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Old 07-08-2006, 12:11 AM   #1
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Intro to Roaches

After spending several years as the "networking" pow wower and not the "crafting" one, I'd like to begin dabbling in some roach work. Now I know that roach making is tedious and painstaking, but I've got the hands, eyes, and hopefully the patience to pull one off.

What I'm asking for is ANY help on whats a good idea to get me started. I'm going to invest in a roach kit with video to give a decent visual on the work, this is the kit in mind:
http://www.nocbay.com/store/kits/danceoutfit.html

A nice 12" roach where I make my own base and tie it all with the real materials is ideal I think. I don't think a fiber is worth my time as I hear it doesnt work similarly to the real thing.

Once the roach is down pat I can move on to bigger and better things. Deer tails are not an issue for me to come across, I reckon I can find more this fall than I could ever expect to use in a few years. If anyone is interested, here is a link I have for dying tails.
http://www.maineflyfish.com/howto_ar.../buck_tail.htm

Since porkies don't run around my town like stray cats, they seem like the tough commodity. Hopefully some local hunters can help me, but I'm curious to know where everyone buys from.

Finally, I'd like to know what sort of things make the work go easier....I think a tackle box with several sections would be ideal for keeping sorted hairs together, but what tools or other things should I invest in? And general tips are appreciated.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:51 PM   #2
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how goes it with the roach making

hello how are your creative endevours going. how have you been finding your roach making. have you recieved your roach kit that you ordered. making a roach does take time but it is worth it. when you wear a roach that you made while you dance is something to be proud of. i am making the second roach i ever made. the first one i made was so challenging. i never had instructions or a video. which made it harder to get started. i fist made my roach base out of thick yarn and whipped stitched it together until it was the right size. i went by the memory of the roach my mother bought for me as a kid. on what it looked like. i bought my porqupine guard hair and deer tails. and strong nylon thread for the string across the base board. and a sinew thread for the tying the porqupine guard hair and deer tail down to the base cord thread. i also combined horse hair into to porqupine gaurd hair. i didn't like using the strong nylon thread,so on my second one i am using sinew on the base cord and on the tying down cord i like how the sinew sticks or grips down against each other and it dries nicely. the roach looks good with the even ssinew thread. i just used zip lock baggies to seperate my porqupine guard hairs. when you cut off the deer hair be wise to where you are cutting it. use the short ends of the deer tail at the ends of your tying and the longer deer tail hair at the centers just like when you are seperating your porqupine guard hairs. important note, use the same size amount for every section. do not rush it takes time and time will make a beautiful roach. before you sew your rows of porqupine guard hair to the roach base make sure you pin it down with sewing pins and anchor it first before you sew it. you will find that your second one goes by alot faster. i find it relaxing make roaches. i like the time it takes and the repatition of each movement. i never used a roach base board to make my roach. i just used my metal shelf unit i have downstairs that came from ikea, tied one end of sinew to one corner and then tied the other around the other end of the shelf and it was at chest level so i could stand and i found it go faster and more comfortable and whenever i went downstairs i would work on it. either before i went to work or after i got home. i hope this helps out a little. if you take the time to take the time i sure it will all work out. all my relations over and out. jeremiah oleman
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:57 AM   #3
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I'm prolly gonna go the same route. I've had friends offer to teach me to make a roach but then never have time or are never around. Well if they teach me sometime down the road what they know I'll still be grateful but "for now" I think I'll just order a kit and teach myself via the reverse-engineering method.
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:23 PM   #4
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do it it gets easier as you go.

