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Custom Gossett Block Variations

Custom #1 Custom #2 Custom #3 Custom #4
Custom #1 Custom #2 Custom #3 Custom #4
 
Darrell Tomer #10 Darrell Tomer #11 Darrell Tomer #12
Darrel Tomer #10 Darrel Tomer #11 Darrel Tomer #12
 
Darrell Tomer #13 Darrell Tomer #14 Darrell Tomer #15 Darrell Tomer QR Pin
Darrel Tomer #13 Darrel Tomer #14 Darrel Tomer #15 Darrel Tomer QR Pin
 
Storrick, Version A Storrick, Version B Storrick, Version C Storrick, Version D
Storrick, Version A Storrick, Version B Storrick, Version C Storrick, Version D

Overview


Modified Gosset BoxesDarrel Tomer made a number of variations of the original Gossett Block design, and displayed a number of these at the 1983 NSS Convention. About a year later, he sent four of them (along with some other items) to me to add to my collection. He numbered the ones that he sent me arbitrarily, giving them device #10 through #13. These were versions K, I, E, and H on his display board shown in the photo. I later had him make two additional custom modifications to my specifications, and I assigned #14 and #15 to those. As you can see from the photo, there were a number of additional modifications that I did not acquire. Most of these were lightened boxes made by milling away unnecessary metal from the bodies.

When they decided to discontinue producing the Gossett Block, Jim Gossett and Darrel Tomer sold the tooling and remaining components to Bob Liebman of Bob & Bob Enterprises. After Bob passed in 2017, I acquired these from his brother Bill. I used some of these to produce additional custom variations, following ideas on Darrel's originals.

In 2022, Carol Veseley gave me a number of production and custom Gossett Blocks, along with an assortment of small parts. She had received them from Ray Hardcastle, who had received them from Jim Gossett. Some of the custom blocks had not been completed, and so I finished them myself using components from Carol's donation and from the production components sold to Bob & Bob Enterprises.


Custom #1
(#3764)

Front View Rear View
Front View Rear View
 
Top View Open for Rigging
Top View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired this Gossett Block from Carol Veseley in 2022.

This block is 58 mm. wide, 66 mm. high, 38 mm. thick, and weighs 182 g.

There are no markings on this block.

Comments

This version replaces the redundant double rollers on a standard Gossett Block with a single centered roller. Although there is a slightly greater chance of one channel inadvertently opening and releasing the rope or sling captured on that side, this does not present a safety hazard if the user's system is properly designed.

The single roller idea can be improved by removing unnecessary metal to reduce the Block's weight. There are some examples on this page.


Custom #2
(#3765)

Front View Rear View
Front View Rear View
 
Top View Open for Rigging
Top View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired this Gossett Block from Carol Veseley in 2022.

This Block is 58 mm. wide, 66 mm. high, 38 mm. thick, and weighs 182 g. It is a double channel chest box made by cutting a double-channel body, milling a new harness slot, and providing only one pair of rollers.

Comments

This design was never put into production. By the time (early 10802) that single-roller climbing systems had become popular enough to create a demand, the lighter Simmons Roller had appeared on the market and had, to a large extent, created the market that it would dominate for years.


Custom #3
(#3766)

Front View Rear View
Front View Rear View
 
Top View Open for Rigging
Top View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired this Gossett Block from Carol Veseley in 2022.

This Block is 86 mm. wide, 66 mm. high, 41 mm. thick, and weighs 366 g.

This Block replaces the threaded knobs with a quarter-turn twist-lock system. The threads on a standard brass knob were removed and a split pin installed in a cross hole. The frame was not threaded; instead, an entry slot and a tilted race were milled for the split pin. One inserts the pin into the slot, then turns the knob about 1/4 to 1/3 of a turn. This pulls the knob tight to the frame, seating it firmly in position.

Comments

Some people thought it took too long to thread the knobs in or out of a standard box. This was an attempt to provide a faster mechanism Ideally, one could slide Close the roller by aligning the pin with the slot, sliding it in, and quickly turning it to the closed position.

