/ what are these cams?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
The Potato - on 08 Jan 2017
hello, cam you identify these please?

https://1drv.ms/i/s!ApfLthxq63KJgvBycx4tGpUEfRgumQ
woppo - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:
original rigid stem friends, reslung with cord
Post edited at 15:27
AlanLittle - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to woppo:

Not necessarily RE-slung, they originally didn't come with slings.
springfall2008 - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

Old ones you don't want to use ;)
8
The Potato - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

> Old ones you don't want to use ;)
whys that then?


Ive got some Dragons and Demons but thought I could use these for less serious outings
gethin_allen on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

> Old ones you don't want to use ;)

Subject to a satisfactory visual check over and some new slings I'd probably use them if I needed them.
deepsoup - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:
I used to have a climbing partner who'd collected quite a few of those by retrieving hopelessly over-cammed stuck ones out of various grit cracks. He used to wedge a bit of card in underneath them to catch the bits, use a socket set to undo the nut and a drift to tap the axle out so the cams dropped off then re-assemble it later.

I didn't realise they originally came without a sling but it makes sense I suppose, it was totally normal to buy hexes without a sling or cord on at the time after all. I have some of the original Camalots that came without a sling, but they had a 'U' shaped wire that was big enough to clip with a quickdraw. Still use them very occasionally, when I want to double up on certain sizes.
Timmd on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

I've read that standing on rigid stemmed friends can be a handy and subtle cheat when climbing. I'd use them without any worries if the cams were without flat spots from holding any falls and the parts looked to be free of bends and corrosion etc.
WildCamper on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

Got a rigid stem on my rack, still works fine just a bit heavier than my wire stem friends
wbo - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:
As a pedant I'd argue if these were 'original' as I've got some similar to that I bought in the late 80's, but I think the real originals were slightly different in how the cams are held on.
deepsoup - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:
> I've read that standing on rigid stemmed friends can be a handy and subtle cheat when climbing.

Speaking of which, now that we all pretty much take flexible stems for granted (and many of us have never known any other kind) it might be worth mentioning the need to be careful about using them in horizontal breaks where the stem sticks out.

Easy enough these days just to use a different cam, but the done thing back in the day was to tie off a second cord into the hole above the trigger bar and clip that instead of the main sling if necessary to prevent the stem from being bent over the lip in the event of a fall (which could quite possibly break the stem, destroying the cam and potentially blowing out a crucial bit of protection).
keith-ratcliffe on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:
I can thoroughly recommend Mark Vallance's book Wild Country which includes the story of how Friends were first made.
Timmd on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

> Speaking of which, now that we all pretty much take flexible stems for granted (and many of us have never known any other kind) it might be worth mentioning the need to be careful about using them in horizontal breaks where the stem sticks out.

> Easy enough these days just to use a different cam, but the done thing back in the day was to tie off a second cord into the hole above the trigger bar and clip that instead of the main sling if necessary to prevent the stem from being bent over the lip in the event of a fall (which could quite possibly break the stem, destroying the cam and potentially blowing out a crucial bit of protection).

Good points.
Timmd on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
> I can thoroughly recommend Mark Vallance's book Wild Country which includes the story of how Friends were first made.

I bought it for my Dad as an Xmas present and genuinely forgot to take it and other presents down to near Banbury for Xmas day.

Having started reading and creased it I'll have to buy him another copy.
Post edited at 18:57
pec on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

> whys that then?

> Ive got some Dragons and Demons but thought I could use these for less serious outings >

The cams in the picture are likely to be at least 30 years old, possibly 40 and you have no idea what's hapened to them in that time and no means of inspecting them for metal fatigue.

I'm not one to throw out gear in a rush, I've kept some pretty old cams on my reserve rack and ocassionally placed them but only my own and I knew their history but 30-40 year old units is really pushing it.

You can get brand new 4CUs for £30 each if you want some cheap units which will be stronger, lighter, have cam stops and new sewn slings on them.

3
Chris Craggs - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to wbo:

> As a pedant I'd argue if these were 'original' as I've got some similar to that I bought in the late 80's, but I think the real originals were slightly different in how the cams are held on.

I think I agree, the original 'Originals' didn't have the curved back to the cam - they were flat. I'm also pretty sure they all came with sewn tapes back then.


Chris
springfall2008 - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

> whys that then?

