Chouinard carabiner Timeline & Identification Guide- 1968-89

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Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 30, 2010 - 06:29pm PT
You might hose 'em down with some WD 40, then wipe them off. That should improve their look a bit, and, protect against any further corrosion.

You can't really get rid of the pitting, though. Any attempt at polishing them would probably alter them to the point of not helping.

Not hollow?

Do they say Alcoa on the other side, or, just blank, or?
groundup

Trad climber
hard sayin' not knowin'
Nov 30, 2010 - 07:39pm PT
A bath in Navel Jelly works well to halt and even reverse some corrosion. You can get it at any hardware store. Brian is right about the pitting... it's pretty much here to stay and may affect the gate action.
WD-40 may not do much for you here as it's a very basic lubricant and water dispersal agent (thus the W.D. in WD-40) it is edible though... so you have that workin' for ya.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 30, 2010 - 08:27pm PT
Gene: Thanks for posting those old biners. I don't have any better advice on cleaning if they are pitted. Otherwise, elbow grease, soap, and a scotch-brite pad work wonders.

Chouinard moved Lost Arrow production to Italy in 1975, per this page from the Great Pacific Iron Works 1975 catalog.

karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Nov 30, 2010 - 09:49pm PT
Fritz, No problem on using my photos.
I am glad that you are creating the timeline so I can finally place secure circa dates on my carabiners. Keep up the good work!
I have almost every Chouinard/Black Diamond catalog so if you seek other info just ask.

Rock on! Marty







Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Nov 30, 2010 - 09:56pm PT
I don't know if this has anything to do with your mission or purpose on this thread, but...
Everything Chouinard created had that special mark of brilliance, because he was and is a brilliant fellow. Likewise, his right hand man, who created much of that stuff, Tom Frost, was and is also a great mind. Those two together formed a creative team unparalleled..., really. They were human, though, and some of their development of products amounted to an evolution, at times. So this is not a critique, so much as to note one particular point along the evolution. The original Chouinard carabiner had a deadly feature. One could not clip two carabiners into the smaller bottom end of it, and have both carabiners sit there side by side. Only one fit, and so sometimes the weight of a climber on those two biners would create an awful "snap," where one of the carabiners settled down into the bottom position. This was enough of a force to pull a piton right out, as did happen to some people. Of course, as Yvon told me one day when I was hob knobbing with him in Ventura, that if one knew what one was doing... such a problem could easily be avoided. Just don't ever clip two carabiners to that bottom position. The problem was, many didn't know the danger. But Yvon and cohorts soon redesigned the carabiner and fixed the problem...
Just a little historical note..
groundup

Trad climber
hard sayin' not knowin'
Nov 30, 2010 - 10:18pm PT
Nice story!
I like that sentiment... "If one knows what one is doing..." hehe

I once heard the same thing said in defense of an old drilled ring angle piton in The Garden of The Gods CO. When a young climber pointed out that you could fall 30 feet and probably pull the piton Harvey Carter said "if one knows what one is doing...ect." but he probably added "ya dumb shit!"

oh, and his rack is made up of really old carabiners... the one I posted might have been his, either that or I found it in the Mystery Towers, can't remember.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 30, 2010 - 10:26pm PT
Patrick: I am honored to have you posting your memories on this thread.

Any other input will be most appreciated.

I really enjoyed reading your Royal Robbins biography last year.(Royal Robbins: Spirit of The Age)

The same enjoyment applies to all the other quality information you share with the climbing community.

Thanks, Fritz

Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Dec 1, 2010 - 10:17am PT
Minor variations: anodized bentgate Quicksilver 'biners from the 80s.
The two blue ones at bottom are Chouinard, the other three are Black Diamond, so these must have spanned the company changeover.
Apart from the markings, they look to be the same hardware.

Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Dec 1, 2010 - 10:27am PT
Markings on the Chouinard and Black Diamond Quicksilvers:


Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2010 - 05:54pm PT
Roxjok: Ah yes! I feel your pain.

My oldest Chouinard biners, had migrated into my “River Rescue Kit” for rigging a Z-Pulley system by about 2000. But at the start of 2010, I did not have a biner newer than 1984 on my rack.

I trust them, but the younger folks are amused or disturbed by their use.

The first blow to me this spring was walking into a great outdoor shop: Elephant’s Perch, in Ketchum, Idaho, and seeing Friends in their climbing hardware museum. I felt very old.

When Heidi & I were warming up for climbing with Donini in August: our younger “rope rocket” friend Kim, made me stop using my beloved Stitch belay plate, and forced a spare Petzl Reverso on me. Then she had a cow, when she saw my Chouinard and SMC Lockers from the early 80’s, and she forced me to use some of her Petzl lockers.

