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Big Wall Index => Big Wall Forum => Topic started by: Garbonzo on January 28, 2009, 11:29:40 pm

Title: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on January 28, 2009, 11:29:40 pm
Warning:  In multiple places there are high load webbing joints where you must sew through 3 layers of thick webbing with lots of stitches.  You'll break you're wife's machine if you try it on a home machine, and probably won't even get it under the foot.  A low end single stitch industrial machine will do fine with #69 or #92 thread, and can be gotten at Harbor Freight for ~400 bucks ($279 for the head, and $129 for the table last I checked), or watch craigslist till one in good shape shows up.  A speed reducing pulley, or servo motor with a low speed setting is HIGHLY recommended as most of the sewing is small runs, and high speed is NOT needed.  Better yet, rework this design for a bartacker if you have one.
Marking nylon for sewing isn't as easy as you'd think.  A dot of sharpie works, but is ugly and might weaken things.  I use a craft store chalker.  It uses powdered chalk and as a little metal nubby wheel that does a good job of easily making marks that last long enough to get your sewing done, yet the marks quickly disappear in simple handling.
Hard Supplies:
1.  Hook from strapworks.com, 1" bent wire hook made by Suncor Stainless, about $4/ea.  It might be worth filing the hook end to a rounded point before you sew them in place, but I really haven't found it necessary, and I'm lazy.
2.  Aluminum Double Pass 1" from innermountainoutfitters.com, about $3/ea.  They also carry CMI burly ones if you want overkill, and somewhat more annoying snugging up and double backing.  Onrope1 has some $5 ones I have not tried.
3.  Heavy Duty nylon ladder locks from seattlefabrics.com, strapworks.com, or owfinc.com, about $1/ea.
Soft Supplies:
1.  1/4 closed cell foam, 6lb polyethylene recommended (google it).  Anyone ever use something better?  Neoprene maybe?
2.  100 weight Polartech 100 fleece, or smooth nylon in ~200 weight (Cordura is a bit harsh on skin after awhile, avoid it) or equivalent.
3.  Nylon or Polyester 2" seatbelt webbing.  I prefer a slightly softer feel of the Nylon stuff I've gotten over the stiff Polyester stuff REI carries.
4.  Nylon Webbing, 1", about 74" total per leg (7' per color for ordering purposes).  I find tubular nicer to sew with than thick flat.  Climb spec is also a bit thick and I break a lot of thread and needles when I try to use it, so I recommend starting with Mil Spec.  I think the ridgier texture might also creep less in the buckles?
5.  48" thin flat 1" webbing , 24" per stirrup.
6.  56" thick flat 1.5" or 1.75" webbing for foot rash guards.
Cut List (per aider):
For a 15" calf circumference (right below knee) cut the following (all 2x, 1 each for each leg):
1.  15"x3" 1/4" foam, chamfer the corners 3/16" (adjust up or down for size, inch for inch)
2.  18"x7" fleece covering (adjust up or down for size)
3.  14.5" 2" seatbelt webbing (adjust up or down for size, measure is 1/2" less than the calf measurement)
4.  28" 1" tubular webbing, one end cut at 45, increase inch for inch over 17" circumference (length is to the middle of 45 cut, used for cinch strap around calf)
5.  42" 1" tubular webbing one end at 45 degree for jug loop and most of stirrup, adjust up if you are huge
6.  14" 1" tubular for stirrup buckle (adjust up if you are huge and want to keep the buckle low and out of the way)
7.  2x 14" 1.5" or 1.75" thick flat for rash guard
8.  24" thin webbing (stirrup cinch strap)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/parts.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cutlist.jpg)
Marking Nylon/Polyseter Webbing
I tried a lot of things, soap stone, vanishing fabric pens, pins, etch.  By far the best I've found is this widget my wife had but hated for quilting purposes.  It uses powdered chalk and has a little textured wheel for dispensing/grounding in.  Being chalk I have little fear that it will affect the nylon, and it mostly just disappears with handling.  You can also mark things using a dot of sharpy pen, but as we all know shrarpy pens are on the bad list for affecting nylon, and you'll have annoying black dots everywhere.  Sharpy doesn't help much on black webbing either.

