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How to set a perfectly rectangular ring

Here is a way to very quickly set up a ring with perfectly square corners and straight sides. I’ve made a Ring Maker kit using 4 tent pins, 4 key rings, 1 foot of thin heat shrink tubing and a small clip (like on a dog leash) and 4 lengths of braided marine twine. Note it is very important that you use twine that has minimal stretch and isn’t prone to kinking.

The measurements in this description are for an 80×100 ring. The table in the diagram lists lengths for other ring sizes. Note that for square rings, e.g.100×100, you eliminate pin #2 and line (B).

Making the kit:

  1. Measure out the twine. You need 1 length of 20′, 2 lengths of 80′ and 1 length of 128′. Trim the 128′ piece a bit to allow for the length of the clip.
  2. Attach the rings to the tent pins. I use rings with tags, as that allows me to identify each pin conveniently.
  3. Cut 8 pieces of heat shrink tubing 1.5″ long and thread each end of the 4 twine lengths through the tubing.
  4. Take one end of the long (D) length of twine and thread it through the eye of the clip, and fold back the short end of the twine 1.5″. Insert the short end through the tubing and then heat the tubing so that the clip is securely held in place.
  5. Take one end of a medium length of twine (A) and thread it through the eye of the ring on tent pin #1, and fold back the short end of the twine 1.5″. Insert the short end through the tubing and then heat the tubing so that the ring is securely held in place. Attach the other end to the ring of tent pin #2 using the same procedure.
  6. Repeat the above steps attaching line (B) to the rings of pin #2 and #3, line (C) to the rings of pin #3 and #4, and attach the end without the clip of line (D) to the ring of tent pin #4.
  7. Coil up the kit starting with the pin #1 end (and ending with the clip).

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of finding the right kind of twine etc, send me an email (se@whatagility.org) and I can make one for you.

Using the kit

  1. Push pin #1 into the ground where you want the first corner.
  2. While uncoiling the line, walk to the corner marked #3. Do not push pin #2 into the ground at this point – just let it be loose on the ground. When you reach pin #3, gently stretch the line and push pin #3 into the ground.
  3. Make a left turn about 90 degrees (it can be off quite a bit from 90 degrees – we’ll straighten that up later) and uncoil line until you get to pin #4. Do not push this pin into the ground – just leave it laying on the ground.
  4. While uncoiling line, move to pin #1. Attach the clip to the ring on pin #1.
  5. Go back to Pin #4 and gently stretch the line so that both line (C) and line (D) are straight. Now push pin #4 into the ground.
  6. At this point, 3 of the 4 corners are in place. To get the 4th corner, go back to pin #3, mark its position (a stake is great, or an extra tent pin)
  7. Pull out pin#3 but leave the pin and line laying on the ground.
  8. Go to pin #2 and grab it. Walk towards the corner marked with a square #2, gently stretch the line and push the pin into the ground. This is the precise location for the final corner.
  9. Mark all corners, unclip line (D) from pin #1, and coil up the line starting with pin #1.

Actually using the kit takes less time than reading this instruction 😉

To download a pdf of the above, click here RingMaker.pdf

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