Jump to content
Johnnymike

Rat line tension tool

Recommended Posts

 

...I worked bottom to top. I found that it worked best for me because with the knots on top it was

easy to see what I was doing and I could tap the knot down into the space between the boards

wth my tweezers to kind of set it in position and tighten it.

 

JMS

 

Which is in fact the best way to do it. After knotting the first ratline just put the planks on top of it - correct the level when necessary and knot the second ratline. Correct the level again by tapping the knot a bit down or up - white glue over it (you can do this in the end as well) and proceed to the top.

 

Another fact almost no one knows: due to shrinking of the rope the ratlines always had some more length than the space between the shrouds, they always hung a bit loose. So don't knot them as tight as possible - and the hourglass effect will not occur as well.

 

Nowadays, with other qualities of rope it is different of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea for a simple tool to make a difficult task easier !  But the title of the post is misleading or even wrong: ratlines don't actually need to be 'tensioned', in reality they are slightly sagging due to their own weight. This uniform sagging is rather difficult to reproduce, as the catena-shape changes as you proceed upward.

 

I would modify the tool a bit and drill two holes in the ends for a couple of machine screws with wing-nuts. But take caution not to squeeze the shrouds flat ...

Edited by wefalck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great idea.

I use a strip of rigid clear plastic as a spacer and guide.

But that does not stop what you call the hourglass effect which is always a problem.

The twin strips and sandpaper will sort that out a treat.

So I will be stealing this if you don't mind.

Nice one!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John, thanks for the tip and the pictures. In my old age tying the rat lines is a real pita. My Benjamin W Latham was my first dealing with rat lines and I said I would never build another one that had rat lines. I'm about to start on my 3rd build which will be either the Model Shipways Niagra or the Rattlesnake, so this will be very helpful.

 

Thank you, Eddie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found a nice free wood provider for this idea, go into a starbucks and grab a few of the wood stirring sticks, nice size and a plentiful supply. :-)

Canute, mtaylor and thibaultron like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found a nice free wood provider for this idea, go into a starbucks and grab a few of the wood stirring sticks, nice size and a plentiful supply. :

 

Here in the States, one can go to the Dollar Store and pick up a nice size bag of them for a dollar.   I find a variety of uses for them.

 

My problem with going to Starbucks is, I hate their coffee. :)

Edited by mtaylor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to thank every one for their comments and I am happy that this idea was received so positively.

It truly was a great help to me.

 

An interesting thing has happened to me and it brings to mind the old saying "practice makes perfect".

 

As I continued to tie the fair amount of rat lines on my project I felt as though my skills were improving.

I am nearing the end and almost at the top of the mast's now and it became a little cumbersome to use 

the guide so I started to try to tie the rat lines without it. I found out I do not need the guide anymore and can tie

a good rat line by eye. Maybe being at the top where there are fewer knots per line is somewhat easier but I 

believe I might not need the stretcher for the next project. 

 

I also found that by putting a very small drop of CA on each knot it wicks into the line by the knot slightly and

with some gentle downward force with my tweezers on each line between the knots I can achieve a nice gentle

and consistent droop to mimic the way an actual rat line looks. I really like the results and will continue this method

of finishing off the standing rigging.

 

JMS

mtaylor, *Hans*, thibaultron and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 10:21 PM, Johnnymike said:

Allan

 

Yes, this is a model, the Prins Willem @100:1 scale so some things are not in exact scale. 

 

you might meant 1:100. otherwise, i don't think you have been building a boat. more like a city... just a pun...

Canute, vossiewulf and thibaultron like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×