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Technical
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

  1. Steel rod approx. 13-15mm thick x 250mm long x 2.
  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.
  3. Steel plate, 2-3 mm thick x 75 x 75mm (approx.) x 2.
  4. Steel rod 6mm thick, x 50mm x 2 to make hooks and extra to make net props.
  5. 6mm nylon rope or baler twine doubled or 3mm multi strand galvanised or stainless steel wire x 2 for the run needed.
  6. 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.
  7. 2 x agricultural wire fence tensioners or similar.
  8. 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.

Construction

Anchors

  1. Beat one end of the tube to form a flat point.
  2. 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.
  3. Weld a hook to the top of the rods, then another 125mm lower for the net or tensioners to attach to.
  4. Paint with metal preserving paint.

Nets

  1. The nets come usually in 4m widths so they must be carefully cut approx. 450mm wide lengths. Garden Centres will normally stock netting.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Props

  1. 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.

Note 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.

Nailsea Nets

Author: Geoff Hughes
All rights reserved © 2014-2017


Updated 28.i.16
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