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Hemp looking steels


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The first thought that springs to mind is what sort of effect are you after? The size differences may make this a little difficult since a small hemp is roughly the same size as a large steel!

Painting it is one possibility, but the resulting may be too thin for the effect you want. It may be easier to get "Truss Steels" with a PVC sleeve on that may be easier to paint whilst increasing the apparent bulk.

The other option I can think of is to "wrap" the steel in some form of fibre rope, either manila / hemp etc or possibly a softer "decorative" rope like they use for barriers etc. This could well be exceptionally tedious, depending on the quantities you require. It may be possible to "stitch" the steel through the centre of the rope with a large needle, but I don't know if it'd be any easier or quicker.

The people who may be able to help are those who specialise in flying people (eg Foys, Freedom Flying etc) as they often interface SWR to a larger fibre hauling line so may be able to sell you what you're after.


The other question I have to ask is why? Please remember that under LOLER all drifts etc have to be inspected. Burying it in the middle of anything would make it difficult if not impossible to do.


Hope this helps



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if youwant to simply have bar that looks like it is hung on hemp, but is in fact on steels, why not hang the hemp in front of the steel and tie it to the bar etc. You can always sew a few loops around the steel to make it stay there, as the hemp is not doing the work, and you can chuck it afterwards etc.

Or have a look at ornamental ropes etc, they often have fibrous core which you could pull out, and pull steel through.

Bit more info though would be useful.

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There is such a thing as steel cored manilla rope (there may even be hemp). I doubt its want you want, but here's an example. (Its a lanyard for old fashioned arborists.)


I vaguely remember a touring production of Barnum that had a long length of steel-cored manilla used for the "slide for life" stunt. The circus rigger for that production was a gentleman named Terry Parsons. I was about to suggest you try to track him down when I discovered he died quite recently, very sad, he was a nice guy and a true professional.


Nevertheless, if you need a significant length of steel that looks *exactly* like a big hawser laid rope, it might be worth going off and finding a circus forum to ask about it.


Bit more info though would be useful.

Yeah, what he said! What are you trying to acheive exactly?


As Damian suggested you could use the outer sheath from a rope to disguise a steel - if you get the size right. I think the best rope for that would probably be a yachting rope rather than an ornamental one. If you google for '"braid on braid" sheet', or "16 plait matt sheet" you'll find hundreds of them. It'll take a bit of ingenuity to get the core out of the rope and the steel in - and it'll get much more difficult as the length increases, a foot will be easy, a hundred feet nearly impossible and everything in the middle somewhere in the middle. :) Also, thats obviously no good if your steel has swaged eyes, are you terminating it yourself?


Another possibility might be to apply some whipping, or braid, yourself, with good old fashioned sash cord. How's your knitting? You'll need space, somewhere to rig your steel under tension (ideally horizontally, at a good working height), spools, whipping twine and lots of patience. Here's a good book to leaf through for inspiration.





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the ornamental bit came from the fact that they are easy to untwist/twist, and could almost be split and re-laid over the steel. Las time I did anything similar was done by bundling the starter end in a cordless screwgun, and laying the compnents together, rather like they are made in the first place. If you wanted to get clever, what about splitting a hemp down to it's strands and turning it properly around a steel. slow and tricky, but works.Terminating it though is bit of a pain. (as an ex-circus and assorted other histories, some past knowledges coming across here!!)
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3 strand manila with a 'soft' lay. (Talk to Julian at Gleistein)

Wind the steel into the centre taking care to let the manila rotate.

Did it a lot for various Barnum's.

Terry's line was specially made (I rigged it a few times!)

Used to be known as combination rope, and was once available from the Bridon outlets in the south.

You can get it (fishing industry) but now polyprop with a steel core, and a b****** to splice.


What's the gag? Damians 'stitch on' sounds the best if it will look OK.

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