Sunday, November 1, 2009

John Foulds of Rope TEK

John Foulds of RopeTek hit the deck running last week. Goodness did you know that ropes and the knots people tie in them are as old as man himself. Believe it or not cordage is one of the oldest manufactured items that we still use today. Every rope has a story.
The earliest rope was flax then hemp and sisal. Sisal comes from cactus plants.
Today there are lots of different materials used.
Natural, synthetic, and what is known as exotic materials are used.
Exotics make very strong and light weight rope.
Despite all the advances in materials the basics are still the same as the old days.
John had a sample of a big wire rope off the Queenstown gondola or was it off Coronet Peak? You can get 25 years off a ski field rope (cable).
There are lots of tools but most of them have been around for centuries.
Nasty things like marlin spikes are needed today like they were on the old sailing ships.
Some of the tools have changed a bit to allow for the new materials however the best net making tools are still bamboo.
The job of a rigger is difficult and interesting but at times it can be a pig.
After a bit of prodding John started to really warm up about the simply amazing places he had worked in Asia for. Doppelmayr. For those of you who do not know the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group is a world leader in ropeway technology. The company manufactures chairlifts, tramways, gondolas, surface tows for ski and amusement parks as well as urban people movers and material handling systems. To date, Doppelmayr has produced over 13,700 installations in 78 countries. It is the world's largest ropeway manufacturer. That sure says something about John’s skills and the respect they have in him.
Hearing about the job he did on a Mountain cable car in North Korea just left us agog. What a challenge to deliver the goods. I thought it was just fantastic.

Whilst your mind is still on doing the impossible spare a moment for Santa.
We have to help him this year. Our club is going to man three stalls at the do after the Santa parade. Please book mark 5th and 6th December for set up and marketing at our stalls. .

And last but not least Graham S has a challenge for us all. He has been thrown in the deep end again to sort the speakers. He and we need your help. Please network and pass onto him ideas for speakers at the club.

You have one last chance to book for the tables of eight. Brian will enthuse you all tomorrow night.

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