March 31, 2016

making small segments of cordage on a bench top rope machine part 1

This is a small rope machine built from hardware store parts. This view shows the four strand winders on the left and the traveller on the right with yarns rigged and ready.

This demonstration shows a 4 x 2 setup. Four (4) strands of two (2) yarns each.

The machine is set up with dark cotton yarn in preparation for creating a short segment of twisted cotton cordage.
 In this closeup view the four rotating hooks engage the yarn loops. The device on the left is a gang-crank that turns each of rotating hooks once for each turn of the crank a 1:1 ratio.

Once the yarns are placed the lengths are equalized so all four pairs are at the same initial tension. The pairs are looped around all the hooks so they can be adjusted easily.

Then the gang crank is turned several hundred times with a few pauses to keep the twisted pairs separated.

During the initial twist the yarn's length is naturally reduced by the twisting action. The traveler takes up the slack with a counterweight holding tension on the yarn as it is twisted.

The yarn pairs are now tightly twisted (+300 turns) together and the rope is ready to be made.
 On the other end is the traveller which is a single hook on a rotating spindle with another crank. This is the business end where the cordage is twisted into shape.

The initial twist has been completed and we are ready to wind.

The ball shaped object on the left is a separator made from a large cork (taken from a bottle of tequila) with a pattern of guide grooves. Each of the four yarns runs in it's own groove as the traveller takes up the wind.
 Another view showing progress. As the traveller crank is turned the separator retreats down the length of the yarns and the rope is formed.

The traveller is riding in the white track (borrowed from a bi-fold door) as the counterweight holds tension on the system.
The separator is now at the end of the wind next to the four hooks. The four pairs of yarns are almost fully wound up into the cordage.

The separator is disengaged and the rope is almost complete. A piece of tape will be applied to secure the four parts and prevent unraveling.

See what cool stuff this machine can produce in the kits+supplies section of the ETSY shop.

part two -->

design and photographs copyright 2016 George Hutchinson

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