> Ive got some Dragons and Demons but thought I could use these for less serious outings

A few reasons, in order of priority:

1. I'm not sure I'd trust my life to a very old cam, it might be fine but then again who knows....
2. I wouldn't feel safe using a rigid stem, with no experience with these types of cams I wouldn't be sure if I was placing them safely - especially in horizontal breaks.
3. They look heavy.
4. I prefer extendable slings.
2
Timmd on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to pec:
> The cams in the picture are likely to be at least 30 years old, possibly 40 and you have no idea what's hapened to them in that time and no means of inspecting them for metal fatigue.

> I'm not one to throw out gear in a rush, I've kept some pretty old cams on my reserve rack and ocassionally placed them but only my own and I knew their history but 30-40 year old units is really pushing it.

I don't claim any personal knowledge of metal fatigue, but from what I've absorbed by osmosis from a relative, metal fatigue in the manner of many hundreds (or thousands or millions) of cycles (a load being applied and then taken away) wouldn't be something to cause an old friend to fail, and it'd be something more in the way of corrosion or what's known as a 'catastrophic failure' which would make an old camming device inoperable or unsafe to use.

A fairly intimate knowledge of old friends might be useful though, to look for anything untoward - possibly the holes the axles go through having become oval or flat spots on the lobes from holding a big fall, and follow my writing at one's own risk and all that.

Edit: If you want an unsafe camming device, look at the lobes on some of the units sold by Gear4Rocks, from new there's cracks in the alloy lobes - what looks like metal fatigue already taking place. I'd probably use one of the friends in the picture in the OP over a new Gear4Rocks cam.

This is enough to give one the heebie jeebies:
https://www.mountainproject.com/images/76/16/107187616_large_163515.jpg

Edit 2: You're right that gear with a known history is always preferable, but a device being 40 years old needn't make it dodgy to use from a metal fatigue point of view.
Post edited at 22:24
gethin_allen on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to wbo:

> As a pedant I'd argue if these were 'original' as I've got some similar to that I bought in the late 80's, but I think the real originals were slightly different in how the cams are held on.

I thought the originals were held on with nuts and then the newer ones were changed.
The friends in the "nut museum" show tied tapes/rope
beardy mike - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

1: microfractures etc are myths. maybe corrosion? But that's fairly easy to check visually. If they've been kept dry and away from chemicals and salts, they will be absolutely fine.
2: why? The only thing you have to be aware of is what you cited - placing them in shallow horizontal breaks with the stem providing a lever. That's relatively easily mitigated by not doing it.
3: They are actually lighter.
4: Not really a reason not to use them if you want to though is it ;)
andrewmc - on 08 Jan 2017
You shouldn't really trust any (single) cam!

Expectation that it will hold is a different thing to putting your life in the hands of a single cam...
Timmd on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

> whys that then?

> Ive got some Dragons and Demons but thought I could use these for less serious outings

I came across a wise comment along the lines of if you're placing a runner you want it to be equally good on less and more serious climbs (if you see what I mean).

radar on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:
The friend on the left is older than the one on the right. Left hand one is from the mid- late 80s as the cam axle has nuts on each end. They came with sewn tapes. There's a 2 1/2 (c/w sling on a bookcase in my office which I bought in 86 or maybe 87). The right hand one is from when they got a minor revamp at the same time flexi friends came out in the 90s. The revamp changed the back of the cam a little and lost the axle nuts, replacing them with hex fittings. They also changed the sling size colour coding too. Knowing that last bit is very anoraky I know, but the only reason I remember that is my first friend had a lime green sling originally, it got reslung by WC in later years and came back witha turquoise sling (in line with the then current colour coding)
Post edited at 06:41
radar on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to springfall2008:
They weren't supposed to be placed in horizontal breaks. If you did and fell on them they did generally hold, but the stems bent. Iirc WC would rebuild them for a price. For that very reason flexi friends were introduced. BD had released the Camelot, which originally had two wire stems, WC picked up on the wire stem idea and the flexi was born. BD soon moved to the single stem. Roll on 30 years and pretty much every slcd looks like a camalot (with the twin axle)

Timmd: standing on friends was what was known colloquially, in the 80s, as "employing Yorkshire Tactics". A phrase I haven't heard for a very long time
Post edited at 06:43
AlanLittle - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I'm also pretty sure they all came with sewn tapes back then.

I’m quite sure they didn’t. My first one was a 2½, when half sizes first came out ca 1980/81, and I always had a 9mm rope loop on that one.
Chris Craggs - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to radar:

> The friend on the left is older than the one on the right. Left hand one is from the mid- late 80s as the cam axle has nuts on each end. They came with sewn tapes. There's a 2 1/2 (c/w sling on a bookcase in my office which I bought in 86 or maybe 87). The right hand one is from when they got a minor revamp at the same time flexi friends came out in the 90s. The revamp changed the back of the cam a little and lost the axle nuts, replacing them with hex fittings.

