Sep 3, 2008 at 6:53 am #1230990
I have been working on some Titanium stakes for my winter trips, and thought that maybe some simple summer ones were in order aswell.
These summer stakes are made from 0.016" Ti 6Al-4V. They are 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. They have 10 1/4" holes along each side to reduce weight and one large 1/2" hole on the top to tie into. The 1/2" hole was supposed to be round but the material is so tough, I couldn't punch through it with such a large die. I had to use multiple 1/4" holes to create the round/square you see at the top. I did have some diffculty in bending it lengthwise as I didn't have much to grab onto. I'll have to clamp it better next time. Either way, it is very rigid and I have no doubt it will perform in the field. Of course, it ony weighs 4 grams, so we'll see. :)
The piece off to the side of the scale is my winter tent stake in progress. I'm aiming for 14 grams or less.Sep 3, 2008 at 7:59 am #1449745
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
You're proving yourself to be quite the titanium craftsman, Steven.Sep 3, 2008 at 8:55 am #1449752
Why didn't you mill the hole out Steven?
P.S. Needing any C.N.C. machinists? :)Sep 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm #1449790
Rog TallblokeBPL Member
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Nice pegs Steven!
Mike, the company I'm starting with on monday needs CNC machinists. Fancy a spell in Leeds?Sep 3, 2008 at 1:42 pm #1449801
Let me think Roger. I live surrounded by hills and the nearest Munros are 30-40 mins in the car. The nearest ski-tows are 30 mins away. White water canoeing and world class mountain-biking is on my doorstep.
I don't think i'll take you up on the offer! :)
Thanks anyway Roger, but if this job ever goes belly-up, i may change my mind!Sep 3, 2008 at 4:01 pm #1449833
Very nice, and even lighter than mine.
However, can I give a warning? I had mine out in a storm high on a snow-covered alpine ridge (100+ kph winds for 14 hours), and the thin edges of the Ti sheet fretted on the guy ropes and wore through 7 out of 8 of them by the morning. Now maybe you won't get such weather in summer, but it's a worry.
Another point: The thin metal at the top edge is kinda rough on the hands when you are pushing the stake into hard ground. The large hole may make the top a bit weak too under these conditions. Field test!
RogerSep 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm #1449836
"Mike, the company I'm starting with on monday needs CNC machinists. Fancy a spell in Leeds?"
I made my own CNC milling machine, well sourced the parts and put them all together , picture bottom left of this page:
AND I already live in Leeds! However, I'm very very much an amateur, so wouldn't be suitable.
If anyone wants to build their own small CNC then CNC fusion is a very good place to start.Sep 3, 2008 at 6:25 pm #1449854
Sam: Thanks, titanium is relatively new to me, and I'm learning alot…hence the reason why I keep working with it…something new!
Mike: The milling machine is at work and I made these at my house, or else I would have a least used the drill press. We are actually looking for CNC machinists right now – care for an exchange program?
Roger T: Thanks!
Roger C: Where do you think I got the idea from! I've been thinking about them ever since I read your MYOG article. I started with the winter stakes but thought I could make an uberlight usable summer stake aswell
I do realize that these look (and probably are) a little fragile, but I'm pushing the limits here. There are pegs out there for a few more grams (Ti Nail Pegs come to mind) so this was one of the only ways I could think of cutting all weight while trying to have a wider peg…hopefully holding well. The hole at the top worries me aswell. I plan on using a super small caribiner so that the rope does not frey as the 0.016" thickness can get very sharp.
I'd like to bend the top of the peg as you did on yours so that it would be easier to pound in the ground, but I'll wait for a field test to make sure it is required…hopefully not.Sep 3, 2008 at 6:32 pm #1449856
Just for the record, the completed stake was "supposed" to look like this and weigh 4.5 grams. This design gives the option of using the hole at the top for attachment or the side grooves to wrap guy lines around.Sep 3, 2008 at 8:58 pm #1449875
> I plan on using a super small caribiner so that the rope does not frey as the 0.016" thickness can get very sharp.
Ah, but will the weight of the carabiner spoil the whole show?
I have submitted an update to the Ti Snow Pegs article with some ideas. I hope … that it will be published soon.
CheersSep 3, 2008 at 11:28 pm #1449890
"I have submitted an update to the Ti Snow Pegs article"
Doh! I just dropped the material off for cutting…do you have any recomendations?Sep 4, 2008 at 12:23 am #1449891
Rog TallblokeBPL Member
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
I don't know much about the hot workability of Ti but could the grooves in the sides at the top be formed by pressing the folded peg into a preheated die so as to leave a radius for the guy to sit around? If not, maybe you could punch oversize two holes and cut down to them at angles from the outer edge, then radius the cut edges.
Similarly, the top hole could be enlarged with a punch and circular die from the back before folding. This would add a lot of stiffness too. Finally, if there were some extra material at the top at one side, it could be folded across the 'V'so the pegs could be made more palm friendly and stronger for pounding with rocks into hard ground.Sep 20, 2008 at 10:13 am #1451645
The protoypes worked very well. I was going to make them a bit skinnier then the 1" they are but figured I'll test them out a bit more. I cut a bunch out for my buddies, just need to have them bent.
I haven't tested the snow stakes yet, but there is a minimum charge to cut on the waterjet, so I figured I would cut a bunch of the winter stakes aswell. These will be bent in 3 places. I cut enough for my usual winter camping buddies (4 sets). Test results will be posted once the snow comes, but I anticipate that they will be sufficient for my trips as they are about the same size and the SMC ones. (3.5" Wide x 5.5" Long).
