Croquet Stop Nets
Geoff Hughes gives details on how the Nailsea nets were manufactured.
I here give you the benefit of my experience at Nailsea, where we have used nets for some 10 years or so.
Items to source per net
- Steel rod approx. 13-15mm thick x 250mm long x 2.
- Stout steel tubing for the rod to fit in, with 2-3mm clearance to allow for dirt and some rust, 200mm long, x 2.
- Steel plate, 2-3 mm thick x 75 x 75mm (approx.) x 2.
- Steel rod 6mm thick, x 50mm x 2 to make hooks and extra to make net props.
- 6mm nylon rope or baler twine doubled or 3mm multi strand galvanised or stainless steel wire x 2 for the run needed.
- Nylon fruit cage netting. Do not buy square type netting, it must be diamond shaped to allow for expansion as the ball passes between the ropes.
- 2 x agricultural wire fence tensioners or similar.
- A suitable tool to turn tensioners.
For all of the steel parts construction, go to your local engineering works unless you know someone who can cut, shape and weld steel.
- Beat one end of the tube to form a flat point.
- Weld the plate to the other end. (Purpose: to stop the anchor pulling through soft soil). The plate needs to be flush with the top of the tube to allow for hammering into ground without making burrs.
- Weld a hook to the top of the rods, then another 125mm lower for the net or tensioners to attach to.
- Paint with metal preserving paint.
- The nets come usually in 4m widths so they must be carefully cut approx. 450mm wide lengths. Garden Centres will normally stock netting.
- Cutting, this is the difficult part. Get it too narrow and the ball pass over or under the net, too wide and it will appear baggy between the ropes. I suggest 3 or 4 people gently expand the net as it is cut as straight as possible following the diamond pattern.
- Thread the rope/wire along the top and bottom of the net, at about 50mm spacings. Using different colours/materials on top and bottom will help when resetting the net in place after mowing.
- Cut the 6mm rod into 250mm lengths, bend to form a small cradle for the top rope/wire and grind a point to the the other end. I recommend 2 for the longer nets and one for the short.
To mount the anchors bore a suitable sized hole then hammer in to below ground level. We remove ours at end of season to service them.
It seems a lot work, but I think worth it.
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