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Cheap unlimited Lego Rope


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#1 SheepEater

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 01:03 AM

In all themes (Town, Technic especially) I see lot of people complaining about breaking their strings used in cranes, winches, etc

Well, I came up with my solution 10 years ago. Just go to a big name fabric store (Rossy in Montreal is perfect). You'll find rope in the exact same quality & thickness Lego is using, for very cheap.

But it probably won't be black (My store only had light tan at the time). So I went to buy some black dye. They sell those in small black boxes and are very cheap. Pour the contents in hot water, simmer the rope for a few hours. Voila, a lifetime of black Lego rope!

And I am still not even close of using up my original batch made in 2002 that I tainted myself. And it's still black as ever.

So for those looking for those ultra long ropes from set 8288 - crawler crane, don't pay those ridiculous prices on bricklink - the ropes you taint yourself end up identical!

Edited by SheepEater, 02 July 2012 - 09:06 PM.


#2 88high

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 04:03 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 28 June 2012 - 01:03 AM, said:

In all themes (Town, Technic especially) I see lot of people complaining about broking their strings used in cranes, winches, etc

Well, I came up with my solution 10 years ago. Just go to a big name fabric store (Rossy in Montreal is perfect). You'll find rope in the exact same quality & thickness Lego is using, for very cheap.

But it probably won't be black (My store only had light tan at the time). So I went to buy some black dye. They sell those in small black boxes and are very cheap. Pour the contents in hot water, simmer the rope for a few hours. Voila, a lifetime of black Lego rope!

And I am still not even close of using up my original batch made in 2002 that I tainted myself. And it's still black as ever.

So for those looking for those ultra long ropes from set 8288 - crawler crane, don't pay those ridiculous prices on bricklink - the ropes you taint yourself end up identical!

I did the same thing, only at JoAnn's. I also found out tgat fishing line works well and is strong & cheap

#3 SheepEater

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:29 PM

For high torque technic crane MOCs, it's been well documented that fishing rope is the way to go. The advantage of fabric store rope is that it's completely undistinguishable from official rope. So you could use it to restore a set and sell it on bricklink without anybody ever raising an eyebrow.

#4 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:52 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 28 June 2012 - 05:29 PM, said:

For high torque technic crane MOCs, it's been well documented that fishing rope is the way to go. The advantage of fabric store rope is that it's completely undistinguishable from official rope. So you could use it to restore a set and sell it on bricklink without anybody ever raising an eyebrow.

I could, if I were dishonest.

This sort of possibility is why I don't trust Bricklink, and regrettably will probably never buy parts through it. I wish I could bring myself to do so, but I'd always have that nagging uncertainty some of my parts weren't genuine LEGO.
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#5 Legobrandon

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:57 PM

View PostBlondie-Wan, on 28 June 2012 - 05:52 PM, said:

I could, if I were dishonest.

This sort of possibility is why I don't trust Bricklink, and regrettably will probably never buy parts through it. I wish I could bring myself to do so, but I'd always have that nagging uncertainty some of my parts weren't genuine LEGO.
:sceptic:
Buy from trusted sellers. Ask some members for their positive experiences with specific stores so you can feel safe. So if you don't buy from BL, where do you get your parts?
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#6 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:38 PM

View PostLegobrandon, on 28 June 2012 - 05:57 PM, said:

Buy from trusted sellers. Ask some members for their positive experiences with specific stores so you can feel safe.

I'd do that, but how would someone necessarily know if they'd gotten fake LEGO elements, if they were sufficiently well-done to be indistinguishable from the genuine articles?

View PostLegobrandon, on 28 June 2012 - 05:57 PM, said:

So if you don't buy from BL, where do you get your parts?

Mostly from sets, with some PAB.

#7 tedbeard

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 07:09 PM

View PostBlondie-Wan, on 28 June 2012 - 06:38 PM, said:

I'd do that, but how would someone necessarily know if they'd gotten fake LEGO elements, if they were sufficiently well-done to be indistinguishable from the genuine articles?
Talking about string is one thing but genuine ABS LEGO elements have "LEGO" molded into the piece. Avoiding BL because of fears of fake parts is absurd... oh wait on second thought... BL is totally fake, never ever buy from any of the hundreds of "AFOL's" because they are all secretly one guy in Taiwan with a factory and copies of every mold LEGO ever made. [Ahhhh, one less person to drive up prices by buying parts I might want.]  :hmpf:
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#8 purpleparadox

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:45 PM

View PostBlondie-Wan, on 28 June 2012 - 06:38 PM, said:

I'd do that, but how would someone necessarily know if they'd gotten fake LEGO elements, if they were sufficiently well-done to be indistinguishable from the genuine articles?
That confuses me. If they were done well enough to be completely indistinguishable from official Lego parts, what's wrong with using them? I mean, if they are exactly the same as a piece made by TLG, it's just as good to me.

