How To Install Eitz Chaim 

Sometimes people need to install eitz chaim torah rollers without access to a sofer. Here is how to do it. 

Start with the new set of eitz chaim laid out on a large table with the smooth bottom handles towards you. The pole with the double roller on the top should be on your right. The pole with the double roller on the bottom should be on your left. This way the right side will be on the top. 

Clamp the klaf as shown. The klaf should go right up to the holes in the pole but should not cover them. The other side of the holes is covered by the klaf. In the above picture the klaf is not even so I made as much of the klaf as possible by the holes. 

Center the klaf as shown so that it is the same distance from the torah guard on the bottom as it is from the roller on the top. I am using digital calipers but you can use a ruler. You don’t need to be more accurate than within an eighth of an inch. 

I like to use a 7/64 drill bit to drill through the klaf. 

Carefully drill through the klaf. You can drill all the holes at once as long as the klaf is securely clamped to the pole. If the klaf is not securely attached, you may find that the holes don’t line up. You can also drill one hole at a time and tie it in place before moving to the next hole. 

Take a piece of giddim (special thread made out of the sinews of a cow) about 18 inches long. At this point you should say out loud הרני עושה לשם קדושת ספר תורה, “I am doing this with the intention of making the sefer torah have kedusha (holiness). 

Use a large needle that will be easy to thread. 

Wrap the gid around the pole and the klaf. Wrap tight but not too tight, you don’t want to rip it, and gid is not the strongest material known to man. With a piece of vid 18 inches long you should be able to wrap it around the pole four or five times. Leave enough at both ends so you will have an easy time tying a knot. 

Trim the ends of the giddim after you make your knot. A simple knot will do just fine. I usually back up the knot with an extra half hitch or so. 

Carefully put a drop of crazy glue on each knot and allow to dry. 

Sometimes there are old holes from where it was attached on the old eitz chaim. 

I like to patch those holes with pieces of peel and stick klaf patches. The patches come in a package big enough to put two pieces on each seam of a sefer torah. This is normally done in addition to sewing the sefer torah together. For small holes I will cut the  patches down to size. They are too expensive to use more than you need (about $90 for a package). Press them down  firmly. Even if they stick up at the ends, when you roll  the sefer torah a bit, they will take the round shape of the sefer torah. 

Roll to the other end of the sefer torah and repeat the process. It is a good idea to roll slow, straight, and fairly tight. 

Hatzlacha Rabba! May you  be successful! 

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