Stance Drilling

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Greg Barnes

climber
Dec 3, 2007 - 07:40pm PT
Hey Mark, Minerals is way fast with those 1/4", but I remember Lynnea saying that her dad (Jerry Anderson) could hand drill faster than anyone - I think she said five 3/8" bolts in 23 minutes in granite, if I remember correctly. My fastest - 6 minutes for a 3/8 x 2.25" in Tuolumne (great stance but I thought one of the foothold knobs might break), 5-6 minutes for a 1/2 x 3" in Red Rocks (soft rock last pitch of Levitation 29).

Nothing better than climbing a new route with the bolt kit and hammer hanging off you - and then not having to use it!
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Dec 3, 2007 - 09:36pm PT
Proper stance drilling technique



older related thread:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=279164&msg=279534
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Dec 3, 2007 - 10:15pm PT
Years ago, I actually had to take spring classes at UC Davis so we were looking for weekday climbing adventures. My buddies and I decided to climb the face of Monticello Dam, the dam that holds back Lake Berryessa. No cracks for gear so we had to drill bolts into the concrete of the dam.

Most of the bolts were very difficult to drill, but the one after the crux proved to be the hardest. I made the 5.10 moves to the miniscule stance and commenced the ritual that those who have drilled from sketchy stances know so well.

First, you see if you can hold the hammer then you put it back. Next you see if you can hold the drill then you put it back. Lastly, you see if you can hold both the hammer and the drill and if that works, then you start tapping. The force of the tapping is related to both the quality of the stance and the strength of your nerves!

Anyway, I only had a foothold with my left foot, my right foot just hung uselessly on the slab. After only about a minute of drilling I got such bad sewing-machine leg in my left leg that I just shook off the foothold and commenced to take a 30-foot whipper. More pissed than hurt I stormed back up to the stance and put the bolt in. The ball of my left foot hurt for over a month from standing on that stance.

Bruce
Greg Barnes

climber
Dec 3, 2007 - 11:17pm PT
So now we know why you're allowed to climb on dams in Europe, but not in California...
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Dec 4, 2007 - 01:39am PT
Brad...the sandstone ones are.....One with the young lady drilling is in Arches....on some arch on some jump across deal........and the one with the Gumby is on the summit of the Pope near Many Farms/Round Rock....I think that tower just recieved it's 2nd ascent....25 years after the first ascent!
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Dec 4, 2007 - 03:13am PT
Actually, there is a funny story about our dam climb. I used to do a lot of buildering at UC Davis and got caught a few times, so much so that the dean of the university summoned me to his office. He said he just couldn't expel a straight-A student and he knew that I wouldn't quit climbing so he let me pick one building that I could climb on without being hassled (Kleiber Hall).

Anyway, during our dam climb, some workers spotted us from above and yelled at us to wait there while they came down to bust us. We had taken a bunch of huge leader falls on the top bolt and just as I was about to rap off of it I decided to see how good it was. It just pulled it out with my fingers!

I placed a new bolt in world record time, rapped off and we split before we could be busted. Or so we thought! About four days later I got a call from the dean saying that the people up at the Monticello Dam had seen some people climbing the face and thought they might be UC Davis students. He called me to tell me that he had negotiated a truce of sorts that if we went up and removed all the bolts they wouldn't prosecute us.

Well, we went back and removed the bolts, well almost all the bolts, but that my friends is another story.......

Bruce
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 4, 2007 - 04:24am PT
"dam" stance bolters! when will they ever learn? :-)


Bruce drilling 3/8" on lead in Tuolumne this past August
TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Dec 4, 2007 - 06:18am PT

cheating with a hook back in the day, at least I top stepped it ;)

James

climber
A tent in the redwoods
Dec 4, 2007 - 02:40pm PT
This summer, I went out to Hammer Dome with Johnny Rock, Lucho, and Powder Dan. We climbed Shadow of Doubt then stared at the other Hammer Dome routes. In the book they look good: hard 12+ sport routes. But shaking hand with the routes was another story. Caunt and Stetimier (Spelling?) must have been smoking some serious rock. My toes screamed just gazin' at the bolts.
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2007 - 06:51pm PT
Wow, this thread actually went somewhere! Cool. Great pics too!

I am surprised to hear some of you mention that the introduction of carbide-tipped drill bits made your drilling time shorter. It seems quite the opposite to me. Chisel-tipped high-speed steel (HSS) bits (standard hardware store bit modified on a grinder) drill at least twice as fast as an SDS bit, in both 17/64” (oversized 1/4”) and 25/64” (oversized 3/8”). I finally convinced Greg of this earlier this year when he borrowed my drill. The only thing that I would use an SDS bit for is to drill out a 1/4” hole to 3/8” in order to replace a 1/4” bolt. Some say that they like to sharpen SDS bits with a diamond wheel or a “green wheel” (silicon carbide grinding wheel) to reduce drilling time but I haven’t had the greatest luck with this modification. And, once the carbide tip explodes (as it inevitably will sooner or later) you are left with nothing more than a piece of scrap metal. With HSS, you simply re-sharpen the tip, either on a grinder at home, or on the rock (granitic) while on lead. Presto!

The best drill that I have seen for hand drilling is the Hurricane Hand Drill, designed by John Middendorf. The collet system allows you to use any type/size straight-shank bit (provided that you have the correct size collet), something that you can’t do with all of the ‘SDS only’ drills out there. It is quite versatile. The only problem is that the Hurricane drill is no longer made. Theron…???

Yeah, MisterE… that must be the best stance that I have ever drilled from… George and Lucho in the background and Greg’s shoes… What a season!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 5, 2007 - 07:18pm PT
The main problem I had with drilling 3/8" with HSS drills (such as the old 5.10 bits) was that they did not have any "margin". That is, the tip diameter was the same as the shaft diameter. This created a problem with the shaft binding when the hole got to a certain depth.

