power cord of old?

discussion of the niceties of turning on a bow, bungee or pole lathe.

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Re: Pole lathe cordage & Moxon's book

Postby Follansbee » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:07 am

Robin Fawcett wrote: I havenÂ’t got or read that book and find and it sounds fascinating. ...Could turners have made cordage from nettle fibres or elm or hickory or lime bark do you think ?


Robin F

the book's full citation is thus:

Joseph Moxon, Mechanick Exercises; or the Doctrine of Handy-works Applied to the Arts of Smithing, Joinery, Carpentry, Turning, Bricklaying. (3d ed. London:1703; reprint ed., Mendham, N.J., Astragal Press, 1994)

for the first time in many many years it is now out of print. there are other modern editions, the Astragal was just the most recent. It was published serially from 1678-1683 or so...I think 1683 was the first full edition.

Re: Bast or bark. Hickory bark is the only one I know. I doubt it would make a good cord. it is quite stiff once it's dry. It makes the best chair seats in North America. I have some that are 20-30 years old and are in great shape...the more you use 'em the better they look & feel.
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Re: Pole lathe cordage

Postby Andrea L Willett » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:11 pm

Follansbee wrote:This String is made of the Guts of Beasts (most commonly Sheep, and spun round of several thicknesses, of which the Workman chuses such sizes as are aptest for his Work

I make my own sausages on occasion so I actually HAVE some “guts of beasts”, both sheep and hog, in brine in the fridge. Dunno how I’d go about preparing them to make string though. :? They dry out rather papery & crackly. I made some period 17th century period condoms out of it once as a joke & gave them to some supposedly hard-core reenactor friends along with the “soak in milk overnight before use” instructions. Far as I know they haven’t tested them yet, the cowards. :twisted: Not that I'd ever stir anybody you understand. Trust me, I'm female. :wink:

Robin Fawcett wrote: Could turners have made cordage from nettle fibres or elm or hickory or lime bark do you think ?

Nettle, definitely. I understand itÂ’s similar to flax and hemp. DonÂ’t know about the others.

Andrea
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Re: power cord of old?

Postby voodooalpaca » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:09 am

I've been looking for some cord which lasts more than a few minutes, and spoke to Mike Gorden who used to sell kevlar stuff. I thought it would be worth posting the detail from Mike here for future reference:

------------------
The long lasting cord that I used to sell is available from boat chandlers.
http://www.seascrew.com/browse.cfm?DYNE ... 0000000777 and using their online shop. The cord that I suggest is either 4mm Evolution Race HT - ref #E-R-4 providing you are happy with the bright colour. Alternatively for a single colour check out 3mm Black Compact ref #E-C-3-BK or #E-C-3-G. The 1mm difference will not make a lot of difference - but the 4mm is preferrable.

It is expensive but is well worth the investment - providing you do not accidentally cut it whilst turning. Likely cost, I'm guessing, will be about £1.50 - £2.00 per metre and realistically 10 metres being a good length to buy.


------------------

Clearly this bright coloured stuff is not going to fool anyone that this is a traditional cord, but it should last!
I just placed an order for 10mts and its was £22 delivered to sunny Kent

Phill
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Re: power cord of old?

Postby JonnyP » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:05 pm

voodooalpaca wrote:I've been looking for some cord which lasts more than a few minutes, and spoke to Mike Gorden who used to sell kevlar stuff. I thought it would be worth posting the detail from Mike here for future reference:

------------------
The long lasting cord that I used to sell is available from boat chandlers.
http://www.seascrew.com/browse.cfm?DYNE ... 0000000777 and using their online shop. The cord that I suggest is either 4mm Evolution Race HT - ref #E-R-4 providing you are happy with the bright colour. Alternatively for a single colour check out 3mm Black Compact ref #E-C-3-BK or #E-C-3-G. The 1mm difference will not make a lot of difference - but the 4mm is preferrable.

It is expensive but is well worth the investment - providing you do not accidentally cut it whilst turning. Likely cost, I'm guessing, will be about £1.50 - £2.00 per metre and realistically 10 metres being a good length to buy.


------------------

Clearly this bright coloured stuff is not going to fool anyone that this is a traditional cord, but it should last!
I just placed an order for 10mts and its was £22 delivered to sunny Kent

Phill

Keep an eye open next time you are on a beach.. I found an old drive belt off a boat, tangled up in a load of seaweed and old netting. Its about 3 meters long and works well on the lathe..
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Re: power cord of old?

Postby voodooalpaca » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:54 pm

JonnyP wrote:Keep an eye open next time you are on a beach.. I found an old drive belt off a boat, tangled up in a load of seaweed and old netting. Its about 3 meters long and works well on the lathe..


Yes I did wonder if searching the bins at the boat yard would be worth a go, but from here it would cost more in petrol than a new string cost.

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Re: power cord of old?

Postby JonnyP » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:32 pm

voodooalpaca wrote:
JonnyP wrote:Keep an eye open next time you are on a beach.. I found an old drive belt off a boat, tangled up in a load of seaweed and old netting. Its about 3 meters long and works well on the lathe..


