DIY Walking Axe
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Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
DIY Walking Axe on 11/03/2007 15:27:50 MDT Print View

After posting some questions in the mountaineering section, and reading the review of the Helix potty trowel (and seeing the upclose pics) - I'm considering making my own "ice axe" for walking - not mountaineering - with the same usability as the helix. My preliminary design/calculations show I should be able to get pretty low in weight (top secret for now). Anybody already try something like this?

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
tried the whippet? on 11/04/2007 09:23:19 MST Print View

The BD whippet, Grivel condor, and I think LifeLink have ski/trek pole toppers that give some purchase. If you are carrying poles anyway, check them out.

http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&partNumber=757953&preferredSku=7579530010

Edited by Paul_Tree on 11/04/2007 09:25:31 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/04/2007 21:36:03 MST Print View

Paul, those are great, but what fun would it be if I just bought one? ;)
I guess I should have been more specific and asked if someone had ever made their own ice axe which didn't meet cetirfied standards and was used for walking up small steep sections where a mountaineering axe would be overkill? Similar to the Helix...
I'm playing around with a few designs but ended up putting together my shaft today. Weighs in at 3.1 oz. Hopefully, I can keep the whole axe at about 4 oz for my prototype...
Solidowrks Axe Shaft

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/04/2007 21:36:37 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Ice Axe Pic on 11/04/2007 21:44:42 MST Print View

Here's a pic of my axe shaft, weighing 3.1 oz. My Camp Corsa Nanotech 50 beside it for comparison. I'm still working on the pick section - but should just be another day or 2.
IA Compare

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
wow! on 11/05/2007 00:03:29 MST Print View

that is sweet work, can't wait to see the rest!

Shahrin Bin Shariff
(zzmelayu) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Table Mountain
WOW! on 11/05/2007 03:16:20 MST Print View

Wow! Holding my breadth...

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
matching crampons! on 11/05/2007 09:37:17 MST Print View

I'd love to see your take on crampons to go with.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Pick and Adze on 11/05/2007 09:52:48 MST Print View

Thanks guys...
It's coming along - finished the design of the pick/adze today and cut them on the CNC plasma cutter. Turned out really nice but has plenty of burrs on the edges. I'll clean them up on the sandblaster, but it's busy until tomorrow. Till then.
Here's the solid models of them assembled - I'll post the real pics tonight when I snap some photos.
Assembly

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Pick and Adze on 11/05/2007 10:00:59 MST Print View

I guess I should add that my brain (a.k.a. laptop) is telling me I have a total axe weight (without welds)of 117.67 grams (4.2 oz.)
23.1 g - Pick
8.7 g - Adze

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/05/2007 10:13:42 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
DIY Walking Axe on 11/05/2007 11:30:23 MST Print View

Steve,

Is the length of your walking axe in the 55 to 60 cm range? What materials are you using for the shaft and head? I'm very impressed with your machine work. I may MYOG stuff with nylon and spinnaker but metal working tools are beyond my capacity so am very interested in your project vicariously.

- Sam

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Axe Specifics on 11/05/2007 13:29:24 MST Print View

Sam,
This one will be 50cm - same size as my Camp Corsa...reason is because that was the material (6061-T6 aluminum) I had on hand yesterday. Shaft is 3/4" diameter with a 0.065" wall thickness. Head will be same 6061-T6 aluminum 1/8" plate...so no, I wouldn't want to climb a waterfall with this. :) I actually took a look at the UIAA specs, applied similar loads (FEA software) to my axe, and watched as it failed miserably - that being said, you'd have to be darn strong to bend that shaft with your hands. I want to incorporate a steel tip like my camp axe, but that'll have to wait till Rev 2. If this one truly is functional, I'll build a much better (and hopefully lighter) one afterwards.
Kinda funny - but I always look at you guys making tents and sleeping bags and think - man, wish I could do that!

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
axe on 11/05/2007 15:09:27 MST Print View

My coworker has made ice climbing axes and I'd love to make a bunch of different designs. So many ideas, so little time...for now.

Cool stuff, keep it up!

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Pick and Adze on 11/05/2007 15:15:45 MST Print View

Looks really cool steven, I wouldent trust myself with making a tool like this, but you seem to be doin a great job.

CAnt wait to see the fianl product and weight...

do you think you will have problems with snow getting stuck in the holes of the shaft?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Pick and Adze on 11/05/2007 15:28:56 MST Print View

Ryan, I was thinking that aswell after seeing Roger's Helix leak water inside the shelter when the shaft filled with snow and it melted...I originally didn't have the holes, but in the interest of saving weight, I drilled them in. 16 x Dia. 1/2" holes at 1" spacing.
For now, we'll wait and see if it becomes a problem, but it would be slick to fill the shaft with something (i have no idea what at this point).
I envision wrapping the shaft in tape and filling it with a spray foam (window insulation type stuff), then removing the tape afterwards. This would (in my mind) fill all the little nooks and crannies in the shaft - making the handle smooth - and weighing only a fraction heavier. Did that make sense to anyone?
I'm shooting from the hip here, and I have no idea as to the durability of this "miracle spray foam". Any other ideas?
My Camp axe has a soft plastic (I think) inserted into the shaft from the bottom - works well but seems heavy.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/05/2007 15:29:31 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
axe comments cont... on 11/05/2007 16:08:32 MST Print View

You'd be better off perhaps covering the shaft with a plastic...thinking heat shrink tubing off the top of my head.

The aluminum shafts suck heat like no other but with a crappy conductor insulating your hand you'd do better. Plus it would cover all the holes without giving back the weight you took away.

Turn a quick hollowed out nylon bushing to go in the end of the shaft and anchor it with an aluminum or titanium bolt. That would stop the snow from going up the shaft as well.

On your FEA are you seeing failure in the holes or where the head meets the shaft (end of the lever arm)?

Edited by Pivvay on 11/05/2007 16:09:59 MST.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Pick and Adze on 11/05/2007 16:15:04 MST Print View

filling the pick with insulation is an interesting idea.. but I doubt it would be very durable.

Filling it with some sort of nylon or plastic might work, but could crack if it got cold enough.

I dont know if this actually exists, but It would be really cool if there was a lexan tube that fit snugly inside the shaft... or even better, a thin carbon shaft that fit snugly inside the aluminum shaft. neither of these would need to have very thick walls, because the strength is in the aluminum, their only purpose is to keep snow out of the aluminum shaft, for the lowest weight penalty possible. And, if you could source some sort of lexan tube with the right diameter, and the right color, it could make the Axe look really cool.

you would also need something to plug the ends, for this, im sure plastic would work fine.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: axe comments cont... on 11/05/2007 16:18:55 MST Print View

I missed Chris's comment while I was posting my own.. sounds like an excellent idea as well, you should definatly have some sort of insulator covering where you are holding the tool at least.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Carbon ? on 11/05/2007 16:25:27 MST Print View

Why don't we just replace the entire handle with a carbon one that weighs less and should be be 20% stronger !!!

Shoot me the ID, OD, and length you want !

Kevin

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Carbon ? on 11/05/2007 16:54:21 MST Print View

only problem I see with carbon is that It will be more difficult to attach the adze/pick and the spike on the bottom.. this is the main weakpoint on the HElIX I do beleive

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Carbon ? on 11/05/2007 16:56:52 MST Print View

Ryan,

Not really. There are plenty of high quality epoxies that can make an aluminum/carbon joint. There are some auto racing intake manifolds I have worked with joined this way.

Then you'd just have to turn a quick piece to weld the pick/adze too and join that to the shaft with epoxy and similar with the spike.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Updated Axe Pics on 11/05/2007 19:06:16 MST Print View

I have to clean them up a bit but here they are.

Shaft 3.1 oz.
Pick .85 oz.
Adze .3 oz.

Total 4.25 oz.

Axe1
axe2
Axe3

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/05/2007 19:09:02 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
FEA Questions on 11/05/2007 19:21:48 MST Print View

Chris,
The Axe fails in two spots depending where I place the load.
In both cases I fix the tip of the pick (as per UIAA diagrams),ie. we stick the tip into a wall leaving the shaft parrallel to the wall

When load is placed pulling down on the shaft - the shaft does not fail, the pick fails at the inner radius closest to the tip.

When a load is placed perpendicular to the shaft (towards the wall)at the lowest point, the edges of the holes fail -obviousy the ones at the top...but the connection stays strong.

Hope that explains something - I'd post the pics, but I don't have the software handy right now.

Not sure if you have seen the UIAA standards, but they are fairly rugged. This axe would turn to powder before it even came close to passing.
Steve

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/05/2007 19:25:16 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Carbon on 11/05/2007 19:34:27 MST Print View

Kevin, carbon? if it's free I'll take it! :)

Actually, I was chatting with a guy who worked at a golf store regarding getting some thicker diameter carbon material - he was recommending a graphite shaft for my needs. Until I have them both "in stock" I won't know.

As for the epoxy question. Yep, Chris is quite correct. There are some extremely tough ones out there. Some of it is even machinable.

