I was recently asked about all the different Gilson hook designs. So I figured it would be a good idea to just write up a blog about it. Here is a basic list and timeline. Of course I am sure I am missing some. If you know of any others please let me know and I will update this entry.
The first ones were made by Oliver Gilson. He made different sizes, but they were all very similar in design.
I think Steve Haworth from Life Suspended made the next ones. His are a modified design of Oliver’s. The frames are thicker so that the pins are slightly counter sunk in them. The photo below is actually a later generation. Like Oliver’s initial design the first hooks used a standard bolt. However, Steve was the first to switch to a square hole and start using a carriage bolt and a wing nut. This design has become fairly standard now.
Leo Murphy from ROP made some for a while. His were different because one side of the frame was threaded. So the bolt screwed into the frame and the nut was almost like a backup. Leo’s might have been the first after Oliver started making them, I’m not 100% sure. The only reason I think that Haworth made the first hooks is that he was the first to receive one of Oliver’s original aluminum protoypes. This is also why Steve’s hooks aren’t as wide. They were modeled after Oliver’s very initial design.
Joe Amato of SMS also makes them as well. He started with the design below, but soon changed to the square hole/carriage bolt design. His hooks do not come with a wing nut. Instead he opts for a standard nut and a tool.
Lukas Larson of Dissected Art sells another design which is similar, the biggest difference is that the hole for the nut and the hole for the shackle are close to that when the shackle is in place, the wing nut cannot come loose. Although Joe’s design comes with a nut, I believe the shackle and bolt holes are close enough to prevent unscrewing of a wing nut as well when it is added.
Tom Moore of Steel Fetish makes the newest design. Rather than a bolt it uses a collar to hold the plates in place. It uses a some slight compression to stay in position, and once the shackle in on, it can’t come undone. Tom’s pieces are also all numbered to it’s easy to keep pieces together.
In Russia the Sinner Team has come up with a few different designs. The first ones were HUGE and as you can see below they required 2 bolts to hold them in place. Also unlike US hooks they are made of aircraft grade titanium.
Since the initial hooks came out they have updated their design by making the hooks significantly smaller and higher polish, while still keeping the 2 bolts.
There are new designs on the horizon, but as far as I know they haven’t been made yet. Here are a couple of examples:
Proposed Design by Joe of SMS – http://www.skinmechanicsteelworks.com/upcoming
There are also several drawings and prototypes that were created along the way. I would include them in this blog, but I think I will leave a little mystery and give people a reason to come see my hook lecture at the Oslo Symposium.