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I've just had my first go with the Syren Serv-o-Matic.

 

As with the Rope Rocket that I used for the first time last week, I cleaned off the laser char and applied a couple of coats of varnish. I really felt this was worth the trouble, to bring out the fine cherry.  As with the Rocket however, I made the mistake of assembling the components before varnishing them. I was too impatient, and assembled both machines before realising it was then harder to apply the varnish - especially without gumming up the moving parts.  

 

Serving.thumb.jpg.fda4dab090967cbf34734f465aa7f409.jpg

I should have followed Chuck's instructions, which as usual are comprehensive and well illustrated. A couple of points I would emphasise from my own experience. First, it really is vital to ensure all the gears move freely - to the extent that they almost feel loose and sloppy. If you watch Chuck's short Youtube video you'll get an idea of how everything should move, powered by just one finger.

 

Another point Chuck makes in the instructions that I would echo is the importance of getting the right tension in the rope being served - too loose and it is difficult to get the serving thread to lay on properly; too taut and the rope will pull the handles in to the machine ends and make the gears too stiff to turn freely.

 

I quickly found there is a knack to serving. It's not super difficult, but it does need practice.

 

Served.thumb.jpg.1de4abb0926dafe3ab4979711605a248.jpg

I experimented on a piece of light coloured rope for contrast, which tends to highlight the mistakes. I'm not sure how easy it is to see in the picture, but the serving starts out a bit gappy and lumpy on the lefthand side, then gets better towards the right as my technique improved. Also, I should have used a less 'hairy' serving thread.

 

Being hand powered, it's a simple matter to put mistakes right; as soon as you see a gap, or you overlap the serving thread, you just reverse direction to before the error and then continue.

 

In summary, another useful addition to the workshop which I'm looking forward to using in conjunction with the Rope Rocket.

 

Derek

 

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I sometimes also get a funky start. What I do is start with an over hand knot and run about 1/8 of CA, then serve. At the end I run an 1/8 of CA. I remove and cut off the overhand knot. Also screw mine down to my bench because the clamps annoyed me. Love my machine.

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  • 2 months later...

A couple of  more questions. 

 

Example only 

 

I have fastened a block to a 'rope' that is 8" long.  I put the block in the alligator clamp, but how do l handle the other 8"???

 

If I use a second clamp then the excessive rope winds and it gets twisted into a mess.

 

So confused 

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A couple of  more questions. 

 

Example only 

 

I have fastened a block to a 'rope' that is 8" long.  I put the block in the alligator clamp, but how do l handle the other 8"???

 

If I use a second clamp then the excessive rope winds and it gets twisted into a mess.

 

So confused 

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  • 3 months later...

Following on from Jim's idea above, I tried the following method for producing a length of served line with an eye at each end:

 

Serv2.thumb.jpg.9b9aba636ab9ca5a8eb60196050f4bc1.jpg

One piece of dowel is a tight fit in the RH gear and the other is a sliding fit in the left gear. In this crude but effective first go, the LH dowel is kept in place at the desired position by a combination of a rubber sleeve and a small clip. You simply wind a piece of line between the hooks - as many times as needed to give the right final size -  then serve as normal.

 

Here's the result:

 

Serv3.thumb.jpg.844f8cefbb3dfa0fc55075e7a17cfefd.jpgServ4.thumb.jpg.0fe84643b52347ceea66788d5ef3b076.jpg

As you can see, I messed up one of the eyes (my eyes let me down and I trimmed the wrong threads!) but as the eyes are hidden under the bowsprit I let that one go. 

 

Just shows how versatile the Serv-o-matic is.

 

Derek

 

 

 

 

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