Maybe "Rev 2" will have the carbon shaft...wonder what I could get the axe down to...Sub 3oz?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Finished my Axe on 11/07/2007 21:49:17 MST Print View

Final weight is 4.30 oz. I just tacked it together because I think I can make a much better one if I put some more thought into it...but here's some pics. Not the nicest looking, but there is potential for Rev 2 to look much better...

weights
For comparison...
compare

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Finished my Axe on 11/08/2007 02:45:33 MST Print View

Hi Steve

I would be interested in a test under load. I suspect you may find two areas of weakness: the holes in the shaft, especially at the top end, and the lack of reinforcing around the head of the shaft.

Now, V2 ... :-)

Cheers

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 06:31:21 MST Print View

Steve -

Fine work, my friend. Hopefully v. 2 can include the carbon fiber shaft discussed previously.

Roger -

Note a few posts back in this thread that Steve did put the axe design to a simulated load test.

- Sam

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Finished my Axe on 11/08/2007 07:53:18 MST Print View

What about doing an I-beam style head? That would require milling the piece or as a secondary operation but it could increase the pick's stiffness quite a bit.

If that makes no sense let me know and i'll try to get a few minutes to model one up in NX.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 11:29:15 MST Print View

Roger: your suspicions are correct - and the axe is weak in general. Anticipating it would have these weaknesses, I concerned myself with weight more then anything when designing it...and it was more of a "what material do I have on hand/when can I get on the machines/what is possible with my skills" (ie. I had personally never cut aluminum with a plasma cutter before - I think that's why my stuff had such terrible burrs) You'll be happy to know that V2 is already being researched (Carbon Fiber and 7075 should do the trick)

Sam: Thanks...and yes, the next one is going to have a carbon shaft (the ones at macqc claim a tensile strength of 650ksi!?!) - if anyone has a line on carbon shafts let me know...Kevin?

Chris: Since I personally can't TIG weld (the reason this axe is tacked), I'd have to get the guys to do it for me, so I had originally thought of making the pick and adze from "T" bar (was that what you were thinking?) so it was one piece and the top could have the cross member tapering to the front...but none was readily available. Machining it wouldn't be a problem, but in my next design I want to use 7075 for it's higher strength. Not sure, but I think blocks of it woud be dang pricey. Yep, I know it's not theoreticaly weldable...but I'm getting mixed reviews and working on it. Any first hand experience on this?

A recap on the loading the axe can handle - I'll put together some better simulated tests which are more representative of the UIAA tests and share for those interested - new design only though...the old one is embarrassing...

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/08/2007 11:37:27 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 12:03:15 MST Print View

I was thinking something like out of billet yes. Expensive? Maybe for production but for 1 offs I've done it plenty of times. Esp combined with a CF shaft you could design the whole piece around an epoxy fit up with the finished shaft. The combined loading (your original thinking with the T) would strengthen and stiffen up the pick and adze since they wouldn't just be relying on weld area for reinforcement.

Then again you could repeat the original design and just make the pick section much thicker to start relatively speaking and machine the front and pockets in the back. From the top looking down you'd be "triangle-ing" down toward the head of the pick.

Probably doesn't make a lot of sense without a picture but I just grabbed a quick look at the head of my BD Raven Pro last night for ideas.

FWIW I can tig weld aluminum. Never worked with 7000 series. I know it's weldable (i've seen welded bikes with it) but I don't know if it's easily weldable.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 13:06:11 MST Print View

I should have been more specific...I can TIG weld...but I'm not a welder...it's a crapshoot most of the time (ie. best left to someone else). ;)
I do like the idea of the one piece head (I just looked at the Raven Pro) as it would be easier for ME to manufacture the axe (no welding). I'm going to work on it a bit tonight and see how it looks/works. I think I had a bit of tunnel vision chasing after the Helix's design.
I use "expensive" in terms of what the material for my current axe cost...really $0. My local suppliers don't carry 7075 (been there before ) and I have to order full lengths if I need it. Mcmaster ripoff sells it but for the size I would need it would probably run me $100 bucks or so. I'll have to take a look around. I'll probably do a prototype out of 6061 but run the analysis with 7075.
I see the bikes made of 7075 and my camp axe is 7075 so I know it's weldable, but I've always been told it isn't. Maybe a special process? I'll probably just get one of the guys to try it if I go down that route.
Good input Chris - much appreciated.

Edit: Just looking again at the Raven Pro, the handle looks very comfortable to hold - perhaps it is the way to go. I only mention that because one of R. Caffins observations when testing his Helix was that the head's edges were noticable.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/08/2007 13:10:07 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 13:16:21 MST Print View

I admire you're work and speed. I'm so busy I rarely get beyond the CAD/3D modelling stage lately.

Keep us posted on how it goes :) It'd be fun to make my own ice axe so maybe after collaborating on a few of your versions I'll knock out my own. I'm sure I could take over the CNC for a few hours :)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 14:02:38 MST Print View

Hi Steven

> Roger: your suspicions are correct - and the axe is weak in general.
I think I will get a swelled head. :-)

> You'll be happy to know that V2 is already being researched (Carbon Fiber and 7075 should do the trick)
Hum ... you have access to a plasma cutter and TIG welding? Maybe you should think about titanium - that would be a first I think. You can get small quantities of Ti from www.titaniumjoe.com - I buy from him.

> pick and adze from "T" bar
Yeah - interesting idea!

> Welding 7075
Yeah, very heat-sensitive stuff, but mainly at the highest tempers. You can electron-beam weld it I believe ...

Cheers

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 15:23:08 MST Print View

Roger,
I considered Ti, but it's soooo heavy :) - I believe 60%. Not sure if I could achieve sub 1 oz with it ;)...however, it is significantly stronger (140 ksi or so), so it may be the best option - Good idea RC. I'd have to weld it up - no way I'm machining the head from a block of "gold".
The 7075 (about 85 ksi) is easy to work with, and I can anodize afterwards. I'll try to see where the sweet spot is regarding strength.
If I stick with the "T" bar/block idea, I'll have to use aluminum. Ti would be a PITA to machine.
Funny you mention the electron-beam welding, even my welding buddy had to look that up! - however, we don't have the capability so I most likely won't go that route.

Any idea where people are buying carbon shafts these days?The golf store ones are too thin - ditto with arrow shafts.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/08/2007 15:23:59 MST.

Ryan Longmire
(longmire) - MLife

Locale: Tejas
CF tubes on 11/08/2007 17:26:35 MST Print View

try here:

http://www.graphitestore.com/items_list.asp/action/prod/prd_id/99/cat_id/34

I dont know enough about CF to guess what OD/ID would be strong enough for this application. price would be ~$60-70 per shaft (roughly).


edit: this place might be better:
http://www.carbonfibertubeshop.com//index2.html

Edited by longmire on 11/08/2007 17:33:52 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 18:53:46 MST Print View

Hi Steven

Yes, Ti is heavier than aluminium, but the 6AL-4V Ti alloy is much, much, much harder! I am machining both at the moment. The 7075 goes smoothly; the Ti wears the milling cutters! (Thinks ... I can buy carbide cutters ... at a price!)

I am not surprised you don't have e-beam gear: the comment was actually meant as a joke. Very much Mil stuff.

Cheers

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 19:09:22 MST Print View

Hey now...not many people have Nuclear Reactors - we own 8 in Pickering alone...no joke. :) opg.com

Thinking of going with www.macqc.com for the shafts...anything cheaper?

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/08/2007 19:12:13 MST.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
too late? on 11/08/2007 20:58:02 MST Print View

sounds like you have moved to carbon, so maybe some of these suggestions are moot. Also, I noticed on your adze, perhaps add metal to grind a bevel for the chopping edge. Anyway..

1. No holes close to the head.
2. First holes are smaller.
3. Alignment of holes is offset.
4. Adze is elongate, extends over top of shaft.
5. Adze is notched into pick.
6. Adze is curved for comfort.
piolet3

Edited by Paul_Tree on 11/08/2007 20:58:52 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 11/08/2007 21:10:54 MST Print View

That macqc site is cool! I need to spend some quality time there.

Functional Ti/carbon b rated axe? Goal: Ligher than a BD Raven ultra with similar usability. Price would be out of this world but quite sexy. Revision #10? ;)

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Ti/carbon "B" rated axe... on 11/09/2007 06:19:07 MST Print View

Chris...I'm on it - I'm dedicating my cottage weekend to it. I need to get some specs on that carbon. I'm curious to see if the carbon shafts would pass the UIAA standards. The fatigue tests scare me the most...50,000 cycles...my arm is going to be tired ;)

Paul - Thanks for the suggestions - adze to be chamfered. Regardless if I'm now going with a carbon shaft, keep them coming.

If we pool our ideas, we should be able to come up with the worlds lightest and most useful Ti/Carbon ice axe for the same price as a small car. :)

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/09/2007 06:21:10 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Ti/carbon "B" rated axe... on 11/09/2007 08:35:28 MST Print View

A thought on the carbon stuff real quick.

A lot of the technical ice tools have carbon shafts these days. Often they'll carry a B rating instead of a T rating but at least a B seems to be attainable with a carbon shaft. Now using a straight up round shaft may not be as good as a shaped rectangle/oval shaft but given the nature of one-off/limited production, oval shafts may be out of reach at the moment.

Such a fun topic!

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Re: Ti/carbon "B" rated axe... on 11/09/2007 10:55:52 MST Print View

I showed the chamfer on the wrong side. It should be ground off the bottom. Also, it should probably not be squared off, a (blunt) point will help focus the energy, good since it will likely bounce off hard ice.

