I've been braiding my own stuff for several years. Only 3 and 4 plaits, and have used hooks, broom sticks, and even my toes to hold the material. Well now I've been progressing with 6,8 and 12 strands and was wondering how you pro's hold everything?
By the way, I've read on here where everyone wants something cheap to practice on, so here is what I've used. Baler twine, both the synthetic and the natural. Also, I take old lariat ropes and separate the strands and use that to braid. They make pretty nice lead ropes.