Installing a nut eye bolt and/or thimble eye bolt with washers into a utility pole or tree for a challenge course or ropes course element is a relatively simple process, but it is important to follow the correct steps to ensure the safety of your participants.
- Nut eye bolt or Thimble eye bolt (optional)
- Washers (round, square or curved square and double coil locking washer)
- Drill Bit /Auger Bit - 1/8" to 1/2" larger in diameter than bolt size (ex. if 5/8" bolt then 11/16 or 3/4" drill bit)
- Tape measure (to ensure even height on each side)
- Safety glasses
Choose a location for the nut eye bolt or thimble eye bolt that is high enough to be out of reach of participants, but low enough to be easily accessible for maintenance.
- Use a level to make sure that the location is level (very important for installation of foot cables, belay cables and element support cables).
- Use a tape measure to mark the location of the nut eye bolt or thimble eye bolt.
- Drill a hole at the marked location using the appropriate bit (make sure to use a slightly larger auger bit than bolt diameter)
- Insert the nut eye bolt or thimble eye bolt into the hole. (may need to use a hammer or rubber mallet).
- Use washers to secure the nut eye bolt or thimble eye bolt in place.
- Tighten the nut eye bolt or thimble eye bolt using a wrench. make sure to compress the double coil washer
- Make sure eyebolt is oriented vertically and not horizontally.
- Always wear safety glasses and gloves when working with power tools.
- Make sure that the area around you is clear before you start drilling.
- Be careful not to overtighten the nut eye bolt or thimble eye bolt, as this could damage the pole or tree.
- If you are installing the nut eye bolt or thimble eye bolt into a tree, make sure that the tree is healthy and strong.
- If you are installing the nut eye bolt or thimble eye bolt into a utility pole, make sure that the pole is rated for the weight of the equipment that will be attached to it.
- If you are using a nut eye bolt, make sure that the thimble is the correct size for the rope that will be used (thimble eyebolts have an integrated thimble).
- If you are using a nut eye bolt, make sure that the nut eye bolt is the correct size for the carabiner, rapid link, shackle or other hardware that will be used.