Padding:
In Process
Rash Guard:
a.  Sew in the 1" ladder lock with a box X, and sew fold the loose end twice and sew.  This tab makes a nice grabby, and keeps it from unthreading from the plastic buckle.
b.  Sew the ladder lock assembly onto the first rash guard strip, 6" of total sew length centered on the rash guard.  Leave ~1" between the end of the box X to the sewing on the rash guard.
c.  Sew the two rash guards together to make a tube.  Double sew so it doesn't fall apart too easily from abrasion.  For 1.5" webbing you really have to keep the sewing within 1/8-3/16" from the edge, or the 1" stirrup webbing won't fit inside without bunching up.
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cinch.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/rash1.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/rash2.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/rash3.jpg)
Stirrup Assembly:
a.  Start by sewing one 1" metal buckle to the end of the 14" piece of webbing with a 1.5" joint.  Set aside.
b.  Fold 4" of the 42" piece over and make a 1" joint.
c.  Thread the 14" through the bottom of the hook and line it up below the Jug loop.  Mock up this spot with the cuff pieces to mjake sure you understand where the 28" calf piece will lay over the hook.  Sew a 1.5" joint.
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/stirrup_buckle.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/jug_loop.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/stirrup_assy_position.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/stirrup_ass_sewn.jpg)
Cuff:
a.  Mark the 2" seatbelt webbing at 1.5 and 2.75".
b.  Sew on the 28" tubular with a 1.25" joint.
c.  Thread on an aluminum buckle and line the end up with the end of the 2" seatbelt webbing.  Sew the loose end down with a 1" joint, putting extra vertical tacking in where hook tube will be (5 tack minimum, 6-10 preferred).
d.  Line up the top of the 1" joint of the Jug Loop with the bottom of the 28" calf strap.  TRIPLE CHECK IF THIS IS A RIGHT OR LEFT FOOT!  Sew a 1" joint to attach the jug loop/stirrup assembly to the seatbelt webbing.
e.  Pinch aside a small amount of webbing for the hook tube (or life will suck when you try to wrestle the hook into place).  Sew down the remainder using extra vertical tacks at each end, especially at the hook tube area.
f.  Contort and insert the hook to verify it fits before sewing on the padding.  A blunt screwdriver is very helpful, as is a beer.  If it looks good, undue the hook and proceed.  If life sucks, figure out what you fucked up and try again.  Webbing is cheap, as are seam rippers.
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cuff_mark.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cuff_sew1.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cuff_sew2.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cuff_sew3.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cuff_sew4.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cuff_sew5.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/cuff_sew6.jpg)
Thread on the Rash Guard:
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/rash_thread.jpg)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/rash_thread2.jpg)
Joint Discussion:
I have not pull tested any of my sewing.  However, none of my stuff has ripped or broken on me, and my sewing has vastly improved over the first stuff I made myself years back.  I base my joints largely on the discussion in the book On Rope (good resource for vertical dorking).  Particularly my style joint is considered the strongest joint style, stronger than a similar number of stitches in a bar tack.  Bar tacks create a stress riser, and as a result can only get at most ~66% of the webbing strength no matter how many tacks are used.  I'd rather used bar tacks, but I don't have a 1" tacker, but my point is simply that there is nothing magical about bar tacks, they are just the best way to do things commercially and repeatably (see: http://www.xmission.com/~tmoyer/testing/pull_tests_11_98.html (http://www.xmission.com/~tmoyer/testing/pull_tests_11_98.html) for some limited but interesting test results, such as home random sewing beating out commerical tacked stuff).
Stirrup Buckle Joint:
I counted ~180 stitches in the 1.5" joint.  I use #69 thread with a 10 lb nominal strength.  The buckle strap gets 1/2 the climber's weight (assumes equal distribution between two legs of stirrup), and the joint has another 2:1 through the buckle (ignoring friction that is in the joints favor.  On Rope lists a fudge factor of 1.8 as how much strength you get per stitch relative to your threads single strand strength.  So:
Force needed to rip 1.5" stirrup buckle joint = 2x2x10lb*1.8*180=12960lbs*
*webbing or buckle will break first
Hook ripout:
I counted ~180 stitches in the 1.5" joint.  To rip the hook out of its spot it has to pull the short end of the 14" piece of webbing out from in between 2 other piecees of webbing (it's in the middle of a sandwich).  Optimistically this adds a another 2x in strength, but I'm goine to ignore it as I have no reference to tell me how much of the 2x I get.  It has a 2:1 disadvantage due to the pulley effect.  So:
Force needed to rip 1.5" hook joint = 2x10lb*1.8*180=6480lbs*
*hook will unroll first, it has a WLL of 400 lb, so probably a 2000lb break/unroll strength (5:1 safety factor is typical for non-man rated gear)
(http://www.suncorstainless.com/hook/S0211-00.jpg)
Jug Loop Joint:
I counted ~200 stitches in the total 2" joint.  Their is a single 2:1 advantage for the joint due to the pulley effect of the biner you'd clip in with.  So:
Force needed to rip 2" jug loop joint = 2x10lb*1.8*200=7200lbs*
*webbing will break first, as a single strand is rate for only ~4,000 lbs
*the 1.5" hook joint would be under shear at the same time, and the previous 6,480 lb calculation would apply here, still stronger than the single strand of 1" tubular by a large margin.
I feel pretty comfortable that I'm using plenty of stitches and a good pattern on these.  It is my belief that you'll break before my aiders do.  When I get spare cash I'll make a couple sacrificial aiders and see if I can get them pulled to destruction by someone for further assurance.  At the very least know that I am FAT, and mine have not failed, even the ones I made years back on my crappy ebay special sewing machine.  I encourage you to vigorously bounce test and reef on yours on the ground before going up real stuff, otherwise your widow might hunt me down for putting the fool idea in our mind that you could make your own climbing gear.
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/IMG_6590.JPG)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/IMG_6591.JPG)
(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/IMG_6592.JPG)
For reference, last years version:  http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/index.php?topic=312.0 (http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/index.php?topic=312.0)
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on February 01, 2009, 11:26:32 am
Erased due to controversy.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: offset on February 01, 2009, 12:29:21 pm
WOW, those look nice. 
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on February 01, 2009, 04:10:39 pm
Super impressive production and documentation, garb. Those things do look sweet.

