/ ice axe project

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mannj004 on 11 Dec 2012 - [193.142.216.1]
Hi im a year 10 student who needs some advice and ideas on making an ice axe. Come on guys help me out! ;)
JLS on 11 Dec 2012
mannj004 on 11 Dec 2012 - [193.142.216.1]
In reply to JLS: Thankyou
iksander on 11 Dec 2012
wilkie14c - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
Have a think about a modular system where the length, straightness or curved shafts, different picks, spikes and adze etc can all be swapped about so you have a true, do it all axe
andic - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:

ice climbing or walking? I think it would be relatively easy to make a CFRP shafted axe for a walker which would be mega light and strong
beardy mike - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: hang on a sec guys, this chap needs to think for him self a little. That's the idea of the work! So mann004, tell us your ideas. What do you think is wrong with the current axes. What's your project brief? Do you have to make the axe? I presume you need to develop a specification, Or brief for the project? What's the craziest idea you've had for an ic axe and why would it work, and what would the problems be?
mannj004 on 12 Dec 2012 - [193.142.216.1]
In reply to mike kann: my project is i have to look at existing ice axes and design a futuristic ice axe. I have to incorparate all the normal features of an ice axe but make it unique, so i posted on here to get some ideas and inspiration
andic - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:

Novel alloy (BMG, HEA, SIM/GUM metals)?

Novel features (incorporated flask, shaver, heated tip, heated handle.....)?
Only a hill - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
First, start off with why the world needs a new 'futuristic' ice axe design. What are the problems posed by existing models? What are their limitations?

There's no point in designing something futuristic for the sake of it. Good design will always solve problems in existing products and move forward.
mannj004 on 12 Dec 2012 - [193.142.216.1]
In reply to Only a hill: I have already answered them questions but thanks and i have to make a futuristic ice axe as part of my gcse so thats why i have to make one
mannj004 on 12 Dec 2012 - [193.142.216.1]
In reply to andic: cheers for the advice
jkarran - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:

> I have already answered them questions but thanks and i have to make a futuristic ice axe as part of my gcse so thats why i have to make one

So answer them for us, which issues with existing designs are you looking to tackle? What features make a tool futuristic?

Are you expected to make a tool or simply do a design study?
jk
Rock Badger on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: hand warmers,, a shaft that can be 'bent' to adjust to terrain/style
andic - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to count:

shape memory alloys?
Shearwater - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to count)
>
> shape memory alloys?

The combination of shape memory alloys (usually "set" using heat) and handwarmers sounds like a fun one ;-)
gethin_allen on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
Do kids these days not know how to use google? and they say that the quality of education in this country is going to pot!

The thing that bothers me more about these type of posts is the lack of effort put in by those starting the threads to answer their questions themselves, why think when someone else will do it for you. And they don't even make an effort to ask a sensible correctly worded/structured question, adding stupid little winking smiley faces and crap like that.

Sadly, I've encountered undergraduate students taking the same approach to getting work done.

Depressing.
PeterM - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to mannj004)
>
> What features make a tool futuristic?


Glitter....

andic - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Shearwater:

heat it up and it will boing into a vicious curve for steep water ice and a self sharpening vitreloy/bmg pick ;-)
mkean - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to PeterM:
Glitter....

I know ice tools aren't safe for kids but I think that is going a bit far!

davebrown3 - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: You're 10 years old and already doing GCSE? They must make kids work hard at school these days. Anyway, I'd suggest a Transformer design. Starts off as a walking pole, then press a button to turn it into a walking axe, then a standard axe, then a handle bursts out to make it leash less, and another button to turn it into a snow shovel. And make sure the adze has a grommet in it so that it works as a bottle opener. Sort of like a big Swiss Army knife.
beardy mike - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: Well alright, what do YOU think would be futuristic? When you've used ice axes, what did you think was crap about them? If we tell you what to do, there's not much point in you doing the project in the first place is there. There's stackloads you can look at. Ask yourself what are the current trends in ice climbing and mixed. What inhibits progress to the next level? Is it freedom of movement, is it training, is it the ergonomics of the axe, are there materials you could use to make the axe perform better? Tell us what your ideas are so that we can push you in the right direction.
KellyKettle - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: I'd look at different materials and techniques for using them if I was you...

One idea design wise is to look at the ergonomics of grips... not all hands are the same size, and having to grip over hard due to too big or small a shaft will result in getting "pumped". You can purchase rucksack in multiple back sizes, so why not axes in multiple hand sizes? I can think of a few different ways to achieve that principle.

What techniques to you have access to? What raw materials are available? If you're doing this for res-mat (or whatever it is these days) and have to make the finished product not just a mockup then bear in mind you're going to have to make the pick from a suitable grade of stainless steel bar stock, shape (could cut it, could forge it), grind and heat treat it, and if you make the shaft from cold formed metal you'll also need to release any stresses...

