Modelling incline ropes

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Modelling incline ropes

Postby Igor » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:37 pm

I am making a working model of a mine incline, and I'm not sure whether to use thread, string or wire for the rope. Any ideas?

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Postby MrPlantpot » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:54 pm

That would kind of depend on :-
The scale
The angle of the incline
The weight of the load you intend to haul.

Ordinary 'dressmaking' thread tends to be a bit 'hairy', and if running on rollers in the track can generate static electricity and attract fluff. Fishing line could be just as bad for static. If there is a chandler/sailmaker, saddlery, or leathercraft shop near you, take a look at the heavy threads they use.... they may even be waxed, which would cut down the 'hairiness', but might attract more fluff. :? If you're modelling in a large scale, you could try bicycle brake or gear cable!

Have fuN (with a capital N) :mrgreen:
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Postby Adrian » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:59 am

G'day Igor

As Steve said there are a lot of variables but one that he didn't mention was the flexibility of the tread.

I would start my hunt in the local model store, assuming that they stock Billings 'bits', and look at the rigging 'rope'.
It is available in different sizes and the stuff that I have used in the past, has always been nice and 'floppy'.
Also, being designed for rigging, its nice and easy to tie knots in.
Maybe expensive for what it is but as it comes in small packs not a lot of money.

Steve suggested a chandler/sailmaker, saddlery, or leathercraft shop.
If there are none of the above and there is no model shop nearby maybe there is a craft store.
They may be able to help you because they have ALL sorts of exciting goodies.

I should imagine that fishing line would be too 'springy' to make it a suitable canidate.

Adrian Hoad
I might be daft but not stupid.

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Postby Oztrainz » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:31 pm

Hi Igor,
If you are using a reel in/reel out rope with a couplings/hooks at the end of the rope attached to the wagon and all of the rope path above ground, the type of thread will matter a lot less than for me attempting a continuous rope incline on my Corrimal model.

For me the jury is still out on what type of thread will finally be used. So far different types of thread have turned up variable results,

I need a rope that:
Has enough "bite" on the winch drum to pull itself along through a convoluted path,
Yet will slip sideways on the winch drum at the incline top,
Will splice and hold the rope ends securely
Yet have that splice area flexible enough to pass around cable pulleys with diameters of about 5mm to pass under the tracks to the winch and return pulleys,
Yet not seize up on the winch drum or anywhere else along the rope path of about 3 metres each way,
Be capable of easy threading through the rope path
And be capable of easy disassembly as the rope crosses multiple module joints in both directions on along the middle of different tracks....

I'll let you know when I have it licked
John Garaty
Murphy was an optimist

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Postby KEG » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:55 pm

If you have a kite shop in the neighbourhood have a look on their lines.


They sell them in various seizes, according to the drag they are supposed to hold.
The pulley wheel in the avoce picture is approx. 8 mm in diameter.

Have Fun


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Postby Chrisp » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:03 pm

How topical! I'm building an outdoor balanced gravity incline (ex: Penrhyn) in 7/8 scale.

Besides bending the rail in the vertical plane, my biggest pondering relates to the line to use. Chain? Stainless steel cable? Twine?

Kite string does sound like a good suggestion, and a kite reel may be a good starting point for the drum.
Have a gnice day.

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Postby Glen A » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:25 am

My first incline was thread; black sewing threat. It had more than enough strenght to pull up the small wagon loaded with rocks, and it bent around the pulley very well. However where it rubbed against anything (after a few deays of operating) it would wear through and break.

Next I used small kitchen string. It was white string with a woven pattern. To make it black, I got some black shoe dye, and submerged the string in the dye, then hung it up for a few days (or more) to dry.
It worked very well. I put bigger pulleys on as the string won't go around tight corners so well. I did wind onto a drum through.

The biggest problem with an incline is you need to work out the weight and steepness. The wagon needs to be heavy enough that gravity will pull it back down when empty.
The thicker the string (or rope), the heavier the wagon needs to be. The less slope the incline is on, the heavier the wagon needs to be as well.
But the heavier the wagon, the stronger the motor you need to pull it up again.

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Postby Oztrainz » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:25 am

Ahh but I'm cheating with Corrimal - the magnets below the track are doing the hauling and the rope is purely cosmetic.

If I match the skip speed to the rope speed it "looks" as if the rope is doing the work :wink:

If it all gets too hard, my fallback position is to glue the rope in situ and hope that Joe Public is too busy looking at other things to notice that the rope is not moving :shock:
John Garaty
Murphy was an optimist

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