I'm not into the Russian aid trees, but using one or two Russian cuffs with two Fish ladders kicks ass for me.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on February 01, 2009, 06:51:02 pm
Erased due to controversy.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on February 01, 2009, 07:37:10 pm
Brother garbo,

Exactly...The close upper steps and thin (3/4") webbing make the Fish aider perfectly suited for ruskies. I don't want to hang all day by my knees, just when high on the aider. I've been exploring this for a bit and read Kate propping a similar m.o. (always the savvy technician she is). I recently used one cuff and felt a big benefit from it. I was able to move faster and felt less tired after. There's just less repetitive strain on certain body parts when options exist. Again, no way jose on the trees. Way too nerdy.

I have some homespun ruskies which I'm not wild about. I had the whacky idea to add a second hook down lower like a lineman's gaff, which is not as useful as I hoped. So much for that stab. Unlike mine, your deal looks pretty damn worked out. They look awesome!

Your gig here is looking fruitful...do you have product for sale? Inquiring minds! Thanks for info...


Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on February 01, 2009, 08:25:40 pm
Erased due to controversy.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on February 02, 2009, 08:26:46 pm
Thanks for the info, Garbonzo. I'll definitely be in line soon. Are you able to sell a single cuff rather than a pair? I'm not in a hurry at all, btw.

Keep up the good work...
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on February 03, 2009, 11:16:10 am
Erased due to controversy.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on March 06, 2009, 05:37:04 pm
A bump...

