the section of cable in between. As with the Funkness, keep the tubing and sleeves snug and cut the cable to the appropriate length; I usually cut it a bit long and then cut off the extra when everything is assembled and ready to crimp.



Tools and Materials:

Swager:
Nicopress also makes a bolt-cutter-style tool that has the same jaws as the bench mount but the bench mount is more efficient and easier to use because it only requires one hand to operate, allowing you to position and hold the sleeve/cable with your other hand. The link below outlines some of the various tools made by Nicopress.
http://www.versales.com/ns/nicopress/nicotoolsndex.html


Cutters/Pliers:
A good pair of cable cutters is worth the investment and will last you a long time. I recommend the Swiss-made Felco C7 cutters. They will cleanly cut all of the cable diameters that are used for making heads. Any standard pair of pliers will work – rubberized handles are nice.
http://www.versales.com/ns/felco/felco.html


Cable:
Galvanized aircraft cable or ‘wire rope’ is standard for heads and rivet hangers. Stainless steel cable is available but is more expensive and is ‘slippery.’ Because it is ‘slippery’, the swages are at least 20% to 30% weaker than with galvanized cable. For strength, I prefer to use galvanized cable for almost everything – the exception being Rurps, which have a tendency to become fixed. Obviously, heads become fixed too but strength is more of a concern with single-strand cable, especially in the smaller sizes. Heads can be removed when deteriorated, and replaced with new ones.

Two different cable configurations are used in the manufacturing of aid gear – 7x7, which is less expensive, and 7x19, which is more flexible and slightly stronger in the #2 size. 7x7 is used for #1 and #2 gear and 7x19 is used for #3 and #4 gear. 7x19 should be used for #2 cinch hangers because of its flexibility though it does have a tendency to fray much more than 7x7 in this size. Some manufacturers use 7x7 for #3 and #4 heads because of expense but this is not recommended.
This link covers some of the details on cable.
http://www.webriggingsupply.com/pages/catalog/wirerope_cable/wirerope-cable.html#A

Cool extraneous cable picture:
http://www.wrca.com/


Oval Sleeves:
As with cable, two different types of sleeves are used in the manufacturing of aid gear – copper sleeves and aluminum sleeves. Copper sleeves are available in plain copper or zinc/tin-plated copper and aluminum sleeves are available in plain aluminum. Plated sleeves should not be used for the sleeve that is pasted (i.e. the head of the head) but are better for all other purposes because they are more resistant to corrosion.

Copper vs. Aluminum: Pick up a bag of a few hundred copper sleeves and another of aluminum sleeves and you will quickly notice the difference in weight (mass). After all, that’s what the Periodic Table says, right? Aluminum sleeves are softer and more malleable than copper sleeves and tend to stick a little bit better in flaring placements. Because of these properties, the aluminum (in the smaller sizes) can be thinned to the point that the cable starts to (or does) rip through the head during testing, falling, or cleaning. The only thing that I use #1 aluminum sleeves for is the loose sleeve on a #1 standard rivet hanger or a hanging stove. #2 aluminum sleeves are slightly larger than #2 copper sleeves, making them about a #2 1/3 head (or something like that…). Copper is stronger, more durable, and less likely to tear. See “What to Make” below for specifics.
Check out this link for more info on sleeves.
http://www.versales.com/ns/nicopress/nicosleeves01.html#top




Head Size/Oval Sleeve Size/Sleeve and Cable Diameter/Cable Configuration/Cable Strength:
#0 = B4 =3/64” = 7x7 = 270 lbs.
#1 = C = 1/16” = 7x7 = 480 lbs.
#2 = G = 3/32” = 7x7 = 920 lbs.
#2 = G = 3/32” = 7x19 = 1,000 lbs.
#3 = M = 1/8” = 7x19 = 2,000 lbs.
#4 = P = 5/32” = 7x19 = 2,800 lbs.
#5 = X = 3/16”

The cables strengths above seem to be pretty standard and are consistent between different suppliers/manufacturers.




