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Electric Drive Machines

There comes a time when additional helpers are not available, or your rope making requirements transition from hobby to business levels.

Turning the rope machine can be upgraded in this situation, to relieve the need for the helper to crank the rope machine while you are controlling the rope tool.

Adding the electric motor is part of the solution. The other part is controlling the motor while you move along the rope walk. There are two approaches available for motor and motor control. The first is bang-bang relay control where the motor turns at a fixed speed. The motor can be reversed (when OFF), from a direction control switch mounted on the machine housing or control pendant. The second motor option is three speed electric motor with an industrial variable speed motor controller. This industrial controller option adds at least $550 to the cost of the rope machine project.

With either option, a wired pendant control switch (momentary ON) in a pendant is used to control the operation. The motor shuts off if finger pressure is removed from the switch. Push-pull electrical connectors are used for pendant connections, so that if the cord is pulled too hard, the connection is broken and the machine shuts down. Safety first! This also prevents damage to the control pendant cabling.

The Bradshaw Rope Machine is a good candidate for mating to a cordless drill motor and using bang-bang control. This rope machine is targeted to the fiber artists making custom rope. It has small strand hooks spread about a three inch circle. It is available in 3, 4, or 6 strand hook configurations. The machine is small enough (think portable sewing machine) to be mounted on the work table for making short lengths, while it can be mounted to a custom machine stand for shop use, or making long, small (less than 5/8", typically) diameter cordage. Pricing starts at $300.

The Rope Master machine housing can be modified to add a pulley or sprocket for drive motor input. The Rope Master is available in 3, 4, or 6 strand hook configurations. Motorized Rope Master designs start at $520, for a three strand machine driven by a quarter horsepower electric motor.

Custom designed rope machines can be made with the SH3 or SH5 hook shafts. ANSI roller chain will be used to connect the strand shafts together. The rope machine head is mounted to a custom work stand that will house the motor, controls, and drive train. The drive train design between motor and rope machine will be settled before construction starts. This budget for this rope machine project starts at $600.

Initiate a motorized rope machine project using the Contact Us form to identify the type of rope machine desired, along with quantity and type of cordage to be producted. Identify other relevant requirements and concerns.