For good handiwork.

And to let ya know, Garbonzo, that I haven't forgotten this. Brother, you might as well sign me up for a pair since we're going thru the motions. And because you're not charging enough for this fine work! Frikkin big wall philanthropists...When you awaken in a lair of virgin nymphs feeding you grapes you'll know karma has struck.

Lemme know how to pay.

Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on March 26, 2009, 03:02:22 pm
Erased due to controversy.

I'm done.  Pete can own these damn things from here.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on March 27, 2009, 05:00:22 pm
Mike,

Cross posted a while back to the taco stand (one whole response, comapred to hundreds for political BS):
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=775773 (http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=775773)

My motivation for making these things was already almost gone anyways.  I'll have to check stock on my buckle stash to see if I can fill the couple requests that have appeared in the last couple weeks, beyond that it's not rocket science.  Anyone with $600 can get a Harbor Freight industrial sewing machine and a pile of the raw bits to bang these out, hopefully make them a lot better than this fat has-been can.  Don't expect to turn a profit, god knows I'm still well in the red overall despite selling about 20 pairs of cuffs.  I really need to spend my evenings in the gym working off my fat ass and not sewing my fingers together, or ranting message boards.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Rags on March 27, 2009, 08:57:33 pm
Ahh, dood such shame. Why let one outlier get to ya that way?

You're a credit to the community. Best to just ignore the crap heads. The reason I used to hang here was the chill vibe. I hate to see one wanker allowed to set the tone.

Let me add one more thing. If it weren't for the craftmen of this sport like Choiunard, Frost, Jardine, and guys like you, where would climbing be today? Your the only guy I know that does them. Fish keeps saying he can't get the hook. I'm not in the market today, but when I get the cash I'd sure consider a pair. I know for damn sure that I don't have the patience to get it right. I do understand the headache it can cause. I guess if your not doing for the love of it, there is no other reason.

Peace to ya
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on March 27, 2009, 09:21:05 pm
Not sure about you guys, but I'm just about ready to crack one. Here's to good sentiment everywhere, Rags. Thanks for deleting, Pete.

And thanks for the GarbMan for being one of the innovators. (Good point Rags)


Wall psyche HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH Swill ya at the bridge!!!!!
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on March 27, 2009, 09:30:12 pm
Crap put back now that the bag dropper pulled his turd from the punch bowl.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: iceman777 on April 17, 2009, 05:55:12 pm
I am truly sorry to hear that you will not be making anymore ruskies as I was sencerly hopin to have you make me a pair as soon as I had the chance to
rip the leg hooks off my old Trango pair ... I realy like the Ti hooks  but not a big fan of the rest of the rig As I have had to make several mods to it to suit
my needs ........

After looking over your set up I am convenced you have a great product !

If you ever get the inkling to start making them again please let me know I would be happy to pay a fair price for a job well done .

Cheer's
ICE....
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on April 19, 2009, 10:18:45 pm
Iceman,

  Presently I'm having a hell of a time getting my darn buckles.  Inner Mountain Outfitters is out and all I can get out of them is "We'll see what we can do", and I've been stuck there for almost 3 weeks.  Argh.

So am I still making these?  Yes.  Mike got his pair a week ago, and I have one last pair that's almost done for a feller, just got to get the padding on.  After that I have 2 people besides you who want a pair, no buckles, and I'm busy as hell with other crap.  If I ever get buckles I'll make them for whoever really wants a pair, but I kind wish Tmoses's hints about starting up something with Mountain Tools would come to fruition so I could move on once and for all.

I picked up a pair of slightly used Trangos, well turns out to be prototype trangos, and yeah, I love the hook.  The rest is surprisingly wimpy.  I'm going to having to rebuild the trangos as a loaner pair when I get more damn buckles!
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: iceman777 on April 20, 2009, 08:26:40 pm
Hey Garbonzo:

Well cool man , If sometime in the future you get the buckle's & can make me a pair let me know and I will send ya the Ti hooks + cash and no worries about the time frame .I bought two pairs of the Trango's when they wen't on sale dirt cheap here at our local climbing shop , that gave me the 4 set's of aid trees I wanted ( I prefer to climb w/ two trees on one carabiner)

Anyway drop me a note when and if you can get around to making a pair for me or if you decide to bag it alltogether ether way cool......

