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Horizontal Spools

It may be dangerous to generalize, but spools provide the smoothest operation of any descender class. This is one reason that spools are the preferred lowering device for the ascending races at the NSS convention each year. Their disadvantages offset their advantages, and they are seldom used for caving. The biggest problem is their weight, and to a lesser extent, their size. They are also incremental friction devices at best, since one can only change friction by changing the number of loops that the rope makes around the spool. Some designs allow this to be done on rope, others do not.

Some spools are susceptible to having the rope come off if the user is not careful. I've marked the worst offenders with a warning icon.

Gallery

Image ID Device Description Acquired Weight Height Width Thickness Std. volume
Cuddington Spool 579 Cuddington Spool Chrome-plated steel spool, guide coils John E. Weinel, Inc., 2000 1272 225 129 92 2679
Drum 1268 Drum Bronze spool ,fixed & pivoting side plates, pivoting guide arm with screw lock. Julian Turner, 2010 699 157 106 72 1210
Forrest Rope Rider 418 Forrest Rope Rider
Al tube on steel frame, Al rope retention pin John E. Weinel, Inc., 1985 412 219 122 39 1042
Forrest Rope Rider Jr. 419 Forrest Rope Rider Jr.
Al tube on steel frame, Al rope retention pin John E. Weinel, Inc., 1985 300 170 76 39 504
Garre A. Connor 420 Garre A. Connor
Al spool and 3 Al bollards mounted on Al back plate. Noncommercial. John E. Weinel, Inc., 1985 719 300 91 57 1556
Lewis Spool 550 Lewis Spool Steel tube /w welded steel bar eye arm and rope guides. Noncommercial. Warren Lewis, 1998 1462 272 114 142 4403
Rappel Hammer, Version A 424 Rappel Hammer, Version A
Galv. pipes welded in "T" shape, with end plate rope guides. Noncommercial. Dr. Gary D. Storrick, 1991 1957 250 160 110 4400
Rappel Hammer, Version B 1071 Rappel Hammer, Version B
Hammer shaped, 1018 steel Noncommercial. Dr. Gary D. Storrick, 2007 2263 340 82 75 2105
Steinke Spool 1240 Steinke Spool Steel spool, 1 welded and 1 rotating bolted arm, wide flange, no guides Ted Steinke, 2009 849 214 103 79 1730
Storrick Spool 427 Storrick Spool SS spool, SS arm /w eye, SS guide coils, rope retention bolt. Noncommercial. Robert W. Storrick 1264 170 108 113 2075
University of Virginia Rappelling Log 1137 University of Virginia Rappelling Log Wood spool bolted between angle-iron sides, cold shut eyes Dwight Deal, 2007 1927 304 204 78 4851
Unknown 1281 Unknown Al spool, 2 guide pins, 2 arms, cold shut tie-ins J. W. Jackson, 2011 803 177 113 82 1639
Vertical Supply Rappel Tube 423 Vertical Supply Rappel Tube SS tube sliding on SS shaft /w eye & rope guide, two vertical pin guides, cooling sponge Vertical Supply, 1993 498 145 112 49 796
Vertical Supply Rappel Tube Prototype 422 Vertical Supply Rappel Tube Prototype SS tube sliding on SS shaft /w eye & rope guide, two horizontal pin guides. Vertical Supply, 1994 438 168 84 100 1411

Brake Tubes Vertical Spools Spool Weight Chart