Holy Moses Keyhole hangers(photo tr)


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Erik Sloan

Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 30, 2007 - 03:51pm PT
A couple years ago my friend Kate took a big fall when some wire rivet hangers broke. That motivated me to start looking online for someone who would be willing to make some keyhole hangers(something I've been talking about doing for years). Up till now only foreign companies have made keyhole hangers and importing them has not appealed to retailers due to our(wall climbers) small ranks.

I emailed Theron after seeing his posts on the opensource hammer thread and he said he would be willing to make some hangers.

Make no mistake--Theron is the Man!

Soon we were testing our prototypes in the shop and up on Yosemite's walls.

Sometimes R & D is like, one step forward two steps back....Zoe sums it up

The biggest challenge in designing the hangers was deciding on a compromise between ease of use and performance: the more bent the hanger was made it easier to get on and off the rivet and also got you higher on the piece, but also produced a dangerous, outward prying action when loaded in a fall. Ultimately we decided that two sizes of hangers would work best, one that fit smaller rivets(1/4"ers to machine heads) which had a slight scoop and thus less prying nature and a bigger size for hangerless bolts and 3/8" rivets that would be stronger to resist any potential prying by the hanger.

Thankfully Theron was always ready to crank out another batch and tweak the design one more time. Much love brutha!

And bend 'em up

Before we knew it we were jumping for bigwall joy

The happy ending is that you can now buy Theron's keyhole hangers from Mountaintools.com

Here is what bigwall Kate said about Theron's hangers after climbing the Reticent:

"Thank you so much for the Rivet Hangers. They were Perfect! They fit over 95% of the rivets that we came across, a dramatic improvement over the roughly 20% success rate we had with the others[our first batch, douh!]. The narrow profile, combined with the sweeping curve, made these top notch. Additionally, the curve and hole are just right to avoid putting a "Prying" motion on the rivet."

Thanks Thanks Thanks Theron,

Big Wall climber
Satan's testicles
Dec 30, 2007 - 03:58pm PT
Nice one Big E!

Those look sweet!

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 30, 2007 - 04:00pm PT
Nice fabrication guys! For most regular folks, a carborundum rod saw blade for a hack saw frame does the trick to modify stock bolt hangers. Are you guys selling these pups to the public or is it private, reserve stock? LOL
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 30, 2007 - 07:25pm PT
For sale at Mountain Tools (although page needs to be updated):




The KEYHOLE HANGER is used for aid progression - where bolt hangers are missing, damaged or a string of "rivets", round head or hex head bolts cross an otherwise blank face. When clipped with a full sized oval or D carabiner the KEYHOLE HANGER is secured to the stud, given the nut or round head is in good condition and of adequate size. Made from stainless steel these sleek KEYHOLE HANGERS fetch minimum 2,500 lbf on our test machine and at 14 grams - are light enough to carry on your chalk bag biner for emergency use.

wt: 14 g / .45 oz
size: OSFM 1/4"-3/8"
strength: no rating (depends on placement) price: $5.95 ea

[Edit to add:] Theron = Theron Moses in the TR above. He posts as T Moses here.

Dec 30, 2007 - 07:40pm PT
Nice big machinery, good close-up photos, nice hangers.

I love big machinery .......

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
Dec 30, 2007 - 07:41pm PT
Cool stuff guys!
Maybe FISH will carry them? or is it a Mountain Tools exclusive?

Edit: Where did the "Moses" come from?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 30, 2007 - 07:44pm PT
I already have a lifetime supply but am glad those items are out. Without a solid and readily available keyhole hanger design, the option of using unhangered studs as a lower impact option in highly visible locations like cliff tops is nonexistent.
Australians in some areas used to rely extensively on bare studs for pro. RP made beefy keyholes just like the ones shown above to meet the demand.

A tent in the redwoods
Dec 30, 2007 - 07:45pm PT
Nice, you're showing your mettle.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 30, 2007 - 11:15pm PT
I made some home cut keyhole hangers with the old (thinner) SMC hangers and even designed a locking type for 5/16" studs.
The stud had a preground cutaway on the head that, when oriented correctly in the placement, required that the hanger be installed upside down and then rotated (locking it) to the standard downward position.
Even used a few of them on Archangel, including a few on ground later shared with Prodigal Sun.

