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Old 06-07-2017, 13:58   #121
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Re: Ropework tools

Good scissors are SO nice to have with any sort of synthetic fiber rope.

Electrical tape. It is stretchy. Stretch it as you put it on, and it compresses tightly. Don't even think about using duct tape or masking tape or blue tape or whatever. Plain vinyl electrical tape rules.

I use a lot of rope yarn for whipping, siezing, etc. It is practically unbeakable and it is free. Unlay a one fathom piece of 3 strand nylon. Each strand is composed of muliple yarns. Grab a strand and fold it in the middle. Pick a yarn at the midpoint and just pul it out. Amazingly easy. Don't pull from an end, pull out from the middle. Select the central yarns only if there is a lot of chafe. The chafed outer yarns to have more grip, but of course they can break if you pull hard on them when whipping.

A hollow fid is pretty handy. Take a piece of copper water pipe or tubing and cut it at about a 25 degree angle. Smooth the edges. The point inserts easily into 3 strand, and you run the strand to be tucked right down the center of the pipe, then pull the fid on through. You can also use this for splicing double braid. Size is critical for this though. Make two, one for core and one for cover. Stick it through and out a bit past the tapered end. Tape it with electrical tape so it is smooth and does not snag when you push it through. Doesnt have to be copper. Steel, aluminum, whatever.

Lately I have taken to using shrink wrap tubing to give splices in mooring lines and such a nice neat appearance. Unfortunately I have now used up all my neighbor's shrink wrap tubing so I need to find a new source. It's great for covering a whipping, too. It can't slide off if applied properly. Much neater than melting the end.

when splicing wire rope, a pipe wrench can be very handy. Use it to back twist the standing part, to make inserting or running the spike easier. Tie a lanyard through the hole in the handle so you can secure it and have both hands free for the splice.

I never buy solid wooden fids. Make them from oak or maple exactly the size needed. Good enough.
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Old 14-11-2017, 02:05   #122
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Re: Ropework tools

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Photos posted here earlier have inspired me to tackle making some simple leather sheaths. I made vinyl sheaths for my 3 galley knives about a decade ago and they have been very useful, but they are deteriorating. Replacing these with hand stitched soft leather would be an easy project to start with before tackling thicker hide that enables moulded shapes for other knives. Could be a fun project.
I posted the above eight months ago fully intending to make these leather sheaths quickly, but other projects took priority .

I bought a couple of old leather bags for a couple of € at a fete here a few months ago to practice on and last weekend I thought I should finally pull my finger out. I have no special tools, so I just used what was on hand - cutting tool from patchwork, scissors, calipers, a hole punch (awl would have been better for accuracy), whipping twine and needles.

Although the stitching is a bit wonky as I have no stitching wheel, and the stitches would have sat more neatly had the leather been grooved, I am pleased with how it turned out. I think I will invest in some proper equipment, as there will be lots of projects on board that this would be useful for.

I have Wottie to thank for suggesting I finish the ends of the stitching a little more decoratively (my first attempt stopped short of the end). I chose a contrasting colour of whipping twine for this.

This is how two of the four sheaths look:
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Old 14-11-2017, 02:19   #123
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Re: Ropework tools

A holder for my Myerchin folding knife was then made from a cheap leather workbag that I rubbed with leather conditioner. I will buy some better leather at some some stage, but this was good to practice on.

Just reporting that these knife sheaths were relatively easy projects that required no experience and next to no expense and were very enjoyable .
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Old 14-11-2017, 06:24   #124
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Re: Ropework tools

Well done, SL. Little things like that really make a boat an extension of its owner. It is like a personal accent. Not to mention practical.
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Old 14-11-2017, 17:53   #125
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Re: Ropework tools

Hey, the ends of the stitching look nice

And Lassie's choice to use contrasting twine is great - wish I had thought of that
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Old 14-11-2017, 22:25   #126
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Re: Ropework tools

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Hey, the ends of the stitching look nice

And Lassie's choice to use contrasting twine is great - wish I had thought of that
Thanks for the help Wottie.

I tried to incorporate a fillet as well, but there simply wasn't enough leather. I will do this next time.

I moulded the leather before stitching the bread knife sheath. This was actually a bad move. It was then impossible to line up the 2 bits of leather to punch the holes through both together, so I ended up punching 300+ holes individually. My eyes glazed over after a while and my hole placement became less precise. Unfortunately, inaccuracies of fractions of a mm makes white stitching look wonky. All part of the learning curve .

SWL
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