There are surface treatments to harden aluminum. Possibly hard anodizing: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-hard-anodizing.htm

<>
Besides the curve on the arrest-thumb-position, it'd be comfy to not have teeth on the 4 or 5 inches near the because thats where your hand gets lots of action in arrest.
Since it is not such a technical axe as your Nanotech, that is appropriate. It's tempting to eliminate the adze. There is some use on loose snow/slushy snow when it might work, but you probably don't want to chop an ice hole or a ton of steps anyway.
piolet adze annot

Edited by Paul_Tree on 11/09/2007 15:35:54 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Ti/carbon "B" rated axe... on 11/09/2007 14:27:39 MST Print View

> There are surface treatments to harden aluminum. Possibly hard anodizing
That will harden the SURFACE only.
When you hit a rock, the underlying softer aluminium distorts and the hard anodising flakes off. That's what happened to my Helix.

Cheers

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Ti/carbon "B" rated axe on 11/09/2007 14:59:39 MST Print View

Not to worry gentlemen - I am going with Ti on the next one.
And what do you know - the Titanium Joe guy is just down the street from me (3 hours)! Finally...cheap shipping and no extra charges.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Re: hardening on 11/09/2007 15:56:40 MST Print View

Hey Roger, since brittleness is proportional to hardness, probably better to avoid trying to get the whole thing hardened too much. At least the pick didn't break!

So surface treatment came to mind, but as you say, the underlying stuff wont support major impact. Even a nice steel would get beat up with enough fun. Same with crampons: with aluminum, keep to the ice.

It would be interesting to try a long shaft, since so light anyway, and it seems a walking axe. Longer will see more use.

It would also be nice to have it be a replaceable shaft in case of breakage etc, maybe a soluble glue, or meltable or something.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: hardening on 11/09/2007 17:30:32 MST Print View

Hi Paul

> Even a nice steel would get beat up with enough fun.
Try hammer steel: MADE for the task!

> It would be interesting to try a long shaft, since so light anyway, and it seems a walking axe. Longer will see more use.
Yes, definitely. The length was the major limitation of the Helix as a walking axe. I didn't get the longest one becasue of problems with air transport. This may have been a mistake.

> It would also be nice to have it be a replaceable shaft in case of breakage etc, maybe a soluble glue, or meltable or something.
24 hour Araldite. It bonds very well to the CF and the metal, and it can be softened by heating to about boiling point - enough that you can wring the bits apart. Don't know about other brands, but quite probably.

Cheers

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
carbon tubes on 11/12/2007 23:49:49 MST Print View

LuxuryLite sells a 48" SurvivalStik, the owner seems helpful, may sell a blank.
http://www.luxurylite.com/ssindex.html

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Update: Ti/carbon "B" rated axe on 11/13/2007 06:18:47 MST Print View

I redesigned the head of the axe using titanium and the shaft using carbon. I couldn't go with the one piece design with this material. Too expensive, and too difficult to make.
It is currently the same style as my first head with some modifications - ie. no teeth close to the shaft for Paul :)- but I ran it (simulated) through all the UIAA tests and there is only one test that it fails (safety factor of 0.5).

http://www.uiaa.ch/?c=310

See...ice axes (EN13089) - first pictorial page, bottom right hand corner - "fix first 25mm of pick and apply 127N load 330mm down the shaft". I beefed up the head thickness by 50% and it still failed. I'm going to dig into it as there is a comment below the test that I noticed afterwards regarding permanent deformation.

I'll post a jpeg and perhaps get some feedback tonight. I'm still working on the adze, as I want to find the sweet spot between minimal and useful (if there is one).
Ordered the titanium yesterday from Tie Joe (great guy by the way - Thanks Roger) and am just waiting for more material properties from macqc before placing that order.
Keep you posted!

GARY JACKSON
(ASMjackson) - F

Locale: Orange County
Re: axe comments cont... on 11/13/2007 19:25:06 MST Print View

You were trying to 'coat' the handle so it would not transfer cold to your hand.

I do not know if it would add too much weight compared to heat shrink, but if you thinned the "Plastic Dip" used for tool handles so you got a reeeeeal thin coat... You could experiment with that.

As far as the lexan rod, then you would have to mount an L.E.D. on the top so it glows at night through the holes to illuminate your path (I know, too much more weight)

Cool looking project!

Edited by ASMjackson on 11/13/2007 19:38:48 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Design review: Ti/carbon Axe on 11/14/2007 11:04:26 MST Print View

The head is passing all but one of the UIAA tests, but input is always appreciated before I go and cut the Ti (which I should get early next week).

Paul, no more teeth where the hand goes, and a nice chamfer on the underside of the adze which ends in a "point" for better penetration.
With the current carbon fiber I have sourced, I can make any length (within reason) with a weight penalty of 2.15 grams/inch.

Front

side

back

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re:Re: axe comments cont... on 11/14/2007 11:06:33 MST Print View

Gary,
I've actually used that stuff before for tools. I should see how much is weighs (thinning is a possibilty). Definitely a good grip with that stuff.
Thanks,
Steve

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
test failing:? on 11/14/2007 12:19:18 MST Print View

what test is it failing?

The business end on the pick looks a bit thin and pointy, that little thorn. Also, I've been looking for confirmation on the adze. So many have a square adze, might be preferable for single-chop efficiency?

The 30* angle might be a little acute:

Check out Stanley's Helios Ti axe. Love the bottle opener.

PS on the adze bevel, on the (beautiful) CAD drawing, just noticed it is a single straight across bevel leaving the shoulders squared, not sure if that's what you wanted.

The splintery carbon may like a ferrule cap containing it, if the connector has beef for that. Possibly a separate ring glued over instead?? Like:ferrule

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Test Failed on 11/14/2007 13:09:16 MST Print View

Here is a picture of the test it fails. Can only take about half the load.

Failed Test

Regarding the other comments.

The chamfer is just straight across because it will be easier for me to manufacture that way. I can set up for the angles, but just wanted to minimize the machine time.
I think the sharp angle will be useful considering how light the head will be - not sure if 30* or 45* would even really make a difference.
I had the shaft connection designed with the cap, but then couldn't find material with a wall thickness large enough to cover the OD and ID - unless of course I bored a hole in a solid bar (no thanks), and then I still have to put a 0.035" groove in it. You can notice the size difference between the O.D.'s in the model if you look closely. I was just going to cover it with some epoxy, but a ring would be nicer.
Steve

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/14/2007 13:10:44 MST.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
kind of cheating.. and un on 11/14/2007 16:47:54 MST Print View

Guessing the pick deforms, maybe have the point of a tooth right at 25 mm?


Uncheating - that is still wont help pass the test but might be good in real life: If you know you will be using it right handed on ice, and placing it to your right, the axis of the head could be a few degrees off the axis of the shaft. The pick slot could be angled. More appropriate for an ice tool, got to consider a possible resulting decrease in self-arrest effectiveness.tweaker

Edited by Paul_Tree on 11/14/2007 16:48:56 MST.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Time for the carbon tube !!! on 11/14/2007 18:01:47 MST Print View

Back from a week long trip.

Steven, tell me the ID and I will whip you up a carbon tube. The ID should be the critical dimension with the parts going into the carbon tube.
Also give me the OD just for reference and the length you want so I can design the best tube to meet the strength criteria.

Kevin !!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re:Time for the carbon tube !!! on 11/15/2007 07:11:21 MST Print View

Ahhh, there you are Kevin ;)...yes, I have decided to go the carbon/ti route.

I'm assuming you make carbon shafts at work? or something like that?
First off, how much is this going to cost to have you "whip up" a custom one? This was supposed to be a DIY project, not a full production product :)
Secondly, what type of capabilities do you have? Can you make any shape out of carbon? Or just round shafts? Can you make a shaft with a bend in it? How about a oval tube with a bend in it?
The carbon shaft I have been looking at getting (Macqc.com) has in ID of .75" and and OD of .82". However, if you can make any size, I will change that.
In one of your first posts on this thread you mentioned the carbon being 20% stronger. The numbers passed on to me from macqc show the carbon being several times stronger then aluminum (ie. 295 ksi tensile)...can you achieve these types of numbers?
In my design, the shaft is not the weak part in any of the tests, so really, if we wanted to push it, we could thin the wall even more (if that is possible). I posted the link to the UIAA specs in an above post. Take a look at it and you will see what loading the shaft has to be able to withstand. I think the worst one is the shaft, fixed on one end, and a load of 550lbs or so @ 500mm on the other end. Let me know.
This could get really good!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/15/2007 07:13:07 MST.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Carbon tube on 11/15/2007 11:40:33 MST Print View

To answer a few of your questions:

I'm assuming you make carbon shafts at work? Yes.

First off, how much is this going to cost to have you "whip up" a custom one? This was supposed to be a DIY project, not a full production product :)

A LOT ... actually if we make this simple and just do a round shape it won't cost a thing as I already have lots of tooling in the mentioned diameters. Thinking you just want a few tubes to play with, not planning on selling these ?? Going oval or with a bend can be done BUT now you are talking additional cost and I wouldn't even suggest we go down that path unless you are thinking about making and selling thousands of these.