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#9 halfpenguinhalflego

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 10:49 PM

I found some nice nylon rope in a shop called Boyes in the UK. 50p for a few metres (I think). It's good because it looks just like LEGO rope, using it to rig a ship now.  :wink:
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#10 SheepEater

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 11:24 PM

View PostBlondie-Wan, on 28 June 2012 - 05:52 PM, said:

I could, if I were dishonest.

This sort of possibility is why I don't trust Bricklink, and regrettably will probably never buy parts through it. I wish I could bring myself to do so, but I'd always have that nagging uncertainty some of my parts weren't genuine LEGO.
:sceptic:

First off, before calling me dishonest, know that although being new on Eurobricks, I have been an active member on Lugnet, Brickshelf & Bricklink since 2002 and I have 100% positive feedback on Bricklink. I have never tried to sell my rope as genuine, nor have I sold any sets including rope. I would gladly sell completed sets with fabric store rope, but I would clearly indicate it so - while also pointing out that it's impossible to tell the difference.

I did try to sell my fabric store rope once, but it was clearly identified as such, but was forced to remove it due to not being genuine Lego.

If you want to point the finger at someone, look at those few sellers currently selling the long rope off 8288's set and the price they charge...

I'm merely trying to give people an alternative to being ripped off.

#11 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:57 AM

View PostSheepEater, on 28 June 2012 - 11:24 PM, said:

First off, before calling me dishonest, know that although being new on Eurobricks, I have been an active member on Lugnet, Brickshelf & Bricklink since 2002 and I have 100% positive feedback on Bricklink. I have never tried to sell my rope as genuine, nor have I sold any sets including rope. I would gladly sell completed sets with fabric store rope, but I would clearly indicate it so - while also pointing out that it's impossible to tell the difference.

Glad to hear it. I was merely responding to your statement "So you could use it to restore a set and sell it on bricklink without anybody ever raising an eyebrow," which I believe would be dishonest, but of course you merely presented it as a possibility to illustrate the close match between TLG's string and the replacement, not to say you'd actually done it, and I simply noted I'd be dishonest to actually do it myself. I do hope you don't perceive me to have flat-out stated you were in fact dishonest yourself.

#12 SheepEater

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 02:04 AM

Ah, ok. All's well, no harm done. Just a simple misunderstanding. :classic:

#13 TheLegoDr

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 05:05 PM

Thanks for the tip! I have lost all of my old rope from the early Pirate ships, so I should look into an alternative. I may have to stop by JoAnn's sometime soon.
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#14 SheepEater

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:14 PM

Finally took some pictures! Sorry for the poor quality, I only have an old Quickcam at the moment.

And found some pure white string - identical to the one Lego used for Shelob's web in set 9470!

The correct term for what I use is CROCHET THREAD.
http://en.wikipedia..../Crochet_thread

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Here is my idea to make pure black string - used by LEGO in dozens upon dozens of their technic / city cranes.
Though, NOT the same as the very thick string LEGO uses for some larger cranes like the 8460, 8421 and 8854.

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Edited by SheepEater, 27 July 2012 - 05:52 PM.


#15 marshall

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:57 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 26 July 2012 - 06:14 PM, said:

Finally took some pictures! Sorry for the poor quality, I only have an old Quickcam at the moment.

Here is my idea to make pure black string - used in dozens and dozens of technic / city cranes. But not for some larger cranes like the 8460 or 8421, which use a VERY thick string.


That's exactly what I use (I'm pretty sure I have the 10 size as well)--I was really pleased to find something that so closely matches the official lego string. I'm surprised they don't sell it in black where you are, since that seemed to be one of the most common colors at the store I went to (JoAnn's).

#16 SheepEater

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:17 AM

Nope. Neither 10 years ago or recently, they only had tan or white. But I only went to the same store (Rossy), I didn't shop around.

#17 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:17 PM

Is there such a thing as LEGO string? I mean do LEGO actually make the string themselves or do they buy it pre-made? If they buy it have they used the same string supplier for the last forty/fifty years? If you knew who supplied LEGO with string and bought some of it from them direct and used on your LEGO models would it be the genuine article or does it somehow passing through a LEGO processing/packing warehouse transform it in some way into an official product even if it is not in any way changed?

