Your nut cleaning tool is a vital bit of gear, and you don’t ever want to drop it. Most climbers typically tie a few feet of string/cord to their cleaning tool, allowing one end of the cord to be always clipped to their harness. The main problem with this method is that the extra cord constantly tangles with all the other goodies on your harness gear loops – a major hassle on a tough lead.
With about $3 worth of hardware and 10 minutes, you can craft a Better Way. This system lets you fully extend the nut tool to clean a placement, yet stays neatly out of the way when not in use. It’s a good rainy day project. (You can likely figure it out from the photo alone, but here’s some directions anyway.)
What you need:
- A single mini “keychain” biner (ideally one rated to carry a load – climb shops may carry small biners rated to 600kG. You may need to use it someday to haul a pack.)
- About one foot (unstretched) telephone cord - remember those, all you cordless phone folks? I got mine at Goodwill for $0.50, or new from Radio Shack
- Two aluminum double sleeve swages from the bulk rope/wire section of a decent hardware store. Bring the phone cord to be sure you get the right size swage
- Wire cutters and sturdy pliers / Visegrips
To make it:
- With wire cutters, snip off the phone jacks from the ends of the phone cord.
- Pass about 2 inches of the cord through one sleeve of the swage.
- Run one end of the phone cord through the nut tool. (Do not pass the cord through the butt end of the nut tool, as the cord will get mangled when you have to smack the tool with a rock or hammer to remove a really stubborn placement.) Note the Black Diamond nut tool in the photo, which has a very handy bottle opener on the butt end.
- Run the free end of the cord back through the second sleeve on the swage.
- Clamp hard on the swage with your pliers or vise grips, mashing the swage together around the phone cord.
- Repeat on the other end of the phone cord with the biner. I wrapped some athletic tape around the phone cord/biner connection, to be sure the loop never can come off the biner.
When on your harness, the butt end of the tool is clipped to the biner, keeping it well out of the way.
That’s it, and happy cleaning! That next welded tri cam you find will be your wall booty.