Here is how I designed and made my combined rope walking and rope serving machine.
On the right side ( first picture) is the gearbox with planetary arranged gears - and could be installed for 3 or 5-thread ropes simply by adding and re-arranging positions of the small gears. Below planetary gears is another set that turns the shaft used when the mid section for rope serving is installed.
On the left side there is a movable- tracking carousel where the threads got fixed and along the device there are wire-threads to position and lead the thread head which also have options for 3 or 5-thread ropes.
Instead of the handle in the planetary gearbox, some could use small DC -motor, or even accu screwdriver to wind the threads.
Procedure is the following-
Spread 3 threads, tied together at the left end on the carousel, and on each of the 3 gears shaft hooks on the right side. Wind the handle counter clockwise or clockwise, depending if you want left or right turns on your rope. Planetary gears wind each thread separately and during that process, threads got shorter, moving slowly carousel ( which haves 4 small plastic wheels and guides on both sides) After the length of the treads shorten for about 25%_ 30% of the initial length, stop winding right planetary geabox and start winding left gearbox on the carousel. Rope starts to form moving the thread head to the right end.. When done, apply a drop of superglue at both ends to prevent rope from dismantling, and the job is done.
Working excellently, easy to assemble, I made kilometers of ropes on this one,.
When using as serving machine, I insert and fix with screws mid section gearbox as well as connecting shaft. Rope is connected to the central gears on the left and right side. Winding right gearbox simultaneously rotate through the shaft the left gearbox, making the entire suspended rope to rotate around it's axis. Later I added additional shaft where the thread coils for serving could be mounted .
For the layout of a simple serving machine one can have a look at Domanoff's site where this machine is also available for sale. It is relatively easy to make our own. It does not have to be motorized, a manual crank drive would also do.