Something different

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In the middle of CYR’s busiest season ever, an opportunity came along that was just too cool to pass up!

Chicago-based architecture firm Studio Gang was presenting an exhibition of their work at Chicago’s Art Institute, and they came to CYR for a very rigging themed part of the project. They’d created four “rope rooms” made from steel rings and rope. The designs were taking cues from past designs and buildings, and needed to be secured to the ceiling of the gallery. Initially they wanted to go with steel cables, as was traditional for this sort of thing.

We had a meeting to sort out costs and dimensions of turnbuckles and cable, and I happened to bring a piece of New England STS-75, just to provide an alternative. Once they saw the dyneema sling next to the clunky swaged cable (or-gasp-rope clips per the drawing) their eyes lit up! The dyneema was lighter, easier to install and cheaper. Most importantly the slim white rope would be far lower profile compared to steel cable and turnbuckle, and where it was visible it would blend in with the rope rooms themselves.

Once we’d decided on going with cordage, CYR had to find a way to make the assemblies to a tight length tolerance, ensure no stretch and still provide a way for the architects to level the rooms to the floor once installed. Enter the lashing thimble!

CYR has been using thimbles for adjusting fixed assemblies and low travel/high load purchases for years. Initially it was custom machined and anodized rings, and now Antal and Tylaska are making these in volume for great prices. So long as these are applied properly (please no more spin sheet turning blocks!) they’re fantastic products. The right length was critical, as well as having zero movement once installed, so they were made and prestretched on CYR’s testing bench. Each sling was taken to 1500lbs to remove the initial stretch. As part of the package we prooftested one assembly, and provided an install demo and photo instructions. The installers loved it, and were blown away at how fast and easy it was to work with, getting our parts in took less than a full day!
After a quick inspection during installation, it took a few weeks before I was able to see the finished product. It’s a real pleasure to see CYR rigging in such a unique location, and the rooms look great and fit with the rest of the exhibit well. The architects seemed very interested in the capabilities of Chicago Yacht Rigging, and are going to visit the shop and North Sails loft soon, hopefully we get more exciting projects from outside the the boating world! Here are a few more images, and be sure to check out the greater exhibit now through February!

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