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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:50 am 
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I was reading another thread in which some knots were being taught (well at that), and it occurred to me that being a rigger by trade, I use a variety of knots every day that I rarely see in common usage, but are quite useful. I wanted to share some of these with others. I got started and realized after about an hour of tying and photographing that this will take more than one post. So over the next while I will be posting more. I'd like to apologize in advance, this is the first time I've tried anything like this. I played hell just to get my avatar to work with photobucket.

Perhaps this could be a place for us to collect info on such things.

So to begin...

We begin with the Bowline. THE classic fixed loop in the end of a line. There are many good ways to tie this knot and get the same result. The method that follows is my personal favorite. This method can also be adapted to a one-handed bowline, here's a demonstration: Video


We start with a bight in the line. The end is brought over the standing part, and with an overhand twist we then pull the end up. If done correctly, this forces a loop to form around the end. From this point on the method does not differ from those above.
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A relative of the Bowline is the Sheet bend. This knot was used by sailors, or really anyone who needs to attach a rope to a sheet, sail, tarp whose grommet have torn out, etc. It is also well suited for connecting two lines of differing size. In these pictures the black rope represents either the thicker of the two lines or the sheet. Note the orientation of the ends, this is important (and in these pictures incorrect--I just haven't taken new pics yet). The ends should emerge on the same side of the finished knot. If stability of the knot is a concern, try the Double Sheet Bend. Simply continue around the knot, and tuck a second time.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:12 am 
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Sorry, I meant to include these in the first post


http://zombiehunters.org/zss/?p=56
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=32897

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:37 am 
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Next I would like to address the Clove hitch family. Just a few of these are the Clove hitch, two half hitches, the cow hitch (aka larks head), and the choker hitch (aka Girth hitch).

The Clove hitch is a wonderful knot in the fact that it is self tightening as tension is applied.

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One should finish the clove with a two half hitches knot. In turn, the two half hitches knot is the same as the clove hitch, however the terminology changes depending on the application.

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The most common way to mis-tie a clove hitch, or two half hitches is the Cow hitch. his knot has poor strength, and even worse stability. I've watched loads weighing hundreds of pounds go literally flying away when this mistake is made.

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Another relative of these is called the Choker hitch. This is made using a fixed loop. Most of us have tied this one without even thinking about it. Note the similarity to the Cow hitch, the closed loop is what allows this to be extremely stable.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:03 am 
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Next we move on to the Figure 8 family of knot work.

This is a very stable and versatile family whose uses range from a basic stopper knot, to a fixed loop in the end of a rope, to a fixed directional loop in the middle of a line.

The most basic form is the stopper knot. This can be used to keep the end of a rope from getting away. I regularly use this one to keep the end of my rope from running through a pulley, or a ring.

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Next is the Figure 8 on a bight. This is another fixed loop in the end of a rope. This is one of the only loop knots (if not the only) that is actually stronger than the Bowline. The biggest down side to the Figure 8 on a bight, is the difficulty involved in untying after a load has been placed on it. Couple that with a wet rope, and you're screwed. Hope you have a good knife. :)

On the other hand, the Figure 8 family responds to shock loading (sudden application of strain) better than almost any other knot out there.

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One that I use all the time is called the Inline Figure 8 on a Bight. As the name implies it may be tied in the middle of a rope. This is a very quick knot as well. To accomplish this version the process is almost identical to the others, just leave out the short end as shown here.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:34 pm 
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I can tell already, that I will have to go back and edit these posts for clarification. Looks like I will end up adding a few more pictures as well.

The next on my list will be the Square knot. The Square knot is a very simple, yet effective knot to tie up packages, and other non essential tasks. The efficiency of this knot is roughly 45%. However it is also one of the least stable knots out there.

Please do not hang anything over head using this knot, or climb anything with this knot. This isn't the knot to use to tie sheets together like in the movies, it will capsize very easily, and should not be trusted where human life is concerned.

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As you can see from these pictures, this knot capsizes very easily. As you can also see from these pics, once it does capsize your load can get away from you very... quickly.

While not perfect, the Surgeons knot is quite an improvement over the Square. It is not much more difficult to tie. Simply add an extra twist (technically a half hitch) into the knot. The result is considerably more stable.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:09 pm 
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Next we will address the Trucker's hitch. This is an extremely useful knot for gaining a mechanical advantage of roughly 2:1, meaning that for every foot of pull on the lead line you only move the load 1/2 that distance. The real advantage here is that you also move your load with twice the force.