I am not suggesting this as a course of action for reselling or for lying to people about a products authenticity, just wondering A: Where does the string originate and B: Just what makes it into proper LEGO string as opposed to string supplied to them by someone else and repackaged?

#18 halfpenguinhalflego

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:25 PM

View PostHrw-Amen, on 27 July 2012 - 01:17 PM, said:

Is there such a thing as LEGO string? I mean do LEGO actually make the string themselves or do they buy it pre-made? If they buy it have they used the same string supplier for the last forty/fifty years? If you knew who supplied LEGO with string and bought some of it from them direct and used on your LEGO models would it be the genuine article or does it somehow passing through a LEGO processing/packing warehouse transform it in some way into an official product even if it is not in any way changed?

I am not suggesting this as a course of action for reselling or for lying to people about a products authenticity, just wondering A: Where does the string originate and B: Just what makes it into proper LEGO string as opposed to string supplied to them by someone else and repackaged?

A quick email to LEGO could sort that out, they'd be willing to provide the supplier I'm sure.
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#19 Jimbobulus

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:54 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 29 June 2012 - 02:04 AM, said:

Ah, ok. All's well, no harm done. Just a simple misunderstanding. :classic:
I'm not so sure.. Pistols at dawn if you please  :tongue:

The string is a good idea, I would have no problem in using non-Lego alternatives.
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#20 Jargo

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 03:41 PM

Years ago I acquired a reel of thick cotton thread that was waxed. The wax stiffens it somewhat and helps it keep its shape. Also there's no 'hairiness' to the thread that you can get with regular thread so works better with the tiny scale of Lego. Aesthetically it's more pleasing to me than regular Lego string/rope. Unfortunately I'm nearing the end of what was a substantial reel and now have to find a source for more.

#21 SheepEater

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 06:04 PM

The thick string from some large technic cranes sets 8421, 8460/8431, 8462 and 8854 has the same quality you describe and has no 'hairiness', is it because it's waxed? Again LEGO could maybe answer that question. But then again, maybe not - I have never seen it in any sets since the 8421 (from 2005). The 8285 and 8288 (both from 2006) use the standard 'hairy' string that is the same as the one this topic is about.

Edited by SheepEater, 27 July 2012 - 06:05 PM.


#22 ShaydDeGrai

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 06:42 PM

View PostJargo, on 27 July 2012 - 03:41 PM, said:

Years ago I acquired a reel of thick cotton thread that was waxed. The wax stiffens it somewhat and helps it keep its shape. Also there's no 'hairiness' to the thread that you can get with regular thread so works better with the tiny scale of Lego. Aesthetically it's more pleasing to me than regular Lego string/rope. Unfortunately I'm nearing the end of what was a substantial reel and now have to find a source for more.

I think I know the product you're describing, or at least I've used something very similar.  The stuff I got was intended for doing leather crafts and is much heavier than normal thread and much stiffer than light crocheting string.  It holds up great under normal wear and tear and is available (last time I checked, which, unfortunately was a while ago) in black, brown, tan, and white.  I first discovered the stuff years ago in a Tandy Leather craft store (which is now closed around here) but have since found similar products in art supply stores in the leather craft section.

I have CuuSoo page with several Lord of the Rings MOCs,

Why not drop by and throw some votes of support my way; the sooner these guys get to 10,000, the sooner TLG can reject them and we can all get on with our lives.  



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#23 Ferrik

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:54 AM

That sounds like an excellent idea. :sweet:
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#24 Runamuck

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 04:45 PM

I have found some OK solutions to replacing missing LEGO strings of various thicknesses, although it may not be the cheapest solution possible. For thin strings I just use extra strong sowing thread, but for ropes I found some jewelry cord in a hobby shop that works pretty well. It might be a little expensive, but you still get several meters of it at a time. It is available in various thicknesses, colors and even materials such as leather or chain if you would like that. The stuff I use to replace missing pirate rope is very similar to the official stuff; it’s a little softer and has a slightly different surface texture.

#25 SweetiePie88

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:49 AM

I think mom has a bit of crochet thread to spare so I'm defiantly going to look into that. I am working on modifying the lego garbage truck set I got about a year or so back into a kind of tow truck and I just used old sewing thread(stuff I had for sewing class 7 years ago) as string since buying real lego string isn't an option. But I doubt the thread will hold up for very long. Got lucky finding this thread(no pun intended) via google.



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