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Cutting cord for climbing pro

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Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby WyomingSummits » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:34 am

When cutting cord to restring climbing pro, there are a number of things that can make it a real PITA. There is nothing worse than trying to thread 5mm through a 5.5mm hole with a big lump of melted rope on the end. Most of us can't justify a $200 rope cutter just to cut a few pieces of rope or cord per year. A recent thread I started brought up how the sheath separates easily from the core on the Titan cord with Dyneema. A way to get a good small end with a solid fuse, and not spend $200, is to use packing or masking tape, a sharp knife, and a propane torch/hot burner. Cut the section you need and then tape both ends. This will ensure the core and sheath stay packed closely together while cutting/fusing. Super heat the knife blade, and then slowly cut through the middle of the taped end. That's about it. As the hot blade is cutting through, it will sear the end solidly and evenly without the mess. This is a fairly well known method, but not everyone has heard of it, so I figured I would save someone some frustration. Use a SHARP knife!
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:22 am

The Chief wrote:Ah, why not just cut it to size when you get the cord at the local gear shop with their hot knife.

Moot issue really....

Because my local gear shop is 3 hrs away. :)
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:41 pm

The Chief wrote:^^^^^^^^^^^^And where do you buy your cord when in need to replace slings on your chock/Pro?^^^^^^


Point is, when initially purchasing the cord to replace them slinged chocks, cut them to size by using the heat knife at the location you get it from.

Another old trick is to cut the cord at 60 or so degree angled slice thus creating a nice slanted point making the initial insertion that much easier.

Well gee....I guess it's that new fangled thing called the internet that we're on right now? Most if those places won't cut your cord to spec. And, you never know when you may need to be able to do this in the field. Last time I checked, there isn't a gear shop in the Cirque of the towers. Just saying.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby moonspots » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:09 am

WyomingSummits wrote:...Most of us can't justify a $200 rope cutter just to cut a few pieces of rope or cord per year. ...

You might give this a try: Pick up a 260 watt soldering gun:
http://www.sears.com/weller-260-watt-electric-soldering-gun-kit/p-00917948000P

and then order some spare blades:
http://www.knotandrope.com/Store/pc/Hot-Knife-Blade-p1057.htm#.UT0ggXrxLMo.

Total for about $60. I'm working on building my own out of "junk box" stuff. If that doesn't work, then I'll go for the soldering gun/blade stuff.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby WyomingSummits » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:33 am

The Chief wrote:
WyomingSummits wrote:[. And, you never know when you may need to be able to do this in the field. Last time I checked, there isn't a gear shop in the Cirque of the towers. Just saying.


And most of us gave up on cord slung chocks/stoppers over 25 years ago when all Stoppers and even Hex's went to WIRE.

Just saying...

Did you get your first wired piece in the mail next to your AARP acceptance letter? :) All joking aside, there are many other applications where cutting cord without a frayed end would come in handy in the field. Broken shoelace? And for the record, the wires I'm replacing are corroded and in some cases frayed.....a cord will be an upgrade for a perfectly good stopper head. Sorry to interrupt your evening warm milk.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:12 am

Yeah I would think clean up would be a bit of an issue with cords on the gear.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby WyomingSummits » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:41 pm

I've never seen any of that hardwear or replacement cables for stoppers. Where could I find them? Yeah, placing and then cleaning corded gear is a pain. It is nice to have a couple in the bag in case you need to set up a fixed rap anchor in a pinch and would rather not leave a nicer cabled one. If I'd known how to replace the wires....trust me, I would have! :) All of my lead stoppers are on wire...I cord worn out extras to teach new climbers and for a couple of backups.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby Vitaliy M. » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:49 pm

The Chief wrote:
WyomingSummits wrote: It is nice to have a couple in the bag in case you need to set up a fixed rap anchor in a pinch and would rather not leave a nicer cabled one. If I'd known how to replace the wires....trust me, I would have! :) All of my lead stoppers are on wire...I cord worn out extras to teach new climbers and for a couple of backups.


That is why you buy em cheap on ebay and gather a large collection of both "lead" and "leaver" stoppers.
Image


That shot doesn't even show all the #1-4 Micro Steel, RP's and HB Offsets.


Wow, big guns there Chief! I don't think I saw anyone online with as many nuts as you neither. :wink: No homo.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby Burchey » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:05 pm

Is it weird that I'm turned on right now?
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:14 pm

The Chief wrote:And these..
Image

Repairing cables on stoppers are a breeze. Make my own heads and rivet hangers as well.


Chief, what do you use for crimping the double-wire aluminum connectors, so you trust them? I'm thinking about something I can use in the field. So far I've used those bolted-connectors, and brought a socket wrench. (These cables are not for gear, but for sun-tolerant sling replacements...must support 800 lbs.)
Last edited by MoapaPk on Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:22 pm

WyomingSummits wrote:When cutting cord to restring climbing pro, there are a number of things that can make it a real PITA. There is nothing worse than trying to thread 5mm through a 5.5mm hole with a big lump of melted rope on the end.


This may sound creepy, but here's what I do.

First, I have a container of very cold water right next to the stove. As I am melting the nylon or polyester rope on the stove, holding the rope in my left hand, I put my right thumb and index finger on an ice cube. When the rope is melted, I quickly grab the cord above the melted zone (on the cut) with my right-hand thumb and index finger, and pinch down over the melt, drawing in out very quickly, and immediately plunge my fingers into the cold water. Polyester cord is a little tougher, as it seems to have a higher melting point. I rarely get even a superficial burn. This all was easier before my right hand became partly paralyzed, but it still works now.

ED: I get more burns while cooking chimichangas.

Did this again today, worked like a charm... but would add:

1) Putting tape on your thumb and index finger beforehand helps greatly to reduce the chance of burns.
2) The biggest danger is that the melted poly/nylon will fly off and land on some skin that isn't protected.
Last edited by MoapaPk on Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby brrrdog » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:30 pm

I use blue masking tape. I tightly wrap the spot I intend to cut with the tape. I then cut thru the tape and the rope while the rope is under some tension (makes the cut easier). Sometimes I'll put the razor knife in some vice grips and heat the blade with my stove to make the cut even easier and half-melt the fibers. I then finish it off by gently melting the end (still with tape on over a candle) until glassy. If it still puffs out more than you want you can smash it between the two halfs of a phone book and twist and pull it out to form it a little before it cools. My only complaint is that the tape burns faster than the rope melts so you have to be careful. I've considered trying other tapes but haven't got around to it yet. Shrink tube might also work but you'd probably have to put a small slit in either end of it so you have something to grab hold of and peel it off when you're done.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby mtndonkey » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:17 pm

I was at Lowe's today picking up a new soldering iron and noticed they sell soldering irons with interchangeable tips and one of them is a blade (like an exacto knife) that is meant for cutting rope. I don't know how well it works, but for 18 bucks you can give it a try and see if it works as well as the expensive hot blades at REI.
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Re: Cutting cord for climbing pro

Postby JHH60 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:18 pm

A technique I've used for cutting kermantle rope and cord that keeps the cut neat and tidy is to use a torch or lighter to flame the sheath all the way around at the point where you plan to make the cut. The idea is to melt it slightly so that it won't fray when you cut the rope. Make the cut with a sharp knife, and then use the torch or lighter to melt the cut end of the core and bond it to the sheath.
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