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Picture of Rope Making
Rope making has been around for a very long time. While there are more complicated ways to go about it, this set up is one of the simpler ways. All you really need is a few coat hangers and a couple scraps of wood.

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.

Picture of 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. 
Angie of all trades made it!1 year ago

Hi, attempt 3 to post a comment, so apologies if this appears as a repeat. I wanted a beach bag to match my swimsuit. Could not buy one, so decided to make one. I wanted it to have soft cotton rope handles, but could not get hold of rope at the right thickness - 10 - 12mm (1/2 inch). However could get hold of 1mm general duty twine (very cheaply) that was exactly the right texture. Used this instructable to make the rope with 24 strands. Fabulous. However, I could not get the second piece of wood to turn all the way around as he did, so I ended up taking the wood off and then just turning each section wire around independently until all were about the same tension. Then turned the three separate coiled strands around each other as per instructable. Worked just as well.

beach bag.jpg
Angie of all trades made it!1 year ago

Hi, I wanted a beach bag to co-ordinate with my swim suit. None to buy,so decided to make one. I wanted it to have soft cotton rope handles, about 10 - 12mm thick. Could not get the rope, so followed this instructable to make it.

beach bag.jpg
This is a remarkable 'ible'. I want to try this just to get 'a feel'for how things were done in earlier times. (How did people work out these methods hundreds or thousands of years ago?)
Frosterz22.2 years ago

What do you do with all of this rope? use it to make thicker rope?

mlt34 made it!3 years ago

A combination of scrap wood and bicycle spokes, and I've got a working rope maker!

frannyM3 years ago

Love this whole posting. It simply says, look to the wire hanger. We throw so many away! I would love to try the rope making.

stmous made it!3 years ago
easy make, really works!!!
EthanM24 years ago

wow i have been wanting to make a rope for aaaaages and now i know, thanks :)

kz16 years ago
Nicely done. The history of rope is facinating when you discover the essential role it played in history. Very few peeps nowadays appreciate just how important rope was in the evolution of society and the progress of mankind; continues to be today, come to that. Try to imagine a world with no strings attached... :-) You wouldn't even be able to tie your shoes!
Lt.Greg kz15 years ago
Unfortunately sir - that is no longer the case as I think MOST kids these days CAN'T tie their shoes, often because they no longer had shoelaces to tie with! Velcro rules and the nation is just a little but less self-sufficient! LOL

And yes - "excellent job" to the fellow who posted the instructable.
Lt. Greg
foobear5 years ago
This is awesome thank you. I've always wondered though, why they twist rope - seems like if you let the end go it would all just unravel. I wonder if there is a way to use a mechanism to quickly braid the rope so it wouldn't unravel so easily? I feel like I've seen something like that but can't place it currently
This method of rope making is primarily for natural fiber ropes. The fibers of one strand "bite" into the other strands, holding the rope together quite effectively. Any rope will have problems with unraveling if you don't tend to the end. You can fuse most synthetic ropes, but natural fiber ropes must be tied off or whipped. Even braiding would have its own faults with fraying.
DeeRilee6 years ago
I wonder if you could make a 'fabric rope' using this device...and strips of cloth cut on the bias (as you would for a braided rug). Hmmmm.
Edgar6 years ago
Dead simple, once you know how to do it... :)
Voted, and Blogged:
Sweet! This looks fun to make...
Very nicely done. Similar, though quite smaller in scale, than the rope walks I've seen at seaport museums where very large lines were made. Good job!
Cool! I was just looking up how to do this. I wanted to try it with yarn. Any chance you can put up a video of it in action?
Mrballeng (author)  domestic_engineer6 years ago
There is a video in the intro. Thanks!
Duh, thanks. I was looking at the end. Can't wait to try it.
That's exceptionally impressive. Many instructables are poorly done and/or do not add greatly or at all to what can be easily found elsewhere. The good pictures and useful descriptions add nicely to this presentation of very olde technology implemented with coat-hangars and scraps of wood. Well done. - Russell McMahon
elabz6 years ago
Just curious: what's the source and material of that twine? Any chance this process can be done completely from scratch?
Mrballeng (author)  elabz6 years ago
I bought the twine at the Home Depot. Absolutely you can do it from scratch. If you do an Internet search you'll find plenty of videos about it.
jaxboy6 years ago
Very clear and well done! I did this as a Boy Scout 50 years ago, and we used the exact machine, so I guess it just shows that it's hard to beat a proven design. However, this technology tends to get lost in the rush of modern-ness. I'm glad you are keeping it alive for the next generation. Plus, it's hard to beat that feeling of using something that you made yourself. Again, well done!
SherpaDoug6 years ago
For cosmetics you can color one or more of the strands.
IamWe6 years ago
Nice pictures of an easy to build rope twister.
rickharris6 years ago
Net well explained :-)
rimar20006 years ago
Very simple and effective device, congratulations.