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Another Rope Walk

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Based a simple rope walk I spotted on another forum, I modified the turns by using a disk instad of a bar with bent coat hangers this will work with bent coathangers as well. this is basically just a schematic. I will be building myself one quite soon and will add to this thread with more detailed information and descriptions. the idea is to not have to deal with meshing gears.







Edited by michael mott
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Hallo friends,

I search on Internet several type of ropewalk machine and finally, I discovered the pattern above.

I built the machine and It works very well.


It must be said that the left disc must rotate clokwise, while the right one should rotate counter-clockwise.

One at a time respectively, before the left one, and after the right one.

When the left one is working the right must be blocked and vice versa.


I add that the construction is very simple and fast, and it is very cheap: only 1 coathangers and 2 plywood tablets  each size 10x10 inch

Edited by fabius.b
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I don't know if Michael's machine is just like mine.  If it is, the function is due to the eccentric position of the handle, that allows the rotation of the three hooks.


I have some photos of my ropewalk machine, hosted on flickr. If it is possible, I can put the link.



It seems possible:





Edited by fabius.b
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Today I began to make
the simple rope walk the first step was to cut the two main components of the
drive end.

The first step was to
use something readily available, I had a length of 3/32 brazing rod so the
first step was to make sure I could bend it easily I used some round nosed
pliers to make the first bend



2) Next I used some
scrap 12mm birch plywood and cut of a square from one end.


3) The square was marked
to find the centre.


4) then using the high
school geometry lesson marked out the three equal points on the circles


5) after the three holes
were drilled the square was stuck to the main plate with some double sided tape
and the holes were transferred to the main plate using the first set as guides.


6)this ensured that both
sets of holes were in the same locations.


7) the trickiest part
was to ensure that all the bends were equal in length, I did this with a couple
of scraps with the small vice clamped firmly in the wood bench.

My goal here is to use
the simplest tools and method.


8) lining up all the
rough blanks to see that they are within a margins of sameness regarding the



9)test assembly to see
that the square piece rotated , there was no point continuing if is didn’t.



10) the holes were
drilled with a number 36 drill which gave some looseness to the brass rods in
the holes and it rotated easily with no binding at all, so on to the next step.


11) the centre shaft is
the only one that needs to be captured so the .093” (3/32)  rod was tapped with a 4x40 thread. I kept
wanting to do things on the lathe with the machine tools but the goal to do as
much by hand as possible because not everyone has a lathe


12) the three whirl
shafts were cut to length by simply cutting them off with a pair of heavy side
cutters with the round whirl plate in situ





13) the whirl plate is
locked on with a couple of washers and two 4x40 nuts. Its lunch time and I’m
waiting for some batteries to charge up so I will continue after lunch .





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Sorry, my virusscanner blocks your site: 'MALICIOUS URL' ???



That's strange why your virus scanner doesn't like this site ..


As i know there shouldn't be anything suspicious with it, It is a "normal" blog with pictures and some text created with Google’s blogger App.. 

It might be that Google is adding "Malicious" stuff into it ?


Is anyone else having the same problem ?

Edited by GTM
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Part 2

14) The top was made
from the cutoff from the top of the mast


15) the base of the
whirls was made next and pre-drilled for the screws




16) next came the wire
for the top guide, the wire is .011” music wire.


17) to secure the music
wire to the whirl frame I opened up a small eyebolt with a crescent wrench





18) mounted it to the


19)The bottom end was formed with a guitar winder I had in the scrap box




An over view of the
entire contraption.


20) next the whirl
hooks, because this is a prototype and I want to be able to take it apart(too
many years fixing other people exhibits that did not account for maintenance) I
threaded the end of some thick walled brass tube with 4x40 to match the rods



21) the tube was then
cross drilled with a 1/16th drill for the taper pins. And cut off
with a jewelers saw. They were locked onto the shafts with a lock nut threaded
on first.


22)The only thread that
I had handy was some cotton and the embroidery thread, so I opted for the
embroidery thread. This was tied to the small brass weight that I made years
ago for a weight drived clock.


23) the rope walk was
clamped in the bench vise vertically


24) I started to wind
the whirls


25) the weight just
hangs , the one thing I had to do was help the top up because it jammed the
same way an adjustable clamp works so a modification is in order I will add a
length of brass tube through the middle of the guide dowel


26)The top end after
about 5 minutes of turning.




27) tied off with a
little black cotton


28) removed from the
walk with the ends trimmed.





There we go the rope is
57 inches long I started with three strand that were 72 inches long. With
practice I think that I can improve the length . this machine would work really
well in a stair well unfortunately I don’t have one so I had to stand on a step
ladder to make the whirls turn. The rope looks a bit like the old hemp rope.





Edited by michael mott
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It just hit me (unconsious ;) ) , can't you make a kin of feed to the 'tripple' side, as to lengthen the rope ...?


Have a look at this man's log, it's Polish and I can't read it, but he's a genious:



Actually, look at his entire log. It is AMAZING

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Carl, thanks for the link, I think that if I can make lengths of say ten feet I will be satified with that for hand cranking.

Garward, thanks for looking in.

Sinan, this seems to work pretty well. now all I have to do is learn the ropes ;)



today I set up some modifications to use the rope walk horizontally. first I made a swivel that was too big and too heavy




I used a ball race inside the tube but it did not work the way I wanted, I will see if there is a lightweight one available commercially. I took it off and just used a hook with some 50lb fishing line over the pulley which I gleaned from the scrap box.




here is the set up perched on the drafting board (temporarily a large shelf)




The top with 12 strands ready for making rope.




and the whirl end after 5 minutes.





3/8" = 3 strands

1/2" = 6 strands

1"   = 12 strands


so now to try a longer base I have a 10 foot length of fir so will try that first.




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I spent the afternoon transferring the headstock and tailstock to the 10 foot piece of fir and eliminated one piece that had the winder for the steel wire.

The full length of the strands to start were 110 inches 

I was able to make a full 7 feet of 3/8 scale rope that scales out to 56 scale feet.

Next I will try with a lighter weight and see what that does with the same threads.


I will sort out a swivel for the passive end.








This will do for now.



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Micheal you did a nice job of explaining how you designed and built your ropewalk. Impressive (including the large shop you have).


For those who are interested here is a video of how it works. This design differs from the other types that use gears for twisting the three (or four) strands. Obviously the video type is rather crude but it shows the principal.

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