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I was looking at possibly purchasing a rope walk.  I would like to get members opinions about their favorite make, brand, etc.  I would also like to know if it is even worth it. I know Syren sells quality rope for an inexpensive price but I thought it would be nice to make my own.  Has anyone built their own?  I emailed Byrnes to see if they plan on selling them again.  I see Domanoff has an inexpensive gravity driven model. Anyone have experience using it? Chuck, do you plan on selling yours?  Please feel free to offer your opinion.

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I would like to see some opinions as well.  I originally thought I would like to learn how to make rope but after I bought some from Chuck I realized I wouldn't easily be able to make anything nicer.  

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Thank's for starting this thread, Derek, and for re-posting the link to your own design, Steve. I was contemplating having a go at making a rope walk and this has given me the final nudge to get started. I recently put together my own serving machine based on modified Lego gears as little diversion from copper cladding the hull of my Victory build. There's a real sense of achievement when it all comes together and works ......

 

Cheers,

 

Graham.

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I think we have already several threads on the subject here. Somehow people seem to make a lot of fuss about these simple machines, while in reality it is easy to build one yourself with a saw and a (bench-)drill. Of course, one can add any kind of complications, such as an arrangement for continuous rope-making etc.

 

Until I inherited a nice 1940s bakelite optical bench from my father, I was thinking of using just simple curtain rails fixed to a plank of wood. Gears, steel rods, set-collars and other hardware you get either in a hobby-shop or DIY-store. Be inventive and make a simple design to suit the tools and skills you have. A simple sketch is sufficient as instruction.

 

If you apply the 'Frölich'-design, you can do away even with the dolly.

 

My design, using Frölich's idea can be seen here: http://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/maritime/tips/Ropewalk/Ropewalk.html

 

http://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/maritime/tips/Ropewalk/ropewalk-02.jpg

 

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Actually I do plan on developing my rope walk further and possibly marketing it.  I just this week had a conversation with an engineer to figure out how to improve it for production purposes.

 

I am a long way away from finalizing it however.   

Chuck

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18 hours ago, wefalck said:

I think we have already several threads on the subject here. Somehow people seem to make a lot of fuss about these simple machines, while in reality it is easy to build one yourself with a saw and a (bench-)drill. Of course, one can add any kind of complications, such as an arrangement for continuous rope-making etc.

 

Until I inherited a nice 1940s bakelite optical bench from my father, I was thinking of using just simple curtain rails fixed to a plank of wood. Gears, steel rods, set-collars and other hardware you get either in a hobby-shop or DIY-store. Be inventive and make a simple design to suit the tools and skills you have. A simple sketch is sufficient as instruction.

 

If you apply the 'Frölich'-design, you can do away even with the dolly.

 

My design, using Frölich's idea can be seen here: http://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/maritime/tips/Ropewalk/Ropewalk.html

 

http://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/maritime/tips/Ropewalk/ropewalk-02.jpg

 

Hi Wefack

 

May be a simple machine to someone with an engineering background, but to us mere mortals, building one that actually works is quite a challenge:)

Edited by hornet

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Actually, I don't have an engineering background (I am a geologist) and no training as a mechanic ... I believe, that anyone, who can drill a hole into a piece of (ply)wood with reasonable accuracy and can saw-off a piece of steel or brass rod can build a rope-walk. It may not look as professional and may not last for decades, but it would serve the purpose.

 

Another route would be through an old Meccano set (or whatever construction set may have been available in your country). I vaguely remember that there was even an example in the booklet for my German Märklin construction set.

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Well, here is my journey into the world of rope walks. I started with the basic Model Expo ropewalk, which actually worked pretty well. It was tough getting the wooden gears to mesh nicely so after a while the end with all the gears became unusable. I then bought a Domenoff vertical rope walk. This worked OK, but I had problems not having enough height getting a length of rope as long as I needed, and I wanted more control over the tension of the finished rope, which was very dependent on the amount of weight used. So, I mounted the Domenoff horizontally, essentially replacing the end of the ME rope walk that broke. I still use the other end of the ME rope walk, which I modified so I can turn it with a power drill. I can vary the tension by holding the moving end with one hand and the drill in the other, keeping the tension as tight as I like while the threads are pre-tensioning and while the threads are wrapping into the rope. I also added a foot switch to control the Domenoff end, so I can stand at the other end to keep tension on the threads. I am very happy with most of the rope I can make this set up, except for very large ropes which I have not yet perfected. I buy from Chuck for those large sizes (.035" and up).