When I received this block, it had no rollers. There were several modified knobs, only one of which fit even reasonably well. I made additional pinned knobs from new rollers that I had from the Bob & Bob components, fitted the knobs to the frame, and then completed the Block.

Alas, this idea was not successful. Aligning the pin with the slot takes longer than closing a threaded knob. The entire mechanism is adversely affected by galling in the soft aluminum frame (which is more like 6061 than 7075). The mechanism requires fairly tight tolerances during construction, and I found that each knob required considerable hand fitting to match its particular position in the frame. I can understand why this block was not finished and why this idea never went into a production model.


Custom #4
(#3767)

Front View Top View Open for Rigging
Front View Top View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired this Gossett Block from Carol Veseley in 2022.

This Gossett Block is 58 mm. wide, 66 mm. high, 41 mm. thick, and weighs 186 g.

This block combines the modifications of the two previous versions, namely the single channel and the twist-lock rollers.

Comments

Like the previous version, I received this Block as a bare frame, and had to fabricate knobs and complete the assembly in my own shop.


Darrel Tomer #10
(#653)

Front View Top View
Front View Top View
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

Device #10 is 32 mm. long, 84 mm. wide, 41 mm. high, and weighs 178 g.

Comments

The first Gossett modification was device #10. This is simply a Gossett Box sawn in half to provide one roller per side. It would have to be bolted to a plate to be used.


Darrel Tomer #11
(#654)

Front View Top View Open for Rigging
Front View Top View Open for Rigging
 

Technical Details

Device #11 is 33 mm. long, 59 mm. wide, 41 mm. high, and weighs 173 g.

Comments

Device #11 is a double-roller designed for racing using the Gossett System and steel cables for the ascender slings. Darrel decided to try this after breaking his foot slings one year during the races at the NSS Convention. He fell, but landed on a crash pad and walked away unhurt.

There are too many pieces to get lost for me to consider this device for caving, but for racing in a gym, this isn't a concern.

Darrel Tomer #12
(#655)

Front View Open for Rigging Top View
Front View Open for Rigging Top View

Technical Details

Device #12 is 66 mm. long, 86 mm. wide and 41 mm. high.

Comments

Device #12 was made by milling away all the nonessential metal in a normal Gossett Block. The result was a considerable 55% weight savings: 166 grams versus 367 grams. This box became my normal chest box for nearly a decade, and I never missed having the second roller.

Compare this one with my Version B below: 311 g. vs. 166 g. Eliminating a pair of rollers is a major weight savings.


Darrel Tomer #13
(#656)

Front View Top View Open for Rigging
Front View Top View Open for Rigging
 

Technical Details

Device #13 is 31 mm. long, 39 mm. wide, 41 mm. high, and weighs 72 g.

Comments

Device #13 is a cut-down Gossett Block with a single channel and only one roller. It has to be bolted to a plate to be used.


Darrel Tomer #14
(#657)

Front View Top View Open for Rigging
Front View Top View Open for Rigging
 

Technical Details

Device #14 is 66 mm. long, 58 mm. wide, 41 mm. high, and weighs 231 g.

Comments

Device #14 is my own design, which Darrel made for me. It is a single-channel box made for a ropewalking system. The upper roller was replaced by a cam, with the idea that with a sling to the seat harness, one could just sit down and rest. The seat sling has to be adjustable to permit this, this proved to be a hassle in the field, and I eventually gave up on the idea of integrating a cam into the box.


Darrel Tomer #15
(#658)

Front View Top View Open for Rigging
Front View Top View Open for Rigging
 

Technical Details

Device #15 is 65 mm. long, 58 mm. wide, 42 mm. high, and weighs 215 g. The quick-release pins are stamped "AVIBANK-4AR1.50."

Comments

Device #15 is another design of my own. It replaces the knobs used in #14 with quick-release pins. This version is easier to use than #14, but does not address the real problem: integrating a cam into the chest box just didn't work.


