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DIY Pinky Rests for Non-Leashless Tools

Submitted by addicted2alpine on 2007-08-20

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by unknown unknown

OK, so after hours of searching on the internet for ways I could turn my tools leashless I came up with pretty much nothing. I have tools that dont accomodate all these cool pinky rests made by companies like Grivel and BD. Now, Grivel seems to be making the most universal types of these gadgets however none seemed to be exactly what I was looking for (the closest thing was their Trigger but it seems to only be good for using as a trigger because the mounting system on the back would interfere with the hand if used as a pinky rest). The rest of these manufactured gadgets either wouldn't fit on my tools or didnt look like they would provide the support I was looking for (think: Slider by Grivel).

So, I set out to make my own pinky rests from scratch and what follows is what I was able to come up with.

Step 1: Supplies/Tools

  • 2 x Hoseclamps (size of clamp depends on size of your tool shaft - ok get your minds out of the gutter)
  • 2 x Rope Thimbles (I used 5/16in)
  • 1 x Roll of Rubber Mastic Tape (found by the electrical tape in your nearest hardware store)
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Dremel tool (or something similar with a cutting wheel)

Price for supplies was approx $10!!

Step 2: Make It

Heres what you start with-

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Now take one of those rope thimbles and, after you're finished starring at it wondering what the hell they're really used for, take those pliers and bend it as straight as possible and beat the crap out of it until you have a flat peice of metal. Like this-

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Now put a 90 degree bend in it about a quarter of the way up. Making it look like this-

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Then put another 90 degree bend in it about half an inch up from the previous bend, making sure the section between the two bends is large enough to accomodate your hoseclamp. like this-

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Where you make this next bend is totally up to you. Find a distance that you think would comfortably accomodate your pinky and make another bend, this time try to round it out. When you've made your bend the piece should ultimately look like this-

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Now mark where you will be cutting. You will ultimately cut some metal off both ends.

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Then cut the ends off at you markings, ending up with something like this-

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Now take the rubber mastic tape and stretch and wrap the tape around the whole thing. This step is optional but in my mind serves a few purposes: It adds some insulation to the metal beacuase I, for one, despise the screaming barfies. It also adds tackyness. And just finishes the whole thing off nicely. Here it is with the tape-

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All thats left is to fasten your new gadget to your tool (again, get your mind out of the gutter). The finished product-

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Stoked to get out in the fall and see how they perform.

Want me to make them for you? Email me at [hucksquaw at aol dot com] and we can talk about it.

Disclaimer: This seemed to work for me but that doesnt mean it will work for you. Dont be a dumbass and hold me responsible if they aren't what you were expecting. Think carefully about whether these will work for you. I only put this up because I couldn't find anything like this on the internet so I thought it might help some people. It's only purpose is for reference. Also, as of 8/16, when this article was posted I have not tried these out so I dont know how well they will work or how durable they are.


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18 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

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A nice article.

Unfortunately simply adding a pinky rest to a pair of ice axes dose not make them good leash less tools. A good pare of leash less tools are designed with anatomical understanding of the human forearm and wrist. The angles of the tools shaft, handle, and pick are designed to minimize stress on the hands while promoting an efficient swing. Be careful when abandoning your leashes on your normally leashed tools. Despite your new pinky rest you could be in for a day of sore wrists and completely pumped out forearms.

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chad - i totally understand what youre saying. these arent intended to be used as super technical water ice tools. mostly its an alpine tool for me and i just wanted a little more freedom. i figure there are plenty of people out there looking for the same thing. im not expecting them to perform like a well designed leashless tool, just to perform like the apline tool they are but with a little added freedom. The tools are DMM Flys by the way if anybody was curious.
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So what is a "Rope Thimble" anyway?
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A piece pf metal used to protect a bite of rope or wire from high stress normally caused by abrasion or wear. So you will often see it on the end of weighted cables, or ropes that tie off boats and stuff…
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i dont think the rest will support body weight, full or divided between two axes (or mine at least, i'm 6'4/205). Maybe some of the smaller women could use it though...
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I used a BD fang, a knife, black athletic tape, and epoxy to turn a pair of cobras leashless. Don't know if I would trust anything without epoxy. I don't know how hard it would be to do on any other tools.
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I don't think that you're going to like it. The good leashless mods go below the handle, so you don't lose any shaft length.

Then you said it's only for alpine, I get that but wouldn't a leashless tool eff up the way it plunges. The only time I've ever climbed WITH leashes was in the mountains.
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Super post, great idea! Hope it works, let us know.
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Obviously, personal preferences will determine if you like this set-up. Like angry, I would prefer that my hand be positioned lower on the shaft. Adding the grivel trigger will improve the performance immensely. With tools that aren't designed to be leashless and have a fairly vertical grip position, distributing your weight on to two fingers rather than just your pinky is nice. Nice job coming up with your own solution.
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addicted2alpine-Whoops, I suppose I should have looked at your screen name before assuming the axes where for technical water ice! I am sorry about that! When I saw the article I was instantly reminded of the CAMP Awax axes. These axes where basically a leashed ice tool (minus the leashes) with a little pinky rest. Damn those things where uncomfortable!
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This does look like a pretty creative solution! The rests are a tad high and do look like they'd impede plunging. Take a look at any of the facory rests (BD, Grivel, CAMP), they are all shaped well enough to still plunge...these look like they might just pack snow.
chadnsc, have you actually climbed leashless with the Awax? They are shaped pretty well for leashless climbing... Maybe relax your grip a bit?
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noce article. hope they work out for you. ya know, brent_e made some of out metal that fit into the pommel. shoot him an email. maybe he can make a set for ya.
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anykineclimb is right, i did make some and they are for those tools (DMM flys, if i'm not mistaken). here they are.
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I actually added grivel sliders to my rages and was leading WI4 with them last winter and REALLY liked it (compared to leashes on my rages, not to good leashless tools). I will not ever be putting leashes back on the rages... (not even for alpine, I made myself some cool, full strength, 9/16ths webbing and bungee tethers, which I also used all winter). I wanted to make something myself, also, but it just wasn't working out... Not to be a naysayer, but I don't think your design is strong enough. If it was cromolly and tempered, they would work, but those thimbles are just mild steel and they will deform over time (possibly not much time)...

Kudos to ingenuity, though!!
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Great idea!
I have an old pair of DMM axes and I've been thinking about doing something similar, but more as a knuckle protection than as a leashless conversion pinky rest.
I will definitely try this out. Thanks!
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ok, so they didnt fair as well as i was thinking. they support weight no problem but i did some drytool training with them the other day and anytime they were forced against a hard surface they bent and deformed. decent idea in theory, far different in practice.
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Hi again!
Don't pound them flat. Just cut/saw it off at about 2/3rd of the curve, file off any sharp edges, and attach it to the axe as it is. With the "double curve" surface intact, you'll need a bench-vise(?) to deform them. [:)]
I forgot to check the material in mine, but I think it's some kind of chromemolly since I live close to saltwater and I got them in the marine departement of the hardware store.
Also, cut off any excess length on the hoseclamp.

Works good enough as knuckle protectors when the ice is thin so I don't want to bang up my new Simonds. But the axes still suck for mixed climbing. [;)]
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It will prolly be more secure if you rotated the screw of the clamp so it's under the hook. Just a thougth.

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