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Bassett Metal Studios

Version A Version B Micro, Version A Micro, Version B Mini Pico
Version A Version B Micro,
Version A
Micro,
Version B
Mini Pico

Overview


Bassett Metal Studios, Version A
(#527)

Front View Rear View Side View
Front View Rear View Side View

Technical Details

I acquired this rack from Inner Mountain Outfitters at the 1997 NSS Convention.

My Bassett Metal Studios, Version A rack is 310 mm. tall, 120 mm. wide, 24 mm. thick, and weighs 824 g. The frame is made from 9.5 mm. stainless steel bent into a U, with an internal width of 33 mm. There are six brake bars, all made from 21 mm. diameter stainless steel tubing. The top bar is a 119 mm. long dual hyperbar, while the remaining five are 64 mm. long standard bars. Allowing 35 mm. for the rope leaves 94 mm. range for spreading the bars.

There are no markings on this rack.

Comments

The top hyperbar provides a convenient tie-off at the expense of making the rack unnecessarily bulky. Although I like hyperbars on smaller racks where I can use them to increase friction and compensate for having fewer bars, on larger ones I find them superfluous since I am not particularly interested in having another tie-off method.


Bassett Metal Studios, Version B
(#1006)

Front View Rear View Side View
Front View Rear View Side View

Technical Details

I acquired this rack from Barry Duncan at the 2005 Old Timers Reunion.

My Bassett Metal Studios, Version B rack is 255 mm. tall, 120 mm. wide, 22 mm. thick, and weighs 702 g. The frame is made from 9.5 mm. stainless steel bent into a U, with an internal width of 34 mm. There are four brake bars, all made from 21 mm. diameter stainless steel tubing. The top bar is a 120 mm. long dual hyperbar, and the third bar is the same, inverted. Neither is slotted. The second and fourth bars are 64 mm. long standard slotted bars. Allowing 35 mm. for the rope leaves 97 mm. range for spreading the bars.

There are no markings on this rack.

Comments

For a standard-sized rack, hyperbars may be unnecessary but I'll allow for differences of opinion, but by the time one doubles the hyperbar and then adds a second, inverted hyperbar and doubles that, I think one is going a bit to far for normal use. The result is big, bulky, and has enough prongs to catch on just about anything.


Bassett Metal Studios Microrack, Version A
(#1234)

Front View Rear View Side View
Front View Rear View Side View

Technical Details

I acquired this rack from Howie's Harnesses at the 2009 UIS/NSS Convention.

This Microrack rack is 269 mm. tall, 70 mm. wide, 27 mm. thick, and weighs 430 g. The frame is made from 7.9 mm. stainless steel bent into a U, with an internal width of 18 mm. There are four brake bars, including one hyperbar and three standard hollow SS bars. The bars are 21 mm. in diameter and 70 and 45 mm. long, respectively. Allowing 35 mm. for the rope leaves 109 mm. for spreading the bars.

There are no markings on this rack.

Comments

The nomenclatural absurdity of having the Microrack be larger than the Mini arose through historical accident.

The top bar is a hyperbar, that allows looping the rope over the bar to increase friction. While I don't see a need for hyperbars on a standard size rack, I like having them on small 4-bar racks because such racks often don't provide enough friction. Some people use an upside-down hyper bar as the third bar, but that is carrying the hyperbar idea too far for my taste.

Allowing the fourth bar to open while maneuvering on rope can be dangerous. John Woods invented a brake bar latch to help reduce the chance of this happening.


Bassett Metal Studios Microrack, Version B
(#2458)

Front View Rear View Side View
Front View Rear View Side View

Technical Details

I acquired this rack from On Rope 1 at the 2017 NSS Convention.

Version B is 228 mm. tall, 70 mm. wide, 25 mm. thick, and weighs 401 g. The frame is made from 7.9 mm. stainless steel bent into a U, with an internal width of 18 mm. There are four brake bars, including one hyperbar and three standard hollow SS bars. The bars are 21 mm. in diameter and 70 and 45 mm. long, respectively. Allowing 35 mm. for the rope leaves 65 mm. for spreading the bars.

There are no markings on this rack.

Comments

The current standard microrack seems to be more or less the same as the Mini was, except that the current Microrack has larger diameter bars.

The top bar is a hyperbar, that allows looping the rope over the bar to increase friction. While I don't see a need for hyperbars on a standard size rack, I like having them on small 4-bar racks because such racks often don't provide enough friction. Some people use an upside-down hyper bar as the third bar, but that is carrying the hyperbar idea too far for my taste.

Allowing the fourth bar to open while maneuvering on rope can be dangerous. John Woods invented a brake bar latch to help reduce the chance of this happening.


Bassett Metal Studios Mini
(#389)

Front View Rear View Side View
Front View Rear View Side View

Technical Details

I acquired this rack from John E. Weinel, Inc. at the 1994 Old Timers Reunion.

My Bassett Metal Studios Mini is 225 mm. tall, 63 mm. wide, 19 mm. thick, and weighs 348 g. The frame is made from 7.9 mm. stainless steel bent into a U, with an internal width of 16 mm. There are 4 brake bars. The bars are made from 19 mm. diameter stainless steel tubing. The top bar is a 67 mm. long single-sided hyperbar. The remaining bars are 45 mm. long. Allowing 35 mm. for the rope gives a 72 mm. for spreading the bars.

There are no markings on this rack.

Comments

The top bar is a hyperbar, that allows looping the rope over the bar to increase friction. While I don't see a need for hyperbars on a standard size rack, I like having them on small 4-bar racks because such racks often don't provide enough friction.

Allowing the fourth bar to open while maneuvering on rope can be dangerous. John Woods invented a brake bar latch to help reduce the chance of this happening.


Bassett Metal Studios Pico-Rack
(#549, 2400, 2474)

Front View Rear View Side View
Front View Rear View Side View

Technical Details

I acquired this rack from Bassett Metal Studios at the 1997 NSS Convention. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection, and a third from Bill Liebman at the 2017 Old Timers Reunion.

My Bassett Metal Studios Pico-rack rack is 119 mm. tall, 41 mm. wide, 18 mm. thick, and weighs 150 g. The frame is made from 6.4 mm. stainless steel bent into a U, with an internal width of 19 mm. There are three brake bars made from stainless steel tubing. The top two bars are 17 mm. in diameter and the third bar is 14 mm. All three bars are 41 mm. long; none are slotted.

Comments

The Pico-Rack is a Personal Escape Device, and is tested to NFPA requirements for such devices. This is the kind of device that I carry when riding ski lifts, since being prepared effectively prevents lift failure. The bars do not pivot, and the device must be pre-rigged on the rope. It is designed for 8 mm. rope - not standard caving or climbing ropes. Note the way the rope runs: with only three bars, this is important. It also provides an increase in friction for heavier people, since the rappeller's weight forces the bars together.