Secondly, what type of capabilities do you have? Can you make any shape out of carbon? Or just round shafts? Can you make a shaft with a bend in it? How about a oval tube with a bend in it?

See above.

The carbon shaft I have been looking at getting (Macqc.com) has in ID of .75" and and OD of .82". However, if you can make any size, I will change that.

I have standard size tooling available without having to buy anything. .75", .6875", .8125", 1.00" etc.
OD you are looking for doesn't matter. I can make any outside diameter as that is based on the number of wraps of the carbon. 0.035" wall thickness sounds good to start with. I need to look at the head insertion depth and will look at adding some fiber orientated 90 degrees to add some hoop strength.


In one of your first posts on this thread you mentioned the carbon being 20% stronger. The numbers passed on to me from macqc show the carbon being several times stronger then aluminum (ie. 295 ksi tensile)...can you achieve these types of numbers? In my design, the shaft is not the weak part in any of the tests, so really, if we wanted to push it, we could thin the wall even more (if that is possible). YES

I posted the link to the UIAA specs in an above post. Take a look at it and you will see what loading the shaft has to be able to withstand. I think the worst one is the shaft, fixed on one end, and a load of 550lbs or so @ 500mm on the other end. Let me know.

As soon as I get a break from work I will check out the site and see what kind of loading the shaft will need to take.

This could get really good!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Carbon tube on 11/15/2007 12:33:07 MST Print View

OK Kevin, we'll stick with the round shaft until I open up a factory ;)

An ideal size would be 0.6875" ID w/ 0.035" wall thickness (Ref. 0.7575" O.D.). This leaves enough meat on the OD of my Ti (0.785") to cover the cut carbon ends. The length can be 45cm for this one (the head and pick will make it 50cm).
I currently have the head inserted into the carbon shaft a depth of 0.80".
Keep me posted - and of course, include a shaft of your own personal desired length - I'll stick a head/spike on it and send it back.
Thanks Kevin.
Steve

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Re: Carbon tube on 11/19/2007 15:38:28 MST Print View

Steve,
First prototype carbon tube stats:

OD. has NOT been precision ground. Not ground appears to give a nice grip feel ?? You can tell me what you think after seeing it.

Length is 19.0" as the tube has not been trimmed to length yet.

ID is 0.6875" as requested.
O.D. is 0.770" (aprox. 0.04125" wall thickness)
Lay-up of prepreg is 20% of plies in +/- 45 orientation to resist torsion in striking
20% in hoop for crush resistance
and 60% longitudinal for stiffness and strength along that axis.

40% of the build uses low resin content standard modulus material and 60% of the build uses low resin content intermediate mod.

Weight is 45.2 grams (1.59 oz) (about 48.7% lighter then the alum tube you made)

Looks to be about the correct stiffness and weight. Let me know what you think Steve.

Kevin

Edited by kegelhoff on 11/19/2007 15:59:46 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Carbon tube on 11/20/2007 10:01:33 MST Print View

Kevin,
Sounds great!! Perfect timing aswell...I just received confirmation that my titanium shipped today. I'll adjust the dimesnions of the axe to match what you have posted. Send me a PM regarding payment and shipping. I'll keep those interested with the results as I complete more of the project.
Thanks alot for doing this.
Steve

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/20/2007 10:02:24 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY axe on 11/23/2007 17:21:42 MST Print View

I received my Ti yesterday and left it with the guys to cut over the weekend. I'm going to machine the head stem and spike tomorrow. Should be able to have pics up early next week. I ended up squaring off the adze as it seemed to be the better/common design. Even using the titanium gives me a total axe weight of under 4.5 oz. for 50cm length.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: DIY axe on 11/24/2007 00:20:26 MST Print View

Fascinating!

> Even using the titanium gives me a total axe weight of under 4.5 oz. for 50cm length.
Just remember in all of this: the lighter the axe, the less 'strike power' you get. So being fussy about the adze may not win too much.

Cheers
Roger

chris Mcfarland
(pecos)

Locale: baba yaga's porch
diy walking axe on 11/25/2007 02:35:14 MST Print View

i just found this thread and wow! i cant wait for the next "installment". what is the total cost of this whole production going to top out at?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re diy walking axe on 11/27/2007 07:14:24 MST Print View

Chris,
Good question...having the shop available for use, machining the parts myself, and Kevin E sending me a free carbon shaft (he shipped it yesterday!) - total cost will be quite low.
I really only have to pay for the titanium itself, about $20 or so per axe - oh, and I'll have to purchase some epoxy to bond the shaft to the parts.
However, I have spent many hours working on it, design/re-design, manufacture, including a small accident Sunday requiring me to remake the head stem and spike (my skills have dwindled over the years). If you have access to the facilities required, then it is definitely a project to take on...if you are going to farm out ALL the work and material, I imagine a "one off" would be quite expensive.
Steve

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re diy walking axe on 11/27/2007 14:25:34 MST Print View

> However, I have spent many hours working on it, design/re-design, manufacture,
These things often become 'many DAYS', not hours :-)

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Walking Axe Delays on 12/10/2007 08:09:29 MST Print View

For those wondering if I forgot about this project.
Had a few delays over the past couple of weeks....

I received the carbon shaft from Kevin - Thanks! The unpolished (ribbed for pleasure) texture is great for grip. Build quality is top notch - strong and uber light!

I machined the head stem and spike and modified for proper fit to the shaft. Not to toot my own horn, but they look sharp!

But...after fixing the compressor on the plasma cutter last week, my friend cut the titanium over the weekend and I just got it back this morning. It is basically scrap. Apparently too much moisture in the system. So, I have to order more Ti this week and hopefully get the plasma set up and the Ti cut next week.

Winter is in full force up here, so testing will begin as soon as the axe is compete.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Walking Axe Delays on 12/11/2007 14:16:27 MST Print View

Steven,
Make sure and include some pictures SOON as I'm really looking forward to see how it is all coming together!

Kevin

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 12/21/2007 13:48:48 MST Print View

Ok, so here is the situation. I had to order more titanium twice as the plasma cutter destroyed the pieces again. Due to extreme rage, I scrapped the plasma idea and ended up using the water-jet cutter to cut my pieces out and they turned out great. I took it to get it welded today and there were no problems, except the smallest wire they had was 1/16 so the beads are a little big. I'll leave more room next time. All I have left to do is bond the head and spike to the shaft via Kevin's instructions.
I'll post some pics this weekend when I unpack my camera (I'm in the middle of moving). It's coming together...
Steve

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
myog on 12/24/2007 10:49:57 MST Print View

m.y.o.Gift.. Merry chirstmas!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
New Ice Axe Pics on 12/25/2007 08:24:16 MST Print View

New pics as promised.
I still need to clean up the head and anodize it along with the spike. Then I just have to bond it to the shaft and it wil be ready for service. I'm going on a trip in the first few weeks of the new year, so I will be able to test it out. Best part of all, it comes in at 3.9 oz.

Here's a pic of the whole axe. It's not bonded yet, just fit together.
Axe

Three piece welded head. The Adze still needs to be chamfered.
head


And of course, the scale shot. The epoxy will be the only extra weight on top of the 3.9 oz. I can't imagine much of an increase.
scale

Merry Christmas!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 12/25/2007 08:25:13 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: New Ice Axe Pics on 12/26/2007 02:40:59 MST Print View

Looks to me as thought the 1/16" Ti welding wire was about right.
Now we need to know how it goes in the field. We await ... :-)

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: New Ice Axe Pics on 12/26/2007 10:01:40 MST Print View

Wow... Very Very NICE!

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: New Ice Axe Pics on 12/26/2007 10:39:40 MST Print View

Looks awesome :) This has been such a cool project to watch! Can't wait until you get to try it out and report back.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
I'll bite on 12/29/2007 11:34:06 MST Print View

In for 3, but the shipping kills it - ;)
seriously tho, this is one of the coolest projects ever. Happy New Year and where you going?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 12/29/2007 14:27:28 MST Print View

Thanks for comments guys, this project has been good fun for me aswell.

Paul - I'm just going on a 3 day snowshoe trip up to Ishpatina Ridge. It's not a mountaineering trip by any means, but I'll find some nice slopes to see how the axe stands up to a little abuse and general use. Afterwards, I "may" test it to failure just to get an idea of it's capabilities. A bunch of my buddies all want one so I'll probably end up making a few more mods (Rev 3 if req'd) before spitting out a small run. I just hope Kevin can get me a good price on those carbon shafts ;)

Happy New Year!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 12/29/2007 14:28:25 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Making up the set on 12/29/2007 15:43:57 MST Print View

Hi all,
first post here, but wanted to say how impressed I am by the way this project has come together through the quality input and production skills.

I'd be interested in having one of these to go with my MYOG Ti snowshovel with carbon handle. Looks like shipping to the UK wouldn't be toooo heavy anyway. ;)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 12/30/2007 01:57:04 MST Print View

Hi Steven

> so I'll probably end up making a few more mods (Rev 3 if req'd)
Can I suggest that you look carefully at the length of the ferrule or sleeve on both the head and the point. By my rough engineering rule of thumb, both could do with another 5 mm or so of length. But stress test one first to see. The Ti is unlikely to break, but the CF tube might.

