tiller to brest -carving rope-work

Ok, work on the tiller is progressing, the shape has been roughed in and rounded over, and the ropework cut in and formed over:


imageThis was done with two passes along the drawn-on spiral (shown in the first post) with a v-tool, sinking the line about 3mm, then a straight-edged chisel was run along the edges of that trench to widen it and begin rounding it over.  Typically this would be finished off with abrasive paper and the rope would be finished in just  a few more hours.  But there is another step that top-quality work goes through, and that is to carve in another set of strands, or to turn the carved surface into a crowned knot-work – to be fair they look very similar, the crowning just being a more extreme form, but where the strands end in a straight line like the one in the picture, the crowning strands inter-lock.  Be warned, this will multiply the work by a factor of at least 4.  You can see on the left of the picture where I have started to mark in the next set of cuts.

If I had chosen to finish the piece as plane rope-work, the time taken to it would have been about 5 hours for the 2 foot length, if that sounds like a long time then, effectively, that is cutting out 7 rope strands at 34″ length each, or 228″ of rope-work, or 19′(6m) .  The next step will to be to mark out and carve 3 strands per inch, that’s nearly 400 strands, at about 2 minutes carving per strand, that’s 800 minutes or 13.5 hours…………………

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