Good knowledge

Chris
wbo - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:Yes, I'm enjoying this thread FWIW re. rigid friends in horizontal breaks , it may have been the case that you weren't supposed to do it, but given the nature of gritstone routes, there were may friends placed in horizontal breaks and they certainly saved my fat behind from landing on the ground. The consequences would be a bent stem, sometimes.

I have my old cams threaded for use if the need requires, tho' it hasn't for a long time. I also have a very early size 3 Gen 1 camalot that I have in recent years used as I know it's history, and I don't have that many big pieces.

Pedro50 on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to radar:

IIRC the original ones marketed had circlips holding the cams on and they had to be rapidly recalled and replaced with ones secured with nuts ( I hope my memory is not faulty, don't want to be libellous) I bought mine in 1980 prior to a Yosemite trip and they had nuts by then. Lesson - never be an early adopter of new technology.
The Potato - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

some brilliant replies everyone thanks, I had expected it to end after perhaps two replies. These were given to me by my neighbour (who wishes me no ill will) and I put some cord on them last night, not yet used but they look intact and lobes arent overly worn etc.

Good advice regarding horizontal cracks, and I avouid standing on any gear or friends (they just moan)
nniff - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

The earliest ones came with circlips. Originally without tapes, so my first two (bought in 1981/2) (a 1.5 and a 2) had DIY hand-tied tape on them (the thin Troll superblue). The next, bought in 1982/3 was a no 2.5 and had a stitched green tape.

THe ones in the picture don't look too worn - my no 2 was distinctly tougher than the half sizes and I think it was the later half sizes that had the curved cam backs - the whole sizes were straight.

Whilst the condition of the teeth looks OK, you need to check that the cams don't wobble on their axles, as wear there will cause the cams to splay out and not fare too well in a fall. My old rigid cams were retired because they were all just too loose and floppy on their axles.
Rob Parsons on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

> A few reasons, in order of priority:

> 1. I'm not sure I'd trust my life to a very old cam, it might be fine but then again who knows....

> 2. I wouldn't feel safe using a rigid stem, with no experience with these types of cams I wouldn't be sure if I was placing them safely - especially in horizontal breaks.

> 3. They look heavy.

This is pure FUD. The cams pictured here will be as good any others. (Just double check those cords used for the reslinging, and replace if in any doubt.)

As for the possibility of 'metal fatigue' also mentioned in this thread: complete nonsense.

> 4. I prefer extendable slings.

Fair enough. The OP could, of course, just use an extender.
jkarran - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

> Ive got some Dragons and Demons but thought I could use these for less serious outings

Not sure I understand that logic, surely if it's worth taking a cam it's worth taking the best cam you have for the job. There's nowt wrong with the design per se but modern designs evolved the way they did for good reasons.
jk
1
radar on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Thanks. Probably more of an indication that I need to get out more.


As for the mk1 Friends with circlips, didn't know about them, only ever used/seen the mk2 nutted variety. Clearly I am not quite as old as some members of this parish ;-)
Rob Parsons on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

> IIRC the original ones marketed had circlips holding the cams on and they had to be rapidly recalled and replaced with ones secured with nuts ( I hope my memory is not faulty, don't want to be libellous) I bought mine in 1980 prior to a Yosemite trip and they had nuts by then. Lesson - never be an early adopter of new technology.

The original Friends used nuts at the ends of the axle. The 'circlip' re-design was done in about 1988 - and lead to a rapid recall once the problem the which that re-design lead to was discovered. The replacement for the circlips weren't nuts, they were panhead machine screws.

I still have - and regularly use - a Friend 2 from that period which was subject to the rework I've just described.
Post edited at 16:04
1
jkarran - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to pec:

> The cams in the picture are likely to be at least 30 years old, possibly 40 and you have no idea what's hapened to them in that time and no means of inspecting them for metal fatigue.

Given they look, so far as one can tell from a blurry pic to be in reasonable order with little if any wear it's hard to imagine what use (beyond deliberate abuse) they could have been subjected to that would lead to fatigue problems. It strikes me metal fatigue is something people hear and worry about, something that is a real problem in many applications subject to prolonged cyclical loading and or vibration but equally it's a problem that will never be seen in other applications. I'd be quite surprised if there were any documented instances of climbing gear (except perhaps wire-rope, hammered gear) failing by a genuine fatigue process.