Trouble was nobody seemed to appreciate that 5/16" X 1.75" studs were pretty stout. People just called them rivets and whined.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 30, 2007 - 11:24pm PT
Oh yeah. What about using oval carabiners on the "easier to place/use" hangers to raise the contact point and reduce leverage?

Moss Landing CA
Dec 31, 2007 - 02:15am PT
James- that was WAY to cheesey to post.

Erik- Watch your fingers with the heavey machinery!!!

Is that a plasma cutter???

(you know me, we were lost in america one time)


Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Dec 31, 2007 - 03:11am PT

has a nice ring to it.

got to buy me some of those.

now let's talk beaks.

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 31, 2007 - 06:35am PT
Theron, that does look way more fun than handles! Cool job, I'm going to order some. Hey, I'm going to dismantle my A5 for the new year and ship just the handle down to Lewis in Tenn. to see if we can get things moving again.

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Dec 31, 2007 - 11:26am PT
Nice shop full of toys there.

Cool TR, thanks a ton.


Trad climber
Denver, CO
Dec 31, 2007 - 03:47pm PT
Neat stuff--but a question from one who hasn't yet had
the pleasure to do a wall--how many of those hangers should
one carry for a wall--(sorry, I haven't looked in my
Supertopo Big Walls book for a while, and I have the older
version, so I'm not sure if my question is answered there).
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 31, 2007 - 04:02pm PT
Kind of a broad question, I'm surprised Steve.

Totally depends on the route.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 1, 2008 - 04:19pm PT
So as not to disappoint....These days the specific gear requirements for most routes are readily available. If you are getting up on any of my routes, a half dozen keyholes for 1/4" split shaft studs will suffice and that number should handle most situations elsewhere.
The only keyhole intensive routes that I recall are mostly Porter routes, like the Trip, Shield and Mescalito, that went up during the busy seventies. No hangers is mostly the wallet talking but I have also employed them to keep the visual impact down when close to other routes.

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
Jan 1, 2008 - 07:01pm PT
When you say "a rivet hanger" do you mean the cable type?
These hangers are much stronger than the cable type.
T Moses

Trad climber
Paso Robles
Jan 1, 2008 - 07:53pm PT
Happy New Year to everyone!!! Hope ya'll get out and get some climbin' done. I got my fix yesterday at the local sandstone crag.

That second shot is absolutely horrible! What was I doing? You gotta love the cool shades I get to wear in the first pic.

The Yose Mountain Shop is also interested in carrying these little guys.

I talked to Larry at Mtn Tools and He is slammed as usual with the holidays. He will update ASAP.

Werner: You have only seen the "small" equipment. The 110 ton press isn't in the background anywhere.;)

The "Moses" is Welsh/Old English in origination. That's what I am told at least. It being my last name I am kind of attached to it (literally).

Ron: Wouldn't that raise the leverage or am I misunderstanding you?

Scooter: Yes it is a CNC Plasma Cutter that I built from a kit. It is kind of like big Legos. I heavily modified it to do other operations and bring it up to what I thought was acceptable.

Munge: Got your eamil and yes Beaks are in the works. Soon (Spring?) is all I can really say.

Healyje: Handles are high on my priority list but it is hard finding time to talk to Lewis in the East because I am in the West. I will email him a print soon. I hope that will help. Don't dismantle yours yet.

Prod: I am writing from the comp on the newest toy, a CNC punch press that is wickedly fast. Ahhh, the smell of "new" machinery!

Radical: Yes these are much stronger than cable rivet hangers. The oval loop hangers aren't too bad but the noose/butterfly cable hangers are REALLY weak. I had some tested and needless to say I don't use em anymore.

Big thanks to Erik for working on this project so much and for pursuing the original concept because he saw a friend in need.

T Moses

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 1, 2008 - 08:27pm PT
proud, thx mang for the update.

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