Author Topic: Rope Splicing in Miniature  (Read 6361 times)

Offline pgp001

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Rope Splicing in Miniature
« on: May 21, 2013, 08:58:54 PM »
I have a need to produce three "matching length" endless rope loops for the governor drive on my mill engine "Agnes".
The originals are 3/4" diameter, so in 1/16 scale they will be only 3/64" (0.046").

Has anyone got a method of making these that they would like to share with me, I really would like to try and make them look like scale ropes, so am not too keen on using "O" ring rubber as seen on many other engines.

I wondered if it is possible to make a splice in some small cord as per full size practice. Am I asking the impossible or has this already been successfully done ?

Thanks
Phil

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 09:07:17 PM »
Phil,
Elmer Verberg describes a method in his rope drive build that may be of help.   Here is the link:  http://www.john-tom.com/ElmersEngines/39_ropeDrive.pdf

Bill

Online Jo

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 09:08:24 PM »
How many strands are the ropes supposed to be and do you know which weave they originally were?

Jo
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Offline pgp001

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 09:27:51 PM »
My expertise on ropes is non existent I am afraid, can you tell by looking at some photo's of the full size ones.





If I can work out how to do the governor ropes, the challenge is then going to be the miniscule oil pump drive ropes.



Phil

Offline black85vette

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 10:08:44 PM »
Almost any laid rope (twisted) of any size can be spliced.   Braided or kernmantle construction is more difficult.   I used to teach knots and splicing for the Boy Scouts.   Here is a web site that might help.   There are also videos on YouTube.

http://www.animatedknots.com/indexsplicing.php

Check out the short splice.   Once spliced you can roll it between your hands or pound it with a mallet to reduce the diameter.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 10:14:42 PM by black85vette »

Online mklotz

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 10:18:54 PM »
For Elmer's rope drive engine I spliced three strand twine per his instructions.  It helped immensely that, as a youngster, I had built many models of fully-rigged sailing ships.  It's not a job I'd recommend to anyone who lacks patience, good eyesight or fine motor skills.  Also, it's effectively impossible to control the length of the resulting loop with any accuracy.  The rope drive engine includes a tensioner pulley so I managed, though it required about five iterations.

Go to a craft store like JoAnn's or similar and look for rubberized stretchy craft cord, the sort used by women who make lame home-made "jewelery".  Some of it may look rope-like enough to pass muster.  At least it doesn't look like O-rings.

Another thing worthy of experiment may be butt-jointing twine with a rubbery adhesive that's capable of flexing as it passes over the pulleys.

Just some thoughts.  None of them backed up by actual use of experiment. 
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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 10:26:19 PM »
If it's of any help you can buy scale rope in a variety of sizes in model shops that sell ship models.

Offline Mainer

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 11:14:03 PM »
I'd do a long splice, not a short splice. Besides being more appropriate for running over a grooved pulley, I think you might have a sporting chance of doing one in fine cord...though 3/64" is probably pushing it. I think a short splice would even harder.

Go to a large yarn and thread supplier and see what they may have for heavy twisted 3-strand thread.

Offline black85vette

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 12:41:46 AM »
I'd do a long splice, not a short splice. Besides being more appropriate for running over a grooved pulley,

My memory may be incorrect (often is) but doesn't a long splice require the untwisting of one of the 2 ropes and then re-laying it to make one rope?   Can this be done on a continuous loop?    I get the idea not having a bulge but not sure how to do it in a loop.   But that would be superior around a pulley.

Offline RonGinger

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 02:05:46 AM »
A long splice is the correct one to use where the splice must pass over a block (pulley in landlubbers terms :)) When you unlay a rope and use one strand to make an endless loop it is called a grommet. These are made in short loops- like a ring- to re-enforece places like the corner of a sail.  I do not think it would work for a drive belt application.

A long splice is not to hard to make, you simply unlay each end in a staggered length, and lay the ends together and the rope almost falls back together. Its easy with a firm rope, like the old manila, and hard with soft rope like modern nylon or dacron.

For a model Id look at the lumber yard for masons cord- the stuff a bricklayer uses to line off the bricks. If you can get some of the old cotton type it wold be easiest- the modern nylon is to soft.

Offline Ramon

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 08:04:31 AM »
Sounds like you were a seaman of the 'old school' Ron ;)

Phil, Ron is correct - a long splice is indeed the one you need to master. It is also what was used on the main drive ropes for these engines.

Only thing I would hesitate to agree with is it's ease to do. I was always reasonably good with knots and splices (in rope) but this one proved difficult to get to grips with - infact still haven't  ::).
 
Several years ago I was at a Maritime fair in Lowestoft where there was a guy demonstratiing knots. I spoke to him about this and he did one on a length of blue rope in front of me. I kept it in the drawer for all things 'Throp engine' then one day in a moment of curiosity slowly unraveled it. Needless to say it did not go back to how it was and I was left with a piece of rope with varying lengths of strands at each end  :facepalm2:

If I remember correctly the run of the splice is considerable, far more than the usual end splice.

A good book of knots should sort you out though - have fun  ;)

Regards - Ramon
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Online Jo

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 08:32:42 AM »
Here is the instructions for how to do a long splice http://www.neropes.com/SPL_3StrandEndToEndLong.aspx it is not difficult: even I can do them  :lolb:.

Options for the cord: At 1.1mm finished diameter this is very thin for a multistrand thread so you need something with a good breaking strain. My temptation would be to go for a linen thread of the type I use for lacemaking/tatting. These are really strong relative to their size and are designed for knotting etc. The model boat scale ropes should also be good but I have not used them.

You should be able to tie the knot with a needle but just in case I would head off to the sewing shop and pick up a very small crochet hook and set of very fine needles to help you tie the knot. For my lacemaking I have them down to a size that you need a magnifier to see the hook/eye  8).

Jo
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Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 12:23:17 PM »
Yet another hidden talent Jo? This in addition to model-making, baking, turning demonstrations...is there no end to your talents?  We difinitely need some pictures of your tatting skills!!

Bill

Offline John Hill

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2013, 09:36:57 PM »
It is possible, but maybe frustrating, to make an endless loop of 'rope'.

The general principle is to make a loop of thin cord then wrap further loops of the same stuff around it until you get the desired thickness.

Start by tying one end of the cord to a fixed point then stretch the cord around two or more movable points back to the starting point then begin wrapping the cord around itself pulling with enough tension that the two cords take up an even twist around each other.  Continue for several loops around pulling the tension as you go.  Obviously the finished loop is smaller than the starting loop so at least one of your fixed points must be moveable.   Eventually you have a loop of twisted 'rope' with two free ends that you need to tuck inside to finish it off.  Keep a tight twist on the cord as it is wrapped on, this is essential to get a firm finished product.  Taper the loose ends before tucking them in for a smooth finish.

Possible. but frustrating if you are seeking a fixed length.   

I made one as a novelty which sure puzzled a few people who saw it hanging on my shed wall.

Offline PeterE

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Re: Rope Splicing in Miniature
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2013, 10:11:52 PM »
I once made a continuous loop rope ring as the bottom ring of a sailors bag. It was made from one of three strands of a "normal" rope and I used a little over three times the end circumference of the ring.

By using a rope to begin with it is easier to maintain twist and fit between the strands than if doing it ll from scratch.

The ends are tied as described and tucked in between the strands - done right the joint is impossible to see.

Not difficult but takes time and patience.

BR

/Peter