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Storrick Open Eight

Version A Version B
Version A Version B

Overview


Proof-of-concept Prototype
(#943)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I made the Open Eight prototype in 2004, but the design dates from ahout 1980.

The Open Eight prototype is milled from 1/2-in (12.7 mm.) 6061-T6 aluminum.

Comments

The idea behind the Open Eight is to create a Figure Eight-like descender that does not need to be unclipped for rigging or derigging. The Frendo canyoneering Eights provide one nice solution to this problem, but they don't pack as well as a flat eight. I started working on the ideas for this eight in the early 1980s. This is actually the third paper design that I developed (I'll backtrack and make the copies of the earlier versions later.) When I showed it to people at the 2004 NSS convention, I was quite pleased with the interest shown in the Open Eight.

One disadvantage of my design is that the rope can come out of the Open Eight if the rappeller is not careful.

The prototype works well on flexible ropes, but the shank is too short for stiff caving ropes, resulting in too much friction in that case. I would also like to widen the Open Eight to allow for doubled rope.

This is one of the earliest projects for my new milling machine, and since it was never intended as more than a proof-of-concept, the design is somewhat angular. Now that I know that the design works, I can make a more finished version. I do not intend to put the Open Eight on the market. If someone else does so, can you send me a freebie?


Version B
(#955)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I made Version B in 2004.

Version B is 162 mm. tall, 83 mm. wide, 13 mm. thick, and weighs 243 g.

Comments

Version B is an improvement based on lessons learned from the Proof-of-concept Prototype. In particular, I made the following improvements:

  1. The upper portion of the device is taller, so it will give less friction. This is desirable for those of us that nrmally use stiff, dirty caving ropes, but detrimental when used with thin, celan and flexible climbing ropes.
  2. The shank is now long enough to allow using the device with double ropes.
  3. I added two ears at the bottom. I placed these in an unobtrusive location. Many commercial Figure Eights With Ears put the ears up high; I think this is a mistake, and I didn't repeat it.
  4. I rounded the eye at the bottom. Since I don't have a CNC milling machine, I resorted to stacking two rotary tables so that I could make the side, ear, and eye cuts in a single setup.

I plan to add a springwire gate when I get the materials and the time to do so.