One other thing. Get professional advice about what glue to use. There are many superglues which will NOT work. Ti Goat was using the wrong one at one stage, and ALL the aluminium rings fell off my CF trekking poles. Epoxy on the other hand is good. You could ask Loctite about this.

Cheers
Roger

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Fixing on 12/30/2007 07:48:36 MST Print View

Would a tensioned piece connecting the adze head ferrule and the base spike be worth considering? Maybe a solid 1/8" or 3/16" Ti rod threaded at the ends?

It would provide a failsafe fixing in the event of glue failure, reduce the chance of the glue failing in the first place, and would add to the shear stiffness of the axe shaft too. I realise it would add not inconsiderable weight, but you might be able to reduce the carbon wall thickness on the next revision and save a bit there.

If you did go for this idea, it would be worth getting the threads rolled rather than die cut, if that's feasible on Ti. Maybe ask at a specialist cycle shop how they thread titanium wheel spokes. I have a quantity of 31" long 1/8" centreless ground medical quality Ti-6AL-4V rods if you need some.

On a seperate issue, thinking about what Roger Caffin said about weight and step cutting: How about strapping a suitably reshaped alloy drink bottle full of water (or something tastier that won't freeze) to the the pick side of the shaft when more oomph is needed for ice chipping with the adze?

My Cassin 60cm axe weighs 17oz plus wrist strap so well done on a stunning job!

Edited by tallbloke on 12/30/2007 09:26:08 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 12/31/2007 05:56:55 MST Print View

You've got a good eye Roger. The ferrule is too short. Recomended length is about twice the diameter... so I'm about 1/2 inch short for the head and about 3/4 inch for the spike. Definitely a fix for the next one.
As for the glue, Kevin (the gentlemen who provided the shaft) sent me a document specifying the procedure to bond CF with Ti. I am currently trying to source a local supplier of the epoxy.
It needs a few tweaks and I'll get a better feel when I go and use it a bit. I'm trying to keep it as light as possible, but it has to work aswell!
Thanks for the input!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Fixing on 12/31/2007 06:02:50 MST Print View

Rog,
Good thoughts about the shaft. I had considered putting either a rod/cable down the center and fastening it to the head and spike - and maybe I will go that route if this doesn't work out. That would fix the problem of snow filling the shaft aswell - this version isn't capped off.
Now what's this talk about a carbon/ti shovel? ;)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Ti Shovel on 12/31/2007 08:20:06 MST Print View

The Ruskies made a load of Ti shovel blades to get around export restrictions. They flogged 'em to the Germans as agricultural implements, and the Germans melted them down for aerospace parts. Some survived though. There is one on a well known auction site as I write. Maybe the Ruskies made different grades of them, because mine is nowhere near the 2lb quoted on that auction, more like 9oz, but I suspectthe auction owner just got it wrong or is bulling it up to be a bigger chunk of Ti than it really is. item 360008518545

It's not an ideal shape for a snow shovel, but has turned over top edges for stomping on and makes a secure king peg for camping on deep snow in the wind too.

I made the shaft out of a section of carbon fishing pole and used a cheap plastic handle off a garden fork glued onto one end. To join the shaft to the shovel, I made a temporary turned piece of ash wood drilled through it's length (for lightness ho ho) to fit the taper in the shovel head, and plan to use it to make a mould for an alloy piece when I get a round tuit. :o)

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Ti Shovel on 12/31/2007 12:30:09 MST Print View

Hey,
Maybe with the screw in tip you can have the option of a shovel head, and maybe even a trowel.
All you would need to do is have a cover for the spike tip which would work great as a handle any ways...

Edited by awsorensen on 12/31/2007 12:30:45 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Fixing on 01/01/2008 12:43:14 MST Print View

> Would a tensioned piece connecting the adze head ferrule and the base spike be worth considering? Maybe a solid 1/8" or 3/16" Ti rod threaded at the ends?
That would put the CF into compression. Neither the CF fibers themselves (in that form) nor the matrix material are all that strong in compression. Personally, I would strongly favour the longer ferrule and the right epoxy.

> how they thread titanium wheel spokes
With some difficulty...
Actually, you can work Ti with the right tools, and the 6Al4V ELI wire is easier to work than the standard 6Al4V metal as it has been tempered (I think) to make it softer. Heat to glowing red once or twice (best in inert atmosphere) and it gets harder, like the sheet.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Fixing on 01/01/2008 18:17:24 MST Print View

I agree that the longer ferrule is necessary anyway, and with the epoxy forms the primary fixing. The rod suggestion was just offered as a 'belt and braces' backup to ensure you still had all the bits to try a different glue with if it failed. Very cold conditions make glue more brittle.

There wouldn't be a need to tension the rod very tightly. Any bending load on the shaft is going to put half of it under compression anyway, whether or not there is a rod down the centre. Maybe a lateral wrap along the full length would be good rather than just around the ends If I understood Kevin's description correctly, though he's da man who knows.

I guess that having been trained as a 'nuts and bolts' shop floor engineer, I'd just feel happier dangling off an axe which had a mechanical connection helping to hold it together.

Alpha-beta alloys that are lean in β, such as Ti-6Al-4V, can be air cooled from the annealing temperature without impairing their stability.

Edited by tallbloke on 01/01/2008 18:36:11 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe on 01/02/2008 06:23:06 MST Print View

Rog wrote "I'd just feel happier dangling off an axe which had a mechanical connection helping to hold it together"

Haha, this is the same thing my buddy told me a few weeks back when he looked at it. It's nice to physically see the connection, but in this application, I don't think you have a lot of options - maybe Kevin could give some thought to this? The epoxy and instructions on bonding given to me from Kevin "should" be extremely strong. The lap shear strength of the spec'd epoxy is about 4500psi...and in the current design, there will be a bonded area (head to shaft) of 1.72in^2 giving a theoretical max load of 7700lbs in shear (ie. 7700lbs to "pull" the head off).
And with a longer ferrule, the chance of the Ti breaking through the shaft would be less likely, however I have no idea (and not enough CF property values in input into my FEA program) how to calculate that...;)
Going to break edges and anodize tonight, pick up the epoxy and bond tommorrow, then we wait for the field report.
Steve

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
suggestion for mechanical connection on 01/04/2008 22:01:24 MST Print View

put a fake one one there with a marker... :)

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
The axe is complete! on 01/10/2008 05:57:37 MST Print View

Fellow BPL'ers, the project is complete. Attached are my final pics. Total weight is 111g or just shy of 4 oz. I anodized it blue (~36V) in my kitchen, so it came out pretty blotchy...and bonded the head and spike to the shaft using 3M DP420 - as spec'd by Kevin's company. Just playing around with it, although the overall weight is low, the head is much heavier then the rest of the axe. I had a trip planned this weekend, but we have had a heat wave here and all the friggin' snow melted! We might still go but I'm not sure how much use the axe will get.
Hope you like it!

Here is the complete Axe
Complete axe

Close up of the head, you can see the uneven anodizing.
Axe Head

Here is a shot of it on the scale. I had to hang it off the edge of the table to get it stay on the scale. Total is 111 grams.
scale shot

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
DIY Walking Axe on 01/10/2008 09:58:11 MST Print View

Let me be the first to congratulate you, Steve. I do have one question however. How afraid to arrest with it are you? Your craftsmanship combined with the great advice of others here on BPL has been wonderful to watch unfold.

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
heavier head as needed on 01/10/2008 12:55:46 MST Print View

I have been watching this thread without contributing. I must say first that it is very impressive workmanship. Well done is not enough of a compliment.
I was taken by Tallbloke's suggestion of adding weight, when needed, by fixing a water bottle to the head. Now you have the finished product you can see how good it is at cutting. I guess from other reviews that more head weight would be very useful at times. Some technical climbing axes have a triangulated fixing between the head and the shaft. The shaft divides and fixes to the head at 2 places. I wonder if something like that would provide a protected place for a weight tank.
Getting a sweet blow from such a tool is about getting the pick point and adze blade on the radius of gyration, as I remember all to do with second moments although I forget the formula. I sort of feel that an extra weight tank there would be the right place to get such an effect. Looking at the picture I doubt you would get a perfect blow from both the pick point and the adze blade in a test as seen, as they are not on the same swing radius. I dont have experience but the point looks better placed than the adze, to me.

Edited by Derekoak on 01/10/2008 13:09:00 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 01/11/2008 07:29:47 MST Print View

Glad you guys like it. I should add that it is 54cm long

Sam: Am I afraid? A little :). It feels really light in my hands and gives the impression that it is fragile. I really won't have a good feeling until I beat it up a bit. My concerns lie mainly in the carbon fiber shaft. I'm not concerend with any of the titanium as they are dead strong, but I am afraid that the ferrule of the head will break through the wall of the shaft when loaded appropriatly. I used plenty of epoxy and the test piece I left out to dry is like steel, so I don't believe the head will pull off, unless it tears part of the shaft along with it.
Theoretically, I should be able to hang off the end of this thing, but I am hesitant to try it until I least use it a bit in the field. I would hate to break it before it even left my house! I'm leaving tonight for a 3 day trip but most of the snow has melted up here - they have even put a warning out on the frozen lakes!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Swing Radius on 01/11/2008 07:33:56 MST Print View

"I doubt you would get a perfect blow from both the pick point and the adze blade in a test as seen, as they are not on the same swing radius"

Doh! Now you tell me! :)

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Re: Re: Swing Radius on 01/11/2008 12:49:33 MST Print View

ahem.. "__Walking__ Axe"


if you have large pines around, try it out on a tree

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: The axe is complete! on 01/11/2008 13:32:44 MST Print View

Hi Steve

Congratulations. I reckon it will do what you want. You aren't going climbing waterfalls with it - that was never the purpose. I found the Helix quite strong for general bashing around, and your titanium version should be even stronger.

