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Curious about Amati ropewalk

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Dont be so quick to say its crap....I basically use it to produce all of my rope for Syren Ship Model company.   With a modification or two....you can lay up a 21 foot length of rope in about 8 minutes.   I have demonstrated this at my local club.  I make approximately 5-6000 feet of rope on that so-called piece of crap every month.   You can buy them for 20 bucks and when it gets used up...throw it away and get another.  The average builder will never need to make 70,000 feet of rope per year so it will last a lifetime.  In my case...I used one for three years....so I recommend them highly.   I use a variable speed drill to power each end.   The principle of making rope is very simple...I subscribe to the KISS philosophy.  Why over complicate things.  It does the job nicely.  But if you want to spend a lot more.....on ...other machines...thats OK too.   I just decided yesterday to retire my current ropewalk and built another in 30 minutes.  I am good to go for another  100,000 feet of rope at least.  The one I use is the Model shipways version but they are identical in every respect.  The exact same design and parts.


I think my rope is the best on the market today so if its any indication.....


ship model rope1.jpg

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Not much to share...I removed the handles and put in a screw with a Phillips head slot on it.   Thats it.   Then I use a power drill at 2500 rpm's to lay up the rope.  It just takes some practice.  I also added some metal washers to reduce friction.   Th efirst time I didnt use them the rope walk started smoking.


Thats it.



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Trial and error same as always.  Just keep it lubricated...I spray some WD-40 on it every day before I use it.   No real tricks...no real mystery.  Rope making is a simple principle.  You just have to get the timing correct and tension on each side after twister.  You must establish an equilibrium after twisting that gives you a nice looking rope.   This will be different depending on teh size of teh rope and the material you use and the amount of threads on each eye. 


Yes it looks cheasy but I wouldnt trade it for anything else.  I do wish the diameter of the circular parts were larger.   This would allow a forth eye on them for four stranded rope.  But it works a treat.  Now you know my secret...so much for my rope business now, LOl !!!   ;)  I am no engineer either...look at that high tech piece of equipment... :P   and stylish as well.  A 21' length of rope in 8 minutes....try and beat that.  See the pics of my rope-a-dashery below.  I will be making 500 feet of brown rope today...joy!! :P







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Chuck, thanks for posting your comments on this, it is always great to get the perspective of those who do production work. The need for simplicity is obvious, when one is making the volume that you are.

The old adage "practice makes perfect" is evident in your work.



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Thats what I am hoping....I know there will always be folks who just dont want to bother spending the time to make rope.   Regardless of what tool you use it still takes time to learn and test.   If you dont plan on selling it as a business then making rope once a year for a project isnt all that appealing.


I hope... ;)

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All I can say Chuck is that I wish my local club had known you were going to ramp up and be selling such high quality lines. We would have saved the cost of the Byrnes Rope Walk and just gone to you. No offense to Jim. As you say it is hard to justify a machine when you consider how much rope one modeler will need. Of course we took this into account by having the club buy the rope walk. But I still think knowing what we know now, I would have just sent you $500.00.

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Well Floyd, I, for one, am still happy with the Club's purchase. One potential problem with the Amati ropewalk (and please correct me if I'm wrong Chuck) is that it's probably a little flimsy to pass from person to person to use(I don't know-I haven't seen the Amati ropewalk other than Chuck's pictures). I like the rigidity of Jim's ropewalk, and the fact that I can't screw it up and break something.


OTOH, the simplest solution is like you said-buy it.


But for now, I'm having fun spinning yarns :P





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Seeing is believing and I've been lucky enough to see Chuck in action at one of our club meetings. Everyone was sort of "yeah, right" when Chuck told us how fast he can crank out rope using the Model Expo version. He set up the rope walk, attached a cordless drill and about 7 or 8 minutes later we had 21 feet of perfect rope. He actually had to slow things down for us so he could explain what he was doing. Everything is easy when you know how and a lot of trial and error went into perfecting his technique but now that he has it's like watching a magic show.


There are many, many disadvantages to living in New Jersey.You have snow, ice, Jersey drivers (grrrrr), potholes that 18 wheelers routinely get lost in and mosquitoes large enough to file flight plans at Newark Liberty International Airport.


On the other hand we have Chuck so that other stuff really doesn't matter :)


Now that I've seen it done I'm pretty sure I could do a fair job of making my own rope but my feeling is why bother. I'd rather buy the rope from Chuck and spend more time on building models which is what I really enjoy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gotta hand it to Chuck, for his knowledge and helpful advice.


The first few ropes were a bit loose but I followed Chucks advice and the ropes improved immediately

Using exactly the same principles made lengths of rope 25 feet long. using Guttermann 100% cotton threads Ne50 Although I couldn't imagine making the volume that he does, just the stuff for my boat is enough for me.





The ropes are 1:8 scale




3x5 for 3/8 scale rope

3x7 for 1/2 inch scale rope

3x 13 for 5/8 scale rope






Tried some ne28 Aurifil which is in the plastic bags it is very nice stuff to work with and is also 100% cotton


I have to say that this method is so much easier to set up and string than any other method  or tool that I have tried.  My Bobbin box basically now has a fancy device on the lid, because I am sold on this method for making rope. No offense to any other tooling or methodology. Sometimes it just takes a while for the simple way to sink in.


So to bring this back to the original question, I would echo the Comment that the type of machine that Amati makes is a good one.





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Q yes the size is similar I made the gear end a year or so ago it is about 2 1/2 inches wide, I took apart this walk and discarded all the rest and just kept the whirl end that replaced this one and this original wooden disk. I drilled it out and threaded it  put in three fixed hooks and chucked it into a battery drill





The original wood disk shown is the one now in the drill with the three hooks, the span goes all the way to the door and the drill is just laying on the trestles on its side, as the three sets of threads twist up first the drill gets dragged across the board on the trestles when it has pulled about 36 inches toward the geared end I stop the twisting and go to the drill and hold it so that it is in a line with the geared end and while maintaining the tension turn it on. it is amazing how fast this set up works. when the winding with the drill is done the rope is finished it doesn't want to unwind or unravel and is soft.


The distance can be as long as is practical as far as I can tell, I am getting some exercise walking back and forth with the cotton spool slipped over the end of a screwdriver so that I can lay up the threads. 39 x 25 feet like laps only in my shop instead of the gym.



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Great info here on rope making.


I built mine out of 'toys' and it works fine. The problem is that I only made it on an eight foot base, so the pieces are fairly short. Need to find a place to make longer rope, perhaps move outside when the weather here in California gets better.


Like Chuck's, my RW uses a motor at each end. I found it gives me better results. The whole trick, though, is to experiment. Every thread uses different tensions. Speed control at both ends is important. I even found it best that I start the motor at one end, let it run a bit to get the threads going, and then start the second motor.

I love my grandson. He let's me play with his KNEX toys and I have fun making rope with the whole thing. I am not sure I want to make a mile of the stuff on a toy.



Oh, in case you are not familiar with KNEX. Here are the two ends of my RW. Notice the 'variable speed hand motor' to the left and the KNEX motor with worm gear to the right. The speed of the little motor is set, so I have to adjust the other end accordingly.

post-246-0-26070100-1392857519.jpg post-246-0-07526100-1392857532.jpg

Edited by Modeler12
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