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Tech Tip: Question DIY Toggle

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Sandemonium, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. Sandemonium

    Sandemonium

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    Location:
    Moab, UT
    I have been using my own toggles made out of PEX, and have recently had some friends inquire about how the material compares to the available polycarbonate FiddleStick, Smooth Operator, and Atwood Toggle.

    Simply, I cut various lengths of PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), sanded them slightly to achieve a bit more friction around the surface, and drilled a hole in one end to tie accessory cord for clipping to the pull cord.

    This was the type of toggle I was introduced to by a very experienced canyoneering mentor who uses these home made toggles extensively and I expect that some of you collective members regularly use PEX toggles as well(?)

    I would love to hear the pros and cons of PEX vs. polycarbonate for this application, especially from those experts among us who manufacture and sell various fancy dialed in versions of the crude hardware store scrap that never leaves my harness!

    Let the tech specs and tests roll!

    and Thanks in advance...
    hank moon likes this.
  2. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    Like PEX-A and PEX-B for plumbing?

    That stuff can collapse on itself, I can do it by hand...

    Could it pull the pair of non-collapsed halves through a well-dressed stone knot? I don't know.

    But the thought of watching the rope bend and fold it gives me the willies.

    Perhaps if you capped one end, filled it with sand/poxy, and glued the other end shut a couple inches in, it would hold form. (Couple inches in to leave room in pipe for hole.)
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  4. Helo-ops

    Helo-ops

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    Sandemonium likes this.
  5. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    I know that guy, and know that he's been doing it for years w/o issue. That said, I don't know if he's explored the limitations of the material, as has been done w/polycarbonate. Perhaps you'd pick up that ball?
    Sandemonium likes this.
  6. Sandemonium

    Sandemonium

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    No compelling reason - just was following suit with what I was taught and trusted to be tried and true for someone with way more experience than me.
    That's why I came here to poll the rest of the canyon community about their experience with this material, not just the experience of one individual.

    And sounds like not a lot of folks are making their own toggles with PEX after all....

    Thanks for the polycarbonate link Tom!
    ratagonia likes this.
  7. Sandemonium

    Sandemonium

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    Hank - Thanks for confirming my source on this, I was starting to feel a bit silly assuming that this was a more widely accepted method!

    I have been doing it for 3 years now, probably close to 100 raps and haven't had any issues of it bending or cracking , but that's not real scientific type testing and I certainly don't feel compelled to pick up the ball of diving deep into exploring the materials limitations...
    ratagonia likes this.
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