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Lessons from the 2014 Invention Convention

Last spring I was asked by a friend to participate as a judge at the Invention Convention competition at the elementary school where she is a 3rd grade teacher. The students participating were in grades from 1-5 and were very excited to be a part of the event. The judges were members of the local community, school faculty and business partners.

Rope Swings

Growing up the house that I lived in had a huge tree in the back yard. The trunk had such a large circumference that it appeared to be three or four trees all transformed together. When I first saw the tree I thought that it would be the perfect kind of tree to hang a rope swing from, so I did just that. My father and I had gone to the hardware store and picked out a nice sturdy rope swing seat. We knew that we were going to need a really long rope to go with is as the point of the tree that we had selected to tie the rope from was very high up. As we talked to the sales man, he suggested that we purchase a nylon rope for our purposes of using rope for a rope swing. He backed his statement up by telling us the benefit of using nylon ropes against choosing another.

Rope is the Answer

At one time or another many of us have used some type of rope for any given activity. Whether it was for work, play, adventures or any other various activities we choose to use rope to help us along the way. Some activities that I have done that involve rope include jump rope, rock climbing, rope swing, tug of war, and water sports just to name a few. There are many different textures, styles, colors and coatings that many rope distributors have to offer. Depending on the different application the best rope can be chosen from a selection. Just a few types of rope by name are braided, twine, nylon, marine, cotton, elastic among many more. The colors in ropes are simply just for design and look and really serve no other purpose. Some ropes are multiple colors or contain flecks of color, which typically cost more.

Rope, Twine and the Many Options Available

When talking about rope, there are so many types that can fit into this category. There is marine rope, elastic cords, cotton rope, nylon rope, twine and more. Once you have the category of rope broken down, each of these subs can be broken down even further! They can be composed of slightly different materials, have different coatings, have varying sizes and more. Then there are items like twine. Twine is a word that can be used to categorize a variety of items. Often the word can be found being used interchangeably with thread, string and cord.

Rock Climbing and Other Hobbies

While I was able to go on a small indoor rock climbing course when I was younger, rock climbing outdoors has always been an activity that has interested me while terrifying me at the exact same time. I hope one day I am able to muster up the courage to try it, but being terrified of heights, I do not think that day will be any time soon. For those that do go however, they know that one of the most important parts, possibly the most important part is the tools that are used, specifically the ropes. When climbing and repelling up and down a mountainside, it is important to know that the tools that are being used can be fully depended on. Only the best tools, gadgets and ropes should be used in such situations.

Rope Options

When boating this past summer I can think back and remember on those days how much using ropes made the whole experience go smoothly. At every moment my friends and I were using a different type of rope whether is was used for fun, safety, or to protect the boat. As we arrived to the lake in the morning, the boat was tied up to the docks with dock line. This keeps the boat from floating away and close to the dock without having to use the anchor. We then used rope to go tubing to tie up the tube to the back of the boat.

For Traveling

When you are planning on moving, going on an adventure up north or possibly taking your boat to the beach, you might discover your car is much smaller than you once thought it was. While it is the perfect size for getting through the day to day, even a small weekend getaway, when it comes to transporting large items or extensive amounts of belongings, it can quickly become a tight fit. In these situations it is not rare to see people cramming everything possible into the trunk, and then, when it doesn’t close, strapping everything in with the use of bungee cords.

Ropes and Cordage

What would we do in life without ropes? I for one would be lost. My favorite spot, our hammock is composed of thick white rope, our boat is docked by rope and there is a rope handle on my favorite beach bag. My favorite type is the thick white marine rope, being an ocean lover, I just cannot help it. I love it for fences, bags, decorations and so much more. It is able to add the perfect nautical touch, making me think of the beach even if I am just in the backyard. Often, it is simply referred to as cordage, which can really incorporate rope, cords, lines and other twisted or braided fiber varieties.

Rope and More Rope

While talk of The Hunger Games has lessened lately, until the second movie is released next year, to those who read the books, it still comes up occasionally. For me, when I hear rope, I cannot help but briefly think of the sea-faring Finnick Odair who spent a good deal of time tying knots to prevent himself from going crazy. For him, it was something familiar, and a way to keep concentrated on something else instead of dreadful thoughts. Coming from a sea district, Finnick would have been exposed to many aspects of the marine industry. And a vital part of that industry is rope and learning to tie it into the perfect knots.