What to Make:

The following is a list of different types of swaged items that I feel should be included in any swaging fiends repertoire. Some of the items listed are rather specialized and are rarely used (in the most desperate of situations). Sleeve materials are listed in parentheses; clip-in loop/cable connection sleeve first and head(s)/loose sleeve second; the sub-lettering ‘p’ stands for plated. It is not critical that you use plated copper sleeves. Do not substitute aluminum sleeves for copper sleeves; copper sleeves are stronger. The #2 copperhead shown in the photos above does not have a plated copper sleeve on the clip-in loop because I was not thinking at the time when I made it. This post has gone from a simple sequence of steps, to an extreme ramble-fest on the essence of Geekdom.… So, I guess the answer is yes…
http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30765&postdays=0&postorder=asc&topic_view=&start=0


I have not discussed #0 heads because a separate tool is required to make them and the cable strength is ridiculously low. The tool (B4) and cable size are used for cam trigger-wire repair. A #1 head can be hammered flat before placing and fit into the micro-est of seams or grooves, making the #0 head a myth or mere joke.

#1
single head (pCu)(Cu)
double head (pCu)(Cu)
double-cable double head (pCu)(Cu)
circlehead (pCu)(Cu)
double-cable circlehead (pCu)(Cu)
double-cable double head circlehead (pCu)(Cu)
standard rivet hanger (pCu)(Al)

#2
single head (pCu)(Cu)
single head (pCu)(Al)
double head (pCu)(Cu)
double head (pCu)(Al)
double-cable double head (pCu)(Cu)
double-cable double head (pCu)(Al)
circlehead (pCu)(Cu)
circlehead (pCu)(Al)
double-cable circlehead (pCu)(Cu)
double-cable circlehead (pCu)(Al)
double-cable double head circlehead (pCu)(Cu)
double-cable double head circlehead (pCu)(Al)
standard rivet hanger (pCu)(Al)
cinch rivet hanger (7x19) (pCu)(pCu)

#3
single head (pCu)(Cu)
single head (Al)(Al)
double head (pCu)(Cu)
double head (pCu)(Al)
circlehead (Al)(Al)
standard rivet hanger (Al/Cu)
cinch rivet hanger (pCu)(pCu)

#4
single head (pCu)(Cu)
single head (Al)(Al)
double head (pCu)(Al)
circlehead (Al)(Al)
standard rivet hanger (pCu)(Al)
cinch rivet hanger (pCu)(pCu)
Funkness Device (pCu)

#5
single head (Al #4)(Al)
circlehead (Al#4)(Al)

(If reading this list doesn’t make you dizzy, then you need to drink more beer.)



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=23478
Photo #11:
This is just about everything that you should ever need. I have left out some of the items from the list above because they are so rarely used.


1. Wrist-loop, #2 cable, recycled tubing - Hurricane hand drill.
2. Funkness Device, #4 cable with clear vinyl tubing.
3. Standard rivet hanger, #1
4. Cinch rivet hanger, #1
5. Single copperhead, #1 (two lengths)
6. Double copperhead, #1
7. The ‘double double.’ Double copperhead, double-cable, #1 (two lengths)
8. Circlehead, copper, #1
9. Circlehead, copper, double-cable, #1
10. Circlehead ,double copperhead, double-cable, #1
11. Single copperhead, #2
12. Single alumihead, #2
13. Single aluminum cylinder-head, #2
14. Single aluminum nut-head, #2
15. Double copperhead, #2
16. Double aluminhead, #2
17. Double copperhead, double-cable, #2
18. Double alumihead, double-cable, #2
19. Circlehead, copper, #2
20. Circlehead, aluminum, #2
21. Circlehead, copper, double-cable, #2
22. Circlehead, double copperhead, #2
23. Standard rivet hanger, #2
24. Cinch rivet hanger, #2
25. Circlehead, aluminum, #3
26. Standard rivet hanger, #3
27. Cinch rivet hanger, #3
28. Single alumihead, #3
29. Double alumihead, #3
30. Circlehead, aluminum, #4
31. Standard rivet hanger, #4
32. Single alumihead, #4
33. Single alumihead, #5




Well, that’s about all I can think of for now. There are probably a few things that I’ve forgotten so if you have any questions, ask away. I can post more pics if necessary. If you need supplies, send me an email or PM and I will send you info on my materials supplier – best prices around. I was given the nickname “copperhead” 10 years ago when I worked at A5 in Flagstaff so I decided to use it here.


Alright then. Now that you know how to make heads and the like, get yourself a swager and some materials, grab a beer, and get to work!!!

Have fun.