If I pull 1' with 100lbs of force, the load moves only 6" but with 200lbs of force. Very nice for tensioning a guy wire, hauling a tarp up into a tree, or securing a load in the back of a truck. I use this one all the time for stabilizing a load that's in the air, and needs to not swing around, or to pull heavy drapes to one side. When I worked on a cruise ship I would use this to lash down all items that were on wheels.

This is my version, and no this is not the standard version, but is stronger, and more stable under a dynamic load.
There is another version which I will do later that is roughly 4:1, but I'll have to get that in the next batch of pics.

To begin this complex knot, I anchored one end using a clove hitch, then tied an inline figure8. Pass your end through or around the object you intend to move or secure. (use common sense, don't try to lift a ball with this) A ring, carabiner, grommet or other such is best.

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Next we pass the tail of the rope through the loop (figure8). Now, after we take up any slack, we are ready to apply force. Keep in mind however that friction can be an issue, so be careful not to go too fast, as depending on the material, you can melt the loop. I this is a concern, and you have the space in the system, you can insert a carabiner to reduce the friction on the loop. This is a good idea also if the system will be in use for any extended period of time.

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Here is a carabiner inserted, tied off with two half hitches.

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When it comes time to secure your load there are a few options. The most common way is to tie two half hitches just below the the loop. You can also tie a sheet bend through the loop, this is easy and more secure. (Forgot to take a pic of that 'cause I'm a dumbass)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:32 am 
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i've heard that the regular clove hitch is bad to use if only one end has tension on it. If both ends have roughly the same tension on them it's alright to use, but if you just want to tie a rope off to a post you're better off using other knots like a round-turn w/ two-half-hitches

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:21 am 
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amd2800barton wrote:
i've heard that the regular clove hitch is bad to use if only one end has tension on it. If both ends have roughly the same tension on them it's alright to use, but if you just want to tie a rope off to a post you're better off using other knots like a round-turn w/ two-half-hitches


The standard thing to do if you use a clove hitch is to include one or two half hitches as a safety (I do this automatically now, and had to explain myself to an examiner who asked me to tie a Clove Hitch. I tied a half hitch to finish it and the result was a Clove Hitch with a half hitch safety. Not what he asked for, but I almost never tie a clove without it). This will prevent what is called "roll out", which is what you describe. The half hitch locks the tail (short end) on itself, thus stabilizing against most cases of roll out. I'll post a pic of this in the next couple of days, along with the next installment or two.

As far as a round turn with two half hitches, this is another great knot, and it will be included in further posts. I usually make a judgment call case by case. The round turn with two half hitches is solid, but in my experience is slightly less precise for adjustments, for my purposes. Neither is perfect for every application.

Also, if anyone has a specific knot or task they are looking for a solution to using rope, please feel free to ask. I loves a good rigging puzzle. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:30 am 
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Good stuff.

You'd love the splices we used to put in our field wire.

-Hans

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:07 am 
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HHaase wrote:
Good stuff.

You'd love the splices we used to put in our field wire.

-Hans


Thanks, I'd love to see some pics. Splicing wire is something I haven't delved too far into yet, but am still fascinated by. Most connections in wire rope that I deal with are swaged into eyes, and we use shackles for connectors. There are a few companies though that specialize in flying people who custom make most of their own hardware. Some times they use splices.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:10 am 
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AmirMortal wrote:
HHaase wrote:
Good stuff.

You'd love the splices we used to put in our field wire.

-Hans


Thanks, I'd love to see some pics. Splicing wire is something I haven't delved too far into yet, but am still fascinated by. Most connections in wire rope that I deal with are swaged into eyes, and we use shackles for connectors. There are a few companies though that specialize in flying people who custom make most of their own hardware. Some times they use splices.


I need to get ahold of some of the field wire we used, it's got a specific makeup of steel/copper conductors inside which are both the reason and way for making those splices. But if anybody here has some WD-1A they can send my way, I'll splice away! Still have my lineman pliers for just such an occasion.

-Hans

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:59 am 
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AmirMortal wrote:
amd2800barton wrote:
i've heard that the regular clove hitch is bad to use if only one end has tension on it. If both ends have roughly the same tension on them it's alright to use, but if you just want to tie a rope off to a post you're better off using other knots like a round-turn w/ two-half-hitches


The standard thing to do if you use a clove hitch is to include one or two half hitches as a safety (I do this automatically now, and had to explain myself to an examiner who asked me to tie a Clove Hitch. I tied a half hitch to finish it and the result was a Clove Hitch with a half hitch safety. Not what he asked for, but I almost never tie a clove without it). This will prevent what is called "roll out", which is what you describe. The half hitch locks the tail (short end) on itself, thus stabilizing against most cases of roll out. I'll post a pic of this in the next couple of days, along with the next installment or two.

