Author Topic: Rigging Spanners  (Read 8922 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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Rigging Spanners
« on: February 27, 2012, 07:35:25 pm »
Out of interest (and prompted by a comment of Les W's) what's the modern recommended way of carrying a rigging spanner?

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 07:38:36 pm »
In the forearm pocket on your Exped[tm] suit, like this:



My uber-cool double-ended spanner for M8s and M10s. NB: No bungee, just acrylic cord(ingly).

Offline Anon

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 07:40:57 pm »
What if you've not got a pocket?

Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 07:45:46 pm »
Out of interest (and prompted by a comment of Les W's) what's the modern recommended way of carrying a rigging spanner?

Not sure there is a "modern" way of carrying a spanner. Surely there's no need for a spanner nowadays, it's all rig by numbers...

 :unsure:
I'm a very busy person

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 07:49:41 pm »
It might be all clip-ring on trade routes but there's plenty of places where 8 mm hangers are the norm.

None of my wetsuits has an arm pocket so, like Duncan, I'm still interested in alternatives.

Chris - what stops your spanner from continually falling out of that pocket - is it just a tight fit?

Also, what sort of (useful looking) elbow pad is that?

Thanks.

Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 07:53:25 pm »
Being an "old lag" I still carry my rigging spanner tucked under a snoopy loop on my arm.
It is always to hand and just tucks out the way when not needed.
I don't see an easier way of dealing with the spanner whilst rigging

I'm a very busy person

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 07:56:53 pm »
For the odd occasion when I do need a spanner, I use one which I bought in Inglesport many years ago which is a box spanner with a small carbine hook to use as a handle and just clip it via the carbine hook to a carabiner.
The advantage of these is that you don't have the extra leverage of the usual ring or open-ended spanner and hence helps prevent stripping threads by over-tightening.

i.e. one of these:


with one of these through one of the holes:



I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 07:59:10 pm »
Ah, thanks Les - so do I.

I thought I was missing something.

I'd be really interested to know what breed of elbow pad was in the photo which Chris kindly posted.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 08:00:14 pm »
Paul - how do you deal with ring hangers?

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2012, 08:02:16 pm »
Paul - how do you deal with ring hangers?

Simple - just use Petzl Bends and Twists or what used to be called Clowns (could be called Coeur I thnk now) where you would probably use a ring hanger.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 08:07:01 pm »
but what if a ring hanger is the best option?

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2012, 08:09:50 pm »
Then my spanner is no good! But I think the Petzl Clown would cover practically any situation where a ring hanger would be needed (captive rope, no krab or maillon, can take a 90 degree loading):



I did also have a spanner like Les's with a snoopy loop but lost it while en route to a cave in the Dales.

Nowadays the problem doesn't arise much with either resin anchors or drive-through bolts with their hangers left in place.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2012, 08:16:41 pm »
Thanks for your latest Paul - sorry, I guess my requirements are slightly specialised. I used ring hangers a few days ago, 175 m into a sump. I had to winch a large boulder out of the way and the angle of the force generated was wrong for other sorts of hanger. (No-one else has been there so there aren't any P hangers!)

At which point I really ought to thank a certain purveyor of caving equipment from a van bearing the name "Starless River" for stocking such a wide range of gear in his Tardis-like vehicle, which allowed the aforementioned dive to go ahead in the first place!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2012, 08:18:16 pm »
I also should have said that you can't clip the winch directly to a Clown-type hanger, hence the choice of normal ring hangers.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2012, 08:19:58 pm »
It's a snug fit (flat) pocket with velcro which holds the spanner in place; the elbow pad is the standard no frills adjustable type made by Warmbac; they can adjust right down for use by children as both knee pads and elbow pads, too, which makes them versatile and my default No.1 choice.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2012, 08:24:23 pm »
Many thanks Chris!

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2012, 08:26:36 pm »
Paul, how do you minimise any risk of dropping your box spanner and krab/spanner/maillon/lever while rigging rebelays etc.?

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2012, 08:52:50 pm »
A 4 or 5 mm cord tied to the carbine hook with a loop at the other end around my wrist while using the spanner.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline rsch

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2012, 09:00:03 pm »
I'm still interested in alternatives.

Here's one which someone will be along to criticise any moment now, that's what the internet's for after all  ;D

I never quite got on with the arm loop, so my spanner lives on my harness. You will see:

* it's in 4mm cord rather than elastic, so it needs to be long enough to reach to the full extent my hand can stretch to

* the potential overlength problem of a big loop round my knee is dealt with by an alpine butterfly mid-cord so I can tidy the full cord loop out of the way when I need to

* the harness gear-loop end of the cord is a double figure eight with the spanner and whole cord fed through it so it can be unlooped and transferred to someone else if necessary but remains secure enough that I can't ordinarily chuck it down the pitch unless I really want to

* the spanner end has a slight overkill extra loop in a different size\colour cord so there's something to catch my eye and I can tell the difference between the different knot loops without having to think at all hard - I don't know whether this is more or less complicated for whatever (lack of) vis you may be operating in, but it works fine in air!

* it all hangs nice and tidy on a small krab when it needs to and can just dangle on the cord if I let go between bolts

It works fine for me. Your mileage may vary!


Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2012, 09:08:41 pm »
Not a criticism of your technique, but a general observation.

I have noticed lots of people that use spanners when rigging seem to use the open end rather than the ring.
Whilst I realise the ring offers a really useful place to tie/clip into, it isn't the most efficent use of the spanner. Using the ring is much better for the bolt heads and it is much less likely to slip off the bolt head, causing "gravel rash" on your knuckles as you glance them off the rock wall with some force...

Anyway, like I said, just an observation.  ;)
I'm a very busy person

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2012, 09:13:07 pm »
Now that we've drifted far away from the original Topic, it would probably be worth splitting this into the original subject, cowstails and spanners for hangers...
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2012, 09:27:19 pm »
 :thumbsup:
Now that we've drifted far away from the original Topic, it would probably be worth splitting this into the original subject, cowstails and spanners for hangers...

 :thumbsup:
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2012, 09:37:59 pm »
I'll not criticise your method rsch; thanks for making the effort to post the image.

You have a good point Les. At least one of my caving spanners is double open-ended; one end fits 8 mm bolts and the other fits the main harness Maillon. (Yes I know that various SRT items can also be used as makeshift spanners to release a jammed big D Maillon.) I just tie the string to the shaft of this spanner and it seems to work OK. I suppose I prefer an open ended 13 mm spanner (for 8 mm bolts) rather than a 13 mm ring spanner because it works on everything - ring hangers included.

I apologise for my participation in the downfall of this topic! Paul's idea of splitting it does make lots of sense.

Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2012, 09:42:25 pm »
13mm ring spanner works on ring hangers as well, and because it has many "faces" it is easier to get on than an open ended spanner in restricted places where you cannot get at least a 1/6th turn.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2012, 07:30:05 am »
This is surely best of both worlds:


We used them in Crete when rigging with screw-in multimonti bolts and found them ideal. So quick and very tough.

As for attaching, 3mm cord around the main shaft to make a loop, taped on with electrical tape, then bungy between loop and snoopy loop on wrist.
The end is where we start....