Thanks to Rune for his comment. All the calculations for the cutter are on an easy to use program from here: http://jacobs-online.biz/nichrome_wire.htm they also are a good source for nichrome wire. I suggest you start with the 5-6 volt 2 amp power supply. You put the voltage into the table and add in the guage of the wire (26) and the temperature required (600°). The program calculates the length of wire. With all the parts for the drogue cut out, it was time to sew them together. First, attaching the webbing strips to the cones so they could be manhandled through the machine without falling apart. Pins? No, too difficult. E 6000 glue? No, too long to dry. Back to the Sailrite method: basting tape. It works good enough if you have enough of it. Lemmesee............420 6 inch strips equals 210 feet of the stuff. Holy crapoli, that's a lot!
Contemplate for a while. Now I had to approach the dreaded machine in it's lair. Ain't never sewed before. On to the interweb. Sewing Videos. Crap, do they all feature a Happy Sally saying that sewing is fun and easy???? Grrrrrrrrrr. Several calls to the Hawaiian Zen sewmeister to get it threaded. I cursed the bobbin, I cursed the threading process. I cursed my piss poor eyesight. I cursed the needle. I cursed the foot pedal. I cursed my fat fingers. I cursed the presser foot. Hell with learning new things. I'm sick of learning new things. Finally I started. More calls to the sewmeister. Sloooooooooowly I started sewing. Hey, sewing is fun and easy....................not. At one point I disassembled the wheel thingy on the end of the machine so I could lube it. Now it spins freely and disengages when I wind the bobbin. I also have some tires on order for the bobbin winder. I also had to take apart the bobbin spinney thingy that seemed like it had a rough spot when I rotated the wheel by hand. Maybe a bit of thread stuck in there. You end up with a lot of thread bits in this process. I also oiled the machine and found a screw in the bottom of the case that I don't know where it's supposed to go.
Does anybody know where this goes??????
Now to set up a process. First tape a cone to the layout board.
Next apply basting tape to the webbing
Apply the basted bastard to the blasted cone and lay aside. Start another one.
Once you get a bunch stacked up and because you're pretty damn sick of the process, you drag the pile to the sewing machine.
And start sewing.
I hold the basted webbing more snugly using a clothespin while I sew the first web to the cloth. I'm getting to be a regular sew and sew. Eventually, I gave up on the clothespin as the basting tape seems to hold well enough. The process is sew the top 3/4", turn, sew the 6" side, turn, sew the 3/4" bottom, turn, sew the other 6" side, do this twice more with the other web strips, pull out of machine. pin the edges of the cone together..............................
Sew the seam. Remove the pins and drop a pin on the floor. Crawl around on the carpet. find the pin.
Turn the finished cone inside out.
Throw on pile, start again. It takes about 10 minutes to sew a cone start to finish with time spent on the various distractions like rethreading and such. After about 4 or 5 cones, I get the heebie jeebies and have to take a break. Others that have made these describe the process as "mind numbing". I have a method. Turn on the TV to a program that requires little concentration (sports, game shows, Ken Burns documentaries) and start sewing. Numb on numb, they cancel each other out. You end the evening with no recollection of what just occurred and a pile of cones. What masochistic idiot would subject themselves to such a tedious process, you say? A cheap masochistic idiot, I say. One finished cone on Ebay sells for $4.91. Sailrite charges $3+ with tax and shipping and you still have to sew the cones. My cost per cone is 89¢ and I have material left over. A completed drogue sells for over $1400.00. I still have to spend a couple hundred dollars on rope, so more to come later. I am only sewing the cones for now, the rest comes later. Those pre-made cones are nicer than mine with hemmed edges but mine will work, too, and will help make my boat safe.
The Music♫: David Bowie "Space Oddity"
I am reflecting on my mortality of late what with the passing of musicians and good friend's father. The older I get, the more death makes sense, the logical conclusion. We should celebrate lives lived.
Chuck! Send money!