One question if I may:
> I anodized it blue (~36V) in my kitchen,
Details? References?

Cheers

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 01/14/2008 05:26:11 MST Print View

Roger,
I used about 36 volts to anodize my axe. 36 gives a nice blue finish. I only posted the info in case someone wanted to do the same to their titanium stuff. Here's some info I pulled off the web.
http://www.valhallaarms.com/wyvern/titanium/anodizing.htm
I used four '9 volt' batteries wired in series, some tinfoil, tissue, and a can of diet pepsi...voila!

Paul,
That made me laugh...

As for the axe...I used it in the field this weekend, and I am very impressed with it's strength. I didn't push it's limits at all, but I abused it a bit on some steep ups and downs. Having not held the helix before (so I have nothing to compare my axe to), I can't believe how light and strong this thing is. The tip and spike have held up well to rocks and ice. Lots of the snow has melted because of the temperature so there are planty of bare spots. I took some pics, but I have to get them developed as my digi broke a few weeks back.
Steve

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 01/14/2008 14:39:46 MST Print View

Hi Steve

KINKY!
Thanks ever so much for this. Yes, I am working with titanium too, and this gives me ideas ...

I note the web site says 150 V at 10-15 AMPS - somehow I think they have got this wildly wrong. :-) Milliamps maybe. Especially if you used small PP3 9 V batteries.

Yes, the Titanium will hold up much better than the anodised aluminium in the Helix. Jealous!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 01/14/2008 15:05:51 MST Print View

Steve:
Thanks for sharing this information with us. I looked at the link you posted, this is terrific. Regarding your use of tinfoil. Did you mean aluminum foil? Could you go into a little more detail regarding your setup. How long do you let it "cook", etc. I really like the color effect you achieved.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Titanium Anodizing on 01/14/2008 21:22:12 MST Print View

The link I posted above was just my first hit on google. The link below explains the technique I used much better.

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/how20/3f178ca927d05010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

Roger, I believe the 150V @ 15amps is overkill, but I get much, much better results with a DC power supply - never paid much attention to the amps, maybe 2 :). If you have one, use it...if not, you can get by with batteries.

Denis,
I used the same technique for my axe as in the link. It is easy and requires only a couple of bucks. Just watch out for the batteries overheating, they get hot. As for "cook time", you see when it changes. The color your titanium changes will depend on the voltage you apply to it. Take a look at this guys logo

http://mrtitanium.com/index.html

The logo gives the achievable colors versus voltage. I believe it starts at 0V and goes until 110V...I think. S you apply more volts, the color will just repeat themselves. I used 36V which gives a blue-ish finish.

Remember that it is voltage that changes the Ti color, not the amps (although I believe the amps make it change faster and let you do a larger part). A common mistake after I tell people this is to use a 12V car battery...it won't change color. Also, anodizing aluminum is a slightly different procedure which requires a little more stuff.

Hope that helps.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Titanium anodizing on 01/14/2008 21:31:31 MST Print View

"Could you go into a little more detail regarding your setup"

For my set-up:

Four 9 volt batteries
Wires with aligator clips
small piece of aluminum foil (tinfoil)
paper towel
1 can of diet pepsi

Procedure.

Wire the batteries in series (not parallel).
Wrap a ball of aluminum foil in a piece of paper towel.
Attach the negative wire to the titanium part.
Attach the positive wire to the aluminum foil/paper ball.
Dip the ball into the pepsi.
Touch the titanium part with the aluminum/paper ball.
It will change color immediately, but will require you to hold it there for several seconds in order to reach the final color.
If you are not getting results, make sure you have a closed circuit. I usually pour a little pepsi all over the part and clips to ensure a good connection.
Keep an eye on the batteries, they get dang hot. I don't want someone telling me they blew up on them.

Disclaimer: Following this procedure may lead to death. Blunt enough?

Edited by Steve_Evans on 01/14/2008 21:33:37 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Ti/Carbon Axe field review on 01/18/2008 11:18:59 MST Print View

I took the Pterosaur (my buddy kept calling it that) out this weekend for some fun in the sun. The area had a fresh dump of snow, but due to the higher temperatures in the past weeks, there was a healthy mix of exposed rock. It wasn’t used much on the way up, mainly for the downclimb, and no self arrest test yet but it held up well with my weight on it. The titanium was tough, with no noticable abrasions – not even on the super sharp end of the pick. The spike has some burrs on the fine edge from the rocks but that was expected. It was super comfy to hold and uber light when on my back.
One minor issue I have is the angle at which the end of the pick is at. I need to point it forward more as it is difficult to penetrate steep angles faces. Although this isn’t really designed for that, I sometimes encounter very steep, brief, sections. Oh, and the shaft definitely fills with snow similar to the helix. A couple of design changes before the next rev. For those interested, I am planning on making a few of these as I have 14 local guys that want them. Let me know.

My only action pic as I still don’t have a new camera.
axe pics

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Axe load tests on 01/20/2008 18:21:48 MST Print View

Today I decided to test my axe as per the UIAA requirements for the 'B' rating. The results were as suspected (failed only one of my tests, however, some tests require loads which I could not create ie. 600lbs), and I believe my only change will be to lengthen the ferrule from the head to the shaft as that was the point of failure. After the failed test, I tested the shaft alone to try to get an idea of it's strength. I had to load it to almost 200 lbs before it snapped. Very impressive. Knowing the load and the length at which it broke, I can calculate it's strength and design around it.

RIP my friend...
broken axe

Edited by Steve_Evans on 01/20/2008 18:23:31 MST.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Axe load tests on 01/20/2008 18:57:16 MST Print View

Steve,
At least it works as expected and broke down the middle of the shaft.
Is there any way a built up 1/4" or so line could be done going down the length of the shaft at the location where the break started to occur?
It may gain 1/4 oz but my also be twice as strong when it comes to breaking strength.

I still want one though.

Edited by awsorensen on 01/20/2008 18:58:25 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Axe load tests on 01/20/2008 19:16:34 MST Print View

Aaron,
I was talking with Kevin (he supplied the shaft) on Friday, and he told me to test the axe until failure so he could see if we can make some changes to the shaft. As it stands, the shaft is seriously strong. I actually supported it on both ends and stood in the middle of it, bounced lightly up and down and the shaft held strong (see pic).

axe standing

The weak point is when I fix the axe head and load the other end. It should be able to hold about 130 lbs but at about 60, the ferrule of the head breaks through the side of the shaft. While I'm sure the longer ferrule in my new design will hold better, I'm not sure it will pass the UIAA requirements. I know that I'm not out to get it certified or anything, but it's nice to know that it can hold it's own with the big boys. I am wondering if some extra wraps on the end of the shaft would help it from breaking through while adding almost no weight - I'll find out from Kevin.
And don't worry Aaron, your name is on the list :) Heck, after breaking this one, my name is on the list too!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 01/20/2008 19:19:35 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
One more for the list on 01/20/2008 19:33:01 MST Print View

Yes please!
Oh, and can I have a 1/8 unf x 1/4" thread in the pick and point ferrules? Just glue the head in, I'll supply my own tie rod and do the rest. ;-)

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
like white on ice on 01/20/2008 20:33:43 MST Print View

I'm all over that! Nice, thanks Steven!

Might not hurt to ease the edge on the ferrule-tang. Not substantially, just so it's dull.




Imagine a long ferrule, with slices and.. :ferrule
Flexible because of the slices..

Edited by Paul_Tree on 01/20/2008 20:34:34 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Axe load tests on 01/20/2008 21:53:54 MST Print View

Hi Steve

> I am wondering if some extra wraps on the end of the shaft would help it from breaking through while adding almost no weight - I'll find out from Kevin.

You can put extra wraps of CF fabric on the outside, but I suspect it would have to be done by hand, and it requires a vacuum oven to cure it. Possible, but tricky.

Can I suggest getting Kevin to supply you with about 75 mm of CF tubing sized to fit just INSIDE the current tube. Sized to fit pretty tightly, and about double the length of the ferrule. Then, after you have glued the head to the shaft, glue the extra bit of tube inside the shaft at the head.

Another possibility is to use some high-tensile (7075) Al tube to sleeve inside.

cheers
roger

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
downside up in pic on 01/21/2008 02:06:53 MST Print View

How about easing the edge of the ferrule, and a 'wedding band' on the outside? A looser fit on the ferrule might allow the glue layer to be thicker and mediate the strain. If the glue is harder than the CF, it should be less easy to penetrate by the ferrule, but would damp less.

What are the white 'flags' off the side of the ferrule in the tested to destruction photo? They look like tape.
Can't be certain from the photo, how was the adhesion?

