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Thread: What rope is best for pulling planes??

  1. #1
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    What rope is best for pulling planes??

    While I've used a plane before a bit, the rope technique highlighted in another thread is new to me. Can anyone share their expertise as to which sort of rope is best for the technique? I've heard hemp, while historically accurate, is a bit more rough on the hands and not as durable over the long term. Nylon is apparently the most friendly to the knob finishes but can be a little slippery. Some apparently like the braided yacht style ropes, and I have even heard of guys who swear by rubber tubing. I'm lost and could really use some help. What thickness, what material, what braiding?

    https://www.knotandrope.com/store/pc...FRBnOgod3yMAhA

  2. #2
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    Really? The rope is for those who do not know how to do this properly. I thought everyone knew you just set the plane on the workpiece and then lift the end so gravity can do its work.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
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    Maybe try out some of that "para-cord" rope that stores sell as bracelets?

    Tilt a board? With my good luck? Plane would just hang a right or left turn and head for the concrete floor like a magnet was down there.

    You might want a bit of "give" in the rope, just in case you hit a knot along the way.

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    Just make sure its got a nice thick braided structure..one that creates a knurling effect. Without this it will be naer impossible to hold on to.
    Woodworking is terrific for keeping in shape, but it's also a deadly serious killing system...

  5. #5
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    There were "Crown Molder Planes" that were quite wide. The Master would guide it along, but a "helper" had to pull the plane along with a rope.

  6. #6
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    If you need a rope, maybe you need to hone the iron. Ron Brese pulled a much heavier plane with a string.

  7. #7
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    Plane old rope
    The Plane Anarchist

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Vanzant View Post
    If you need a rope, maybe you need to hone the iron. Ron Brese pulled a much heavier plane with a string.
    Yeah but he cheated. Had an entire pulley system set up off camera. Can't believe everything you see on the internet you know.

  9. #9
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    If you're really good, just use the shaving, as it comes out of the plane, to pull it along!

  10. #10
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    Since it is in the plane's nature to plane, I just place it on the board, and let it follow its nature.
    Of course, it needs to be very sharp indeed.
    Paul

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Hughto View Post
    I've heard hemp, while historically accurate, is a bit more rough on the hands and not as durable over the long term.
    This is largely a problem with modern "hemp" rope not actually being "hemp" rope. Most "hemp" rope sold nowadays is actually "manila hemp" which isn't "hemp" at all (its actually fiber from a banana relative but its sold as manila "hemp") and is indeed rough on the hands and relatively poor wearing.

    True hemp rope - which is dang hard to find - varies somewhat in its qualities. The hemp bast fiber when well treated is somewhat close to linen (flax) fiber in qualities, in that its a long strand, tough and relatively smooth fiber. It is somewhat subject to rot but if kept dry (or as they used to do on sailing ships - tarred, which would be perhaps undesirable for in the shop) it lasts and wears quite well. If its coarsely "extracted" (the actual process of getting hemp and linen is similar and involves "retting" - rotting - the stalks and then breaking them and working the strands to clean the fibers) can be somewhat coarse, I suspect that a lot of the older rope class material fell into this. Well extracted hemp is close to as fine as linen and behaves similarly (stiff until broken in, but soft in the hand after that).

    Real hemp would stand up to a ridiculous amount of use for this class. I had a (real) hemp lariat rope as a kid and it stood up to roping and dragging a whole lot of calves to the fire, I can't imagine that you'd ever put that much wear on a rope.

    Nylon is somewhat silky smooth. It is pretty stretchy though, since we're noodling on apparent irrelevancies in general think of all the wasted energy in stretching the rope 3-4" during the pull. The horror.

    All braided ropes will generally be smoother and have less stretch than twisted (all else being equal).

    More strands are smoother and stronger (again..)

    None of this really matters.

    If you want to try pulling with a rope - find one about the right size so its not going to either wear to much on the plane (to thin) or pop off (to thick) and that feels good on your hands and use it. If the "right size" is to small (which I suspect will be true), then back braid it on the section you use for pulling so its easier to get a grip on it, or splice it into a thicker rope for that part or attach it to a harness of some sort (I think that that was somewhat common for pulling some moulding planes anyway).

    What I really want to know is where you're getting an apprentice to ride on the plane (personally I'd rather ride the plane and have the apprentice pull it which is a sure sign of approaching senescence I suppose). Maybe a remote controlled electric winch would be the modern replacement so you could operate it while resting upon the plan yourself. If you do that we want videos.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Betsch View Post
    Plane old rope

    The best response so far!

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    Thank you Ryan! Entertaining bit about hemp rope.

    Back in the thirties when Alpine climbers would scale difficult, big, fearsome clifs like the Eiger Nordwand in Switserland, they only had a hemp cord, tight around the waste. Falling wasn't really an option back then, the hemp would break if the shock was too much. The introduction of nylon to the climbing world has been the most important safety advancement ever.
    Last edited by Kees Heiden; 01-11-2014 at 4:14 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett Ellis View Post
    Yeah but he cheated. Had an entire pulley system set up off camera. Can't believe everything you see on the internet you know.
    Can't believe everyone on the internet either ... Just FYI, it was Jameel Abraham with Ron Brese's Stainless Panel Plane, there was no cheating, it is clear as day that the string is tied in a knot. Watch the video...

    Heck, I'll go one further. I have pushed that very plane in the video on 2" rock maple, it really is that easy. Brese makes some sick handplanes.
    Last edited by Rick Markham; 01-11-2014 at 4:29 AM.
    I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. ~ Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    When Jameel's video surfaced on another forum some years ago I tried it myself that evening. The next day Wilbur Pan asked on the forum if anyone else had tried it. I replied that I had done it with a Record plane and gave a few tips on how to perform the stunt. Then a guy named Bob Zajicek wrote in suggesting I was not telling the truth. Apparently he thought only a Brese plane could do the trick.

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