Introduction: Rope Making
The twine I’m using measures about 1/8”. Six lines of it made a 3/8” rope. Twelve lines made a 1/2” rope.
Step 1: Another Way to Use a Coat Hanger.
Cut 3 same size sections from a coat hanger. Use pliers to form a hook in the end of each.
Step 2: Mark and Drill the Holes.
With a pencil and ruler I marked 3 holes on one of the scrap pieces of wood. I made them 1&1/2" apart. I then drilled out the holes while the scrap pieces were stacked on top of each other. Now both pieces had the same spaced holes.
Step 3: Install the Rotating Hooks.
Place a hook through each hole. Use the pliers to make two 90 degree bends in each wire. It will look like the 7th picture. From here place the wires through the second piece of wood and make a final 90 degree bend to keep the handle in place. Trim off the excess wire so they don't interfere with each other during operation.
Step 4: Set Up the Tension Side.
As you twist the strands they will eventually twist together. This makes the entire rope rotate. A fishing swivel allows this rotation. You just install it between the end of the rope and the tension weight.
You also want the tension weight to be movable as the length of the rope will shorten from all the twisting. You could use a pulley but I found a simple rounded edge works just fine. I'm using a piece of 1/2" electrical conduit.
Step 5: Setting Up the Jig.
Start by tying the twine to either the top or bottom hook. Run the twine back and forth between each hook and the anchor point. On the third run you should be back at the hook you started with. Tie it off again. Each hook should have 2 lines for a total of 6. If you want you can do another run for a total of 12 lines. It's important each line has the same amount of tension. The dangling weight helps make that happen. I'm using the break rotors to weigh down benches.
Step 6: Keeping the Strands Separate.
You'll want to make this simple tool for two reasons. One, it keeps the strands separate while your twisting. Otherwise the fibers will get caught up with the others and begin to tangle. It also prevent the rope from rotating before it's ready.
Step 7: Twisting.
Keep rotating the jig until the strands begin to twist together. I used a clockwise motion. Guide the rope together as you move along. When the entire length is done, whip the end and cut it free. You can see in the last two pictures how much the rope shortened from all the twisting. My guess is about 10" for this 10' piece of rope.