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Hi again all! 
 

hopefully this is an okay place to ask this, as I’ve exhausted all other options now! 
 

Is there anyone out there that has experience making twisted mecate reins? I’ve been braiding them for a few years and would love to learn how to twist them by hand. 
 

any and all information/advice welcome!! 
 

thanks again !

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3 hours ago, kiwibraider said:

twisted mecate reins?

This book, "Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding" by Bruce Grant, shows how to braid many types of reins. Could be helpful to your search.

Encyclopedia_of_Rawhide_and_Leather_Braiding.pdf

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There is a Facebook group for people who braid, hitch and twist horsehair.  I believe the name of it is Horsehair- Hitching, Twisting and Braiding.  If there is educational material available, people in that group would know where to direct you.

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Doug Krause in California makes horsehair macates 

.  They sale his macates at  https://www.ricottisaddle.com/.  I don't know if he takes students or has books or videos.  I'm sure there are some other makers in the California, Oregon, Nevada area of the US.   

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20 hours ago, LatigoAmigo said:

This book, "Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding" by Bruce Grant, shows how to braid many types of reins. Could be helpful to your search.

Encyclopedia_of_Rawhide_and_Leather_Braiding.pdf 648.48 MB · 5 downloads

Thank you! I love this book, unfortunately not all that much help as far as twister mecates go! Thanks again though 

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6 hours ago, BigSiouxSaddlery said:

There is a Facebook group for people who braid, hitch and twist horsehair.  I believe the name of it is Horsehair- Hitching, Twisting and Braiding.  If there is educational material available, people in that group would know where to direct you.

Thank you! I will have a look for this group :D

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2 hours ago, kiwibraider said:

Thank you! I love this book, unfortunately not all that much help as far as twister mecates go! Thanks again though 

I had no idea what it was you were looking for, but the video that @bland posted really helped me understand. 

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I didn't post earlier, because I wasn't absolutely sure. I now know I practice every one of those skills, and it has zilch to do with leatherwork other than the tags in the end.

  • Firstly, he uses a drum carder to align the hair. 
  • We use several intermediate stages to create a very airy rolag to spin with, in wool.
  • He then spins a twine from it. That's the skilled stage, feeding a constant thickness.
  • We now move onto a ropemaking spinner, which adds more spin to pull several twines into a line, and then selects lines for colour to make a final rope with.
  • What you don't see is that he's very likely run a flame along the twine to burn any sticking out hairs off.
  • At each stage, the direction of twist reverses, so the twist of the previous lay pulls the current lay together.
  • For completeness, several ropes laid together form a cable, and several cables a hawser. Any thicker than that and it's impossible to bend.
  • Finally, he uses a Turk's Head/Crown Knot combo to stop the ends feathering.
Edited by Rahere

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Rahere,

Remember when spinning, you must over twist the twines you will be reverse spinning into pairs, as you will be untwisting them as you twist the pair in the opposite direction. 

God lbess

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I do, but not by so much as to break the thread. This is why we transfer the bobbin to niddy-noddy, to skein up for storage, it evens out tension and spin. I'm using an Ashord E3, electrical, for size. What I'll often do once I'm ready to ply is reload a bobbin from the skein, allowing me a further chance to increase the spin if I need. 

Given there's more fibre-workers here, a drum carder for wool creates a pad of generally-aligned fibres called a batt, which is gently eased apart. A sizeable wadge is passed through a size gauge called a diz, to become the starting point for spinning - it's dragged over comb cards to align and loosen, and feeds straight to the wheel.

Edited by Rahere

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You’ve all been incredibly helpful and I’m eternally greatful for you advice and recommendations! I’ve got a good starting point to experiment with now, will try and post an update when I’ve got some bosals finished to show off too ;) 

 

 

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Ashford's actually a Kiwi company: you might check if any of their kit's up to spinning 1/8" horsehair.

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On 6/25/2021 at 3:14 AM, Rahere said:

Ashford's actually a Kiwi company: you might check if any of their kit's up to spinning 1/8" horsehair.

Cheers! I’ve actually got one of their wheels, it’s great but only suitable for smaller twists unfortunately. Trying to figure out how I might be able to jig something up with a drill  at the moment :) 

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1 minute ago, kiwibraider said:

Cheers! I’ve actually got one of their wheels, it’s great but only suitable for smaller twists unfortunately. Trying to figure out how I might be able to jig something up with a drill  at the moment :) 

Don't forget you're only spinning a single ply, you'll use ropeworking to take it to twine, and then further. The saving grace is it's got an 18" staple! My e-Spinner's actually got a throat-reducer and jumbo bobbins, as do a good few of the wheels.

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1 hour ago, Rahere said:

Don't forget you're only spinning a single ply, you'll use ropeworking to take it to twine, and then further. The saving grace is it's got an 18" staple! My e-Spinner's actually got a throat-reducer and jumbo bobbins, as do a good few of the wheels.

