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Howell-N-Mann Custom

Standard 18 inch
Standard 18 inch

Overview


StarStarStarStarCustom Standard
(#376+485)

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

Technical Details

I had Larry Howell of Howell-N-Mann custom build this rack for me in 1993.

My Howell-N-Mann Custom Standard rack is 357 mm. tall, 63 mm. wide, 25 mm. thick, and weighs 459 g. The frame is made from 9.5 mm. ASTM grade 6 6Al/4V titanium alloy, and the bars are titanium tubing (same type) with hollow aluminum inserts to absorb and dissipate heat. The frame has an internal width of 33 mm. and a 19 mm. diameter bent eye that Larry closed with an aluminum block pinned into place. There are six brake bars, each 19 mm. in diameter and 62 mm. long. The second bar has rope centering rings to keep the rope from running against the frame. Allowing 45 mm. for the rope gives a 99 mm. for spreading the bars.

There are no markings on this rack.

Comments

The rack has no frills other than the centering rings. My goal was to have a rack with pure functionality, and Larry achieved the goal with a full-size rack that has little more than twice the weight of a figure eight. This is my favorite rack, and it deserves a full four stars.

Star Star Star Star


StarCustom 18"

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

Technical Details

I had Larry Howell of Howell-N-Mann custom build this rack for me in 1993.

My Howell-N-Mann Custom 18" rack is 540 mm. tall, 64 mm. wide, 36 mm. thick, and weighs 730 g. The frame is made from 9.5 mm. ASTM grade 6 6Al/4V titanium alloy, and the bars are titanium tubing (same type) with hollow aluminum inserts to absorb and dissipate heat. The frame has an internal width of 33 mm. and a 27 mm. diameter bent eye that Larry closed with an aluminum block pinned into place. There are eight brake bars. The top three are each 25 mm. in diameter and the remaining five are, each 19 mm. in diameter. All eight bars are 62 mm. long. The second bar has rope centering rings to keep the rope from running against the frame. There are 25 mm. split aluminum spacers between the top two bars and between the second and third bars. O-rings hold the spacers together. Allowing 45 mm. for the rope leaves 147 mm. range for spreading the bars.

There are no markings on this rack.

Comments

The spacers guarantee that the top bars do not get too close together. This reduces the rope angle on these bars, reducing their contribution to the total friction and thereby reducing the amount of heat that they generate. These bars are oversize as well, since they still absorb more heat than the lower bars.

Although the split spacer design is clever, I don't like it. If the O-rings break (and they will if allowed to deteriorate), the spacer will be lost. This isn't a safety issue, I just don't like losing gear. My solution is to wrap the spacers with small cable ties.

I don't really need eight bars - two of these are spares. Long drops do not require more bars than shorter drops (unless one uses very long spacers between the top bars), the reason for a longer rack is to allow spreading the bars farther apart.

Although this is a specialty rack, it is an excellent one for very long drops, and so it deserves a starStar.