making a roach is all about repitition. material list.
:porqupine guard hair
:deer tails
:sinew
:needle to sew rows of hair to roach base.
:thick strong yarn almost rope for your roach base
:something to tie your base cord to,a metal shelf works fine.just tie one end to each corner at chest level. make sure it is taught and secured. this is what you will tie the deer hair and porqupine hair to.you can use an old beading loom if you want if it is long enough. instead of threading the loom just tie a sinew length to each end as above.
1. once you have your roach base cord tied and secured taught. you take a spool of sinew and tie the end to the end of your roach base cord close to the end of the loom board. tie using a regular knot, but loop through the loop 3 times instead of once pull and you'll find it makes a croissant shaped knot that won't come undone.
2. tie a knot with some space leeway close to the end of sinew by your croissant knot. place underneath your base cord.
3.cut less then your pinky finger thick of deer hair the smaller amount the cleaner your roach will be.now bend the end of you deer hair the cut end over the base cord and through the croissant knot cord and pull it taught but not tight until it closes over the pinched end of the deer tail. as you are tightening the croissant cord you are gently pinching the deer hair. so you noe have a knot with the deer tail locked in place over the base cord.
4.now loop a knot over your base cord and pull knot taught up next to your first deer tail knot,this locks it into place.
5.now loop another knot under you base cord and repeat this step until you reach the end of your base cord creating your first row of deer tail hair.
6.you do exactly the same steps for your porqupine guard hair.bend the porqupine guard hair gently it will make a soft almost craking sound do not be afraid of this sound the porky hair is very strong. if you want you can soak the porky hair first in warm water before you start and leave in the water and pull out what peices you need.
*seperate the porky hair before you start first into shorter bunches all the way to the longest peices.
*you can also add either a row of horse hair to your roach or alternate bunches with your porky hair or add it to each bunch.shorter bunches on the ends of you base cord and the longest at the center of your base cord.
7.you can do two rows of deer tail one on the outside and one on the inside.you can do one or more rows of porky hair as well.
8.making your roach yarn base, take whatever color you want of strong thick yarn almost rope but still on the softer side. cording i guess. burn the end to stop the ends from fraying. measure 3"-5" and then bend yarn back onto length. now whip stich this together by sewing into the two peices then pull the thread through your top of loop you just created. this locks the thread. this is more time consuming than the rows of deer tails. keep doing this until you reach the top of your 3" yarn and then work over to over side creating a oval length of roach base. creating a spoon looking raoch base. you keep going until you have the thickness that you want. my roach base had 10 rows. so i sewed 4 rows together firs then when i went to the top of th eend then i continued a length overhang however long you want your roach base to be. then you reverse back up the length and go over and around and down the other side the go over and repeat until you have ten rows of roach base.it kinda looks like a car race track.
9. now tack your first row of deer tail rows and porky rows and then you deer tail rows like a sandwich together. now pin them to the roach base using sewing pins. take your time time makes a good roach. once everything is pinned you can start stitching into you roach base. poke needle through all the rows and into the roach base and then angle down to come out the bottom of the roach base. don't go too far into your roach base or else you will have visible thread showing your connectin step. go into the roach base just enough to secure the two together. take you time. i don't know if this will help you out since there aren't any pics ,but it may. good luck and again it gets easier as it goes. all it is is repetition.all my relations over and out
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Old 07-18-2006, 02:56 PM   #5
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roach tips

Here are a few things that I have learned over the years to make things easier.

1. I dye my tails with rit dye. Wash with a little Dawn dish soap and let them dry first. I find that dry tails take the dye a little better than wet tails. Rit dye works best when temperature of solution is kept just below boiling. Also, add some salt for bright or dark colors. You can get specific instructions from Rit's website.
2. I use imitation sinew for the base cord and upholstery thread for everything else. If upholstery thread is not available in the color I need, I use size D Nymo. I match the thread color to the deer hair color for the outside row. I don't like the stitching to be obvious. The Nymo will absorb some of the dye from the tail hair as it's being tied.
3. Instead of trying to hold a spool of sting while tying, get a "tatting shuttle" to hold your sting. You can let it go without having the string unwind. Purchase from a cloth or craft store in the crochet section. (Walmart does not have them.)
4. I tie my deer hair and porky hair 11-12 bundles per inch. I know a very good roach maker that ties 14 per inch. Your instructions probably say 9 per inch. Too large a bundle for my taste.
5. If your instructions are like most I've seen in kits, they are written for left handers. If you are right handed, you should be tying from left to right. PM me with your email address if you want me to send you a copy for right handers.
6. To soften the porky so it bends easier I use Lubriderm hand lotion on the base end. Softens and moisturizes hair at the same time. Premoisten about a dozen bundles to make tying faster and to allow time for the lotion to do it's magic.
7. To determine the length of each row (porky and deer) double your desired roach length and add 2 inches. For the outside deer row, double and add 2 1/4 inches. Should fall out even.
8. I only sew to the base one row of hair at a time, working from front center and down each side.
9. My tying frame is made from 2x8s. Heavy enough that it won't topple over when I pull the knots tight.
10. Spend the extra time to sort your porky hair well. You won't regret it.
11. We avoid horse hair in the south because the humidity makes it flop.
12. Shaping is EVERYTHING. The hair should cascade down in the back and not stick straight out. The longer you can keep it on the stick, the better. You may need to wet and shape more than once.

Hope this helps.
Ron
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:41 AM   #6
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sorry to be a bit off topic, but I was wondering about the history or the reason behind the Roach, dose any one know about the tradition. just really curious.
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Old 07-19-2006, 02:36 AM   #7
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My brother's mother in law has alot of roaches. I'm sure she'd be willing to send you some. They're all brown and run really fast. (sorry I couldn't resist) Jus kiddin.


