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Antique Rope-Making Machine

I modified an antique rope-making machine so I can make rope out of round bale strings. I demonstrate it at agricultural fairs and thresher shows. Kids crowd around to see and really get a kick out of it. They wait for their turn to help make their own skip ropes.
The machine, which I bought at an auction about 10 years ago, consists of a pair of plywood boards that I clamp onto sawhorses. Each board is equipped with three steel hooks set in a triangle formation. One board has a crank on the back side. The other board remains stationary. I put twine strings onto each hook and turn the crank until the ropes are fairly tight and the "anchor" saw-horse starts to raise slightly off the ground. It takes only 3 to 4 minutes to make a 15 to 20-ft. long skip rope. To make thicker ropes I use more twine. To create a multi-colored rope I use two or three different colors of twine.
I never get tired of watching kids make their own ropes. The best thing is, the ropes cost nothing. (Martin Hendriks, RR 7, Lucknow, Ontario, Canada N0G 2H0 ph 519 529-7557).


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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3