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I needed a specific diameter cotton Rope/Cord so I built a Rope/Cord maker. More about this later. See step 11

Here are a few photos of what I came up with and some samples of Rope/Cord.


  • Look at all the photos very closely there is a lot of information in them that is probably not in the text.
  • Eye bolt length, I am referring to the thread length.
  • Bolt length, I am referring to the over all length of the bolt.
  • Check out the knots in photos above (try them out before you begin tension assemble). Half hitch is in second to last photo and bowline is in the last photo.
  • I used 1/4 flat washers on the 5/16 bolt, carriage bolts and eye bolt. They fit better.
  • Some of the bolts, eye bolts and hooks may have to be cut to length as require. Watch for note to make a cut.
  • When drilling holes in the wood it is best to use a drill press. If you don't have a drill press, wobble the holes all around. this allows the bolts to be tightened square to the wood.
  • Jamb nuts are used to allow a bolt or hook to spin free but not come loose. I some times use a nylock nut in combination with a standard nut. Be sure to check photos. Most of the time two standard nuts will work fine.

If you have any questions let me know and I will try to answer them and up date the instructions.

Step 1: Tools, Hardware and Wood Pieces

Picture of Tools, Hardware and Wood Pieces


You will need a hand full of tools that are already cluttering your work space, If it is like mine.

  • Battery drill/Screw driver
  • Driver Bit to match screw head. Phillips, star, etc. which ever type you use.
  • 5/16 drill bit
  • 3/4 forstner drill bit
  • 1/4 drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Small square
  • Ratchet with 1/2 in. (13 mm) socket
  • Crescent wrench
  • Markers, pencil and sharpie
  • Small ratchet with 3/32 allen bit or 3/32 allen wrench
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers, strait and phillips
  • An awl
  • 1/2 in. (13 mm) box/open end wrench
  • 1/2 in. (13 mm) open/ratchet end wrench
  • Couple of clamps
  • Hack saw (not in photo)

Add tools that you fell would work best and that I might have not mension.


All hardware is off the shelf from a hardware store, Home Depot or Amazon.

Square tubing is 1 in. X 1 in. with 3/8 holes 1 in. on center.

Chain #25H Heavy Duty Chain 3 FT with 1 Connecting Link

Sprockets 25BS14-5/16" Bore 14 Tooth Sprocket for #25 Roller Chain

Full Links Koch 7535040 Roller Chain Connector Link, 4-Pack

1/2 Link Koch 7635040 Roller Chain Offset Link, 4-Pack

As Shown in 3rd Photo Above

  • 2-5/16 4 in. bolts with 2-washers and 1-nut
  • 1-5/16 4 in. bolt with 4-washers and 3-nuts
  • 3-5/16 eye bolt with washer, nut, and T-nut
  • 1-5/16 eye bolt with 2-washers and 2-nuts
  • 4-5/16 carriage bolts 2-washers and 2-nuts
  • 2-5/16 hook bolts with 3-washers, 2-nylock nuts and 1-jamb nut
  • 1-5/16 hook bolts with 2-washers, 2-nylock nuts and 2-jamb nuts
  • 1-5/16 hook bolt with 3-washers, 2-nylock nuts, 2-jamb nuts and 1- coupler
  • 2-1/4 screw eyes
  • 8-2 in. screws
  • 2-1 1/4 in. screws
  • 3-sprockets
  • 27-link chain (including connector link)
  • 1/4 in. 'L" 4 in. X 4 in.
  • 1-9 in. square tube (cut length and grind edges to remove burrs)
  • 1-11 in. square tube (cut length and grind edges to remove burrs)
  • 1-13 in. square tube (cut length and grind edges to remove burrs)
  • 1-12 in. 1/2 in. EMT (thin wall conduit) or 5/8 wood dowel
  • 1-3/4 PVC spacers cut to length as required (or block of wood with hole, card board tubing, pex tubing, etc.). I used what I had on hand,

Total of Each Item

  • 3- 4 in, 5/16 bolts
  • 5- 2 1/2 in. 5/16 eye bolts
  • 1-1 in. 5/16 eye bolts
  • 4- 3 1/2 in. carriage bolts
  • 3- 4 in. 5/16 hook bolts
  • 1- 3 in. 5/16 hook bolt
  • 1- 2 1/2 in. 5/16 hook bolt
  • 1- #2 screw eye
  • 7- #208 screw eyes
  • 8- 2 in. screws (GRK R4 multi-purpose #9-2 in.) or equivalent.
  • 2- 1 /14 in. screws (GRK R4 multi-purpose #8-1 1/4) or equivalent.
  • 3- Sprockets 25BS14-5/16" Bore 14 Tooth Sprocket for #25 Roller Chain
  • 27 links #25 chain
  • 1- 1/4 in. steel rod 8 in. long. Bend 90 degrees at mid point. "L"
  • 1- 36 in. 1 in. X 1 in. tubing with 5/16 in. holes 1 in. on center
  • 1- 12 in. EMT conduit (or 5/8 wood dowel, any dowel that will fit in the I.D. of 5/16 eye bolt)
  • 2- spacers for spool holder cut to length as required.
  • 26- stander 5/16 nuts
  • 12- nylock 5/16 nuts
  • 1- 5/16 coupler
  • 36- 1/4 flat washers
  • 2- 1/4 fender washers

I think this is a complete list of the hardware you will need to complete this project, but....?

Wood Pieces

The last photo

  • Piece in the back is the rail
  • The two pieces on the left are the sides of the Tail Stock
  • The two pieces in the middle are the spacers for the Tail Stock
  • The two pieces in the front are for the thread/twine spool holder
RedyukovP5 months ago
I did same thing with my father twenty years ago just with drill and one nail. Part of those ropes we use in present days. I think you overdo with this device because until you find all of components for this i can make some ropes. And no need some place for store this big ugly thing. I think you need make this like drill adapter and that will be really cool. Especially if you make some thread feeding mechanism it will be really awesome. Hmmm, i think i need do some work right now :)
Sorry for my bad english :)
danmartin49 (author)  RedyukovP5 months ago
Thank you for your comment. I can also make rope/cord very quickly. Hand twisted lets say in a survival situation. I had very specific needs to meet, see photos in step 11. I met my need for museum quality and exact specifications perfectly. So there are utilitarian needs and artistic need. I can do either with this device.
danmartin49 (author) 5 months ago
The Rope/Cord maker with this set up can twist left or right, but the strand bundles and the finished rope/cord have the same twist. You might be able to adapt this device to you need. If you need to twist one group on way and the another group the other way. You might be able weave the chain around the sprockets to achieve that. It would probably require an additional idler sprocket. See photo.
Or you could lock the Tail Stock hook so it can't spin. Spin the strand groups clock or counter clock wise. Unlock the Tail Stock hook and then by using the Tail Stock hook you could hand twist the strand groups in the opposite direction.
DennisO225 months ago
I'm interested in knowing which way the strand bundle are twisted in your string. I make Flemish twist archery strings by hand. I twist each strand bundle to the left and then lay it to the right. You can also do the reverse twist right and lay left. Looking at your pictures, it looks like you are twisting each strand bundle in the same direction as it is being laid-in. Is that the case?