/ Warped ice tool shaft

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neuromancer - on 14 Feb 2018

Changing out the picks of my casein X all mountain tools for some ice picks, noticed that the x-dry pick is rather bent.

More fool I for it not being t rated.


But then with the new picks fitted, looking down the line of them they are slightly off straight - as if a firm torque has bent the shafts laterally. It's probably only half a cm end to end.


What are thoughts from a metal fatigue point of view? 

jkarran - on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to neuromancer:

Metal fatigue occurs with many load cycles below the elastic limit, what you're describing appears to be metal that has been taken beyond it's elastic limit and bent. Not knowing anything about the specific tools or materials I wouldn't like to speculate whether that is a problem.


Dan Middleton, BMC - on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to neuromancer:

Fatigue results in cracking rather than bending. It can happen but only with very old and well used tools - likely to be hard to differentiate between a fatigue failure and one initiated by cracks caused by wear and tear such as impact damage. Deformation (such as bending) means the yield stress has been exceeded, which is possible but unlikely. Ripples or discolouration on anodised surfaces would be a tell tale clue for this, especially around weak points such as where the rivet holes are drilled. The forged head may have rotated slightly but you'd probably have noticed some creaking/movement. That leaves the possibility of the picks never having been completely straight relative to the shaft. I've seen this on several tools from different manufacturers before, so it's quite possible, you'd have to have checked the tools when new for "trueness" to be sure though. For piece of mind you'd best contact the manufacturer as they'll have better knowledge of the product than anyone else.

coldwill - on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to neuromancer:

Definitely not saying it’s common but I have seen it before with a pair of X Dreams. Pretty much as you describe, when you looked down the shaft there was slight inclination to one side. The US distributor sent a new one out straight away as it was deemed a manufacturing error. I thoroughly checked mine for this when I collected them.

neuromancer - on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to coldwill:

Thanks for the replies gents.

They're the old painted model so hard to see anodising. No looseness of heads, picks or shafts. Bolts for removal and replacement still go in smooth and with no effort so that should rule out torque flex in the head itself. 


It sort of looks more like the head is slightly off the Centreline of the axe. 

As I'm not climbing m11, I'm not sure I'm too horrendously worried compared to all of the other risks (did I stress test the last crack I put them in?), But maybe perhaps time to start looking for a new set (cough new nomics cough)

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