Rope Centering on a Narrow Rack

By Ron Simmons, NSS #16894 (Charlottesville, VA)

    I have been using one of Larry Howell's Titanium racks for some time now. The one I use is the five bar rack with the narrow frame. I love the rack and use it everywhere but needed to find a way to center the rope in the rack. Below I describe the method that I came up with.

    Without any kind of guide the rope will slide off toward the eye side of the rack. I did not want to put a starter grove in my top bar or go to a larger top bar. So what I did was to let the spacers between the top two bars do the guiding, see fig. 2.

spacer dimensions spacers on the rack
    To keep the rope centered the spacer on the eye side of the rack frame needs to push the rope back toward the center. After trying several different sizes the one that I found to work best are shown in figure #1. The spacers are drilled out with a W drill (.386"). The spacer on the eye side of the frame is 3/4" in diameter and the other one is 1/2" in diameter. I made them of Delrin plastic but other materials can also be used except nylon. You do not want a nylon rope running over a nylon spacer. The Delrin is light and wears well. Small groves are worn into the larger spacer but it rotates enough to spread the wear out. I have over 2000' on my set.

    This extra effort to center the rope may seem a bit picky but I think that it improves the handling of the rack. Also with a narrow rack frame the rope will wear groves into the frame if the rope is not centered.


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