Yes I did wonder if searching the bins at the boat yard would be worth a go, but from here it would cost more in petrol than a new string cost.

Phill

If I find another, I will post it to you..
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Re: power cord of old?

Postby robin wood » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:51 am

I am using recycled conveyor belt, I used to use the fabric/rubber drive belts which looked quite like leather and passed inspection by the re-enactor police. When the drive strap place closed down I found a place cutting up conveyor belts, bought what I thought would be a years supply but 2 years later the first one is still going strong. Hempex is great stuff available from all chandlers.
http://www.robin-wood.co.uk bowls, books and courses
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Re: power cord of old?

Postby jrccaim » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:52 am

Sigh. There are two competing factors (1) authenticity and (b) durability. If you want to be authentic then there is (c) what period you are trying to emulate. The Vikings must have used leather. I cannot imagine a Viking turner using, for example, cotton cord, much less nylon. To be more exact he (the Viking) must have used skins of readily available animals; reindeer and moose come to mind. No doubt caribou would be authentic also. By the 16th century or so there were other materials available, hemp comes to mind. It is no joke to make cord out of animal hides. I know the theory but I have not practiced it. Cut a circle of the hide, put a knife against it, cut tangent to the circle. The result is known as babiche in the north of Canada and the US. Used for everything from snowshoes to sled lashings in these upper latitudes.

On to more modern fibres. I have yet to try hemp. It does come from the same plant that produces marijuana. If you have qualms about this then you should not use it :). I have tried both cotton clothesline and nylon "parachute" cord. On the whole I prefer cotton clothesline simply because it is cheap. So it wears. So you replace it. Parachute cord lasts longer but eventually wears out. Second law of thermodynamics. There is sisal. Zero experience. There is Manila. Zero experience. Then there are these fancy synthetics, Polypropilene for example. I cannot find "polypro" thin enough for my purposes. Your experience may be different. I have tried the type of rope known to climbers as Kernmantel. (Literally core-covered.) This stuff is nylon fibre core and a synthetic cover. It is extremely strong, enormous tensile strength. Unfortunately the mantel part -- the covering -- is not as tough. Wears out very quickly. You can, however, get it in 6mm diameter, so it will work on a pole lathe.

BTW whatever material you use, your cord will last much longer if you shave your material as circular as possible before turning. It is the sharp edges that wear out the cord. It is"chafe" and I consider it an unavoidable problem with pole lathes.
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Re: power cord of old?

Postby MikeGordon » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:35 pm

If you are looking for authentic "cords", perhaps as a re-enactor, then the choice of the "cord" may well be difficult to get exactly right. In reality most pole-lathe turners are not re-enactors so the best economic solution seems to be a greater need. I have tried just about all of the readily available "cords" with the exception of leather and other natural medium like sinew for example.
What I have settled on are modern yatch rigging cords. Currently I am using a cord which has a braided core of "Dyneema" and a cover, also known as a sheath, of Polyester. The cover is designed to be hard wearing but does eventually wear out, fray and then part company. This looks a tad untidy, but does not reduce the overall strength or longevity in any obvious way. I continue to use the cord long, and I do mean long, after the cover has given up. The braided core is impressively strong, stretch reistant and durable.

As jrccaim suggests it is important to get the billet as round as possible.

In my opinion the choice is likely to be about what you can afford, or perhaps what you are prepared to spend on the cord. In the short term it may well cost much less to buy a cheap option, but in the long term I have proved - to myself at least - that paying quite a lot extra for the cord, Dyneema for example, is by far the best economic solution. Gentle use of the pole-lathe will be kinder to the cord and its durability, but I tend to work my pole-lathe hard and still get much a longer life from my Dyneema cord. One downside to paying the extra costs for Dyneema etc is the cursed lapse in concentration when you cut the cord with a cutting tool, but then nothing is likely to survive that.

Buying Dyneema cord is easy if you use the online shop at Seascrew.com, and no doubt other chandlers.
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Re: power cord of old?

Postby jrccaim » Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:37 am

MikeGordon wrote:If you are looking for authentic "cords", perhaps as a re-enactor, then the choice of the "cord" may well be difficult to get exactly right. In reality most pole-lathe turners are not re-enactors so the best economic solution seems to be a greater need. I have tried just about all of the readily available "cords" with the exception of leather and other natural medium like sinew for example.
What I have settled on are modern yatch rigging cords. Currently I am using a cord which has a braided core of "Dyneema" and a cover, also known as a sheath, of Polyester. The cover is designed to be hard wearing but does eventually wear out, fray and then part company. This looks a tad untidy, but does not reduce the overall strength or longevity in any obvious way. I continue to use the cord long, and I do mean long, after the cover has given up. The braided core is impressively strong, stretch reistant and durable.
....


Very interesting suggestion. I will keep my eye out for it. I really agree with your suggestion. I myself am not a reenactor. I just want something that will last! Yacht rigging cord might be a good answer. Thanks for posting.
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