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Alternative Line Material


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I am fortunate enough to live in a Coastal Community where I can walk the docks, and look at different types of ships and small vessels. We also have a extensive Marine Retail Store dedicated to Commercial Fishing located on the Docks. Over the years, I have been buying Nylon Seine Line in various sizes for gardening and other projects. The smallest diameter Seine Line I am aware of is #5, which has a diameter somewhere between 050 and 070 in equivalent Kit lines. See examples below.

 

The Seine Line is stiffer and is much easier to use.  When cut, the Seine Line frays less at the cut end than the line provided in the Kits.  The #5 Seine Line (Nylon) comes in 1 lbs spools. Which is approximately 3,500 feet at a cost of only $12.99 each. This one spool will last me a lifetime.  So far I have only experimented with it. So far I am impressed.

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Tarred nylon sein twine is certainly the best string anyone could ever want! Memphis Net and Twine is the name of the company I get mine from, the brand in your photos is unfamiliar to me but looks identical. When you consider what hardwear stores now charge you for cotton string of indifferent quality and the limited diameters to chose from (two), spending a little more to get a much larger amount of higher quality string with a choice of many diameters makes perfect sense.

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1 hour ago, S.Coleman said:

Nylon looks good to me but, I'm thinking about how well glue will soak into the line. It soaks in real well with cotton but I'm not too sure about this.

(White glue im meaning, Not CA)

I glued two strands together. No knot.

Titebond II Glue

30 minutes drying time.

Very strong bond.

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I should mention here also that Tarred Nylon Sein Twine is literally what's holding most of today's tall ships together. It's the material most often used for every seizing or lashing on every traditionally rigged boat afloat. Every served eye, every end of every ratline, is made up or attached with this stuff.  Every sailor has a piece in their pockets at all times. If you see someone using a marlingspike or heaver aboard a ship, THIS is the material under the tool. It's the perfect material for the job. The very very light coating of tar is not enough to render it sticky and the smell is not apparent but it's just enough to make this stuff hold knots better than anything else.

here are some photos with the Memphis Net Catalog. I don't own every diameter but I'm showing from thickest to thinnest # 60 #36 #24 #18 and #9 , over the diagram on page7 of their 63 page catalog. Www.memphisnet.net

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23 minutes ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

I should mention here also that Tarred Nylon Sein Twine is literally what's holding most of today's tall ships together. It's the material most often used for every seizing or lashing on every traditionally rigged boat afloat. Every served eye, every end of every ratline, is made up or attached with this stuff.  Every sailor has a piece in their pockets at all times. If you see someone using a marlingspike or heaver aboard a ship, THIS is the material under the tool. It's the perfect material for the job. The very very light coating of tar is not enough to render it sticky and the smell is not apparent but it's just enough to make this stuff hold knots better than anything else.

here are some photos with the Memphis Net Catalog. I don't own every diameter but I'm showing from thickest to thinnest # 60 #36 #24 #18 and #9 , over the diagram on page7 of their 63 page catalog. Www.memphisnet.net

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I have been using the material for years. I have spools in multiple diameters. I only wish that it was available in a little smaller diameter. I emailed the Everson Line Company and asked them if they could provide some line smaller than their size #5.  I told them what I wanted to use it for, Model Ship Building.  It's been a couple of weeks, and I never received a reply. I have other uses for a smaller diameter line, like for stitching things together.

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9 minutes ago, DocBlake said:

Just got my supply.  Enough to rig shrouds and stays for the rest of my life!

Me too.

 

That's the toughest line I have ever seen in my life.   What's really nice is that when you cut it, there is no fraying. 

 

I wish I could find a manufacturer that makes a smaller diameter.

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  • 11 months later...

Hi,

forgive me if this is the wrong area to ask this question.

Perhaps it's been covered in the past, however, it's occurred to me, for extreme miniatures, has anyone any experience using human hair for rigging? Judging by the age of Victorian 'momento moiry', hair lasts forever and surely would be a better substitute than nylon mono-filament, very thin wire or stretched plastic sprue which are commonly used. And at these scales hair is a lot stronger and comes in a variety of colours.

I'd appreciate feedback on the topic, thank you.

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  • 5 months later...
On ‎4‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 2:11 AM, shipman said:

Hi,

forgive me if this is the wrong area to ask this question.

Perhaps it's been covered in the past, however, it's occurred to me, for extreme miniatures, has anyone any experience using human hair for rigging? Judging by the age of Victorian 'momento moiry', hair lasts forever and surely would be a better substitute than nylon mono-filament, very thin wire or stretched plastic sprue which are commonly used. And at these scales hair is a lot stronger and comes in a variety of colours.

I'd appreciate feedback on the topic, thank you.

I believe some of the Napoleonic bone prisoner of war models are rigged with human hair. As most probably know, sailors of that era let their hair grow out on long voyages and kept it tarred to keep it clean and under control. At the end of a voyage, they'd sell it to the wig makers, who'd wash the tar out and card it. (Hence the classic sailor's uniform "middie" back collar, which kept the tar off their shirts when their hair hung down in a braid and the custom of calling sailors "tars.")

 

Horsehair is more commonly used for many purposes similar to rigging line. It's readily obtainable in various thicknesses and degrees of stiffness and softness and comes in lengths up to around 48". The light colors take dye readily.. The "craft quality" ("cheap") stuff will run you around $900 a pound, though. The highest quality white horsehair, which is used for stringed instrument bows, is priced much higher. http://hairwork.com/horse_hair_for_sale.htm

 

If it's really fine thread you're looking for, my guess is your best bet would be surgical suture thread. (Just don't use the "absorbable" type!) The famous "miniaturist" ship modelers like Mc Nalley and Mc Caffery actually used very fine wire for their rigging.

 

Everybody uses the "tarred" nylon seine twine these days and it's great for full-sized rigging applications. Years ago, real tarred marline was available. It wasn't as strong and tended to be "lumpy," but there was nothing that smelled as good as real Stockholm tar. You can still get Stockholm tar, and regular pine tar (sold in feed stores for coating the sides of horses' hoofs.) You can thin pine tar and soak line in it to get tarred line. Pine tar used to be a shipboard staple in the days of sail, of course.

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