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Frayed lines


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I was fairly new and didn't have much time to read through every topic previously. Now that everything is gone I figured I would ask this question. How do you get the nice clean edges on frayed lines such as Rat lines? I also have fraying coming from blocks where the thread has been cut. If you have any suggestions to make it look cleaner I'm all ears.


Current builds: San Fran II AL, Santa Maria AL

Finished Builds: Sharpie Shooner Midwest

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If you are talking about the ends, rub a little diluted white clue on the knot, then after it is dry I use a good pair of sharp scissors such as suture scissors or good quality barber scissors to snip the tell tale end.  If you are talking about fuzzies and such along the length, run the line through a block of  bees wax  before rigging. 



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You could also try a very small amount of cyanoacrylate (super glue) on the last 1 cm (1/2 inch) of the rope. This also helps and makes threading blocks etc much easier. Just be sure to cut the rope nice and tight to the knot once it is laid up. I tried the heat gun method some years back but all you end up with is a globule of melted material at the end which is extremely hard to thread through blocks etc.


Incidentally Allan's suggestion of running bees wax across all lines is very well founded. Most importantly it lays all the very fine fibers down which would otherwise attract mass amounts of dust once your model is complete. (with or without a glass display case)

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  • 9 months later...

Hi Tim, the bees wax is a very good idea for controlling the fuzz and for keeping out moisture. 


After you drag the line across the wax, either run the waxed line thru your fingers or slowly drag it across a hot 60 watt light bulb then your fihgers.  The light bulb treatment is my prefered method as it gently melts the wax driving it deeper into the fibers.


The heat tip is for synthetic threads.  I have not used it because most of my lines are cotton, linen, silk. 


Diluted white glue is much prefered over CA because it dries clear.  CA is reportedly damaging to the lines and may outgas for long periods meaning it creates an acidic environment iin cased models.



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I am using a fast drying varnish or lacquer to tip the ends of thread in and to secure knots. The advantage in the latter case is that with a drop of solvent you can untie knots or belaying points, if needed. The varnish can be applied to knots with a small brush or the tip of a toothpick. I also keep a small bottle with varnish handy to dunk the ends of thread in that need to be threaded through something.





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I use old clear candle wax for the rigging lines. I melt down the old candles into a mould to make a square block. It works pretty good. Like it has already been mentioned, run the line over the wax block and then again through your fingers a few times to get wax right into the thread.. Be careful as after waxing the lines try not to handle them too much as this can cause the fuzzies to return, good luck.

Regards, Scott


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Thanks Rob. I think I will send the Admiral shopping or visit the local Hobbycraft store

Edited by Craigie65


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