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Gutermann Polyester thread for making rope.

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36 minutes ago, Chuck said:



I do want to encourage everyone to take up the skill of making their own rope.  Hopefully I will have more ropewalks in stock soon.   I am biased but believe the type of manul ropewalk like I offer is the best and quickest way to make it.  But whatever ropewalk you choose,  I want to try and make it easier for folks.   


Since I have been making rope available for a few customers on a custom basis using Mara for several years now,  I would like to share the recipe for making the various sizes I offer this material in to my clients.   Now the sizes you end up with may vary a bit depending on your technique and how tightly or loosely you lay up the rope.   But as you can see from above, a tightly laid up rope is much more realistic.  So when using MARA try and give more twists to the initial strands than you think.  And then you will be able to twist those strands together more tightly in the opposite direction to make better looking rope.


So here is my recipe using MARA for the sizes I offer.


TPS - threads per strand.

S - Number of strands ....or hooks on the ropewalk.



.008 rope......mara 120......1 TPS x 3S very tightly laid up

.012 rope.......mara 100.......1 TPS x 3S very tightly laid up

.018 rope......mara 100.........1 TPS x 4S

.025 rope......mara 70.........1 TPS x 4S

.035 rope......mara 30.........1 TPS x 4S

.045 rope......mara 30...........2 TPS x 3S

.055 rope......mara 30.........2 TPS x 4S

.065 rope......mara 30.........3 TPS x 4S

.080 rope......mara 30..........4 TPS x 4S

.095 rope.......mara 30.........5 TPS x 4S


Your results may vary as I said.  BUT after you lay up your rope, make sure you tie a knot on each end.   Poly wants to unravel.   Remember Morope!!!  Its crazy.    Then get yourself a toaster oven....or use a real oven.    Wind your rope around a metal sheave or pully.  I have these!!!!  Garage door pulleys.  They work fantastic.




Then place these in your toaster oven at 350 degrees for no more than 5 minutes.   If you approach 400 degrees yo will make a mess.  The poly will melt.   After much trial and error this is the best temperature......also, no longer than 5 minutes because it will also change the way the rope looks and feels.  Let it cool off on a rack.   Now you can cut the ends with a sharp blade without any worry that it will unravel.  This recipe and process makes perfect rope out of 100% polyester like Guterman MARA.


The best place to buy it in the USA....is Waywak




Gutermann also makes other sizes, like MARA 50.   A great size for making rope.  But this must be bought from the MFG in large amounts.  I have a bunch of this and it changes the recipe above.  But the regular stuff you guys can get from Waywak use the recipe I have given.


Hope this helps.........start making your own rope.  Its rewarding and FUN!!!!!!   Untill you have to make 1000 feet per day for seven days every week.









Hi Chuck

this is grait info... can this be also in pdf file so  this info can be downlode?


svein erik

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Well that is a loaded question.   I believe I mentioned that earlier in this topic.   I only have the colors that my clients insisted on.  I havent gone through the process of picking my own from the Gutermann line up.  They insist on #265 (a bit too orange for my tastes) and #2899 (a bit too greenish) for running rigging.   Any dark dark brown will do for standing rigging.  Not black.


For my new cotton/poly ULTRA blend I custom selected some pantone colors to give the factory and they made it special for me.  The running rigging is a bit lighter and less orange than the MARA example.  I tried to match a natural hemp color.  I am sure there are better colors that you can select from other than the two I have been directed to use by my clients.



Svein....If someone else wants to do hat for me and upload it here that would be great.   But I just dont have the time.  It would be very helpful actually.


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Chuck - thanks so much.  Would have been great to have this before making rope for Hannah - spent weeks figuring out recipes and how to color.  And I do remember morope - beautiful looking stuff, but if I ever forgot to superglue prior to cutting, major unravelling.  I have your rope rocket and am looking forward to getting my Sharpie to the rigging stage so I can try it.



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Let me know if you have any questions at all.  I believe that this a skill everyone should learn.  In the long run it is so much cheaper to make your own.  And when you get good at it, you could probably make all the rope you need for a given project in just one day.


On any average day...today for me....I will be making about 65 to 70 packages of rope.  Each between 20 and 22 feet long.  

just remember to lay it up tightly.  99% of folks dont and their results look more like String than scale miniature rope.

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I just wanted to show you guys some rope I was making just yesterday.  Its not packaged up yet.   This is NOT Gutermann MARA.  This is my poly/cotton blend stuff.  Its supposed to be about 60/40 poly to cotton.   But my guess is there is more poly.  So yes I do still have to cook it.  


Same procedure as I mentioned for the Mara stuff above.  I have started making it just in case I cant get my Linen thread anymore.  But I digress.   I just wanted to point out how tightly it is laid up....


Many more initial twists of the individual strands.....so after you twist all three strands together in the opposite direction, you can achieve a tighter rope.  Doing this with poly is much much easier than doing it with cotton or linen.  The natural stuff wants to kink up on you.  But because the poly is a bit more stretchy, it wont.  Its more forgiving.   It is also not as important to tie the strands to your ropewalk with the exact same same tension initially.  Because its a bit more stretchy....again it tends to equalize and make a really crisp and clean rope when laid up.  


This particular size rope is very small by the way.  It is size .018


Also note the color difference between the mara stuff I posted.  The mara stuff is a bit orange that the museum wanted so I chose this custom color for my new Syren ULTRA scale rope.   Let me know if anyone has any questions.  



and this is a larger rope which would be a huge challenge to make on one of those planetary machines.  ( ,080) Note the cut end which isnt unraveling......no glue at all.   Again this is a poly blend ULTRA rope.  It hangs and coils very naturally.





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  • 1 month later...

I just finished the 18th Century Armed Longboat from Model Shipways.  I had a great deal of difficulty with their nylon rope. It doesn't go where I want it to.  It doesn't hang naturally, so when trying to tie a knot it's the devil to get the end of the thread to go where you want.  It won't lie down in a natural coil.  I have given up on the stuff.

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Yes, that's why I replaced all of Model Shipways kit rope with Artesania Latina rope at first until I discovered your rope. Now I replace everybody's kit rope with Syren rope.  Good stuff, Chuck. 


Forgot to mention, same applies to kit supplied blocks, they get replaced with Syren blocks also,

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Chuck, this is my first couple of attempts using some Corel rope. It isn’t unravelling, but it doesn’t feel like cotton either- the thicker one is stiff too. I’m pretty happy for the first go with the Rope Rocket, and I agree it’s extremely fast and everyone should try!



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Very very nice....try and experiment with all different kinds of threads.   You will find one that is excellent and it will be your "go-to" thread for modelling.  Keep track of the recipe you use.   Make a log of all that for future rope making sessions.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I use a small toaster oven.   Mostly because every time I want to cook some rope, somebody is using the oven.  No smell unless you burn/melt it.   What a running oozing mess.   So dont over do it.



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