Sunday 3 April 2022

New Cord Maker Modifications, And Adding A Core To A Cord

How Do All,
I was recently asked by a customer if I could add a central hook to the cord maker which I produce, and also a removable manual crank handle.
The reason for the central hook is that the customer would like to use the cord maker for making cords/rope with a central core, like shroud laid rope.
From the Oxford Reference:" The name given to rope laid up with four strands instead of the more usual three. The strands are laid up round a heart, or central, strand, as the four strands would not bind close enough together, and without a heart would leave a central hollow. Size for size, shroud-laid rope is not as strong as hawser-laid rope. However, it is less liable to stretch, and therefore proved more suitable to be used in sailing vessels as standing rigging."
And the reason for the manual crank handle is so that the machine can be used as a traditional cord maker, using a traveller and rope top for forming the strands into a cord/rope.

Making a cord or rope with a core is not so easy in itself, and made in the traditional method the yarns would have been spun up into strands, and then the core positioned before the rope was laid up, the rope top having a central hole for the core strand to pass through.
Also due to the rope becoming shorter that the length of the strands as it laid up; the core would have to be managed by another set of hands.

My cord maker, and cord making method being completely different from the traditional means that the above method will not work as the cord forms from the centre out, all the time the drill spinning at high speed, so no space, and not safe for another set of hands to manage the core at either end! however my cordmaker can be used single handed so friends or helpers are entirely optional.

So, after trialling several different ways that I could possibly use my cord maker to make a cord or rope with a core strand I finally came up with the one thing that actually works.

I attached a ball bearing swivel to the central hook on the machine, this allows the machine and hooks to rotate as intended without the the central core being over twisted or untwisted, as either of these would effect the lay of the final cord and its integrity.

At the opposite end of the cord/rope walk sits the outend; which replaces the traveller as the cord maker itself travels instead, I added a central hook here also and the core passes over this and off the bench, the end of the core strand is weighted to take up the slack as the strands are initially spun up.

Below you can see the core strand exiting the formed cord.

If you have any questions regarding making cords/rope with my cord maker, either with or without a core; please feel free to ask.

Take care,
Barry, The Knotty Bear

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