Thursday, October 8, 2009

How Do People Make Rope?

We visited the Rope Walk at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, to find out! The Rope Walk is 250 feet long, only a fraction of the length of the original Plymouth Cordage Company rope walk, which was 1000 feet long! Why was the rope walk so long? Because rope is made by twisting cord, and if you are making 1000 feet's worth of rope for a ship, you need a building which is that long. You'll see what I mean when you make your own cord in the next posting.

Here is some of the machinery below for feeding the spooled cord into the rope walk evenly. Look at that interesting sieve-like object which is keeping the strands of cord separate.

This interpreter from Mystic demonstrated how rope was produced on a small scale. The children got to help out.

First she needed someone to hold one end of the cording steady on a special hook.

Here is the interpreter stranding cord between the hook and a machine with a crank which is used to twist the cord into rope.

Another boy cranked a machine which twisted the cord. The building is unlit, and it was a rainy day, so the action pictures are blurry.

Like the sieve-like object shown in the rope walk picture near the top, this grooved mallet, held a short distance from the hook, kept the cord evenly separated as it is being twisted.

Here the interpreter is sliding the grooved mallet towards the machines which twists. You can see the rope forming behind it.

The rope is nearly finished.

Look at the beautiful rope!

We used a sample of the rope to make a camp stool. If you want to learn how to make a camp stool, click on the matching picture in the column at right.

If you want to learn more about Mystic Seaport, click on the title of the post for a link. If you want to learn how to make your own cord out of yarn, read on into the posting below.


Farmama said...

How cool Beth! Thanks for sharing this!....I learned something new today!

Kelly said...

This is really interesting, Beth.