Cheers
Ice
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on April 20, 2009, 08:44:43 pm
Glad to see this informative thread back up. Thanks again for filling the niche, Garb. Looking forward to putting them to use.

I still have my Fish aid trees if anybody wants them. I had Russ add an extra ring up high on the clip-in loop. The nice price, of course.

Cheers, me brethren.

Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: skully on April 20, 2009, 09:18:44 pm
I'm fascinated. Cheers, indeed.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: passthepitonspete on April 21, 2009, 07:52:35 pm
Russian Aiders - truly the Better Way.  I predicted five years ago that they would be very popular by now, were ever a reliable source to happen.  Hopefully Theron or Moof will start making them.  Buy your aid trees from Russ before they're all gone.  He bought the last ones off of Trango, and there is no other viable substitute.  And good call saving your Ti hooks off your knackered Trango Russkies.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Whiskeykid on June 30, 2009, 11:36:10 am
I've been looking at this thread for awhile now and finally printed it out and began putting together the 'parts list'. I don't see, on this or the original post, any details for building the padded cuff?
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on June 30, 2009, 02:41:23 pm
Last year's instructions for the '08 model included more detail for the padding:

http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/index.php?topic=312.0

Pretty much you need 3"x15" (or whatever size) of ~1/4" padding, and 7"x18" covering (fleece, taffeta, etc).

1.  Fold the covering in half (good side in) and sew with a 3/8"seam allowance.  If using fleece trim the edge to 1/8".
2.  Move the seam to the middle and sew the end with a 3/8" seam allowance to make a sock.
3.  If using thick materials like fleece trim the edge to 1/8".
4.  Invert the "sock" and shove the padding in (should be a snug fit).
5.  Trim the excess sock to about 1.5", more trimming is needed with fleece due to the bulk, just fiddle with it in the next step till your happy'ish)
5.  When sewing the cuff onto the padding stay 1/4" inside seatbelt webbing all the way around (1/2" foot will ride against the tubular webbing on the long edge).  Start sewing in the MIDDLE of the padding (near the hook assembly), as the seatbelt webbing shrinks a little bit due to thread tension.  At the end with the open sock end fold the corners in, and shove the end under the end of the seatbelt webbing and sew across it.  Fleece requires more fiddling to deal with bulk.

Alternative 1:  It's more fiddling, but you could also leave a 3-4" gap in the long edge of the sock, sewing both ends of the sock shut, wrestling the padding into the remaining hole (will get covered by the seatbelt webbing later).  This would be much better looking, and be easier to sew the cuff onto (a few hand stitches to keep things closed while sewing would probably be smart).

Aternative 2:  Seattle Fabrics sells some adhesive spray that can be used to laminate fabrics to foam.  A cordura on the outside, fleece on the inside stack would be excellent.  To finish it off you'd need to bind the edge with bias tape (very thin webbing, or use double fold bias tape out of some taffeta).  This is basically what you find on a lot of harnesses, though they are probably much fancier in their processes.

Foam:  I've tried the 1/4" white stuff from seattle fabrics and 1/4" polyethylene foam from some fly by night place.  Both work, neither make me happy.  5-6mm neoprene is probably a good idea to try, but I haven't.  Other insights on good do-it-yourself foam padding available in small quanitities would be much appreciated.

Good Luck!
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Caz on July 13, 2009, 03:18:57 pm
So I'm thinking about making a pair of these bad boy's for myself, but I was thinking of hanging one thing. I'm planning on taking apart my old Petzl harness with the buckles you don't need to double back and using them instead of the double back buckles.


