Kumihimo Rope Build

Kumihimi ROPE BUILD by Russ Oliver © 2011

Rope Braid-Initial This article was shared in several Kumihimo groups. The link seems to have originated from a climbing forum. Because Wheat did not want it to "disappear", we are sharing it here - with permission recentaly (Oct 2013) from Russ Olliver.

Russ Oliver read an article in Crossfit Journal showing how to braid your own climbing rope and thought it was a great idea. Then he thought about what it would be like trying to manage 8 thirty foot lengths of rope. Russ made a few string bracelets back it the day and keeping the strings straight was a pain. That got Russ searching the Internet trying to find out more about braiding techniques.

Russ figured there must be some kind of loom or something that would make it more manageable. That's when he came across Elliot Evans and learned about the Kumihimo Marudai. Russ wondered if he could rig something up similar to help manage all those ropes.

After some more reading and a few YouTube videos, Russ ended up using some duct tape, some old PVC pipe, some sand from the creek bed, a bit of wire, and a stack of tires to put together a Marudai to create his climbing rope. Russ cut two 100 foot lengths into 3rds and ended up with 6 strings that he looped and braided together as a 12 cord round braid.

1. Russ started by braiding a small section in the middle. He just held it in place in a vice to start the braid.

Rope Braid-LoopBraid Rope Braid-Startingl

2. Russ used some wire to bind it in a loop before putting it on the Maruda.

3. For his tamas, Russ cut some PVC into 6 inch lengths, duct taped one end, filled them with sand, and closed the other end off with more duct tape. They came out around 3 pounds a piece. In the center of the tires, Russ just held a 15 pound dumb bell on with some more wire (as a counter weight)



Rope Braid-Progress Rope Braid-Initial 4. Here it is after a few turns. You can see the rope growing in the center.

5. Russ got a bit nervous at the end of his braid when he realized he was about out of string. Russ pulled the braid up and it only measured 6 feet. He was hoping for more like 10 or 11.

Luckily once when he put it up and put some weight on it, the braid stretched out quite a bit. Russ put a (measuring) tape on it after Mathis climbed it a couple times and it came in at 11.5 feet. Perfect.

Russ wrote: I feel like I took a beautiful Japanese art, Texas sized it, and turned it into a bit of a redneck project (seems like lots of my projects end up using copious amounts of ductape and/or wire), but it turned out great.

Russ calls it a success!!!

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