Building Haycocks/Building/Ropes

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After a haycock has been built it is essential to secure it with ropes tied at the bottom and going over the apex. If this is not done securely the haycock will likely lose its top and have to be rebuilt. Specialist twine is generally used for the purpose, through a rope may also be constructed from hay. Two ropes are generally required which should cross at right angles over the top; a single rope may be used as a temporary measure though this has some risk. Roping is generally a two-person job and a third may be required if conditions are windy to hold the top of the haycock from blowing away.

One person holds the end of the twine at the base of the haycock and the spool tossed or passed or guided over. For the second rope it should be at 90 degrees to the first. To another person directly the other side. The twine is coaxed into the optimal position on the top by re-guiding by pitchfork. Having established the require length the person with the spool cuts the twine. Both persons reach into the butt of the cock and from about a couple of feet in grab a fistful of hay that they twist and tug with medium force to ensure it is secure. Both then simultaneously and evenly pull down on the rope over haycock and then simultaneously knot it to the tuft pulled from the but of the haycock.

Creating a hay rope[edit | edit source]

If twine is unavailable for some reason it is possible to construct a rope out of hay, this requires two people. It is necessary for one person be near a supply of hay to make the rope, the other will operate a rope spinning handheld tool; though it is possible to use a smooth stick or pitchfork instead. A fistfull of long hay is placed round the machines hook (or stick) and the operator steadily spins the rope while the other person feeds hay into his hand which is gently holding the other end of the rope. Providing the spinning rate is constant and feed of hay at the other constant a well formed and strong rope will be formed, however failure to maintain an even place will cause the rope to have bits of thin diameter which will easily break

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