Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za

Ruwag drill bits tested in tough terrain

Drill bits

When rock climber and business owner, Andrew Louw began working on a new rock climbing project he had no idea where it would take him or who would support his ideas

After retrenchment, Andrew Louw started two businesses, ‘Black Fire Adventures and Expeditions’ for adventure driven people, and ‘Climb Lab’ for those who want to learn the art of rock climbing.

The adventure began after an evening of climbing at the Pretoria University LC De Villiers Sports Grounds. Louw was approached by a land owner who believed the cliffs on his farm had rock climbing potential and wanted Louw to assess them.

“It turned out that the cliffs on the land actually provided mind-blowing abseiling opportunities and thus we decided to focus on preparing them for commercial use,” said Louw.

“One of the abseil (descendby) points was quite dangerous as the approach to the start point provided participants with a bit too much ‘exposure’ and involved a scramble up a steep rock slab. I don’t know of any other abseil points that does this.”

“Getting the clients to this point safely required putting up safety measures, such as a handrail and backed-up abseil points, which required the use of expensive materials and consumables.

“While sending out requests for quotations for the required stainless steel bolts, cable, chain and other items, it was decided to try and obtain consumables such as drill bits directly from the suppliers.

Ruwag, a specialist supplier of power tool accessories and fixings thought it a good opportunity and provided Louw with what he needed and have him report back on the performance of its drill bits.

“I installed a fiver pitch (+-100m high) climbing route at Wilgepoort just outside Brokhorstspruit before. During this installation, I used a normal cordless hammer drill which had more than enough power and speed, while the batteries lasted really well,” says Louw.

“I took this same drilling machine to the new location expecting the same results. From the moment the drill bit touched the rock it was evident that this rock was much harder than I had expected.

Initially expecting that the rock was much softer than it actually was we used the incorrect drill bits and had to source a drill bit with better hammering power. We unpacked about 70m of extension cord and used an electrical hammer drill, plugged into a generator. This didn’t work either and several drill bits from various manufactures were destroyed in the process. Ruwag suggested using SDS drill bits and this time we set out with a heavy-duty SDS drill.”

The performance of the anchors is determined by the accuracy of the hole drilled. The Ruwag Professional SDS bits are certified to ensure that these anchors will perform as they should.

Ruwag’s specially profiled Tungsten Carbide tip and unique flutes are designed for concentrated impact and efficient debris removal which leads to the high speed at which holes can be drilled.

The result was that the new drill bits and more powerful machine sliced through the rock sending sparks, dust and rock chips flying. Samples of the rock were confirmed by a geologist as a really hard rock – Iron rich Quartzite, but using the SDS drill bits made the job easy and the drilling was completed with reasonable effort.

The success and speed of the drilling enabled Louw to complete the installation of the hand rail and two belay points in time for the venue’s planned open day.

The disciple of ‘Sport Climbing’ requires the permanent installation of hangers and anchors on a climbing route. The quality of the materials and installation is very important as failure could lead to serious injury or even death.

“We install the very best products available to us. We use 316SS hanger plates and bolt these to the rock wall using specialised 10mm 316SS bolts. To make sure the installation is perfect, we also use a good quality drill bit and usually only drill 10-15 holes with each bit. After the dust has been blown out and the hole scrubbed with a steel hole brush (like a small bottle brush), we clean the dust out again. We then hammer the bolt in and fasten the hanger in place.The anchor is usually two bits of chain that we fasten to the rock in the same way as the hangers,” said Louw.


    • View posts filed under:
    • News

Latest


29 Apr 2020
Pratley stands tall as a family-owned and managed business

The main advantage of being a family business is that it secures management’s direct and hands-on involvement. That and much…

Pratley stands tall as a family-owned and managed business

The main advantage of being a family business is that it secures management’s direct and hands-on involvement. That and much more is what made Pratley so successful over the past 72 years.   The fact that Pratley celebrates its 72 anniversary this year is largely due to it being a successful family-owned and…

17 Feb 2020
IQ Retail wins Supplier of the Year award

The annual DIY Industry Awards recently took place at Media Park and IQ Retail won the award for ‘Service Supplier…

IQ Retail wins Supplier of the Year award

The annual DIY Industry Awards recently took place at Media Park and IQ Retail won the award for ‘Service Supplier of the Year’. Dion Le Roux, channel manager and Tanya Butler, marketing manager for IQ Retail shows off the company’s achievement.

05 Feb 2020
Alcolin wood glue launches new innovative nozzle

Woodworkers can look forward to completing projects faster and with more ease thanks to Alcolin Wood Glues’ clever new nozzle…

Alcolin wood glue launches new innovative nozzle

Woodworkers can look forward to completing projects faster and with more ease thanks to Alcolin Wood Glues’ clever new nozzle and all-in-one system.

05 Feb 2020
Laduma Hardware Group eyes rural growth

Armed with a niche business strategy targeting rural and semi urban communities, Laduma Hardware (Laduma) expects significant growth in a…

Laduma Hardware Group eyes rural growth

Armed with a niche business strategy targeting rural and semi urban communities, Laduma Hardware (Laduma) expects significant growth in a number of their stores supplying hardware products to millions of South Africans wishing to build homes.


Top stories


17 Dec 2019
Ingco now offers power tools training to retailers

Skillcraft Agencies, distributors of the Ingco tool brand has opened a power tool training centre, helping sales staff acquire the necessary skills…

Ingco now offers power tools training to retailers

Skillcraft Agencies, distributors of the Ingco tool brand has opened a power tool training centre, helping sales staff acquire the necessary skills to better understand, market and sell the brand.  

05 Feb 2020
′Silent salesman′ simplifies paint colour tinting

Duram recently launched an innovative new Colour Tinting solution. Francois Swart, Duram sales director sat down for a Q&A to…

′Silent salesman′ simplifies paint colour tinting

Duram recently launched an innovative new Colour Tinting solution. Francois Swart, Duram sales director sat down for a Q&A to tell us more about it.

17 Dec 2019
Reaching high

Recent developments in forklift technology have resulted in cutting-edge reach trucks that are much smarter, offering an array of benefits…

Reaching high

Recent developments in forklift technology have resulted in cutting-edge reach trucks that are much smarter, offering an array of benefits to the end user.

17 Dec 2019
Now with added offering

The Mica brand has always been synonymous with DIY. Its trendy blue, yellow and orange has brightened up hardware store…

Now with added offering

The Mica brand has always been synonymous with DIY. Its trendy blue, yellow and orange has brightened up hardware store fronts across the country for the past 36 years. Although Mica has always played in the general DIY and paint market, it has now firmly stuck its foot in the…