Week 7: The Rope
Building a rope kit involves a lot of personal preferences. As our style evolves, the characteristics that are important to us also change with us. The best way to discover what you prefer is to try different ropes and experiment with it. It interesting to observe the spectrum of rope preferences, talk with others and see what they like and why. Most people at rope events will be happy to tell you everything about their rope and let you try. What is important for you when choosing your rope? What haven’t you tried that could challenge your current rope choice?
The goal of this week is to learn more about the different properties of the rope and to be more conscious about what to look for when trying things out.
- Day 43: Size – Acquire a very long rope, tie your favorite tie with it. Then cut it a little shorter, tie the same thing. Then cut it again, retie again. Repeat! At what point does the rope feels too short? Try different rope diameters as well.
- Day 44: Material – Make a trip to the hardware store, compare different kinds of rope material. Compare the ropes weight, burn speed, friction, smell, etc. Which kind of ropes floats in water?
- Day 45: Ends – Try different rope ending techniques. Melting (synthetic only), whipping (sailmaker whipping, french whipping etc.), knots (overhand, flat overhand, thistle knot, Mathew Walker knot, etc.). Can you make each rope of your kit different?
- Day 46: Construction – Get a few samples of different ropes and take them appart to observe how the rope is constructed. Twisted or braided? How many strands? How many plies?
- Day 47: Care – Try different things: baking, boiling, stretching, polishing singeing, freezing, sun heating, oiling and/or waxing. Keep an untreated rope as your comparison tool.
- Day 48: Maintenance – Break a rope and fix it, pull on one strand to create highstranding problem, then retwist it and massage it to get it back into place
- Day 49: Color – What is your favorite color of rope? Try dyeing a rope and combining different rope colors together.
Next: The Body