Heidi’s vintage 1990 Five.Tennies were mocked by Kim & Donini: as shoes no serious climber would wear. Heidi bought new climbing shoes this fall and thinks the 1990 Five.Tennies still work better on slabs.

So, I sold some old gear on E-Bay and bought some new. My hexes and Friends are retired to the "backup gear" bag.

If you count expenses (camera, photographic lighting fixtures,Ebay & Paypal fees), figure interest on investments made in the 1970’s, and want to make minimum wage: selling Chouinard climbing gear on E-Bay is not a profit center.

So-------my advice to you both is: Trust the old biners, and collect Boxed Marble Sets.

Heidi bought a set that dates back to Chicago World’s Fair of 1933 on the cheap this summer, listed it on E-Bay this fall, and got a windfall return on investment. The profit has bought our new set of Camalots, new biners, and a rope.

Boxed Marble Sets! Woohoo!



Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2010 - 07:55pm PT
Chiloe: Dude!

Thank you for posting up more rare/unknown Chouinard biners.

Those biners are BentGate Quicksilvers, and a non-anodized version is shown in the last Chouinard catalog, from 1989.

I don't know if there is a Chouinard catalog from later in 1989 that shows the anodized BentGate Quicksilver.

Anyone got a Chouinard catalog page that shows them anodized???

I will post these at the very end of the Chouinard Biner timeline.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Dec 1, 2010 - 08:37pm PT
OK, I've edited my posts with the proper name, Quicksilvers.
Cool thread!
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Dec 2, 2010 - 02:29pm PT
Keep in mind that when Chouinard turned into Black Diamond in 1989, it was not a major planned event. It turned into Black Diamond, THEN they started converting the products to Black Diamond. The 1990, 1991, 1992 etc Black Diamond catalog shows many Chouinard products.

1990 Black Diamond Catalog:
TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Dec 2, 2010 - 02:37pm PT


Gene:

I have a number of old Coonyard biners.

Wanna clean those things up ?
Use them as key chain biners and clip your keys on you hip.
Garruns within a cpl months they will look 'show room' again (sans niks)

I tried a lot of things to clean up old biners but silly as it sounds just hang'm off your hip and be patient. It's the easiest way to get them buffed out.

Gene

Social climber
Dec 2, 2010 - 02:42pm PT
Thanks Trundle. I'll give it a try. Hope all is well with you.

g
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Dec 2, 2010 - 07:29pm PT
Of course all the carabiners shown upthread, starting with Chiloe,
are much later designs. It would be a rare thing, I imagine, to get a shot
of the original Chouinard carabiners...
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2010 - 07:57pm PT
Marty: You the Man!

Thank you for posting those shot from the 1990 Black Diamond catalog. They were another "bolt from the blue" for me.

I had assumed, because of the Chouinard Equipment bankruptcy, Black Diamond would not be able to go forward with the name Chouinard on any gear.

As we say here in Idaho, when especially surprised by new and unexpected facts:

"Well------I'll be totally immersed in canine excrement!"
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:28pm PT
The 1990, 1991, 1992 etc Black Diamond catalog shows many Chouinard products.

I have a Chouinard hammer (so marked on the handle) that has a Julian date on it of 1317. Same design as the current BD hammer.

Yeah, leftover stock.

Bringin' it back to the older biners for Pat...ha ha:

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 2, 2010 - 09:01pm PT
Brian,
Does your left hand biner say CHOUINARD opposite side from ALCOA or something else? Looks like it does. Version II.

The biner attributed to Scared Silly in post #40 is Chouinard Alcoa Version I with no CHOUINARD raised lettering.

I think that Alcoa Version II is the Dick Erb and Charlie D shape that is still a pronounced D shape with tiny CHOUINARD lettering.

Alcoa Version III is moving toward a modified D and has CHOUINARD lettering. Marty seems to have one of these. Still design #1.

Tom Frost came aboard with Chouinard in 1965 and tinkered with the carabiner dies. He recalls producing a modified D design prior to the "new" 1968 biner and after the ALCOA lettering was taken out of use in the body markings. This could be the precursor to the 1968 design (design #2).

Anyone have a 1966-1967 catalog to see when the Alcoa biners stopped being sold?

Thorgon

Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
Dec 2, 2010 - 09:29pm PT
Gene~

I hope you read this, I was a CNC Machinist for a few years and the roto-finishers are the way to go! There are some with resin beads that are more gentle on aluminum carabiners, just a couple hours and your golden! You have to watch em' cause if you over do it the Chouinard name will be gone forever! There are a lot of machine shops that have a roto-finisher (deburring machine)just ask around, I am lucky that my neighbor still works a machine shop! He did about 20 biners for me & I will try to post a picture. The metal ones I have were real bad from dropping trees and they look good too!


Later & good luck,
Thor
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