Would you have any recommendations on where to get, or how to make a rope making machine? :) 
 

 

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Look on ebay for rope making machines.  There are a few different approaches.  I have a four strand cast iron gizmo made a hundred years ago.  There are some nice ones made of wood and some steel hooks that work great.  A friend made one of the wooden ones and used some spikes, bent up, for the hooks. 

Edited by MikeRock
too many o's in hooks.

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42 minutes ago, MikeRock said:

Look on ebay for rope making machines.  There are a few different approaches.  I have a four strand cast iron gizmo made a hundred years ago.  There are some nice ones made of wood and some steel hooks that work great.  A friend made one of the wooden ones and used some spikes, bent up, for the hooks. 

Thanks for that! Is there any chance you have got any photos of yours, or your friends contraption? Helps give me an idea of what I should be looking at making :) 

thanks again for your help! It’s greatly appreciated 

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Image 1 - Rare Antique The New Era Rope Machine / Rope Maker Hand Crank Tool & Wrench

The top one is like mine......  it was $90 on ebay.   The one down below  is like my friends.  You can see how the bent metal hooks are captured by the pieces of wood.  He just used spikes and washers to make his.

I'm sure there are youtube videos of these working. 

Image 1 - Rope Making Machine

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You're missing the most essential part, the runner. It lives just between the rope and the strands, and stops twist doing odd things. It's most of the focus of the ropemaker.

Start off with four hooks on rods long enough to serve as axles. They go through a bearing in the front plate, are held in place by a small gear, and through another bearing in the rear plate. A larger gear in the centre turns all four, contrary to the previous lay. At the other end of the walk is a trolley carrying a larger single hook the rope strands oomr together at. As the strands are twisted, they shorten, and so it the far end can't move, they'll break. The trolley's on rails, to keep things headed in the right direction, but often working under friction, to keep a tension on the rope. Another trolley, free-floating is in the middle, carrying the runner, sometimes called a pear, which is roughly shaped like an artillery shell, but with grooves in. This guides the twist to come together: the point faces towards the rope forming. If it's a cored rope, the pear will have a hole in the centre for the core to pass through. It may be spun itself, in which case a fifth hook lies at the bottom of the spinner rig, but not always: a circus tightrope (and slackrope) has a counterlaid core, which makes knotting it impossible: I came up with what is now commonplace, the use of a Swedish Tirfor jack, which suffenly took over the entire world of circus, because it speeded rigging enormously. My knowledge came from the Royal Engineers, the UK military: my family are naval engineers, I built my first aged 10. A naval ropeworks may be a mile long. As you'll see in the video, the thing shortens by about a third each time, so you might need to rig a reduction pulley off the far end before the counterweight.

Edited by Rahere

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I know that.   She was asking for the machines.  The splitter was illustrated with the first.  I figured there are enough youtube movies she'd have gotten the point.

Been making ropes since 1962 when we had the ranch in North Dakota.  A hand on the ranch told a story once of making a hawser sized rope.  The fellow he was making it for had a nice big truck.  Rope maker tied of the far end to the towing ring and told the truck guy to put in in gear so it would move as the rope shortened.  The rope machine was put on a large timber, propped up behind the timbers on a barn door.....big stuff, 4"x12" stuff.   After walking all afternoon with the balls of twine, laying the rope, he started cranking, and cranking.....  He was sure the truck was moving, the rope got tighter and tighter.....but he was sure the truck was moving.   All of a sudden the barn door timber gave way, the machine and a days worth of work and twine shot out toward the truck and ended up in a heap.  The fellow had put the truck in 'low, low' gear......It was my friends fault for not checking.   He pulled out the undamaged rope machine and set the whole pile of twine on fire.  He charged the guy for all the twines and made him a rope using a small tractor in high gear to pull against. 

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Said dangerous clown's gone. He missed some important pointers, they're in the TKOR demo.

My great granddad died cut in half when a hawser snapped, he was on a tug shifting a battleship in Portsmouth Harbour. Heavy engineering kit demands standards, not good-ole-boy tractors. This is what has caused around 150 deaths in Miami, My Dad, he wrote the ISO standard for pressure vessels used in the current and all likely future nuclear reactors. I've an honour to match. And zero patience with mouthy redneck farmers.

Edited by Rahere

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Thank you both again for all your help, especially for those photos and videos as well! They were very helpful. 
 

It’s an art that no one here is willing to share any information on, there’s only one person who is currently twisting mecates so I really had no idea where I should be starting, but I’m making progress down the right track now thanks to you all :) 

 

have a wonderful day 

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On 6/9/2021 at 7:50 AM, LatigoAmigo said:

There is a good book by Bruce Grant, The Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Weaving, which shows how to weave many types of reins. May be helpful for your search. You can also always refer to https://gradesfixer.com/essay-types/problem-solution-essays/ if you have any other questions. There you will find example essays on problem solving, and you may gain a lot of new knowledge in your field.

Encyclopedia_of_Rawhide_and_Leather_Braiding.pdf 648.48 MB · 11 downloads

 

Thanks a lot for this book! You helped me solve my problem.

Edited by nickbor34

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