• Will Sweat Harm My Harness?
  • Should You Use Rope or Webbing to Connect to an Anchor?
  • Choosing Between C4s and Friends
  • Can You Lead On a Static Rope?
  • Can I Use Climbing Bolts For Anchors in a Gym?
  • Are Falls Held or Breaking Strength More Important In a Rope?
  • Does Poop Harm a Climbing Rope?
  • Are Homemade Draws Reliable?
  • Shopping for Economy Carabiners
  • When You Fly, Can You Carry On Climbing Gear?
  • Can I Trust Fixed Draws?
  • Which Helmet WIll Fit My Big Head?
  • Choosing Ice Screw Length
  • Are Adjustable Leg Loops Useful?
  • Should I clip ice screws with Screamers?
  • How do I Make a Bomber Anchor?
  • Can I Modify my Crampon Without Compromising the Integrity?
  • Hot Versus Cold Forging
  • Caring For Your FIngertips
  • Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?
  • When to Replace Climbing Webbing
  • Using Grip Dip To Color Code Gear
  • The Benefits of Cotton
  • How to Pull a Rappel Rope
  • How to Properly Orient a Carabiner Gate
  • Are My Fuzzy Quickdraws Safe?
  • How to Stretch Climbing Shoes
  • Are 1/2-inch bolts really better than 3/8-inch?
  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?
  • Hand Drill Advice
  • Lonely Climber Looking for Woman
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  • Difference Between Double and Twin Ropes
  • Dealing With an Argumentative Partner
  • Will Antifreeze Ruin Rope?
  • Why Is a Rack Called a Rack?
  • Rock Shoes For a Big Guy
  • Do They Kill Geese To Get Down?
  • How to Wash a Rope
  • Do Cam Teeth Do Anything?
  • Can I Fix Delaminated Rock Shoes?
  • Can I Mix a Static With a Dynamic Rope for Rappelling?
  • Should You Lower Or Rap Through Anchors?
  • Should You Clip the Belay As Your First Lead Pro?
  • How Should The Middle Man Tie In?
  • How Do I Get a Good Climbing Man?
  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?
  • Should I Rope Solo?
  • Should I Angle Ice Screws Down?
  • How Should Old Climbers Train?
  • Can I Make a Belay Loop?
  • Reusiing Ice Screw Holes
  • Overcoming Fear of Falling
  • Choosing a Stove Fuel
  • Will My Hiking Boots Work With Crampons?
  • Do Heavy People Shock Load the Rope?
  • Can Offset Cams Subsitute for Regular Cams?
  • Can I Resling My Cams Myself?
  • Are Older Alien Cams Safe?
  • Antifreeze
  • The Truth About Climbing Supplements
  • Can I Make My Leashed Tools, Leashless?
  • Rope Stretch Facts
  • How To Cut a Rope Without a Knife
  • Secrets of the Toprope
  • How to Sharpen Crampons
  • Should I Become a Climbing Guide?
  • Preventing Climbing Rope Wear
  • How to Remove an Old Bolt
  • How to Customize Ice Tool Picks
  • Double Rope Facts
  • Do It Yourself Fruit Boots
  • Climbing Rope Sheath Slippage
  • Rockfall Safety
  • Do Screamers Work?
  • Defining the Cheater Stick and Stick Clip
  • Climbing Skin Care
  • Selecting a Gym Rope
  • Quick Links for Climbing
  • Are Russian Cams Good?
  • When To Retire Climbing Gear and Ropes
  • Should I Get a Link Cam?
  • How to Get a Climbing Mate
  • Will Dog Urine Harm My Rope?
  • Using Steel Carabiners for Fixed Quickdraws
  • Petzl Tibloc and Climbing Rope Sheath Damage
  • Overcoming Anger
  • Fixing a Spinning Bolt
  •  
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    Maxin Rope Review

    How to Remove an Old Bolt

    02-Feb-2010
    By Gear Guy

    What is the best way to chop a rusty quarter-inch split-shank Rawl bolt? The crowbar is trashing the rock, and the bolt isn't moving. The bolt is placed in a dish, so I can't get a hacksaw in there. Can I use a cold chisel? Any other ideas?

    Earlier this year I broke off a jaw tooth and pondered my uncle who pulled all of his teeth with a pair of pliers. But folks who grew up in the Great Depression (not to be confused with the Awesome Depression we are currently in) were cut from a different cloth. After tounguing the bleeding stump for a couple of weeks, I saddled myself into a dentist’s chair like a little sissy. I entertained the dentist with the story of my uncle and asked if he had some sort of special dentist’s tool to quickly and painlessly remove the broken tooth.

    “Of course,” he said. “We are not in Russia anymore!”

    He then reached in my mouth with a pair of vice grips and pried out the tooth.

    My point is, I have lots of ideas, Emily, and not many of them have to do with removing bolts. But a few do, and you asked …

    Let’s start with your vernacular. “Chopping” is an ugly and violent word for the graceful act of coaxing a faithful old bolt out of its hole. Show some respect! Let’s try the word “retrofitting.” See the difference wordplay can make? Watching your language is especially important when conveying your actions to anti-climbers, such as anyone who doesn’t climb, and all of those who do.

    Forget the chisel and crowbar. These cold and insensitive brutes do a poor job and scar the stone. For examples of what I’m talking about, go climb any rap-bolted route circa the mid 1980s.

    To extract your bolt, you need a “tuning fork,” a #3 or #4 Lost Arrow pin with its center cut or ground out so it resembles, guess what, a tuning fork! The pin modification is tough and requires special tools that can nip off your fingers. Don’t try it at home! Instead, contact the fine folks at the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org) and they will sell you one.

    With tuning fork in hand, pry the bolt and hanger out far enough to accept the fork. Do this by gently hammering a long, thin knifeblade under the hanger. Work the pin from all angles. You may need to repeat the process using a larger pin before the tuning fork will slip behind the bolt hanger. With the fork in place,  tap its eye until it is driven to the hilt. If the bolt hasn’t already popped out, clip and weight the fork’s eye, gently levering out. Bingo.

    Extremely rusty bolts, especially those with threaded ends and nuts rather than button heads (see photo), might break off rather than pull. Don’t freak out. Go home and get more tools. You will need a cordless hammer drill fitted with a high-speed steel ¼-inch bit. Drill the bolt shard out of the hole (the bolt will usually break off flush to the rock). Try your drill on spin-only mode, but if that doesn’t work, switch it over to hammer and spin. If that fails, leave the bits of bolt in the hole and artfully patch over it with a mix of epoxy resin and rock dust. If the bolt did come out cleanly, re-drill the hole to either 3/8- or 1/2-inch and set a new anchor.

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