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Thread: Northern Lites (the snowshoe, not the Aurora Borealis)

  1. #16
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    Yup, I know I can get SS stuff, it's the more specialized things..

    Needlesstosay, I talked to a Mech E. here at work who has heard of Nylok and managed to procure some spare #10 bolts and Nylock nuts and some misc. washers so I'm set, I just put them back on and the thing looks golden. WooT, Jay H rides again.

    Jay
    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

  2. #17
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    Well, the NLs held up, at least the bolt and nylok nuts are holding. I did check them after some of the longer hikes from Grace Camp these past 3 days, but I found another problem.

    I broke off the Aluminum crampon on the same repaired NL. The two small ones that are on the side, either from the hardpack ice on Marcy on tuesday or perhaps the short run up Short Job from Grace Camp on the same day.... Sheared right off, so now I'm missing the small side crampon!

    Maybe I'll contact Tim Seaver to see if he or anybody else has attempted to have a machine shop fabricate a custom crampon to my specs... All one needs, I think, is a sheetmetal bender, some aluminum stock and a cutter to cut, and a drill press to make the holes...

    Jay
    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

  3. #18
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    If you check out LRiz's TR on her 48W SS he posted pictures and links in it on his own custom jobs that he went Tim The Tool Man on.

    Here is a picture of mine that I tore the hell out of Jay. I sheared mine off on the rock of Haystack.
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

  4. #19
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    By the way, I love everything about these shoes except the shotty little aluminum crampon. They might be the best down hill gliders on the market for mixed conditions.
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

  5. #20
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    They do glide well downhill. Unfortunately, that's a function of the wimpy crampon; I think I'll lose some down hill glide performance after I beef up the crampon.

  6. #21
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    NL Crampon Mods

    ( I had PM'ed some info to Jay, but wanted to post something here , so...)

    Yes, the NL crampon does suck. Once it's buttery soft aluminum teeth have worn down to a useless nub (like, maybe your third hike), you will be doomed to fearing for your life every time you see an icy patch, or at least be prone to sudden attacks of "dance fever" when crossing them. It doesn't have to be that way. You CAN have a light snowshoe AND have good traction.

    One approach is Cannibalization, taking the crampons from another pair of snowshoes and forcing them upon the NL's deck, the other is adding stainless plates that mimic the original crampon design, but add just a bit of height (and possibly width).

    Here are a few pics of the Cannibal approach, using the lovely and substantial SS crampon from a pair of Kahtoola snowshoes that innocently wandered into the garage one day...needless to say they were never seen again except on milk cartons here and there:

    ...and the fava beans were fabulous...

    Cannibal Rising

    Cath converted her NL's with parts from some Redfeather snowshoes, bindings and all, and had a local ski shop do the bloody work for peanuts:


    And here are a few pics of the parts for the "plate by plate" style. All work was done with just a vise, a hacksaw, a file, and a pop rivet gun.

    ...and the finished crampon:

    Quid pro quo. Yes or no?


    The blue plastic "anti-snow" plates are cut from a roll-up kiddie sled - this is one thing that could be improved upon - it's not thick enough and tends to roll or fold at the edges from crusty snow.

  7. #22
    Senior Member adktyler's Avatar
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    Just a little chip in here, for whatever it's worth. My dad owns Havlick snowshoes (I have a spare pair myself) and the crampons inevitably wore down after a few years. What we did, as a fairly easy and quick fix, was to make our own. We took an old steel bed frame, and traced the outline of the simple crampon system. Then we cut of the same shape with a hack saw, and used his grinder and metal file to make the final touches. Now the NL crampon system is much more intricate than the ones we had, but the principle is still the same. With some tinkering, you might be able to rig up a similar system.

    No pictures, but looking at the crampon system on the website you might be able to use your imagination. Just so you know, too, the snowshoe itself is not built to accommodate the increased sturdiness of a steel crampon system, so it might be damaging to the attachment arrangement. This happened to us a little at first, until we re-enforced the plastic. Just a thought to ponder.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Viewseeker's Avatar
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    If tim the tool man taylor cant do it....Get Bob The builder....He always says "we can do it!!!" good luck Jay, If you where close I have a guy in a machine shop who could fix ya up...i have alot of say..."government work" done there!!!
    Hike today, work tomorrow... ME

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  9. #24
    Senior Member Cath's Avatar
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    Tinker Tim does it again

    Don't fear the grab TCD
    With the replacement crampon, this style anyway,
    Tele-shoein is just fine
    Everythings Better Below Freezing

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  10. #25
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    I should be able to procure some spare aluminum or perhaps SS, hopefully figure out a good way to cut them. I have a basic hacksaw and a sawzall and a small vice. What thickness do you folks think I should aim for. I have the Nylock nuts and bolts now from my work here, maybe this will be a summer project.

    Jay
    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

  11. #26
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    onlinemetals.com

    Jay, here is what I ordered from online metals last time ( 16 gauge). If I ordered again, I would get the T-316 Marine SS instead ( more bend resistant). The teeth can easily be cut with a hacksaw and cleaned up with a file or bench grinder. The trickiest part is drilling the holes - stainless "work hardens" quite quickly, so you want to use very sharp drill bits, cutting oil, and a good bit of pressure.

    PRODUCTS
    4 pieces @ $1.10/piece
    Stainless T-304 Annealed #4
    Sheet
    PVC 1 side
    0.06" (16 ga.)
    Cut to: 1.25" x 4"
    -------------------------------------------------
    4 pieces @ $0.83/piece
    Stainless T-304 Annealed #4
    Sheet
    PVC 1 side
    0.06" (16 ga.)
    Cut to: 1.25" x 3"

  12. #27
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'm going to see if I can procure some stuff around here, my Mech E friend may actually have some military grade scrap running around. I do work for a defense contractor ya know.

    Broke another rivet on the other shoe, replaced at home. I think I am going to purposefully break the other washers, the washers they use are fairly flimsy and they are already bowed. Might as well prebreak them now than in the field. Winter is almost over in my neck of the woods anyway.

    Jay
    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

  13. #28
    Senior Member Neil's Avatar
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    The crampons on my NL's are worn down to nubs. It looks like Timseaver.com.inc will become THE industry standard for pimped NL's.

    I volunteer my pair for another round of beta testing.

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