Seriously I'm curious about their history too. When did they become popular, what do they mean, how old are they, and why are they worn?

I need sleep.
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:53 PM   #8
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ha ha cute joke.
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:39 PM   #9
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I believe some time ago we had a discussion on the history of roaches in the men's tradition forum. You may check the archives there.

As for porky roaches, I prefer to buy instead of tie. LOL
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Old 07-23-2006, 10:44 PM   #10
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Boozhoo niji,

OK I would find this thread after I completed my first roach.

I used envelopes to seperate my guard hair, but I kinda like the idea of the tackle box if the trays are wide enough, but now thinking about it, seems like it would be hard to get the hair out of the trays without bending/breaking them.

How do you come by 12 bundles per inch? I never measured mine that way, but would be interesting to measure it and figure it out. I went by a set of instructions in a fancy dancing book I have, says to tie in bundles of 4-6 hairs, so I counted 5 hairs for each bundle. Looking at my roach I cannot see the base cord of the guard hair, but measuring the outside row of deer tails, I count about 12-13 bundles per inch. Not bad for a first time eh?

Finally here is a tip I think anyone could appreciate. I had a board I used to store my feather roach, is made from a 2x8 with rounded pieces so the end profile looks like the base of a roach. Since I was no longer going to use the feather roach, I mounted this to a 1x6 so that it would not tip over, and while sewing the rows of guard/deer hair to the base, put the base on this "jig" to hold it, firmly, without damaging any of the hair. I didnt see any other way of holding the roach and tieing the base cords onto the base without putting my fingers (fat ones at that) through the guard hair. This aleviated the problem nicely.

Derek
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Old 07-24-2006, 12:50 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Singing Otter]My brother's mother in law has alot of roaches. I'm sure she'd be willing to send you some. They're all brown and run really fast. (sorry I couldn't resist) Jus kiddin.


Yeah well....... Cheech and Chong have a bunch of roaches laying around their place too...
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:03 AM   #12
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Yeah well....... Cheech and Chong have a bunch of roaches laying around their place too...
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazywolf

How do you come by 12 bundles per inch? I never measured mine that way, but would be interesting to measure it and figure it out. I went by a set of instructions in a fancy dancing book I have, says to tie in bundles of 4-6 hairs, so I counted 5 hairs for each bundle. Looking at my roach I cannot see the base cord of the guard hair, but measuring the outside row of deer tails, I count about 12-13 bundles per inch. Not bad for a first time eh?

Derek
Not bad at all for a first timer. 5 porky hairs per bundle would make for very small bundles. I find that the count is more like 15. But, it totally depends on the hair you are using. Some hair is finer than others. For example, to achieve equal sized bundles, you would need fewer hairs when using hair with a white base then you would if using thinner blond colored hair. Try to focus less on hair count and more on bundle count. Takes a little practice but it will come.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:08 PM   #14
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Hey Miigwetch Ron S.

Yeah I have the stuff with the white roots, its more likea tube than a hair, wish I coulda had the finer stuff but I got what I could get my hands on.

If I ever do another one, I wish I could find the darker colored hair, that has the tan freyed tips, to me when I see a roach that is what I imagine.

I counted every strand, because I thought the bundles would be the same size, and consistant that way through the roach.

Derek
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:28 PM   #15
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help!!

i need help with dying them. the roach is already made and it's red. but i don't want to have to buy another one cause this one isn't even a year old yet. someone told me to airbrush it. but i don't want to buy a 200 buck airbrush kit and it not even work. anyone have any ideas on how to dye it?thank you
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:22 PM   #16
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Have you tried using a Sharpie? its a permanent marker, might work?

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Old 08-02-2006, 03:34 PM   #17
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yes

yes, i used prismacolor markers and a sharpie. they don't work well at all. and since it's red. everything wants to show up purple. so today i went to hobby lobby and bought an airbrush kit and i'm going to try it out and if it works. i'll repost letting everyone know.
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:58 PM   #18
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it worked

it worked. but one problem is the deer hair sticks together. but just take a fine brush like an eyelash brush and brush it out.
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatFlashyFancyDance
i need help with dying them. the roach is already made and it's red. but i don't want to have to buy another one cause this one isn't even a year old yet. someone told me to airbrush it. but i don't want to buy a 200 buck airbrush kit and it not even work. anyone have any ideas on how to dye it?thank you

I wouldn't airbrush a roach. The only correct way to change colors is to disassemble the roach, tie new deer hair rows and reassemble. Anything short of this I'm affraid would not give the results you are looking for.
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