sawed off angles


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 3, 2008 - 09:11pm PT
More aid questions for the wall wizards: Is there a certain way to set the length for sawed off angles or can you just cut them however on a chop saw?
Is a sawed off angle the same thing as a baby angle?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 3, 2008 - 09:17pm PT
Negative Murf,
there are actually 2 sizes of "baby" angle, 5/8" and 1/2".
Partners that can't tell the dif and send the wrong one up the trail drive me up the wall.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 3, 2008 - 09:19pm PT
Make sure you round off the bottom of the pin after cutting them. They are cut to approximately 1/2 there original length, and it's typically the 3/4" and 1" pins that are sawed off.

Mar 3, 2008 - 09:41pm PT
A prized item on some routes. I remember them being a priority, the fun we had making a few up, and being psyched knowing they were in the arsenal. Please try and get something else in first, however, before knocking them in. The goal is not to nail. Right fellas?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 3, 2008 - 09:43pm PT
To elaborate on Ron's comment, a true baby angle is 1/2", while the 5/8" variety is often called a "stubby". At least that's what we used to called them up here.

Mar 3, 2008 - 10:28pm PT

Most ppl seem to lop off half to a third of the pin. (Rounding the sharp corner is key, as said.)

Graduated saweds are one way to go:

Sometimes just a slight bit of the tip sawed off enables the best placement, i.e., the most pin in the rock without bottoming out. That can be key where the pin points somewhat downward--not the best angle for hand placing. The extra long sawed in that case can make the difference between needing to tap it with a hammer or not.

Sometimes super shallow squarish holes exist where ppl have repeatedly hammered just the tip of an angle and then tied it off; a very short sawed may work best there (to eliminate the need to tie it off). Again, the more downward pointing, the harder it is to get a hand-placed sawed to stick. And the more sketch it is to tie off.

It definitely takes more time to get the optimal length sawed in a placement to enable the least hammering. Most often you can't see deep into the hole and so you just guess. I think whether placing by hand or using minimal hammering, the best arsenal is a range of pin lengths and taking a little time to put in the best one. I usually carry a range from just over 3/4 length to just over 1/4. The longer ones seem to get used more.


Stubby...hmm. I thought that was a baby angle like the 1/2". Regional vernacular?


Big Wall climber
Mar 3, 2008 - 11:51pm PT
I don't know about them angles but this is a stubby where I come from.

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 3, 2008 - 11:53pm PT
That's a DEFECTIVE stubby - no beer.

Mar 3, 2008 - 11:54pm PT
No, just a liberated stubby. I really didn't want to go down the stubby path tonight.

Social climber
The Deli
Mar 5, 2008 - 11:34pm PT
Sometimes, 1/2” and 5/8” sawed-offs work really well in small shallow scars.

You can also create what I call... the secret expando weapon. Take a 1/2” angle and grind off about 1/8” along the entire length of the pin (don’t saw it off first). This leaves you with a 3/8” angle – lighter than the equivalent sized arrow and better holding power (angles flex…). I found that they were key on some freshy expando features.

Just be sure that whenever you are grinding pins or hooks, that you keep the metal cool. Unlike high-speed-steel drill bits, pins and hooks are made of cro-moly steel that has been heat-treated (tempered). If you get a pin or hook too hot while grinding (the metal turns blue and purple colors…) you will destroy the heat-treating and thus, weaken and soften the metal. Keep a bowl of cold water close and continually dip the pin or hook to cool it off as you grind.

Happy nailing!

Edit: The chop-saw might be a candidate for overheating the metal. Be careful.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 6, 2008 - 12:51pm PT
Hoser has it right - 5/8" are stubbies. Brick used to sell its Waterloo Dark in stubbies a few years ago, but I think they went back to regular bottles which is a darn shame.

For babies and stubbies, I have two sizes of sawed-offs - one where I take of 40% of the blade, and another where I've only taken off 25% [a semi-sawed-off]. I've gone through several sets of these over the years - eventually they get beat out and flattened, and split down the middle.

For 3/4" standards - the one you will use the most - you take off more like 50%, but again I have three different lengths.

For 1" about the same.

On El Cap I hugely prefer regular BD angles, I don't like those little short ones you buy that are "already" sawed-offs. I think they are Euro made, can't remember.

Once your S.O.'s get really beat, they will flatten out a bit, and sometimes these are handy for unusual placements.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 6, 2008 - 01:16pm PT
Here's a pic of 3/4 and 1" std and sawed offs. I think I cut off roughly 1/3 of the pins.

While the caution about overheating is valid, as you can see a chop saw and angle grinder barely heated up the steel at the tip of the pin. And you'd really have to put alot of effort into heating the pin enough to aneal the whole thing.


Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 6, 2008 - 08:26pm PT
Thanks you guys. this helps me alot. My partner Barto is too shy to post so he's going to have to buy me a few of those unliberated stubbies

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
May 18, 2013 - 08:33pm PT
this thread is virtually worthless without photos

Social climber
May 18, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
A different stubby? With chicken and rivet hanger...


Boulder, CO
May 18, 2013 - 11:59pm PT
i just don't want to know where the other half of those sawed offs went

May 19, 2013 - 12:16am PT

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
May 19, 2013 - 12:38am PT
don't waste or toss the tips of the sawed offs. you can weld two together (and drill, file, cut or stamp an eye/best to do is file or cut on each side before you weld) and they sometimes bite/wedge well in shallow, flared cracks. oh yeah, i forgot, now ya got them springy thingy's...never mind!

May 19, 2013 - 04:06am PT
I have used the sawed off ends (with a hole drilled in them) as body weight only pieces. They worked fine on the NA wall. The tiny hole was the limiting factor as it was sharp and couldn't take a very thick cord. Perhaps if you Nicopress a wire through it instead of a piece of accessory cord, it will hold better in a fall. I am sure my accessory cord would have blown in a real whipper.
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