I'd check that the facilities and skill base required are available before you get in over your head.
mannj004 on 13 Dec 2012 - 172.18.40.217 [193.142.216.1]
In reply to mike kann: thanks for the advice!
beardy mike - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: Well come on then, discuss it with me. What are the problems? I'll start you off. Ice axe picks corrode because they are often made from a chrome molybdenum spring steel. Once the "chemical black" protective layer has worn off the steel is bare and if left slightly wet can rust. You could for example use a stainless grade of steel like type 420 which has very similar properties to the EN24T that is currently used by many manufacturers. It is used for making knives and blades for the food industry because it is highly corrosion resistant and holds an edge well. Your go.
jkarran - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mike kann:

I wonder has anyone ever tried a deadblow head on an ice tool. I don't do any icicle bothering so I could be totally wrong but it strikes me as something worth considering.

jk
beardy mike - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jkarran: Dunno, but I had thought of putting an oil in the shaft of an axe to increase momentum as you swung. Light head when moving the axe about for mixed hooking etc and then heavy why swung for ice and also damped... they did it with baseball bats at one stage I believe...
andic - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mike kann:

cue new thread on how can I drill my fly and fill it with lead shot......
beardy mike - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to andic: Yoou need a thread for that? Surely you get a drill, you drill a hole in your axe and you fill you axe with leadshot. There you go. There's that issue solved for you. Don't tell me I don't treat you well.
mannj004 on 13 Dec 2012 - 172.18.41.29 [193.142.216.1]
In reply to gethin_allen: well actually mate i have to put a post on here and get advice because its classed as primary research which will get me an a*, so the countries education hasnt gone to pot what so ever
Shearwater - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
> i have to put a post on here and get advice because its classed as primary research which will get me an a*, so the countries education hasnt gone to pot what so ever

I note that the concept of irony does not appear to be taught anymore.
beardy mike - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: The countries education went to pot when they introduced A* in the first place. In my day all we had were a lump o coooaaaal and we were lucky. Take a look at these:

http://www.e-climb.com/templates/e-climb/intro.asp
http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/ice_axes/69-force_alloy#
nufkin - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
> (In reply to gethin_allen) its classed as primary research which will get me an a*

Not when you teacher looks on here and sees that we've done the work for you and that you can't construct a sentence properly it won't.
Mind you, at least you've shown a bit more gratitude than some of you classmates, so that's in your favour.



Maybe I'm just jealous because all we got to make at school was a money box out of balsa wood.
David Ponting on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: Wait, simply asking a collection of random strangers for "advice" is "primary research"? No source verification, cross-referencing, list of questions you would like answers to... it sounds more like a box-ticking exercise!

I can see where asking the question "What features would you like to see in a novel ice axe", as a questionnaire, giving a list of options &c, and then collating the data into a useful format (e.g. you find out that out of a sample of 100 respondents, 20% of people would like shape memory alloys, 30% would like a built in handwarmer, 30% want the oil-filled design mentioned, 20% are happy with existing designs) would count as primary design research (from the marketing side, at least).

That said a simple "tell me about ice axes", which your question boils down to, is actually secondary if not tertiary research - you are asking other people (one remove) what they consider an ice axe to be, i.e. learning from their experience of other designs or sources (second remove).

Primary research, as done by a manufacturer, would probably consist of: 10% asking the market (by, e.g., looking at sales figures) what people would buy, 50% testing the properties of different materials (e.g. how stiff/strong are these alloys that we are considering?) and 40% making and testing prototypes - i.e. generating and testing hypotheses. (these numbers are just a guess plucked from thin air)

There are also probably marks available, (and if there are not then there really ought to be), for spelling, punctuation and grammar. You may wish to take advantage of them!
Grahame N - on 13 Dec 2012
jkarran - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:

> (In reply to gethin_allen) well actually mate i have to put a post on here and get advice because its classed as primary research which will get me an a*, so the countries education hasnt gone to pot what so ever

LOL

"Hi im a year 10 student who needs some advice and ideas on making an ice axe. Come on guys help me out! ;)"

Does not count as primary research!
jk
KellyKettle - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: Primary research is actually creating something new... UKC constitutes a primary source for secondary research.

That aside, the fact that ticking boxes for an A* rather than learning all the skills you can and making the best damn product you can is the focus of your course is exactly why the education system is broken.

You won't neccesarily appreciate this, but the way things are now, you won't really start learning much of use until you leave the classroom and start doing... That applies double if you go to uni
andic - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mike kann:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=529388&v=1#x7121999

It's harder than you'd think apparently


OP: what about stowable finger rests?
Pay Attention - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
Thanks guys. This thread really has been most amusing!
Although I have learned more about "primary research" than about futuristic ice axes.
gethin_allen on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
"will get me an a*" that's questionable, just like the information you could gleam from asking random punters on an open forum. So the countries education hasn't gone to pot, just to correct that for you.

ads.ukclimbing.com
beardy mike - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to andic: You mean like the aztarex used to have? I can underastand the spike being hard to drill, but the shaft will be made of soft aluminium...
John Rushby - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:
> (In reply to mannj004)
> "will get me an a*" that's questionable, just like the information you could gleam from asking random punters on an open forum. So the country's education hasn't gone to pot, just to correct that for you.

