As a climber, every so often I have to retire a rope. Be it from old age or wear, it's best to replace them every 3-5 years, or sooner if they're damaged. Our university climbing club has to retire all its ropes every three years too so every three years there's about 300m of rope laying around.

Rather than throwing them away, or leaving the ropes sitting in a corner of our equipment cupboard, I thought I'd put them to good use.

Here are all the uses we've thought of so far, with steps on how to make them:
  • Dog Toys
  • Skipping Ropes
  • Emergency Tow Rope
  • Hammock
  • Rope Ladder
  • Rope Swing
  • Tyre Swing

Step 1: Rope Ladder

To make a rope ladder you'll need two 4m lengths of rope and some 2x4. I used 9mm dynamic rope (which made my ladder bouncier than I would have liked) and the thicker support slats from a pallet cut in half.

Cut each of your slats to length. My pallet was 80cm wide so my rungs ended up being 40cm wide. Drill holes slightly larger than your rope 3cm from either end and then run some sand paper over each rung to stop them splintering your hands/feet while climbing it.

Tie an overhand knot near one end of each piece of rope. Thread the first step on from the other end. If you like you can tie a knot above the step as well but I didn't bother.

Tie another knot 30-40cm further along each rope and thread the rung to it as before. Repeat this until you're out of rope or rungs.