Any thoughts on that?
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on July 13, 2009, 04:19:27 pm
So I'm thinking about making a pair of these bad boy's for myself, but I was thinking of hanging one thing. I'm planning on taking apart my old Petzl harness with the buckles you don't need to double back and using them instead of the double back buckles.


Any thoughts on that?

Petzl or BD cinch harness buckles would be great, and I wish they could be purchased in onsey twosey's.  Onrope1.com also sells some cinch buckles that I used in the 2008 ones.  They work great for the calf buckles, but also result in very fast wear of the webbing as it passes over the cinch bar.  In the Valley this is likely no big deal, but in the muddy basalt dihedrals up here in the PNW I was unhappy with the rate the buckles caused webbing abrasion against the rock.  Cinch buckles for the stirrup will probably be fine if they are the Petzl style, but the Onrope1.com ones would almost certainly creap like crazy.

I've had some talks with the gal at Gonzo Guano Gear, and it looks like whe will sell me double back buckles similar to what I was getting from Inner Mountain Outfitters, so I might be able to fire my tiny operation back up.  I need to scratch up some $$$ to order a batch, and then I'll see where that takes things (I also want to get some neoprene foam to try out).
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Caz on July 13, 2009, 05:13:53 pm
Well if your going to start making them again...

I'll pay upfront so you can get the $$$ to buy what you need.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Caz on August 13, 2009, 12:09:58 am
So???

I really want a pair...

How about it Garbonzo? I

'll prepay and pay extra if you could outfit me with some cinch style buckles...


please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please  please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please


Is that too much? Do I seem like a stalker ex girlfriend?

Zac
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on August 13, 2009, 10:35:14 pm
OK Caz, let me see what I can do when get back from Cali.  I'll wrap my head around things then and make it happen for you.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on August 14, 2009, 10:47:36 am
Garbo, I got a chance to use your cuffs, and I have some thoughts. Bear in mind where I've come from and my uses, of course.

Background: I made my own cuffs some time ago. They are a more substantial affair than the Moof Cuffs; more than any I've seen. (I'll slap up a photo when I can, don't have one presently.) My intent was to create a "wall gaff"--something akin to lineman's gear. I wanted a low hook close to the foot as well as one in the traditional position. To disperse the weight between the calf cuff and the foot strap, I decided to integrate some metal components. Likewise, I needed something rigid to bolt the hooks to--the hooks are made from SS bolt hangers. So there's a vertical piece of steel incorporated which connects the lower to upper hook. The upper hook is also bolted to a perpendicular, formed, semi-rigid piece which is sewn inside the cuff. Anyway, the point of all this is to have the hooks remain as stationary as possible and to disperse weight throughout.

So, I am used to the overall rigidity of this unit which has somewhat an integrated skeleton. Along with that rigidity, my hooks are less "open" than the MoofHooks, and the tips of the hooks are obviously pretty thin and pointy. Can't comment on aid trees in conjunction with the Moofs; I tried them with mine and couldn't stand the nerd factor. I use ladder aiders, as you know. With the MoofHook (or any) attached to webbing, there is a tendency for it to rotate backward when weighted, and in particular when some force is being applied outwardly as it does with the toe pushing into the wall on steep terrain. Combine all that with the open and non-rigid nature of a ladder step, and the result as I found it was hooking action that doesn't seem very positive. I actually was concerned that the hook might slip right off when reaching. The angles looked that dicey. The hook itself, with its double-wide, blunt tip, is not the most friendly shape to coax into a ladder rung. The tip would be better with a rounded point for ladder use, and as well, the shape of the hook would be better with the tip pointing more down than out. More like a hook, less like metal with one bend in it.

The loose ends of the buckle straps for both the calf cuff and the foot strap badly need a strip of Velcro sewn onto them and the corresponding surfaces of the loops to keep the buckles from loosening. The calf cuff loosened some in several hours' climbing, but the foot strap was chronically loosening to the point where it would relocate to a useless part of my foot or fall off completely. This happened often enough on a day climb that I finally just gave up and took them off. Also, I think there is no need for a wide piece under the foot. It gets in the way more than it provides necessary comfort (the way I used them).