MY DISCLAIMER: IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND YOU GO OUT AND GET YOURSELF HURT OR KILLED THEN IT IS NOT MY FAULT. PERIOD. CLIMB AT YOUR OWN RISK. FOR ALL YOU KNOW, I DON’T KNOW. OK? GOT IT? GOOD.

-------------
edits, edits... and more edits... I guess this is an ongoing work in progress...


copperhead


Jan 1, 2004, 9:26 PM
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To compliment some of the points made in the above post, I thought I would share a couple of quick stories. The first begins on a short left-traversing system below a steep bulge. I was on a head (don’t remember, #2 or #3…) and had just placed an aluminum #2 single-cable circlehead. I tested it and it looked ok. Then, I got on it, climbed up a step, and began to look to the left. As I looked around and back at the circlehead, I noticed that the cable was beginning to rip through the sleeve. Hmmm… Not good. It almost seemed like I could see the cable moving. With a little adrenaline going, I was placing a #3 head to the left in no time. Going for a ride didn’t seem like a good idea with the gear and features below me. As I placed the head in a frenzy, I continued to look at the circlehead and watched the remaining metal thin. Tap, tap, tap, tap… clip, get on it. Whew! I didn’t test the #3 but knew that it was a lot better than the time-bomb that I was just hanging from. The #3 held and I continued on. Since then, I have placed very few, if any, aluminum #2 single-cable circleheads. Live and learn.



While working on another new project, I encountered one of the ‘more tricky’ features that I have aid-climbed. With about 90 feet of rope out, I hung from a 1/4" buttonhead bolt (with rivets below) and pondered the virgin feature above me – a 3 or 4” thick, under-cut, corner leading up and to the right. The crack separating it from the wall was thin – way thin. I was super-psyched and began by placing an aluminum #1 single-cable circlehead in a tiny, straight-up slot. The crack was too thin and not deep enough for a Rurp or a #1 blade. After several minutes of delicate tapping, I was ready to test it. A modest, but gentle test convinced me to get on it and I was on my way. The next placement wasn’t quite horizontal and was at more of a diagonal angle, though still straight up. I placed a double #1 copperhead (single-cable) and prepared to test it. It held for a few good bounces and then popped…and so did the circlehead. Yeehaw!! I was dangling below the bolt before I knew it. The wall below was smooth and slightly overhanging so going for ‘the whipper’ was no big deal.

I climbed back up to the bolt and tried again. The circlehead had ripped cleanly so I had a fresh placement to deal with. This time, I placed a copper #1 circlehead instead. I made sure that it was welded and began placing the next double head, as before. The double head survived a modest test and I was on the thing. The next placement was the same – another double #1 copperhead. As I was delicately pasting… POP!! The head that I was on ripped… and I went for another ride. I looked up, and to my amazement, wasn’t hanging from the bolt… but from the #1 circlehead! “WOAH!!! That’s frickin’ SICK!!!” I said, still wondering if it was going to blow. I made it back up to the bolt and un-weighted the circlehead. I looked at the circlehead again in disbelief, “No freakin’ way!” then realized what had happened. The head that I was on popped while I was tapping on the next head… “This thing’s freakin’ expando dude!!!” I yelled down to my buddy. “Oh… now I get it…” The feature sure didn’t look expando, especially considering that I wasn’t nailing it.

It was time for attempt number three, with expando techniques employed. Repeating the same process yet again, I finally made it onto the second double head and continued on to place two more, tiptoeing on thin ice. The crack then opened enough to accept a #2 alumihead and things got easier. A few more placements brought me to a blank spot where I drilled a belay.

So… a copper #1 circlehead held me (185lbs.) after a 12- to 15-foot total fall (mostly rope stretch) with about 90 feet of rope out. Go figure.



Sorry for such a me-me-me story but I wanted to prove a few points, or rather disprove some of the myths that heads are always sketchy aid gear. Yes, there is such a thing as A1 heads.

As I say, Live and Learn and Whatever Works

Cheers All !!!!


moabbeth


Jan 1, 2004, 9:45 PM
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Re: How To Make A #2 Copperhead - And Everything Else... [In reply to]
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Damn, thanks Bryan. Looks like you put a lot of time and work into this post. I'm fwd'ing it to some non-site climber friends who will find this really helpful.


ricardol


Jan 1, 2004, 10:13 PM
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there should be a way to tag this post as an article -- so it can be found easy later ..

tons of great info ..

