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