Braiding Project…

Braiding Project…

Currently I’m working on a plaiting project.  I’m braiding over copper tubes.  This is the second time I’ve done this specific project.  Basically I have 95ish copper tubes of various diameters and lengths (2 inches to 15 inches).  I then do an 8 plait braid of the top of them.

The key to this is finding the most efficient way to do plait them.  I’ve found that I first sort them by size and leather color.  Then I work with them as a batch of that color.  If I was cutting out and braiding them one at a time, it would take forever.

Once I have a group of the same width and color I cut the lace and start plaiting:

leather braiding

When I get to the end of the first tube, I put the second tube end to end with it and keep braiding.  The goal is to not really stop braiding.  Every time I stop, or change tasks I slow down, and as they say “time is money”.

Once I have all of the tubes braided over, I then use tape to mark off where the ends are:

leather braiding

Then cut the leather through the tape to leave some of the tube exposed.

leather braiding

The final step is tying the knots.  Unfortunately the knots are very labor intensive and I really haven’t found a way to speed them up. As Lauren Wickline once told me, “Knots are a time suck”.  And fully agree!

The best way I’ve found is to cut the lace I’ll need for the knots, so it’s one long strand.  The I tied the first knot and tighten it, then using the other end of the lace I tie the second knot and tighten it.  Finally I cut the knot off the lace and trim the loose end.

Doing the cutting two at a time instead of after each knot save me about 10 seconds per tube.  While not a ton of time, when you multiply it by 95+ knots it will save me about 15 minutes over the course of the project.

Once this is finished the next project will be a bullwhip!



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