I found the low hook on the pair I made to be of dubious worth. Yes, you can reach unbelievably high on not-super-steep ground, but the tangle factor with the rope and potential to be injured by that hook in a fall seem to negate the worth. I'm going back to my old gaffs but will ditch the low hook before I use them again. I will also address the slipping buckles on the Moofs and give them another try on something. I think--the way I use them--they might be suited more to the Column than steep stuff like the Tower.

Garbonzo, I appreciate the great craftsmanship, customization and design. And the nice price. Kindly view my criticism FWIW--one guy, one route, ladder aiders. Cheers...
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Caz on August 14, 2009, 01:34:46 pm
OK Caz, let me see what I can do when get back from Cali.  I'll wrap my head around things then and make it happen for you.


GREAT! THANKS!
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on August 18, 2009, 09:09:55 pm
Mike,

   Zero offense taken:

Hooks:  I agree that the hooks are a not optimal.  For off the shelf hooks they are far and away the best I can find.  My first pair used a Home Despot hook that had to be secured using 3mm cord in a funky knot, so these are a huge improvement over that.  If I had a bench grinder it would be worth grinding the tip to a more rounded tip.  Doing that is labor intensive and I just don't want to.  As far as the hooks slipping off, I've not had the same experience there.  On the last trip (Mideast Crisis) I took a pair of Yates ladders to try your scheme out.  They were too damn fat so hooking them was a little bit of a PITA, but they never threatened to pop loose.  I can do a knock off of the Trango hooks out of 316 stainless, but frankly I don't have the $$$ lying around to get a batch run, nor do I really have the interest to do a big enough run to make the tooling charges back:

(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/hook.jpg)
~$250 tooling, ~$6 a pop after that (assuming I'm happy with the first try's result...).  They would still require some manual rounding off where the ring or webbing would be sitting, having the shop radius the edges about triples the price.

Foot Straps:  I don't know what the deal is, but I now know what you're talking about.  Mine never slipped till their last outing where they slipped incessantly, and I think it was just the difference of the shape of my new shoes (now destroyed...).  I think the ladder lock buckles just don't hold well if they sit over any bump.  Suckage.  The criticism I heard from Pete and others was that the webbing under the foot gets worn pretty fast, hence the rash guard.  I'll order up some thinner webbing and some elastic and make a lower profile rash guard and get rid of the foot cinch in favor of an ankle chicken strap.  Expect to see an upgrade kit in your mail in a couple weeks.

Slippage:  I wish I could do something there.  I find that on the first outing or two the padding compresses some and they feel loose, but I think you're smart enough know the difference.  Mine don't slip, at least the worn spot on the webbing stays put.  The CMI buckles I had access to for awhile were more aggressive (sharper edges and a bigger bend) but they really sucked for getting tight in the first place.  The cinch buckles from onrope1.com also never slipped on me, but I managed to badly fray the webbing over their cinch bar after only a half dozen pitches (muddy basalt dihedrals during winter though), so I hate using them unless the person understands what they're getting.  Right now for buckles my choices are either cinch buckles from onrope1.com, or whatever I'm going to end up getting from gonzoguanogear.com.  I'll keep folks posted if those turn out OK (otherwise I'm going to have to hack up one of my old personal pairs to make Zac his pair).

Velcro:  Yeah...  I tried that early on...  I sort of suck at getting it in the right places...  I do send them with extra long straps specifically to avoid short changing folks.  It's my hope that folks cut them down to something more useful (and less annoying).  In my defense the Trango ones just let the straps flap loose as well (I know, no excuse...).  Something I tried very early on that worked really well was an elastic tunnel to stuff the end through to keep things out of the way.

Rant:  If you ever run into Pete, tell him to either give some feedback on the free pair I sent him, or at least give them to someone who will use them, Zac for example.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on August 19, 2009, 01:19:33 am
You're the man, Garb. Thanks for the detailed response, which I need to read again. Your work and work ethic are both appreciated. Cheers...


