Once upon a time, during a trad route i was leading in an unprotectable pitch. Hopefully this part of the route was supposed to be semi-bolted .. Engaged in pitch, no stoppers or cams could fit here. 25 metters later, i’m stuck facing the next bolt.. no hanger, no nut.. Only lonelyness was here.
This experience made me want to found a solution to face this kind of issue. At least get somes nuts in differents sizes with me for the next time, to be able if needed to tying the bolt with a sling at least..
The need of screwing
My first nut-tool was a Metolius Torque, aware that i will carry a little piece of steel with me to stick out burried nuts in silly crags i wanted to have the maximum amount of functionnality with my tool so i decided to take one with built-in wrench..
But i own one, and i’m not really satisfied.. First of all, the palmrest is a glued part of aluminium over the steel body. useless to say that the day i needed to stuck out a piece of gear by hitting the tool with a rock that part break..
Second, there is no M12 (19mm) wrench on it. Because is now the standard for bolting i was annoyed to not find it on it.. And guess what size of wedge bolt with no hanger on i founded in my little climber story..
And last, the design doesn’t really allow you to work with. The wrenchs are in the middle of the tool it limit the lever arm force to tight or loose bolt. Also some size are not really usable in the field because the hanger is in the tightening path..
The nut-tool of my Dreams
So i was now more aware of what i wanted to choose a replacement gear :
- A relatively light nut-tool.
- Made of one bloc of steel.
- Be able to wrench M12, M10 and M8 bolts.
- If possible, be able to wrench quicklinks.
- if possible, be able to use it as emergency skyhook.
Short long story .. After a lot of research i was not really able to found what i looked foron the market. So i decided to design it myself. By the times and research i founded an amazing climbing gears on collection on karabinclimbingmuseum.com that helped me to select my final design.
After many week’s of work on Fusion360 and severals iterations i was able to get a tools with all the function i wanted, with well contained weight around 90 grams and solid enought to hard tighning/loosing, support my weight, be hammered with rocks or act as a beer oppener.
Time to made it real
There was no easy way to create it from my 3D model. After research it was clear that’ it will at require multiples CNC machining methods.. Useless to say i haven’t any CNC milling machine able to cut hard steel alloy in my living room.. But, with chance after somes discuss on machinist group to help me to figure what’s would be my best options to machine it i found somebody who could to help me on his spare time and his machines at work.
So i’m sorry there is no tutorial here about the machining process, because all the work was made by him. But what i can say is the tool was machined from a 5mm 40CMD8 steel alloy plate. all the shape is cuted by waterjet CNC then the palmrest is obtained by removing 2mm on almost all the surface by a CNC milling machine.
There is the result and it think it’s beautiful i’m more than satified by the quality we obtained.
Then now i’m carrying this tool of 93gr / 3.28ozin my climbing bacpack, even in sport climbing cliff, it usefull to fix quicklinks on relays or tighting back the loosed hangers in route when i climb with friends.