ClayClay - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
Well, I think it is a great idea to ask people who use ice axes what they think of them. As for this not being a valued piece of research; I think the number of responses says it all. You have no doubt learnt a lot about ice axes, and a lot about how people treat each other on forums such as this.

1. This forum is probably the best place to contact ice axe users in the UK for a year 10 student who isn't regularly/ever spending time on the hills.
2. I hope some of the commentators here have emailed you with some useful advice.

Some of the comments that are saying this isn't valuable research should be ignored. First thing to do when you know very little about a subject is to ask someone who does. Well done.

I'm afraid, other than saying well done for trying to contact some ice axe users I personally can't help with your design. From reading the above posts, I would however say, ice axe users tend to be an obnoxious bunch on the whole, so maybe my measly input could be to request painting your design with smiley faces.
gethin_allen on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to ClayClay:
"First thing to do when you know very little about a subject is to ask someone who does"
No, the first thing to do is try and answer the question yourself, drawing on what resources you have available. This chap clearly has an internet connection and could easily have typed something as simple as "ice axe design" into google, throwing up "About 1,740,000 results (0.33 seconds)", many from trustworthy sources like the manufacturers themselves that are describing what are considered the useful and novel features of their products.
At which point, once you have some background information allowing you to construct sensible questions you go and ask people to help you fill in the blanks.
The inability of people to help themselves to any degree due to what I see as laziness really pisses me off, especially when these people can't be arsed to write a coherent sentence and then get mardy about it.
French Erick - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004:
To OP:
Latest tools are made with ergonomic handles and are designed to be used leashless. Most climbers that aren't hotshots, or professionals, are afraid to go leashless.
To answer this need there is an eye where you can clip a lanyard (see grivel lanyard) product to.
The link here can be problematic:
1)If it's too big the carabiner is across from your hand and a hindrance. 2)Sometimes when your hand is not on the handle the crab can even walk on your handle and get stuck there.

Some people get round that by threading that eye with wire (wedged) or thin rope (knotted).

Can you design a link that tick the following boxes:
1) is easily clipped AND unclipped.
2) is as strong as the lanyard for an eventual fall (they haven't got high fall ratings anyways)
3) does not impede hand placement.
4) does not freeze.
5) is small and unobtrusive.

There are lots of other features to think off in this light.

Have you ever handled an axe? Could you try somewhere round you? (indoor, outdoor...) That will help your understanding and surely can be included in your research paper.

If you just copy and paste the problems/ideas pointed out to you here, you might get the A* (or not), but you will have gain little. However, if you think through and use all the suggestions, then you will get something out of it. GCSE can be an empty ticket or a meaningful one, depending on how you tackle it.

BTW, this post should also teach you a bit about banter, cynism... not necessarily a bad thing boy-o!
twm.bwen - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to mannj004: Christ you guys, the op is about 14 years old ffs. Does it makes you all feel big to gang up on him/her and show your superior knowledge of primary research. It's someone combining a hobby with their study, surely this is good.
Way to go and encourage a young mind! You must feel so proud! You big big men!

To the op, you clearly don't need this interjection from me as you are showing more maturity than them, but I couldn't help myself.

Good luck with the project, my main issue is that I want a straight shaft for plunging but a curved shaft for when swinging. What about some mechanism like on the tiltable patio umbrellas. Probably naff but a thought.
nufkin - on 14 Dec 2012
> (In reply to mannj004) Christ you guys, the op is about 14 years old ffs. Does it makes you all feel big to gang up on him/her and show your superior knowledge of primary research. It's someone combining a hobby with their study, surely this is good.
> Way to go and encourage a young mind! You must feel so proud! You big big men!
>
> To the op, you clearly don't need this interjection from me as you are showing more maturity than them, but I couldn't help myself.
>
> Good luck with the project, my main issue is that I want a straight shaft for plunging but a curved shaft for when swinging. What about some mechanism like on the tiltable patio umbrellas. Probably naff but a thought.

In reply to twm.bwen (& ClayClay):

It occurred to me after I posted previously that the teacher is probably the one who suggested a visit to UKC, presumably assuming we'd all be graciously helpful, and the students are just doing as they were told.
I reckon if we'd come across them in person at a wall or crag, clipboards in hand and with eager, dewy-eyed inquisitiveness, we'd all have been more inclined to help, or at least less willing to pour scorn.

So my apologies, at least, to the op and classmates, for being too ready to snear and be dismissive. It's the Internet's fault. Also not being able to think of any useful suggestions for potential improvements probably doesn't help, in my case.


It does occur to me that, were the students asking questions in person, they'd be less likely to come across as cocky know-it-alls - but, thinking back to when I was that age, that is sort of the default setting for 14/15 year olds, so some allowance should probably be made.
Good luck with the project, let us know how it turns out

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