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On 7/29/2018 at 11:01 AM, Chuck said:

Well you should have it in a few days at any rate.   Have fun with it.   

Came back from a mini vacation and they were waiting for me, thanks Chuck.

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Maybe it would be useful to others to also post my results with rope making. I ve been using my home made ropewalk and have made lots of rope with DMC cotton. The biggest problem is that it stretches and the rigging loosens up and sags. I am not sure what to do to prevent this. So here it goes:


When using 1 thread per strand, the twist of the thread is importand. When using multiple threads, it does not matter.

Generally linen is fuzzy, maybe it can be burned with alcohol flame, maybe worth it if t does not stretch.


1. Cotolin, 60% cotton, 40% linen, 22/2, left twist. Very nice, supple, much less knots than the usual linen. Quite fuzzy though. 3 strands, 3 threads per strand, 1.9 mm rope




2. Gutermann extra strong 100% polyester. Right twist. Creates a rope with a very "plastic" feel, not nice. 2x3, 1.1 mm rope




3. DMC yarn

Left: 100% cotton, No twist, very nice thread and very nice rope, 2x3, 2.3 mm rope

Right, 50% linen, 50% cotton, not as sharp as it is fuzzy, no twist, 2x2, 2.3 mm rope




4. Coats Dual Duty XP, 100% polyester, right twist. Despite being polyester, it made an acceptable rope which probably will not stretch. Just a touch fuzzy, barely noticeable. 4x3, 1.6 mm rope.




5. Coats Dual Duty Plus. 75% polyester, 25% cotton, right twist. I had high hopes for this thread but it produced a rope with a plastic feel, not very nice. Left twist. (1x3)x3, 1.6 mm.




6. DMC Cebelia, 100% cotton, right twist. Wonderful like all DMC threads, excellent rope but the other DMC threads probably more useful sizes.  Available in 10 weight that Cordonet is not. (1x3)x3, 2 mm rope.




7. DMC Perle. 100% cotton, beautiful thread, no fuzz, left twist. Sizes 3 to 12, lots of colours. Excellent rope. This is my favourite thread for the scale I work (1:10).

Perle 5, 3x3, 2.1 mm

Perle 8, 3x3, 1.3 mm

Perle 12, 3x3, 1mm





8. Bockens 40/2, 100% linen. Left twist. Fuzzy like all linen threads, also quite a few knots. Not as good as cotton but maybe it does not stretch. 2x3, 1.1 mm rope




9. DMC Cordonet. 100% cotton, wonderful thread. Right twist, sizes from 100 weight to 20 weight. The 10 weight size has been dropped. Excellent for small ropes and small scale work. I could not find a rope in my stash but it is excellent. 




I suspect that the best thread may actually be some synthetic high tech one but these are usually available only commercially and in in huge quantities so unlikely we will be able to find out, test and obtain.


If someone has a tip on how to avoid the stretching of cotton ropes I would be very interested.




Edited by vaddoc

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Nice looking rope, Vaddoc.   Are you "setting" the line (I think that's the correct term).   After taking it off the ropewalk, give the rope a sharp yank to set it. You'll need to do the complete line in sections.  I've not made much rope yet, mostly tested my ropewalk and the the setting seems to make a difference.  

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Thanks both

I am overtwisting the rope but not setting it. I will try though to wet  it and then stretch it in segments, I assume without distorting it.

I think though that the problem is with the structure of the cotton fibres. They are straight and they can slide on each other, so the rope will always stretch more. Wool on the other side, has curled fibres that catch and do not slide, this is why a wool cloth that has been washed and shrank will never come back while a cotton t-shirt can stretch and stretch. Man made fibres have very long fibres that may be elastic but will not stretch permanently. I do not know about hemp and the other traditional fibres used in ropes but probably had very different fibre properties to cotton.


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You are probably right about the internal friction that determines inter alia, if and how a rope will stretch. I don't have really experience with natural fibres, as the really small-scale ropes I made are all made from fly-tying yarns, but think that twisting the strands to nearly the break-point will result in a tighter rope with a shallower angle of the twist, more internal friction and, hence, less tendency to stretch.


Ropes from natural fibres will always change their length a bit as a fuction of ambient humity, as the fibres may swell, resulting actually in a slight shortening of the rope. I gather this is one of the reasons why people wax the ropes, to prevent humidity uptake to some extent.

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11 hours ago, wefalck said:

I gather this is one of the reasons why people wax the ropes, to prevent humidity uptake to some extent.


Its also to get the fuzz to lay down on line. Anyway, that’s why I use it. It also gives the line a bit of that tarred look if you use a dark colored wax. 



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