 

I have also recently purchased a used Byrnes rope walk, which I have been experimenting with. So far, I have not been able to reproduce the rope with the same quality as I can with the Domanoff/Model Expo hybrid.

 

If anyone is interested in the Byrnes rope walk, make me an offer. I really don't need it.

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Derek,

 

Take a look at the Articles Database section of this forum, under Materials and Tools.  Phil Krol's Ropewalk is listed here.  Very well written with a great deal of details.  I built one of these years ago and it works beautifully.  I used an old belt driven dental motor for power.  These can be found on E-Bay at a reasonable price and most of them have the option to reverse the motor.  If this interests you and I can be of any further help let me know.  

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I have the Domanoff planetary ropewalk and after some practice I'm finally making some decent rope. It works very well, although,it  does take some time to make rope especially when making larger ropes requiring multiple threads. The rope is not as good as Chuck's but that maybe due to the fact he uses a cotton/linen blend where as I have only used cotton which results in a much "softer" rope. Even though I went through literally thousands of meters of rope getting a decent product(could be mainly that I am a slow learner;)) I would recommend this product to those that are not inclined to build their own and Alexey does offer great customer service.

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Needed about a foot of line for a project I was working on, did not have what was needed so rolled my own by hand and the help of a vice. Cut 9 threads, put an overhand knot at the end of the bundle of 9 and clamped it in the vice. Gathered 3 threads and twisted clockwise until they wanted to kink, and tucked it in my hand until I had all 3 twisted to the kink point, laid them together and from the end twisted counter clock wise, had what I needed. With the addition of some more hands or holding devices you can make rope without a rope walk. I have done the hand thing before using bailing twine, but were I planning on doing much, would be building something, the only real problem would be choosing which one from the many different plans you can find on the net. There is no requirement for planetary gears for an occasional home setup. do each bundle of threads separately with a way to hold them with the desired twist, then put them together and form your rope, much length and a separator or two would be handy. I suspect that the early home builders made their own line with the help of their spouses or kids hands as clamps.

 

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"Gathered 3 threads and twisted clockwise until they wanted to kink, and tucked it in my hand until I had all 3 twisted to the kink point, laid them together and from the end twisted counter clock wise, had what I needed. With the addition of some more hands or holding devices you can make rope without a rope walk".

 

This is the same general process for I use for making up "Flemish twist" bowstrings, although I can't imagine starting out with thread.  Archers also serve the center portions of their bowstrings.  Not sure how ship modelers begin and end their servings, but this link provides an elegant (IMHO) method used for bowstrings.  Perhaps of some use to others (and I apologize if this is old news).

 

Keith

 

   

 

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As to the video above: the seamen finish/begin the serving in a similar way in full-size practice. On a model, I would feed the end through the rope with needle, as shown before somewhere, this is safer.

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For the relatively cheap price I ordered the Model Shipways rope walk.  I talked to Domanoff and although I don't doubt he has a quality product it was just out of my budget.  Byrnes is talking about bringing theirs back again but said it would be some time before it's on the market.  Tom (Used to Sail) said the MS wasn't bad. If nothing else it will give me a starting point to making my own.  Thanks for all your input.

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Hi Derek. I think you will be happy with the ME offering. I wanted to show you my set up, which is a combination of the Dormanoff vertical ropewalk and the ME horizontal rope walk. For the head end, I replaced the ME version with the Dormanoff. I was using clamps to hold it vertical, but this weekend I sandwiched it between to aluminum angle irons, which is much sturdier and easier to clamp to the bench.DSC_0003-173.JPG.d08e8c06c61638806d5f410891876796.JPG

For the tail end, I was using a modified version of the ME tail end, as shown on the right in this picture. The handle broke off at some point, so I jammed a cut off bolt into the end hole and threaded on a couple of nuts, so I can drive it with a nut driver in an electric hand drill. Because I can turn it so fast with the drill, I wanted something a little better, so I built the next generation back end over the weekend, shown on the left, mostly from some sheet aluminum I had. I cut the disk and threaded in the eye bolts. I also pressed a ball bearing into a hole in the vertical sheet, and turned a shaft that is threaded on both ends. The disk is threaded onto the shaft with a nut to hold it in place, and two nuts are threaded on the other end for the nut driver.DSC_0004-150.JPG.f58f2c3cbc99654cb66b0db2c659ff47.JPG

Have fun with your rope making. When assembling the ME rope walk, put the head end together carefully so it turns easily. That was the biggest problem I had with mine.

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Thanks for the info and tips Tom.  Actually, one of the reasons for getting the inexpensive MS Ropewalk is to see how it works and eventually come up with my own design to build. 

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