-- ricardo


diesel___smoke


Jan 1, 2004, 10:17 PM
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Wow...

Many thanks.

Jp


ropeburn


Jan 1, 2004, 10:39 PM
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I agree... This should be an article.
Thanks....


bigwalling


Jan 1, 2004, 11:11 PM
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Awesome! Now I got to order my stuff and swage away. Thanks!

What is a double cable head? Never heard that one.


Partner coldclimb


Jan 1, 2004, 11:35 PM
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Definately should be an article.


socalclimber


Jan 2, 2004, 5:04 AM
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But, but, but, where's the 30 pages of spray??? You didn't prattle on endlessly about what weenies we are and how "bitchen" you are...

Thanks Brian, nice "bench" setup!

Robert


Partner one900johnnyk


Jan 2, 2004, 5:17 AM
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this is probably the coolest post on rc.com ever..


glockaroo


Jan 2, 2004, 6:24 AM
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Superb delivery of good info. Thanks.


capn_morgan


Jan 2, 2004, 7:32 AM
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I think I need to start aid climbing....looks like you guys have all kinds of fun toys :D


epic_ed


Jan 2, 2004, 8:44 AM
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Many thanks, Byran, for the time and effort you put into this post. It certainly needs to be an article, and I'll do everything I can to facilitate the process. PM me about this, please.

Ed


bigwalling


Jan 2, 2004, 11:04 AM
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Ok, I figured out what a double cable head is. Here is a pic with one in it.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=Show&PhotoID=3493


copperhead


Jan 2, 2004, 11:33 AM
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Thanks all!!!



In reply to:
Ok, I figured out what a double cable head is. Here is a pic with one in it.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=Show&PhotoID=3493


Yes, the teardrop one in the middle is a 'double double' but I didn't make any of the others.


janiszewski11


Jan 2, 2004, 7:51 PM
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Thanks for the info. I got into it and made one today but used a hammer and screwdriver to crimp it instead of the swager, and when I tested it it held (the test consisted of placing the head passively like a stopper nut and bouncing on it). Thanks again.


dmr


Jan 2, 2004, 8:11 PM
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Remember that the purpose of the swage tool is to apply enough pressure that the copper plastically deforms or flows into and around the wire rope. Crimping it with a screw driver is not the same. Mr. Copperhead could probably describe it more accurately than me. I'm just going off a bad memory and one Materials Science class long ago.


Partner rrrADAM


Jan 3, 2004, 12:55 AM
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That wuld be an outstanding Article Brian, and we could even link it to the Front Page. Very professional.


copperhead


Jan 3, 2004, 10:10 AM
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In reply to:
Thanks for the info. I got into it and made one today but used a hammer and screwdriver to crimp it instead of the swager, and when I tested it it held (the test consisted of placing the head passively like a stopper nut and bouncing on it). Thanks again.


You're welcome.

A screwdriver and a hammer is no substitute for a real swager and I can guarantee you that the swages are NOT FULL STRENGTH. You should either make heads properly or don’t make them at all. Please read my disclaimer before you become talus bait.


diesel___smoke


Jan 4, 2004, 12:29 AM
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Could anyone clearly define "trenching"? As fars as I understand trenching, it's pasting a copperhead into a very thin crack??? I've got the opinion this is frowned upon because of the difficulty of cleaning it. (????)


mrhardgrit


Jan 4, 2004, 2:07 AM
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Wow! I just back from holiday abroad and there's a great post like this one waiting! Thanks very much for the information and rather useful photos.

How long would you say it takes to pay off the initial finanical outlay for all the head making equipment? I.e. what sort of capital are we looking at overall?


atg200


Jan 4, 2004, 6:37 AM
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jp - trenching heads is chiseling out a head placement insteading of placing a rivet to artifically inflate the difficulty. no one would give anyone crap for placing a head in a natural placement that is hard to clean.


janiszewski11


Jan 4, 2004, 9:23 AM
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I know copperhead but I just really got into it. :D Thanks for the reinforced warning though.
-Chris


diesel___smoke


Jan 4, 2004, 9:47 AM
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Thanks, Andrew

Jp


pbjosh


Jan 4, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Cool article indeed. Bryan, willing to comment on where to get the appropriate sleeves and swager/crimper for trigger wire repair?

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