> You can get brand new 4CUs for £30 each if you want some cheap units which will be stronger, lighter, have cam stops and new sewn slings on them.

And they're good, they've always been a bargain.
jk
Post edited at 16:13
Pedro50 on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Thanks Rob, didn't realise that some nuts were pre-circlip. Just dug mine out and although they are all post-circlip they do seem to vary although with no engineering knowledge I am not sure of the difference between nuts and machine screws. (Some seem to have washers and some don't) The oldest #4 has no washer and the end is completely flush IYSWIM - is that a panhead machine screw?
Rob Parsons on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

> ... The oldest #4 has no washer and the end is completely flush IYSWIM - is that a panhead machine screw?

Yes, sounds like we're talking about the same thing.

The kind of machine screws they used for the rework were in the style of the things pictured here: http://www.westfieldfasteners.co.uk/A2_ScrewBolt_TXBtn_M6.html?google_shopping=qty_A2_ScrewBolt_TXBt...

Tony & Sarah - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

the original friends had circlips they were mainly sold in the US and recalled and then fitted with 10mm nuts.
These were supplied without slings, initially sizes 1,2 & 3. The size 4 was added about a year later.
The axle fitting changed yet again to 8mm nuts and changed yet again when the axle was changed to a pinned end.
This unfortunately had to be recalled due to several spectacular failures. Since then there have been several axle retaining systems, which have proved reliable.
The classic modification to the original solid stem was the so called the Gunks tie off,* this is probably one of the strongest arrangement for any cam, ancient or modern, in horizontal cracks.
*The Gunks tie off was originally 5mm nylon cord threaded through the smaller holes behind the cams.

Tony

P.S. I still have my original 1,2 & 3 Friends a present from my parents 1978
radar on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Tony & Sarah:

A few of my climbing partners at uni had threaded the stem with 5mm. Forgotten about that. (Never heard it called a Gunks tie off, but then Lancaster is quite a long way away from the Gunks)
keith-ratcliffe on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:
I was trying to remind myself of the reasoning behind the cam angle and I Just found this great document from Wild Country.
http://www.wildcountry.com/Content/Images/uploaded/Wild%20Country%20Cam%20book.pdf
paul__in_sheffield - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato:

Ive got a rack of these which date from about '82, originally had sewn tape, which I eventually replaced with Troll nylon tape and tape knots. These and a small rack of WC 'Rocks' and some time brass HBs earned their stripes to such an extent that the serrations have been worn away on some of the cam lobes. Would I use them again in anger? Yes, of course. Actually very confident in their performance as they've all been properly 'flight tested'.
EddInaBox on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> ... earned their stripes to such an extent that the serrations have been worn away on some of the cam lobes.

How much wear is there at the axle interfaces, is there any play and do the lobes remain perpendicular to the axle when a sideways force is applied, or do they lean?
jkarran - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> Edit: If you want an unsafe camming device, look at the lobes on some of the units sold by Gear4Rocks, from new there's cracks in the alloy lobes - what looks like metal fatigue already taking place.
> This is enough to give one the heebie jeebies:
> https://www.mountainproject.com/images/76/16/107187616_large_163515.jpg

Heebie jeebies indeed! That's a proper mess but it isn't fatigue. It looks to me like those lobes have either been lasered out of a flawed casting or less likely punched from sheet stock with crap tooling then tumbled to knock the edges down. Any idea what the actual story is behind that picture?
jk
jon on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to radar:

> Timmd: standing on friends was what was known colloquially, in the 80s, as "employing Yorkshire Tactics". A phrase I haven't heard for a very long time

Climbing with an American in Eldorado Canyon in 1978, he ran it out a long way, shaking and obviously a bit frightened, he eventually placed and clipped some gear at head height. He relaxed noticeably. It was then I saw that he had trapped the rope under his foot and was half resting on the gear. He looked down and smiled and said '... a Yorkshire Rest...'

jon on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Tony & Sarah:

> P.S. I still have my original 1,2 & 3 Friends a present from my parents 1978

You can't have. I've got the 2... oops!

Tony & Sarah - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to jon:

Hi Jon, I lied, I have the 1,3 & 4. I gave the No.2 up for a ride on our way home from the Valley (Yosemite to LAX).in 1980
By the way we are in Vallouise and not much snow but several good days out on the local rock. If you want to meet up e-mail us.
Tony
Timmd on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> Heebie jeebies indeed! That's a proper mess but it isn't fatigue. It looks to me like those lobes have either been lasered out of a flawed casting or less likely punched from sheet stock with crap tooling then tumbled to knock the edges down. Any idea what the actual story is behind that picture?

