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DIY ice axe

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 Dibyendu Das 23 Jun 2020

Hi,

I am thinking of making ice axe with pick for training purpose, chromoly steel shaft and ss sick,I am not going to do it myself but from professionals,buy he has never made such things earlier,so I am little doubtful about the safety issues but again I am not willing to spend money on new ones as of now ,

If anyone of you got such experience of making ice tool,I seeking ur advice.

Thanks

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In reply to Dibyendu Das:

Having something custom made will be more expensive than buying one off the shelf or secondhand.

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In reply to Dibyendu Das:

Just buy one second hand 

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 Dibyendu Das 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Toerag:

Actually I am from India,there is not a single ice axe manufacturer in India as far I could find ,so the  price we hv to pay for gears are really high for us considering our income(in India, wages per hour is very low compared to European countries from where the gears imported)

Plus, custom charges upto 30%. One of my Climbing partners recently bought a LaSportiva tarantula for $130,even though it was on discount.

If I do custom make an ice axe(chromoly tube as shaft and hand forged stainless steel pick,spike) it will cost me barely $12 including the material price and labour charges.

That is my point as I am still a beginner.

Thanks for your response

Post edited at 12:55
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 Basemetal 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Dibyendu Das:

If it is primarily for training, fall-arrest and snow climbing I don't think you have to worry too much about strength overall, but should concentrate more on keeping the weight down. The biggest risk in design will probably be stress concentration at any sharp internal corners so shape is important. 

A steel shaft sounds too heavy, unless thin walled tube. Aluminium tube would be better, or even, dare I say, straight grained wood?

The other way to minimise weight is by keeping the dimensions modest.

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 cb294 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Dibyendu Das:

I would be surprised if there was no second hand market for expedition / trekking leftovers in the Indian Himalaya states. There certainly is in Nepal.

CB

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 Donotello 23 Jun 2020
In reply to cb294:

The guy is trying to make his own and has made it clear he’s not interested in being persuaded to buy them, give it a rest.

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In reply to Dibyendu Das:

Ah I see, that would make sense.  I can only suggest looking at manufacturer's websites to see what materials they're using then seeing if you can find the right materials. If it's for snow and walking use then the strength requirements would be relatively low compared to a mountaineering axe which is going to be twisted and pulled on. Perhaps bicycle frame tube would be the easiest thing to source for a handle?

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In reply to Dibyendu Das:

For a DIY job consider making something from sheet steel like the grivel x monster. Cut to shape, heat treat and add packing/tape on the grip areas. 

Post edited at 17:19
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 cb294 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Donotello:

Then build your own and die when it fails.

Better?

CB

edit: My point is, if you have never used an ice axe it is much harder to make one. I am quite a few of us could make one, given proper workshop access, but if you do not know what to look in an axefor you are not getting info you can work from by asking onthe web.

Post edited at 17:47
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 beardy mike 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Dibyendu Das:

What do you mean exactly by training? Are you talking about for pull ups or are you looking for something for actual use in the mountains? If you are after something for the mountains, I would say the knowledge you need to hand forge and temper correctly, a pick would be difficult to come across. Manufacturing a shaft, well an oval aluminium tube of 6000 aluminium in t6 state would be good, maybe 1-2mm wall thickness. But really it’s the connection between the pick and shaft which will be the most tricky. A stainless pick - no, not really unless you are talking about a high grade stainless, but those usually come as a round bar, not sheet so cutting it would be difficult with out a cnc machine. You would be better using a high tensile carbon steel sheet and the cutting it out, grinding it as you t]require and then retempering it. In all - it’s quite an undertaking to make a usable item... I would honestly say your best bet is to find someone to send you a secondhand one from e-bay making sure they mark it as a gift or something like that... as much as I want to support your endeavour, you’ve chosen a tough thing to do! On the otherhand if you are talking about training at a wall, or just for pull ups, there are lots of training aids which you could use, I forget the names of them, Figure 4? Basically plywood cutouts a bit like nomic icetools with rubber strap loops which you can hook holds with.

Post edited at 18:53
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 petegunn 23 Jun 2020
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 The Lemming 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Dibyendu Das:

I take it you live in India?

If so what are the postage cost to your home address for a pair of ice tools?

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 jkarran 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Dibyendu Das:

Do you want technical axes for ice or rock climbing? Or walking axes for mountaineering? Or something for training on indoor walls? 

The others are right, modern axe designs are really quite refined, the materials fairly exotic but we are looking from a 2020 western consumer perspective, at their core they are simple tools, axes, which would until pretty recently have been hand forged by blacksmiths and mounted on wooden shafts. 

To make a walking or basic climbing axe (totally reasonable) with basic tools I'd make a pick from the flattest portion of a leaf spring. Cut the profile with an angle grinder, flatten and thickness gradually with flap wheels. I'd probably braze that into a thin wall steel collet of seamless tube (bike frame), glue and bolt/rivet the assembly onto a wood or fiberglass tool handle carved/ground to shape. Bolt or braze the adze/hammer into a mechanical joint.

Time, grinder and cheap materials can yield something nice and functional.

Jk

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 Dibyendu Das 24 Jun 2020

It is there,but in Nepal

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