As someone mentioned before, I definitely have concerns with the sharp edge of the titanium cutting the guylines when it rubs. It held fine on the weekend with no sign of wear, but in a storm, there may be some issues. Looking forward to Rogers article regarding the fix, or maybe I'll try a few options out here.Sep 20, 2008 at 10:34 am #1451648
Nice work Steven. Do you have access to a tumbler/polisher for de-burring the stakes? A day or two in one of those should round the edges.Sep 20, 2008 at 11:21 am #1451658
Good idea. I actually ended up putting the ice axe parts into a tumbler and the finish is fantastic. I'll try it out after I bend them. Even still, the titanium is 0.016" (roughly 3 pieces of paper) thick, so I still have concerns, more field testing I guess :)
I should add that as Roger mentioned, the thin metal is definitely not nice on the hands during insertion and removal, but I just couldn't bring myself to adding any more weight to these things. You only have to put them in once a day, and hey, that's why we carry first aid kits isn't it?Dec 5, 2008 at 7:40 am #1462303
Back from the bender, some deburring went a long way in smoothing the edges. Snow is falling north from here so we'll see how they work out. Snow stake is bent in 3 places, roughly 15 degrees making a nice "cup" to hold in place.
Dec 5, 2008 at 7:59 am #1462308
@derekoakLocale: North of England
could you thread a little split ring like a small keyring through 2 holes and put the guy on that?
For the summer ones I think Roger's idea is bestDec 5, 2008 at 8:03 am #1462313
Derek, we're obviously posting at identical times and I'm chasing your posts. :)
A key ring is a great idea! I was thinking mini-biner but like Roger said, too heavy.Dec 5, 2008 at 8:54 am #1462327
Would it be possible to pass the guyline through the hole in the stake and tie it to a UL washer that is too big to pass through the hole. This would remove the contact of the guyline, leaving the metal washer in contact with the stake and stopping the fray factor.
Just an idea. I havent really tested it.Dec 5, 2008 at 9:22 am #1462334
Geez, another good idea. I'll have to put the thinking cap on…at this point, I'm envisioning just using some beefy sticks with the same technique you describe…no additional weight.Dec 8, 2008 at 4:05 pm #1463027
To be clear, you are trying to avoid a loop of para cord sheath or something because of the weight, correct?
The most direct thing is a smidge of epoxy around the holes, you can use micro-sphere filler to thicken it. Lighten it too.
It would be like half a torus on each side of the metal.
Refining that, it would not need to be completely around the hole, only in the direction of pull. For instance you dont need padding at the very bottom of the hole because the guyline will never pull that way.
On the ice axe, I did a couple wraps of tape under the leash to slow wear for that one trip. Thinking that it would be replaced by some plastic like from 1/2" drip irrigation hose. You might consider an electrical box grommet, like that fits where you do a knockout but smaller.
I love the idea of a captured washer or stick taking the pull.
Seems like you could work in some kind of ** tricky guyline tensioner **. Maybe some slots built in, maybe use a commercial one that doubles as the wear surface you want to pad, maybe it also acts as a structural reinforcement somehow.
Looks like the most overall structural strength could be gained by keeping that spine intact top to bottom, rather than having an extra big hole right where you hammer it. And yank it.
Angle pitons could be a good inspiration, like the bigger sizes where they bring the metal back together for hammering.
This material looks thin, but maybe it is possible to sharpen the top of all the holes so they go in easier than they come out. OR should they come out easy with a straight up pull, in that case sharpen the bottom edges…Couple swipes with a rat tail file.
All the holes in the snow anchors will make you completely dig them out, or maybe just not stomp them in. No prob though, you'll have the ice axe. They look like the SMC snow anchor/snow fluke, which are 4.5 x 7.5" in the small.
Edit: I forgot how cold it is there, maybe your stakes dont freeze so solid??Dec 8, 2008 at 5:23 pm #1463049
Just a heads-up right now.
The thin edges of the Ti sheet metal frayed and broke 7 out of 8 of my (Spectra) side guys on *that* trip. I found a solution which is simple, light and very effective, and the article showing what I did is scheduled for publication at the end of December.
Yeah, I'm keeping my mouth shut until then … :-)
CheersDec 8, 2008 at 5:48 pm #1463053
Joe ClementBPL Member
I've never snow camped, but wouldn't it be easier to make those snow anchors out of carbon fiber, or plastic?Dec 8, 2008 at 7:13 pm #1463079
> wouldn't it be easier to make those snow anchors out of carbon fiber, or plastic?
I did try unbreakable Lexan sheeting for snow anchors. It had two big problems.
1) Much too bendy: very hard to drive it into crusty icy snow.
2) Much too slippery: it didn't grip on the snow but slid straight out again given any chance.
Both of these problems could be overcome by making the plastic sheet much thicker, but then you start to lose the weight advantage.
I haven't tried carbon fibre sheet yet – my budget does not run that far! In fact, that may well be the chief problem with that idea.
CheersDec 23, 2008 at 4:21 pm #1466181
Just a quick update, I tested these out over the last few days and must say that work great. The guylines were frayed on the first night, and I ended up using some MLD mini biners afterwards. Not as permanent fix at this point as it adds to much weight. Looking forward to Rogers piece…
Paul, they do freeze up here, but I just dig them out in the morning…I think you guys get it worse then us (I know Rogers does). I can usually use my snowclaw to get them out. I have a few ideas that I am going to implement over my next couple of trips.
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