Building a Simple Tri-string Bubbling Rig

This is one way to build a simple tri-string bubbling rig, using easy-to-find materials.


Materials and Tools for Building a Simple Tri-string Bubbling Rig

2 4-foot, 3/8 inch poplar dowels
137 inches of 100% cotton cooking twine
2 1-inch wooden dowel caps with 3/8 inch holes
1 15/16 inch split ring

Here in the U.S., the best cooking twine can be found at Bed Bath & Beyond. I found the dowel caps and split rings at Hobby Lobby. The dowels from my local Menards are generally less crooked than Home Depot's (not that it matters much).

1. Measure and cut a piece of twine 137 inches in length.

Measure and cut a 137 inch length of twine


De-twisting the twine

2. Wet the twine with water, and pull the length of it through a thumb and forefinger. Hold your arms up high and keep the ends apart as you do this, so that the ends can dangle freely above the floor as much as possible.  You'll see each end spin quite a bit as you approach it. Repeat this, back and forth, until the spinning stops. 4 or 5 times is usually enough.


Hold the twine's end up to form a "U" above the floor

3. Wet the twine again, and hold the 2 ends up and apart so that the twine forms a "U" shape above the floor.  As you bring the ends together, the "U" will typically twist up on itself, forming a "Y".  Twist one of the ends c

A "centered" loop of twine

lockwise (or counter-) to remove the twist, so that you can bring the ends very near and the "U" doesn't twist.

Tie the ends in a square (reef) knot

4. Tie the ends together with a square (reef) knot.  Pull it tight and cut off the extra ends.


A loop end


Measuring the first loop


A finished loop end "leader"

5. Form a loop end in the twine about 4 inches from the 1st square knot, measure 8 inches from that loop end, and tie a simple overhand knot at that point (in the doubled-over twine loop).


Measuring the 2nd loop's end

6. Measure 41 inches from that 1st overhand knot, and form another loop end there.  Again, measure 8 inches from the loop's end and tie an overhand knot at that spot, in the doubled twine, as in the previous step.


Placing a loop end over a dowel end before capping


Securing a loop end with a dowel cap


Placing a loop end on a dowel for a tighter fit


Finished loop connection

7. Place one of the loop ends on top of a dowel rod's end, and fit a dowel cap onto the dowel's end so as to secure the twine.  Twist the cap as you push it on.  If the fit is too tight, shave a bit of wood from the edges of the dowel's end. If the connection seems too loose, place the loop end across and over the dowel's end.  Repeat for the other dowel, loop end, and cap.


Attaching a split ring to the loop

8. Attach a split ring to the longer section of string.  (Optional).


Finished rig

Finished rig
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