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Wire rope?


grsjax
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I have been looking at a set of plans for a boat that used wire rope for shrouds and stays.  Has anyone tried using a ropewalk to make wire rope?  I was thinking about trying it with very thin copper wire lubricated with bees wax.  Any help, suggestions are comments welcome.

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I would consider using electrical multi strand wire, it is already in a twisted form and can be found in really small diameters. You could even use insulated wire, just strip the insulation. If the twists are not tight enough, secure one end and put the other in a drill motor, you can spin it tighter. You can find it tin plated (silver appearance) or bare copper that can be blackened.

 

Ken

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No need for a ropewalk since wire will not require the "reverse twist" that thread fibers need to keep the strands together.  Simply wrap the number of turns required around a small nail or pin with the other end around a hook in an electric drill and spin it up to the required diameter.  Stretch the spun wire after spinning.  If uncoated copper or brass is used, the spun wire rope may then be blackened with liver of sulfur (copper) or WinOx (brass) then buffed to a metallic sheen.

 

Ed

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Put three pieces of wire into your vice, make sure the three pieces are exactly the same length. At the other end,  twist together the three opposite ends and chuck them into a drill or even a dremel tool. Maybe your lengths of wire are five feet long? Step back from the vice so the three strands are under just s slight bit of tension and spin the wire together using the tool. It only takes a few seconds.

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  • 3 months later...

Anyone,

I have another wire rope question. 

I'm building a model of the Norwegian topmast schooner Fram, launched 1892.  A photo in my personal collections taken over 40 years ago of this ship in Oslo clearly shows wire cable (rope) supporting the foremast and bowsprit.  I know that wire rope was invented in Germany in the 1830s.  Would it have been in common use on sailing ships at the end of the 19th century, or is what I see in the picture part of a 20th century restoration and inappropriate for my model.

Thank you in advance,

BNoah

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Grsjax - why do you need to use actual wire for the rigging?  Why not use an appropriately coloured thread instead?  Much easier to use and to get convincing splices at model sizes.

 

BNoah - Steel wire rope was in reasonably common use for ships' standing rigging by the 1860's, and was pretty much universal for all but small craft by the end of the 19th century.

 

John

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