Edit:

I can dig the extra time/resources that all the detailing would require. I'm guessing that's the devil in this. The good news is that my grumbles are pretty much fixable. I can most likely mod the hooks to my liking. And sending the replacement footies...that, my man, is way, way above the call. TIA.

I think my perceived lack of security with the hooks is as much an issue with the ladder rungs as anything. I'll bet I could add a small loop of something to the spreader bar on my ladders and have a dedicated hooking spot which might be easier to get in and more secure (read: less open). The shit would be to have that loop semi-rigid, to have one on each side of the ladder, and to have it oriented outward (a la your concept for the aid trees). I'm thinking small perlon or tie-off webbing run through plastic or rubber tubing which is shaped appropriately.

I'd like to run your rigs again soon, Garbonzo. As I wrote, it was just one day out off the bat. For some reason I'm less psyched about the cuffs climbing solo. I think there's so much more going on in the CF zone that mitigating that CF in any way is good. Maybe I need to get over it.

I'll add a photo of the units I made for anecdotal sake. I know you'll find some entertainment value there : o

Cheers!
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Caz on August 19, 2009, 12:25:46 pm
Hey buddy. Don't butcher anything of yours on my account. I'll take what I can get and if you feel that the cinch buckles are not the way to go then I'll stick with the standard. It was just a thought...


Zac
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Mike. on August 19, 2009, 02:39:18 pm
Some food for thought for ya (Theron and D-Llama included). Apology for the crappy photography.

(http://www.ousleycreative.com/wall_gaff1_small.jpg)

My goal was to make them completely out of stuff I had lying around, and to not use any duct tape. (The cuffs themselves used to be Fish haul bag shoulder straps.) I almost made it on both counts. I bought the steel piece for the vertical shank, the metal strapping inside the cuff, and some screws/bolts. After one use I taped foam around the low hook.

Nothing cinches down around the foot. The closure straps cinch the unit together above the foot in front of the shin. The shank runs inside the 2" blue tubular webbing and is wrapped in foam for obvious reason. The cuff buckles do loosen with use; an overhand knot in the tail works to stop that. That's the lefty, BTW.


(http://www.ousleycreative.com/wall_gaff2_small.jpg)

3/8" Metolius SS bolt hanger as hook. Jugging loop. Extra padding sewn into inside of cuff so the screw heads can't be felt.


(http://www.ousleycreative.com/wall_gaff3_small.jpg)

The low hook, which I plan on removing.




vvv Heh, thanks, Garbo.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on August 19, 2009, 03:27:38 pm
Holy jesus!  I think I now understand why you solo alot, it would be like sharing a belay with Freddy Kruger!

Still, big props for some pretty gnarly Yankee ingenuity, and way better than my first couple attempts.
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Garbonzo on September 16, 2009, 05:40:23 pm
Hey buddy. Don't butcher anything of yours on my account. I'll take what I can get and if you feel that the cinch buckles are not the way to go then I'll stick with the standard. It was just a thought...


Zac

Zac,

  I got BUCKLES!  Just got them in from Gonzo Guano Gear (what a great name!), and they are i-fricking-dentical to the double pass aluminum ones I have been using.

  So, if you still want a pair of cuffs let me know what size you want the padding as measured around your calf right below your knee ( usually 13" for skinny legs, up to 15" for meaty legs).  I have both a few cinch buckles, and a pile of the double pass ones.  I can use whichever you prefer.

(http://www.onrope1.com/store/images/products/preview/dj101.jpg)
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Caz on September 16, 2009, 07:57:21 pm
I am interested! I'll measure up and send you a email.


THANKS!!!
Title: Re: Open Source Russian Aiders v2009
Post by: Caz on September 18, 2009, 08:47:20 pm
Hey Garbonzo,

I lost your email shoot me a email so I can give you my size and all and get you some $$$ for these...


PBCowboy77@yahoo.com