Darrel Tomer QR Pin
(#2602)

Front View Open for Rigging Top View
Front View Open for Rigging Top View

Technical Details

I acquired my Gossett Block, Version I in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection.

Version I is 85 mm. wide, 64 mm. high, 40 mm. thick, and weighs 312 g. The block has two 50 mm. tall, angled vertical slots for attaching the box to a chest harness. The corners of the frame were rounded.

The rollers are mounted on long quick-release pins with turned brass bushings to fit the holes in the aluminum block. Removing a pin removes the two corresponding (top or bottom) rollers.

There are no markings on this box, but each pin is stamped "AVDEL."

Comments

I believe that this is a custom box made for Bob, but I don't have documentation to prove that. I know that Darrel Tomer made a number of custom variations, and perhaps this box should be listed with those. The gray rollers make it unlikely that this is an early version predating Version A.

The quick release pins make opening this box easier and faster than the threaded knobs on the standard versions, but having both rollers on a single QR pin where they open at the same time is a definite disadvantage.


When they decided to discontinue producing the Gossett Block, Jim Gossett and Darrel Tomer sold the tooling and remaining components to Bob Liebman of Bob & Bob Enterprises. After Bob passed in 2017, I acquired these from his brother Bill. Soon after, my new job had me living away from home for a couple years. It wasn't until 2021 that I started making some modifications of my own, many based on some of Darrel’s earlier ideas.


Storrick, Version A
(#2842)

Front View Rear View: Closed Side View
Front View Rear View: Closed Side View
 
Top View Open for Rigging
Top View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I made this block in 2021 using and modifying original Gossett Block components.

Version A is 86 mm. wide, 65 mm. high, 41 mm. thick, and weighs 350 g.

There are no markings on this block.

Comments

I made Version A by milling a cavity in the back of normal Gossett Block. This lightened the block by 21 g.

I was somewhat surprised to find that half the weight of a normal Gossett Block is in the rollers!


Storrick, Version B
(#2843)

Front View Rear View: Closed Side View
Front View Rear View: Closed Side View
 
Top View Open for Rigging
Top View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I made this block in 2021 using and modifying original Gossett Block components.

Version B is 85 mm. wide, 66 mm. high, 41 mm. thick, and weighs 311 g.

There are no markings on this block.

Comments

I made Version B by taking a normal Gossett Block body and milling away excess material, while maintaining both rollers. This lightened the block by 60 g. Compare this one with Darrel Tomer #12 above: 311 g. vs. 166 g. Eliminating a pair of rollers is a major weight savings.


Storrick, Version C
(#3730)

Front View Rear View: Closed
Front View Rear View: Closed
 
Top View Open for Rigging
Top View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I made this block in 2022 using and modifying original Gossett Block components.

Version C is 58 mm. wide, 66 mm. high, 41 mm. thick, and weighs 196 g.

There are no markings on this block.

Comments

I made Version C by taking a normal Gossett Block body, cutting one rib off, and milling a new slot to replace the one removed. I also narrowed the original (wider) central rib to match the width of the other rib. The result is a single-channel box with redundant rollers, suitable for ropewalker and similar climbing systems that use only a single-channel roller. The single-channel block weighs 52% of what the original double-channel block weighed.


Storrick, Version D
(#3731)

Front View Rear View: Closed Side View
Front View Rear View: Closed Side View
 
Top View Open for Rigging
Top View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I made this block in 2021 using and modifying original Gossett Block components.

Version D is 58 mm. wide, 65 mm. high, 41 mm. thick, and weighs 113 g.

There are no markings on this block.

Comments

I made Version B by taking a normal Gossett Block body, making the modifications made for Version C, and continuing to remove excess metal from the body. I eliminated one roller in the process. The result is only 30% of the weight of the original double-channel block, and 68% of the skeletonized, double-channel Darrel Tomer #12 that I used for many years as part of my Mitchell system.