Leave at least 50cm of rope at the top end of the ladder and tie a loop into the end of each piece of rope. You can now use these loops to fasten the ropes to themselves over a tree branch.
<p>My son just used a re-purposed climbing rope and his Jeep to clear my drive of fallen trees portions. I have been trying to find a bargain piece but so far have only drawn flack for attempting to reuse such a sacred line. My thought is that in a free country I should be free to re-purpose a climbing rope. I don't intend to climb but frankly that's my own business what I use it for. Gyms retire them in great condition for safety and insurance reasons, on the farm or around the property we use them til they are worn beyond use. Please post suggested sources for ropes.</p>
I had some scraps of climbing rope which worked great as handles on my <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Tired-and-True-Trugs/" rel="nofollow">Tire Trugs</a>. I'd love to get ahold of a long length of this stuff! I have about 50' of yacht braid (rope used on sailboats) in my station wagon for tying stuff onto the rack. I've used it many times, and I'm sure climbing rope would work at least as well, maybe better, since it's a little firmer than yacht braid.
make a zip line
so, you're going to retire rope... to use it as rope? why not call the instructable &quot;uses for rope?&quot; you say that the rope is being retired because presumably it's no longer safe to use as rope, but then you advocate building rope swings and ladders with it - does it not matter if the rope breaks and your kids fall 20 feet?
no 20&quot; &quot;whippers on a rope swing (unless you are doing it very very wrong)
The rope is not unsafe for climbing, it's retired as a precaution. It's advisable to retire them just incase there's damage you can't see. Just because it's not rated to save someone's life after an 8m fall doesn't mean it can't handle a static weight of 100kg hanging from it.
You could make some poi or meteors to twirl with. Tie a monkey fist, leave about 50cm, add a loop on the other end. Make another one and you have a great pair of poi.
yep did it I'm pretty good at poi but nearly knocked my self out.LOL I would have rather hit myself with my fire poi (or not at all)
I love old rope. I used to manage a climbing gym in Dallas TX, one of the tallest in the world. I ended up with A LOT of old rope. I made <br>porch swings- with pcv pipe frames and woven old rope <br>Jacobs Ladder- 30 to 40&quot; ofold rope and 8' sections of pvc or wood. make ladder hang it at ange from ground to about 7&quot; high or higher if you have padding. <br>garden chairs- with old chairs with the seat removed and then woven old rope.<br>hanging exercise equipment- 2 lengths of old rope, 4 prussics with 1 1/2 pvc pipe or old garden hose for hands and feet.<br>sailors rugs- lots of old rope woven into patterns.<br>monkey fist Poi- 8&quot;of old rope with about 14' of &quot;sheath slippage. can really, really hurt if they hit you.<br>old rope dog collar and leash- old rope, key rings, old backpack clips, old dog<br>bracelet- sheath from old rope, lighter or rope cutter.<br>pall point pin cover. old rope, new pin, lighter <br>decorated security door- door (vertical bars) lots of odd old rope woven from belt- old rope sheath and back pack clips.<br>bottom to top. short pieces of different colors woven and fuzzed together. <br>Twine- inside climbing rope there are 8 individual cords that can be used for many things. AND MANY MANY MORE
The distinction between a &quot;tow rope&quot; and a &quot;recovery rope&quot; is that the former has some stretch to prevent hard jerks on either vehicle involved. A recovery rope (for pulling a car out of a ditch) does not have stretch, because you want more precise control of the car being pulled.
door mat or rug http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=298197
<em>Money for old rope</em><br> <br> Money? Do you mean 'ideas'?<br>
Here: collect lengths of 3-foot rope, tie them into interesting knots and sell them at craft fares for a dollar each. Done.
The ropes are retired because they can't be trusted to be safe anymore, right? And then you make a rope ladder out of them? Perhaps it's best to use the rope for non-loadbearing purposes. Sure, the ropes are probably fine, but should you risk it? Perhaps not. But kudo's for not tossing the rope in the bin, and repurposing them. Re-use is better than recycling.
You're half right. We retire them because they're not trustworthy for taking falls on. Static loads at safeish heights should be fine. A matter of choice I suppose.
Ah, I never thought about that. When falling, the rope probably gets several times the stress compared to a static load. Thanks for clearing that up!
I wanted to add that a rope ladder also uses two ropes, meaning half the tension of a typical climbing setup. =)
Back in the days when navies had sailing ships, the old hemp ropes had to be 'retired' when they could no longer be spliced or trusted. The old ropes were cut into short lengths and sent to the prisons where the inmates teased them apart into fibres. This is what we know as Oakum and when coated with Stockholm tar is used to caulk the gaps between planks on ships and boats. So the Oakum was sold to chandlers and boat builders. Hence 'Money for old rope'. Nothing to do with the instruct but maybe interesting!
everyone is saying that a dynamic rope isn't any good for towing but i have to argue, im not going to get in to all the strength stuff but in off road applications a stretchy rope is actually what you are suppose to use, i forgot the name of it but what you usually do when someone is stuck in mud, ditch, hole, etc; you put the two cars as close to each other as possible and floor it, there is a special rope used for this that works very like like a spring, yanking the stuck vehicle out, i think it might be called a kinetic rope or something like that
&quot;i think it might be called a kinetic rope or something like that&quot;<br><br>Dynamic?
as i said i dont know what its called off the top of my head, i know in polish its called a kinetic rope (word for word translation)
Cut a hole in the bottom of the tyre/tire, to make sure the swing is NOT a breeding ground for mosquitos.
You can donate old rope to your local Scouting group. Our Beavers group (5-7 year olds) use 3 foot chunks of old climbing rope for a game we call &quot;Tails&quot;. Each Beaver tucks a &quot;tail&quot; into the waisband of his pants at the back, then they run around trying to step on and 'capture' the other's tails. Lots of fun. Our Cub and Scout groups use two to three foot lengths to practice knots. It helps when they have different colours as it is easier to see which end is which when tying. AndyC.
Give 'em a break, LOL just so you know climbing ropes are not rated for tensile strength but yacht ropes are. A decent 10 mm line should compare to your static rope would have a tensile strength (less than breaking strength) of 10,000 lbs. that should cover pretty much anything, ENOUGH said
What use would a climbing rope be if it wasn't rated for tensile strength? They're rated to 22kN, and that's just the safety rating not what they could actually hold.
Good article, My point was climbing ropes are plenty strong even for &quot;emergency&quot; towing especially with it's 5% stretch ... that is unless you leave the car in gear with the e-brakes on! to quote New England &quot;Dynamic&quot; Ropes: Working Loads: No blanket safe working load (SWL) recommendations can be made for any line because SWL's must be calculated based on application, conditions of use, and potential danger to personnel among other considerations. It is recommended that the end user establish working loads and safety factors based on best practices established by the end user's industry; by professional judgment and personal experience; and after thorough assessment of all risks. The SWL is a guideline for the use of a rope in good condition for non-critical applications and should be reduced where life, limb, or valuable property is involved, or in cases of exceptional service such as shock loading, sustained loading, severe vibration, etc. The Cordage Institute specifies that the SWL of a rope shall be determined by dividing the Minimum Tensile Strength of the rope by a safety factor. The safety factor ranges from 5 to 12 for non-critical uses and is typically set at 15 for life lines.
A climbing rope is elastic, where a yacht rigging rope generally isn't but UTS of a climbing rope is similar to standard kernmantel rope of the same materials.
You could make big monkey fists with heavy weight and use them for door stops.
This would be great for plant hangers, bird feeders and other Macram&eacute; projects. :) I wonder if you could Macram&eacute; tomato cages. ;)
You could make a rope rug. http://www.crochetspot.com/giant-doily-rug/
Thanks :) I'll be working on an ible to make a door mat after I get back from holiday
Upon the advice of a chp officer my brother tried to use his climbing rope as a tow rope, since it was all they could find in his trunk. It repeatedly broke. There was no way to get even pull across more than one strand at a time. When they checked the officers trunk, lo and behold, he had a tow strap. Didn't bother to check it in the first place because the straps are almost always missing.
An old salt's advice, pick up a copy of &quot;Ashley Book of Knots&quot; and have at it. You could repurpose all of the rope in the world with the ideas in this book.
Stretchy is not a bad thing in a tow rope - the forces involved in getting half a ton of car rolling from stationary are significant and a bit of stretch will help avoid ripping bits off.
Don't you mean tire swing?
That's a difference in English and American spelling I'm afraid. You'll have to put up with my Britishness, sorry!
Where's the ever-popular retired rope rug?
That'll be in a separate instructable :)
Nice. Looking forward to it...
So...where's the money?
.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaiSHcHM0PA" rel="nofollow">Show me the money!</a><br>
Exactly what I wondered!
I had a list of rope Instructables I wanted to make, I'll just go check them now...<br> <ul> <li> A rope bag <li> Using a prussock(?) knot <li> A whip <li> Explaining how a pulley works </ul> And that's all I've got, hope that helps!<br>
Hmm. What about a fashionable belt? Or A knot-monkey (like a sock monkey)?
It could make interesting fencing... tie around posts or maybe drills holes in posts and knot to hold in place.
Ahhhh! Kind of like the seaside style that used to be fashionable. :D
Really like this! The monkey fist is also a really good aid to get rope from A to B if you need it while out on the walls. Other uses, length of rope to keep all your climbing kit together? Some massive version of this: http://www.instructables.com/id/Desktop-3D-String-Art/ By the by, do you know many indoor climbing centres down in the South? I'm moving from the North, and at the moment I can only find very 'small' centres!
Where're you moving to? I lived in Guildford while at uni. Craggy Island in Guildford is good, as is the new uni wall. There are also several good London walls and Craggy Island 2 in Sutton is good.
Oh and try <a href="http://www.climbfind.com" rel="nofollow">climbfind.com</a>. It's got all of the UK walls added now. I should know, I helped add most of them :p<br>

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