Making Rope

I built a rope walk on the MS version to see if rope making is as much fun as it seems.

The question is what size thread in a 3-strand lay will yield what size rope?

Any help will be greatfully accepted.



mtaylor and Dupree Allen like this

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This I did using a Byrnes rope walk.  I will have to play with the setup

to get the warps more acute but that should not affect these data significantly.









100/3   =   100 LEA linen yarn  spun up using 3 yarns.


The diameter was measured using a lacquered dowel and counting the

closely packed rotations in an inch.

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Thanks Jagger,

This is exactly the info I needed.

What does the dot 2 indicate on your linen number? I am not familiar with linen thread. Although, I can figure out that the thinner the thread the higher the number.



mtaylor likes this

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The linen supplier twists up the fibers into yarn.

This is sold as LEA - which is essentially an obsolete measurement - it has been replaced -

but I have not mentally absorbed it. Since I have obtained about as much and as wide a 

variety of linen yarn as is obtainable now, I don't need to deal with the change.

And yes,  with LEA - the larger the number - the smaller the yarn.



From our perspective  the hope would be that  70.2  LEA yarn would be 2 lines with a final size of 70,

but alas -  what it means is

Two 70 LEA yarns twisted together and sold as a loosely twisted  thread..


If unraveled  it would be   two 70 LEA yarns - not two 140 LEA - which would be nice for us

except -  twisting up the 62 LEA is difficult - it breaks easily - so that may be the practical limit.


I finally got why the old guys favored linen - the linen wrapping on Egyptian mummies is still largely intact.

It does not readily oxidize.

mtaylor, allanyed and druxey like this

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Back again; and thanks again for all your help.


Well, I layed up some rope using the Model Shipways prototype. It worked just as advertised. The yield is about 80% of the original length which is what MS advertised. You are only limited in length by how far apart you put the two ends. I used a long piece of trim material- about 80 inches and got a piece of rope 60 inches. I CA'ed the ends and cut the rope free OUTSIDE of the CA. I know what you're thinking. No, I didn't cut inside. I made about 20 feet altogether in the first run. Very well satisfied with the effort. I really want to set up on the garage floor and try to do a piece about 20 feet long.


Then on to the serving machine built after our moderator's design. This worked extremely well with very little talent required.


I only have on complaint about this whole operation - my right index finger is about to fall off. I am going to see in I can alter the setup to motorize these two systems. Somewhere I recall someone putting a Phillip's head screw in the twist end action of a rope walk and use an electric drill to power the system and do the same for the other end since this is a one, two step operation. Another solution would be a sewing machine motor with a foot pedal. The motor attached to a shaft with a u-joint or some other shaft connector, like what Dremel uses in their tools. The same motor could also power the serving machine as well. But, I think this will have to be a belt driven pulley system to allow the line being served to pass through.


As a former macro woodworker, you can probably guess that like all the rest of the world's woodworkers, I am jig crazy and will build anything I can that I think I will find useful.


I wound up using some DMC crocheting cotton thread. The resulting rope is a little oversized, but I can live with this rope for the forstays while I wait for my linen from Poland.


Pictures attached.





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When I first constructed my rope walker (see link below) I intended it to be hand powered. This proved to be impractical so I ended up using the dial/variable speed controller from my Domanoff serving machine coupled with an inexpensive motor from an electronics store. I had intended to use a sewing machine motor and control pedal but I found that once the correct speed is selected there is little need for adjustment - just switch it off when complete - therefore a foot pedal was unnecessary. I know that you can get these type of dial/variable type speed controllers from any electronic store. Maybe this would be a simpler method you could consider.


Happy New Year to All :)



biltut and mtaylor like this

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Well, I got tired of the short ropes that came out with a 8 foot board so I added some length to see what happened. I was able to get almost 90% yield out of this lash-up. The additional piece was a piece of IKEA kick board for cabinets. It has a routed groove on the back. I added a tenion to the bottom of the moving end to fit the grove. Now I don't have to run back and forth to keep it from falling off the board.


And, I have one more kick board!


Pictures attached.







Ryland Craze, mtaylor and hornet like this

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