With the carbide tip bits, the tip diameter is larger than the shaft diameter, so the binding problem is solved.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Dec 5, 2007 - 07:21pm PT
Minerals,

interesting comments. As for SDS bits, the ones I use come with a chisel tip so the shape of the bit for drilling is not an issue. Also, I have hand-drilled over 300 holes with SDS bits and have never had the carbide insert come out of the tip. And, the SDS bits stay sharp longer than metal bits.

Clearly, everybody has their favorites, but I just don't see all the supposed disadvantages of the SDS bits. Maybe it has something to do with the specific manufacturer of SDS bits that are being used.

Bruce
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2007 - 07:46pm PT
Clint-
Yes, binding can be a problem with the larger size (3/8”) HSS bits although with a freshly sharpened bit, this problem is minimal. As the bit becomes dull, binding increases. Binding also increases if the bit is initially sharpened to an angle that is too small (i.e. the bit is too sharp). If you keep your bits sharp or swap for a fresh one after two or three holes, you will have few binding problems. If you continue to drill multiple holes with a dull HSS bit, you will surely be cussing for longer than you would like, as you already know.

Bruce-
I think we are talking about the same type of SDS bits. You have never had an SDS tip explode??? Really? Jeeze, I destroy unmodified SDS bits on a regular basis and then have to throw them away. Do you swing a very light hammer? Whenever I have to drill with an SDS bit, it seems like torture because it takes so darn long to drill the hole – it’s just too inefficient for me.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 5, 2007 - 08:23pm PT
I have only chipped one side of a carbide tip on a 3/8" SDS bit, and it was when enlarging a 1/4" hole on Liberty Crack. I was still able to finish the hole. The SDS bits I use are made by Powers. I use a fairly old Chouinard Yosemite hammer (pre carabiner hole).

Usually I am drilling on aid at Pinnacles or from an easy stance, or on Jumars when replacing. So avoiding bit changes and sharpening makes SDS a good choice. If I was drilling from tough stances I would definitely look into something which drilled faster. Are there any short 3/8" HSS bits which are SDS compatible?

Other options could be trying bits with different tip geometry for the carbide insert:




Have you tried any of these?
Greg Barnes

climber
Dec 5, 2007 - 09:35pm PT
Carbide tips disintegrate all the time, if you hit really hard in 10-15 bolts, if you hit light and frequently then the tip may never disintegrate (the side flanges of the tip will wear down first). Typically they blow apart in around 30-40 holes in granite if you hit medium hard. Minerals uses a heavy hammer and hits pretty hard.

Pinnacles doesn't count, you can drill indefinitely with the same bit and have zero wear on the bit.

The HSS bits do drill faster especially for 1/4", but SDS have some big advantages. Much tougher and long lasting, less likely to disintegrate, the flanged tip with no binding, and quick & fast switching of bits in a lightweight Petzl drill. And the bits are strong enough to yard on halfway through a hole without snapping.

I plan to try the HSS bits with my old Hurricane, but even then I'll have a SDS drill with me (I always bring 2 drills on lead anyway, one 1/4" and one 3/8").
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 6, 2007 - 12:01am PT
Kevin,

Thanks for the lowdown on the Rockhard bits. That is a bummer about the downgrade in materials used.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Dec 6, 2007 - 02:58am PT
I think drilling styles is pertinent to this discussion. If you look at how a power hammer drill works, it does does a lot of light tapping as opposed to a few hard hits. Maybe there is some sort of limitation of the drill so that it can't do hard hits, but it seems to drill a hole pretty efficiently.

It would be great to do some sort of test to see what drilling style(few hard hits versus lots of light hits) works the best.

Bruce
tenesmus

Trad climber
slc
Dec 6, 2007 - 02:23pm PT
Its been really fun reading this thread. I'd love an opinion from you guys about I have a project in mind. There is a granitic dike that may or may not be good for free climbing. If it goes, it'll be brilliant and would link up a 3 or 4-pitch line with three pitches leading to another two or three pitch line put up a while back.

With that in mind, I could:
a) TR (with moderate difficulty to set up) part of it to see if its free-able, clean and scrub it then proceed.
b) aid it with lots of hooking between free stances where I could hand drill bolts but maybe get shut down on a steep blank 10' section.
or c) if it does not look free-able, leave it as clean as possible with rivets, bashies etc. for future folks to try and climb. (Disclaimer: I'm a soft-man free climber and have little aid experience)

The problem is that c has the least impact but creates a time bomb and significant safety issues for later.


climber
Dec 6, 2007 - 02:35pm PT
JUST LEAVE THE DAMN ROCK ALONE!

THERE ARE ENOUGH HOLES, PIN SCARS, COPPER HEADS, BASHIES, ETC.

JUST GO FREE CLIMB!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 6, 2007 - 03:32pm PT
Minerals wrote:
"The best drill that I have seen for hand drilling is the Hurricane Hand Drill, designed by John Middendorf."

About 20 years ago, I used (and still have) what I think is the drill system you referenced above, if not the projenitor: it used straight shanked drill bits, with a flat face on the shank, which 2 or 3 set screws in the handle would tighten into.

The handle was (is) nice and short and Tucker Tech and I would buy high speed steel cobalt bits at the hardware store in Merced. At the time, I was using split shaft 5/16" X 1 1/2" Rawls, with a 5/16" cobalt bit, modified to a chisel point.

This was clearly a counter-indicated deployment of that cobalt steel drill bit(impact drilling), but it "cut" the hole very quickly and I never busted a bit.
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