As far as a round turn with two half hitches, this is another great knot, and it will be included in further posts. I usually make a judgment call case by case. The round turn with two half hitches is solid, but in my experience is slightly less precise for adjustments, for my purposes. Neither is perfect for every application.

Also, if anyone has a specific knot or task they are looking for a solution to using rope, please feel free to ask. I loves a good rigging puzzle. :D



Unless I have a really good reason to tie a clove hitch, I use a constrictor hitch instead, because it tightens down so much nicer. If I'm going to have tension on only one line, I'll do the half-hitch safety as well. Directions somewhere in the ZSS feed article.

I don't have a lot of use for a clove hitch however, and when I do its usually fairly permanent, so having the constrictor get super tight isn't usually a problem. I imagine that there are plenty of times when you need a quick, temporary knot where a clove would be way easier to get un-done.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:57 pm 
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OP send me a PM if you're interested in making this article into a ZSS Feed submission.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:23 pm 
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Bump, with more to come soon! Feel free to ask questions please.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:53 pm 
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AmirMortal wrote:
I was reading another thread in which some knots were being taught (well at that), and it occurred to me that I am a professional rigger, and use a variety of knots every day that I rarely see, but are quite useful. I wanted to share some of these with others. I got started and realized after about an hour of tying and photographing that this will take more than one post. So over the next while I will be posting more. I'd like to apologize in advance, this is the first time I've tried anything like this. I played hell just to get my avatar to work with photobucket.

Perhaps this could be a place for us to collect info on such things.

So to begin...

We begin with the Bowline. THE classic fixed loop in the end of a line. There are many good ways to tie this not and get the same result. The method that follows is my personal favorite.

We start with a bight in the line. The end is brought over the standing part, and with an overhand twist we then pull the end up. If done correctly, this forces a loop to form around the end. From this point on the method does not differ from those above.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

A relative of the Bowline is the Sheet bend. This knot was used by sailors, or really anyone who needs to attach a rope to a sheet, sail, tarp whose grommet have torn out, etc. It is also well suited for connecting two lines of differing size. In these pictures the black rope represents either the thicker of the two lines or the sheet. Note the orientation of the ends, this is important. If stability of the knot is a concern, try the Double Sheet Bend. Simply continue around the knot, and tuck a second time.

Image

Image

Image

Image



When towing boats (In the USCG) this is the primary knot we use if it was not a tow requiring a bridal. We called it a Dbl. Becket bend. We would use it to save the eye of the towline, by using a shorter length of line to attach to the actual vessel we would tow.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Lenny wrote:
When towing boats (In the USCG) this is the primary knot we use if it was not a tow requiring a bridal. We called it a Dbl. Becket bend. We would use it to save the eye of the towline, by using a shorter length of line to attach to the actual vessel we would tow.


I love hearing how people use the various knots, especially for job related stuff! I also find it interesting the way that the same knot can have different names depending on location or even for specific applications, like the whole clove hitch vs two half hitches thing. I've heard that knot referred to as a Becket hitch also, generally it refers to the smaller line and how it's tied, often around a hook or closed loop.

See this stuff is fun! :D

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:09 pm 
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We'd use a becket or double becket to attach our monkey-fisted throw line to the lead line attached to the mooring line to get it down to the pier.

That was harder to type than one would think. :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Great post. Sometimes we forget there is a right way to tie things. Dont know a knot tie a lot is not always a good idea.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:18 pm 
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As soon as i get more situated this spring with my living conditions (unpacked and organized :| ) I'd like to do a tutorial on ling splicing and eye splicing - unless one of you other knotters gets it going... :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:12 pm 
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ughhhh...I have never enjoyed splicing! I do have a nice spicing kit though. I have all the proper stuff for it. I also have a hundred feet of 4 inch tow line too we can use.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:20 pm 
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I look at a Clove hitch as a Starting knot.

I start with it if I am going to do fancy work (French Hitching, Cockscombing, etc.) on a round surface like a rail. I also use the clove hitch to start a Lashing such as a square or diagonal lash.

For most other times I can use a knot that has less chance of coming loose.

Neat post and nice pics.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Mmmmmhhhmmmmhmm... nice sheets! :wink:

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Lenny wrote:
ughhhh...I have never enjoyed splicing! I do have a nice spicing kit though. I have all the proper stuff for it. I also have a hundred feet of 4 inch tow line too we can use.


We'll set aside some time and do this soon (like March). That 4" hauser oughta be real photogenic for this. You got a fid?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:11 pm 
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great stuff man.. thanks for posting that... knots and rope work are very valuble knowledge to have...

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