> jk

I haven't a clue. I think I was wrong, actually, the relative I spoke to said metal fatigue 'may' have already started to take place, when he looked at it briefly when I showed him the picture during a busy work day, but either way, God knows how cams can be sold with lobes like that on them, or which can end up like that when lobes on friends older than I am are still fine.

It's quite frightening that some people might be using Gear4Rocks gear with that kind of quality control going on...
Post edited at 18:20
paul__in_sheffield - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to EddInaBox:

> How much wear is there at the axle interfaces, is there any play and do the lobes remain perpendicular to the axle when a sideways force is applied, or do they lean?

Just went an performed an empirical test on a few, which are around 35 years old now. I didn't really expect any sideways compliance, and there is virtually none. Not surprising as degradation of the axle/lobe interface would be rotational wear (unlikely) or deformation (even more unlikely) from shear. I took a number 4 apart. The release trigger wires are bungalowed, however the axle mikes up as circular and there isn't any visible wear on the cam drilling for the axle. When I get a chance, I'll get someone to look at it under electron microscope and give it an X-ray to see any micro fractures. I did have someone do the FE analysis as a masters project years ago, and the design is really incredibly robust.
I think the modern climber may be a bit precious about gear ;-)
wbo - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Pesda potato: maybe it's an effect of the image but the Gear4rocks cam looks bent along the axle.

Paul - thanks for that testing. Perhaps I'll unretire some of my old friends . I have a 1,5 I would use as the cams are sticky, but he others are fine, no slop or deformation. I also have a couple of Original TCUs I bought from Alan Watts round 89 or 90

nutstory - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to wbo:
Please wbo, are your Original TCUs bought from Alan Watts made by Wired Bliss or Metolius? I would be delighted if you could send me a good photograph of these cams.
wbo - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to nutstory:
metolius sizes 3 and 4. Images via the .fr email account ?
Post edited at 09:20
nutstory - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to wbo:
Ho... thank you very much for answering my request so promptly. If it is convenient to you my email address would be the easiest way for me. Thank you again.
Ade in Sheffield - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to wbo:

I'd agree, as with these, two different vintages, the smaller being older, with original hex engineering nuts on the axle- and copper swaging, the big one is newer- different nuts, but can't see the swaging.
wbo - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Nutstory: images on way.

I have also included images of a 4 cam unit made by Faces (?) that I bought from a shop in Matlock circa 1990. 4 cams, 2 'inside' moving, 2 on the outside fixed, part of the 'frame'. Does anyone else remember these?

Rick Graham on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to wbo:


> images on way.

> I have also included images of a 4 cam unit made by Faces (?) that I bought from a shop in Matlock circa 1990. 4 cams, 2 'inside' moving, 2 on the outside fixed, part of the 'frame'. Does anyone else remember these?

Cads or Slugs? I think. Quite good in marginal horizontals.

Jim, Phil and Ian had us all doing 30 foot lobs on them in Yarncliffe quarry one shop testing day.
MischaHY - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to radar:

> Standing on friends was what was known colloquially, in the 80s, as "employing Yorkshire Tactics". A phrase I haven't heard for a very long time

Love this bit of random trivia!
nutstory - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Rick Graham:

Faces Tech Cad Rick, Tech Cad... The Slug is a spring loaded one cam device.
jon on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to wbo:

> I have also included images of a 4 cam unit made by Faces (?) that I bought from a shop in Matlock circa 1990. 4 cams, 2 'inside' moving, 2 on the outside fixed, part of the 'frame'. Does anyone else remember these?

Yes, I've got one of those still on my (very infrequently used) trad rack. It's a Cad 3 - as Stéphane says. Also on the rack is a big Faces Cad 8. Like the smaller one it has a flexible double stem, however all the lobes move on this one in a normal manner.
nutstory - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to jon:
"Also on the rack is a big Faces Cad 8. Like the smaller one it has a flexible double stem, however all the lobes move on this one in a normal manner."
Bonjour jon!
Your size 8 is a Faces Four Cam Cad. I would be most grateful to you if you could send me a good photograph of this device... in a first time...;-) There are two generation of the Four Cam Cads.
jon on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to nutstory:

OK, will do.
nutstory - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to jon:

As you are on your computer now, I suspect that the weather is as bad as it is in Corsica today...
jon on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to nutstory:
No, it's perfect - but very cold!
Post edited at 10:17

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.