So Many Uses

Rope is used for all kinds of things. It can be seen in the backyard holding up a hammock, keeping a boat tied up to the dock, making an old fashioned rope swing or keeping items secure in the trunk when moving. When referring to the many types of rope, cords, lines and other varieties of braided fibers available, the term cordage is often used. Ropes are long fibers that have been twisted or braided together to form one single cord. The cord is typically strong and has high tensile strength allowing it to be dragged or used for various lifting tasks.

Bungee Jumping and Bungee Cords

One of my biggest fears in life is of heights. So, naturally, I have always wanted to go bungee jumping. Yes, I may nearly pass out before hand from fear, but after that, fear conquered. So hopefully in like ten years I will be ready to attempt it. Bungee cords are an elastic cord in which elastic strands make up the core. They are then covered in some type of braided material, often woven cotton, nylon or polypropylene.

Choosing a Spring Manufacturer

Many companies and factories require the use of springs in production processes. Springs are used in nearly all equipment in a factory, including conveyor belts, packaging machines, manufacturing equipment, and more. Because of their prevalent use, the kind of springs that you use in your machines are important, especially if you are manufacturing a product that uses a lot of springs in the design.

Advantages of Plastic Springs

Springs are an important part of many machines, products, and processes. Without the use of springs, many of the products that we use today could not exist. Many of the springs used in today’s world are made of a variety of metals, such as steel, aluminum, brass, and nickel. However, sometimes a spring cannot be made from metal for a variety of reasons.

Springs in Action: Pie Manufacturing Machine

Stainless steel springs are the ideal spring to use in food production industries because stainless steel metal is resistant to corrosion and is easy to clean. Many industrial food production machines use stainless springs to complete simple processes, like controlling conveyor belts, stamping out dough, and controlling the movement of the food machines. At the end of the day, the operator can simply spray down the entire machine assembly with a cleaner and water to sanitize the unit and prepare it for the next day. The stainless steel springs and other stainless materials remain rust-free, and the machine can be used over and over.

Springs in Our World: Tape Measures

Flat springs were some of the first springs ever invented. Hundreds of years ago, ancient clock makers realized that if they coiled a flat piece of metal, it could wind and unwind over and over, creating an endless spring that was hard to break. Today, the flat springs are used in a variety of industries. Most flat springs are cut from sheet metal strips. These sheet metal springs are sturdy and have uses in a variety of industries. One place that you might not expect to see a flat spring used is in a tape measure. However, the winding mechanism provided by a flat sheet metal spring is the main control mechanism of a retractable tape measure. The construction process of a tape measure is actually simple, and it is amazing that it works so well time after time!

Springs in Your Home

There is something fascinating about a spring. Springs are flexible, yet strong, and have the ability to bounce back no matter how much pressure or pull you place on them. Of course, some weaker springs will break under too much tension, but some springs seem to resist any interference or tampering.

How Springs are Made

The process of making a spring is surprisingly interesting. A simple piece of metal is twisted and coiled to create a high-powered, bouncy object that will contract and expand over and over without damaging the metal. If you are interested in springs, then you might like to learn how spring companies make their springs from the ground up.

Buying a Sofa- Checking the Spring Quality

The kind of coils present in the base of a sofa can be a big indicator for the quality of the furniture. Saggy, loose springs will wear out quickly, causing your sofa to bottom out and become uncomfortable to sit on. On the other hand, too tight springs can cause the sofa to feel irritating and too hard while you sit down. Before choosing any sofa to purchase, it is important to examine the chair for spring quality to ensure that the sofa will last for years and provide the comfort level you are looking for.

Coatings for Your Springs

One thing that many industrial springs have in common is the coating on the surface of the springs. Most springs are made from inexpensive metals, such as steel, which will eventually corrode and rust if it does not receive an external coating. Many spring manufacturing companies create various coatings for springs depending on the final use of the spring. You can choose the coating that you want for your springs, depending on what the company offers and what you need your springs to do. Each coating has their own benefits and drawbacks that make them ideal for different situations and uses.

Railroadiana’s Allure

Have you heard of railroadiana? It’s a fantastic hobby that involves collecting locomotive tools, industrial name plates and memorabilia – pretty much anything that can be labeled historical. Some popular items for women interested in the hobby are china and photographs, silverware and calendars. Locks and keys, baggage tags, badges, buttons, lanterns and railroad passes are just a few of numerous other items that can be considered collectibles.

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