A suggestion might be to rough the ferrule with 40 grit or turn a few scratches in it. Or drill a few small holes, some extra physical purchase for the glue.

Another possibility to spread the strain would be to allow the tip of the ferrule some flexibility, why I had the pic above, but perhaps cutting it at an angle would do, if it's only failing in one way? OK one more and bed:piolet adze ferrule

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Axe load tests on 01/21/2008 06:10:09 MST Print View

Tallbloke,
I'll try my best, but I can't make any promises.

Roger,
I just e-mailed Kevin about the extra wraps - if you are correct, then we have to go another route. I really like the idea of adding another piece of the shaft inside as you mentioned. I e-mailed him all my test results, and since he would most likely be the CF guru, I'm hoping he can give some input.

Paul,
The white flags are the epoxy peeling off the ferrule. I kept them on for a more destroyed look ;) I am planning on adding some grooves on the ferrule for better adhesion aswell - and of course rough the surface. The angle idea is good aswell - the tests only call out for the axe to be tested in one direction (stress on the pick side, not the adze side), so maybe an angle on thew ferrule would allow me to lengthen the one side while shaving weight off the other.

I was thinking of placing the shaft inside the ferrule, so to speak. This would eliminate the loads that are breaking through the side wall and place it in tesion - which it handles very well.

Here's a page from the UIAA req's. As suspected, it fails the one circled.

axe test

Edited by Steve_Evans on 01/21/2008 06:11:37 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Woohoo on 01/21/2008 15:35:45 MST Print View

Thanks Steven!
If tapping the threads isn't possible, I'll settle for your glue job and make offerings to the epoxy fairies.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Axe load tests on 01/21/2008 20:58:35 MST Print View

Hi Steve

I just took another look at the pic of the failure. I thought you had the Ti outside the CF shaft, but now I see it is inside. That kills the idea of the extra insert inside as the diameter inside changes.

Options:
1: put the CF shaft inside the head and reinforce inside the shaft for about 74 mm. Make the length of the ferrule at least TWICE the diameter of the shaft!!!
2: Put the CF shaft over the Ti ferrule as for V1, but make the length of the ferrule which goes inside the shaft at least TWICE the diameter of the shaft.

In hindsight, I am not surprised the joint failed: the length of the coupling is too short. This allowed too much leverage inside the joint. Me, I would go for 2.5 times the diameter...

cheers
roger

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/22/2008 17:32:41 MST Print View

I am beginning the design of revision 3. I am much more knowledgable about carbon at this point and feel much more confident in the next version. But, instead of updating this thread, I am compiling all my info into one document to hopefully get posted in the end.
The goal for the next design is to meet "most" of the UIAA requirements (selected by me, which will make me feel comfortable using the axe), especially for the shaft/head connection, while maintaining a sub 4.5 oz total weight. The carbon shaft will be bonded to the inside of the titanium head ferrule this time around. I am working closely with Kevin on the design of the shaft and he is going to supply me with several test shafts to perform stress tests. In the end, we should have a decent product. The goal of this axe is not to be certified as per UIAA standards, but to have the knowledge (and actual numbers) of the axe's strength, while feeling confident in it's capabities.
Afterwards, I will run a batch off and have them available for those that contacted me. Sorry for the delay, but I believe the wait will be worth it, as you will have a superior product.
Steve
p.s. don't worry Roger - longer ferrule is in the works!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 01/22/2008 17:34:35 MST.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
inside track on 01/22/2008 18:11:07 MST Print View

Hey Steven, last ideas for a while:

* A round-over or angle on the ferrule bottom outside arris, so it doesn't rub. Might pick up some flex if turned down to a cone on the outside, just watch for ripping if the wall gets too thin at the bottom. More operations though.

* If chopping the ferrule at an angle as in my pic above, would need to reverse the angle, since the handle is inside.

* Since inside now, may be possible to extend the handle up into the head some ways.

* If failing a test by crushing the tube, a small plug of balsa or something inside the handle, extending a short distance from the ferrule, may reinforce for little weight. It could be a disk with the end grain running parallel to the axe head. A la bamboo.


Keep up the good work!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/22/2008 19:20:08 MST Print View

Steve:
I would be interested in getting on your list. Is this possible?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/23/2008 05:45:50 MST Print View

Paul:
"Since inside now, may be possible to extend the handle up into the head some ways"

That is the plan.

Denis:
"I would be interested in getting on your list. Is this possible?"

Of course - While there is no official list, I'll take a total number at the end and run a batch off. Denis, your number 18!

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/24/2008 15:10:13 MST Print View

Hey Steven,
I hate to say this, but.

I would rather have the 3 oz version.

The current strength, or least changing it to the ferrule Paul described is good enough for me.

Adding 50% of the weight just does not justify the weight penalty for what I will be using it for.

Someone out there has a carbon shaft just like this that is about 3.1 ? ounces but is not approved and they call it a trawl.

I'm sure your current version is stronger, but at 4.5 ounces and still not having it pass UIAA requirements is more of a negative factor than what the current 3 ounces has to offer for the weight.

I am sure most will disagree with me, but again, I am not going to be climbing ice-falls with it.

Edited by awsorensen on 01/24/2008 15:34:20 MST.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/24/2008 17:07:23 MST Print View

I'm interested in one of these as well. I've been disappointed in how quickly the helix head has worn out with use--it didn't seem like titanium.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
DIY Walking Axe on 01/24/2008 17:59:24 MST Print View

Any idea of the price range for one of these? I'm sure that would help to populate the "I'll take one" list with folks who'll actually pony up the bucks when the time comes.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/24/2008 18:15:13 MST Print View

Aaron,
I like the way you work my friend. :) - I too hate to add weight to this thing. While I'm not trying to convince you that the weight is worth it, at the current design stage, weighing in at 4.4 oz(only 0.4 ounces heavier then the last) - it is a tank.
Another reason for the added weight is that I have 14 local guys waiting for these things (plus 8 from BPL), and they are all concerned with the head tearing through the side wall at 60lbs - which happened.
But, I always like a challenge...
Sooooooo, I can make you the exact same one out of aluminum and it would weigh 3.3 oz. Or perhaps an aluminum head with a titanium spike? That one would come in at 3.45oz.

Steve

p.s. Kevin, you are #22. Is the aluminum head wearing that much? I'd be interested in a pic if you have one.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/24/2008 21:31:30 MST Print View

"Any idea of the price range for one of these?"

While I would love to compete with the price of the Helix, I'm afraid this one will be around 200 bucks. :(
No need to worry about "ponying up" when the time comes, those who have contacted me about them are welcome to back out. I only planned on making about 25 - so by the time I have designed, manufactured, and tested the new version - you'll know if you want one or not.

Steve

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/24/2008 22:56:45 MST Print View

Steven,
Aluminum??? Why?
I love Titanium.

If you make/buy something you aren't happy with you'll just end up making/buying what you wanted in the 1st place later.

3.3 ounces sounds a lot better than 4.5.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 01/25/2008 05:53:34 MST Print View

"3.3 ounces sounds a lot better than 4.5."

OK, I'll try my best.

Or, I could just do what most of the big guns do. Claim a 3.3 oz weight and when you get it, it weighs 4.4. ;)

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
add me to the list on 02/05/2008 05:22:38 MST Print View

Steve,
I would like 2 if possible
thank you for being gentle with my brain storm session on radius of gyration. Thinking about it practically the curve of the adze head has to be right at the end, or otherwise the extension beyond will hit the ice and be impractical, and therefore the adze blade will be beyond the radius of gyration, It will still work best if the radius of gyration is as close as possible to the end. I imagine your ultra light shaft will make this axe better than most in this way. When it comes to the pick you do have the chance to put the pick point right on the radius of gyration. If you straighten the point as you mention in your field test, I think you will be moving in the right direction.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: add me to the list on 02/05/2008 15:42:00 MST Print View

No problem Derek. 2 it is.

You'll be happy to know that I put much more thought into the head this time around...including measuring my actual swing radius! I'm no mountaineer, so all input is welcome.

I've already cut the pick and adze, waiting on the shaft from Kevin and just need to machine the ferrule and spike.

