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Cam Hooks
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dagawebb


Jan 7, 2004, 2:15 AM
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Cam Hooks
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Can anyone here tell me how to make my own cam hooks and what is the best metal to make them out of.

Cheers


epic_ed


Jan 7, 2004, 8:04 AM
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I haven't heard of anyone who does. But if you take a look at the current manufacturers of cams hooks and realize that only a handful of some of the old school hard men have managed to successfully make and market them, you might get an idea of how dificult they are to make properly. I've occasionly wondered why someone like Russ (Fish Products), or Yates -- guys who have extensive experience making other hooks and have access to a variety of metals -- haven't marekted cams hooks. I'm guessing they have tried and found that it was worth the time, or effort, or expense, or all three -- and instead have left the little niche to Ed Leeper since he's been doing it so well for so long.

As an example, check out Pika's cam hooks. They are mere toys compared with the Leeper hooks. The guys at Pika have been around the block, aid climbed for years, used other variations of cam hooks, make other hooks -- and they still can't get it right.

Then again, maybe I have no idea what's going on (likely). It would be interesting to hear their thoughts about it.

Ed


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Jan 7, 2004, 8:24 AM
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if you're even able to shape metal into cam hooks, you wouldn't be asking this question...


brianinslc


Jan 7, 2004, 8:42 AM
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In reply to:
Can anyone here tell me how to make my own cam hooks and what is the best metal to make them out of.

I'd think 4130 plate stock. Probably need some type of press to bend them, along with a die mold of sorts.

I think bending the material yourself might result in some cracking and over stressing, which would not be so good.

Call up a machine shop and ask to take a tour, then ask how they'd make them. Might be interesting to see how involved metal working can really be.

Much easier and cheaper to just buy them. Although, if you were handy, you might be able to produce something that would work out of some scrap metal from the junkyard. Model A leaf springs make finely coveted knifes for example. The risk is that in shaping or perfecting the form, it'd be easy to screw it up and you'd have a lot of time invested with nothing useful to show for it.

A metal working class at a Vo-tech might be fun. I'd imagine there's a ton of books at the library on the subject too. Web too for that matter. Or, sign on to work someplace to learn the craft.

Ok, this might work. Go to the hardware store and find a cheap nail puller. Grind off the ends (careful not to overheat) until the bent part fits and drill a hole for a sling. Springy metal. Still, you'd probably spend a few bucks and it'd be better to just buy a commercially available cam hook.

Or, if you were really handy, you could melt down some beer cans and pour into a sand mold....(leeper makes a big aluminum cam hook, eh?). Lost wax investment casting you could probably do on the back porch...

Brian in SLC


strider


Jan 7, 2004, 2:18 PM
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If you have ever used a cam hook in the inverted position (such as a roof) then you know how much those buggers bend. Now how do you know that when you bend the metal to form your hook, that your hook will not bend back? I imagine their is a forging process involved, as well as a special mold of some sort so it is in the right angle. If you are familiar with metallurgy then I say go for it. Otherwise you might want to stick to making regular hooks (skyhook, cliffhanger, talon, etc..). They are not as involved to make since they rely on friction rather than a proper camming angle coupled with high strength.

Good Luck
-n


dagawebb


Jan 7, 2004, 10:15 PM
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The reason I ask about the cam hooks and for any ideas on the metal is that my current climbing partner is a fitter machinist and has access to lots and lots of metals. He can shape them and make them at no cost due to his employer having bucket loads of different metals and he believes he can make them.

We do not want to make them out of metal that is either too heavy and never bend but slow you down, or on the other hand out of a metal that is too light and bends on the first use.

If I had access to any leeper cam hooks I would get him to have a look at them and make them from scratch. Just seems a waste to have a partner who can make tham at no coct and go out and buy them.

If anyone has any ideas on the metal that is used please message me as it would be good to try them.

Cheers


epic_ed


Jan 7, 2004, 10:21 PM
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Cool. I'd send Russ Walling an email. I'm sure he'd be able to give you some input.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=21209

Let us know how they work out.

Ed


strider


Jan 8, 2004, 12:57 PM
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dagawebb - that kind of information from your second post should have been in your first post (i.e. the fact you have access to free materials and labor). You probably wouldn't have gotten so many posts telling you how expensive/impractical it is. IMHO =)

Here is a website that may help. It lists climbing equipment manufacturers and has Ed Leeper's phone number. Call him up and ask what type of metal the hooks are made out of and what the manufacturing process is. A 30-second phone conversation with a sales rep can answer any and all of your questions, as long as it is proprietary info.

http://www.outdoorguides.com/outdoor/clmbmfg.htm

Good Luck

-n


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