Steve

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
radius of gyration on 02/06/2008 06:46:20 MST Print View

I am keen on your axe because I expect it to be tougher and blunt less, than a Helix because of the titanium head. I would prefer a design that is a lttle better in every way than the Helix (price excepted) so I hope it will be at least as strong as the helix and a little lighter.
I have a degree in Ergonomics rather than hard engineering and I am a carpenter so I have used a traditional adze a lot.
Concerning the swing radius of the adze head. When cutting slash steps I was taught to swing from the shoulder with a straight arm. However with such a light axe I would have thought the optimum technique would be more wristy than that. The swing radius depends on how you use it. I would have thought the worst error would be to have an adze head too curved for the users action. So I think I would work the adze swing radius on something near a swing from the shoulder.
Concerning the pick point placement: ideally someone has a computer programme which can put in the position of masses and work out the radius of gyration. Otherwise it is educated guesswork. I would have thought that using the pick point was a very wristy action and the centre of the swing radius will be near the hold position. With a theoretical weightless shaft and all the mass concentrated at one point then the radius of gyration is the radius of the mass from the swing centre.If the mass is a real life sphere the radius of gyration will be a little further out than the C of G of the sphere, because we are talking 2nd moments of inertia and the mass further out has more effect. To remember back 40 years to A level physics the radius of gyration of a uniformly distributed shaft with no head rotated about one end was an exact fraction 3/4 or just maybe 7/8 of the shaft length. Whilst of course the C of G would be 1/2 length
If we think that a traditional ice axe has become right through use. I would predict that this markedly different adze with a relatively weightless shaft would have a radius of gyration further out than tradition is used to.
If you test axes to find the C of G I guess a wooden handled one will have a C of G well inboard of the head, whilst your prototype will have a C of G almost on the head. (I sort of feel that the spike weight should be discounted because it is very near the swing point). If the C of G is almost on the head then it is much more like a sphere of mass on the end of a weightless shaft. In one model(the uniform shaft) my guess would be the radius of gyration might be half the distance from the C of G to the outer end, in the other (weightless shaft) it would be just beyond the C of G. I would use the C of G position to determine the proportion of each model involved. If you drew such a radius of gyration on a drawing of your axe I think the point should be on the arc.
I hope thst helps, or at least gets people who remember their physics better than me to put me right.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 02/09/2008 21:43:15 MST Print View

I'll try to get a picture posted or emailed to you. You can email me at kevin@backpackinglight.com or ksawchuk@gmail.com when the axes are ready.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
how does it do for arrest on 02/10/2008 17:03:05 MST Print View

Hi Steve, I am wondering about actual tests in self arrest? That and self-belay are my main uses.

Hope you have plenty of hard snow and ice there! Turned out to be a good winter here.jakes view west

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
ice axe design on 02/11/2008 01:57:25 MST Print View

Steve,
I imagine you are changing the design of the axe to stop it filling with snow. I have a multi use purpose for a short aluminium tube up the hole in the spike. I hope your new "plug" is going to be removeable.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Ice Axe Design on 02/13/2008 05:34:17 MST Print View

Paul,
I can't comment on the performance of the new axe as it is not yet complete...and as you know, the last one is now broken. Not to worry, it shouldn't be much longer. Not a bad winter here either, just got back from a 3 day snowshoe trip and we have had about 30" snow in the past 10 days.

Derek,
The new design had the axe plugged at each end, but I changed the design slightly to allow for easier manufacture and to use material I had on hand. If the axe does have plugs, they will either be removable, or optional - depending if I can get them back out.

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
how are things going on 02/20/2008 05:14:02 MST Print View

Steve,
Any news on production/ testing of the next prototype?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: how are things going on 02/20/2008 06:13:08 MST Print View

Derek,
I have been away from the office for the past two weeks (returning only briefly), but it worked out well as I have been waiting for material. Long story short, I have all the Ti, received the carbon shafts, had the pick and adze cut, and picked up some new tooling for the project. I think late next week we should see a finished product. I'm documenting everything nicely for an easy read.
Steve

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 03/02/2008 13:23:51 MST Print View

Aluminum Head Wear Picture this is after only 3 days of minimal use:Worn/Chipped tipNotice bend in adaze

Second picture shows bent adaze from using it as "officially" advertized.

Edited by ksawchuk on 03/04/2008 18:02:45 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Ti/Carbon Ice Axe - Revision 3 on 03/04/2008 10:55:20 MST Print View

Thanks for the pics Kevin - let's hope the Titanium holds up to abuse a bit better. :)

I'm going to anodize and assemble the axe this week.

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
3rd prototype on 03/11/2008 09:40:10 MDT Print View

we are all agog

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: 3rd prototype on 03/11/2008 11:28:45 MDT Print View

Almost finished...I just have to cut the shaft to my length and bond the head and spike. :)

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
3rd prototype on 03/25/2008 09:43:28 MDT Print View

Any news Steve? sorry to pester. Take it as enthusiasm to maybe save myself 500 grams.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: 3rd prototype on 03/25/2008 21:22:56 MDT Print View

Pester away my friend! :) I'm excited too!

The axe is complete, came in lighter then expected (not by much though) and is ready for my controlled tests. I took it out this weekend, but didn't get the right conditions for much use other then a little chopping when removing my tent pegs.
I plan to put it through the UIAA tests this weekend to verify it's strength.
I've documented the process with great detail and it should be available for reading soon. ;P

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
Re: Re: 3rd prototype on 04/07/2008 05:10:54 MDT Print View

has it been through the strength tests successfully?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Re: 3rd prototype on 04/07/2008 06:32:26 MDT Print View

The tests were completely this weekend - I simulated the UIAA specs and have a solid number for each requirement. I think it will be of great interest to those that followed this project.
I'll be compiling my data this week!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 04/07/2008 06:34:34 MDT.

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
3rd prototype on 04/07/2008 06:36:59 MDT Print View

great well done

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
publishing results: 3rd prototype? on 04/17/2008 15:20:49 MDT Print View

ready yet?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: publishing results: 3rd prototype? YEP on 04/17/2008 15:28:19 MDT Print View

Hi all

Yes, the results will be published, and in some detail.

Steve has written a full MYOG article on this project, and it is now going through the pipeline. Lots of details and lots of pics. Not sure yet when it will be published, but watch for it.

I do remember someone saying that if article X was a 7/10 on the difficulty scale, he didn't want to see one which was 10/10. Well guys ... :-)

Cheers
Roger Caffin
Senior Editor for Technology

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: 3rd prototype on 04/28/2008 14:26:48 MDT Print View

I've had a few inquiries, so I thought I would mention that I am just waiting until the article is published. This way, you can judge for yourself if it is something you want. That being said, I think most will be impressed with the results. :)

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: 3rd prototype on 04/28/2008 21:26:38 MDT Print View

I do hope the results will be coming soon and I may order one before my wallet burns a hole in my butt.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Re: 3rd prototype on 04/28/2008 22:31:28 MDT Print View

I want one too! Count me in!!! No article needed- I'm sold!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Re: Re: 3rd prototype on 04/29/2008 08:10:20 MDT Print View

Doug, you're on the list - #25. I'd make them all now, but the problem is that they are expensive to manufacture, so unless I am making a bunch the numbers don't work out. Rest assured, as soon as the article is up and people want them, I'll pump a bunch out. :)

Jeff Cadorin
(JeffCadorin) - F

Locale: paper beats rock
Re: 3rd prototype on 04/29/2008 11:23:29 MDT Print View

I would be interested in one, curious to the price?

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: 3rd prototype on 04/29/2008 11:34:23 MDT Print View

I want one too. Please add me to the list. I can't wait to see the article. This has been an amazing project to watch over the last number of months.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: 3rd prototype on 04/29/2008 15:29:31 MDT Print View

Price will be $200 US.

Nia, you're #26.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 04/29/2008 16:14:57 MDT Print View

I'm almost afraid to ask my number. Do you sign each one? That would be too cool.

Edited by redleader on 04/29/2008 16:16:59 MDT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 04/29/2008 17:32:13 MDT Print View

Denis, according to my list, you're #18...autographed versions are available, but are extra ;)

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 04/29/2008 19:04:14 MDT Print View

Eighteen has just become my favorite number. Being fortunate enough to own one of your creations, I would be honored to have a signed and numbered piece.

J Bailey
(jbaile38) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
DIY axe on 04/29/2008 19:54:46 MDT Print View

I'd love to be #27 if your still accepting. I agree with Nia, amazing.

Justin

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY axe on 04/29/2008 20:14:26 MDT Print View

Justin B = #27

:)

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
Re: Re: publishing results: 3rd prototype? YEP on 05/03/2008 11:29:02 MDT Print View

Roger can you widen or shorten that pipeline? You know the one you have put Steve's axe in

Edited by Derekoak on 05/03/2008 11:49:55 MDT.

Steven Killion
(blendedfrog) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 05/09/2008 08:58:51 MDT Print View

Steven,

I'm interested in being on the list too. Will it be available in different lengths? This has been a great DIY thread to follow. Feels like a soap opera and I'm hooked to each episode!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 05/09/2008 22:21:40 MDT Print View

Hi Steven,
I just picked up my box of carbon shafts...34 pieces to be exact. I can cut them to any length you want, but they are 63 cm each. If you add the extra length from the pick and adze, the longest I can supply would be about 65-67cm. Still interested?

Steven Killion
(blendedfrog) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 05/09/2008 22:25:25 MDT Print View

Perfect length. Please add me to the list!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 05/09/2008 23:05:48 MDT Print View

Steven,

If I may: I'd prefer the maximum length also.

No.18

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: publishing results: 3rd prototype? YEP on 05/10/2008 02:25:48 MDT Print View

> Roger can you widen or shorten that pipeline? You know the one you have put Steve's axe in
Maybe it went in sideways and wedged? :-)

Hassle Ryan J about this. But I think it should be soon, VERY soon.

Cheers
Roger

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 05/11/2008 08:35:52 MDT Print View

Mr. Killion, you're #28. I'll get the length requirements from eveyone when I am getting them made.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 05/11/2008 12:43:23 MDT Print View

Steve,
The anticipation is killing me!!!

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Ax Length on 05/14/2008 11:17:46 MDT Print View

I believe I'm somewhere up in the #15 range and I'd prefer a longer handle as well.

KSawchuk (at)gmail (dot) com