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Tying the knot


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#21 Gordias

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 05:33 PM

Some more good links:

 

http://www.southee.com/Knots/Index.htm

   - has a PDF you can download into a tablet and use offline

   - shows useful alternative ways to tie some knots

 

http://notableknotin.../knotindex.html

http://www.asiteabou...t/cr_knots.html

 

http://www.scoutingr...s/knots_az.html

  - I can explain an easy and reliable way to tie an "Alpine Butterfly" (mid-line loop) with your eyes closed based on one of the pictures here if anyone is interested 


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#22 Athy

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 05:45 PM

Now I get a clue to your choice of forum name: Gordian Knot?


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#23 bizzard

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 05:45 PM

Good stuff Gordias. But I suspect there's a lot of folk on this ere forum who would run a mile at the very thought of  ''Tying the knot''  or ''getting spliced'' for that matter. smile.png


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#24 Athy

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 05:51 PM

Good stuff Gordias. But I suspect there's a lot of folk on this ere forum who would run a mile at the very thought of  ''Tying the knot''  or ''getting spliced'' for that matter. smile.png

Oh come on, all that's needed is perseverance, it gets easier after the first time.


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#25 bizzard

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 06:14 PM

Oh come on, all that's needed is perseverance, it gets easier after the first time.

What  I think might put a lot of folk off tying the knot is a matter of the possibly of unknown quirks and horrors that might come to light once the knot is tied.  Like fuming smelly feet, habitual nose picking, nail biting, removing false teeth at the dinner table, fleas, bottom covered with pussy boils, Washing once a year only, leaving dogends dotted about all over the shop, bed wetting, digging wax from ears with matchsticks. Unless both have identickle draw backs huge and great tollerence and overwheming love is needed.


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#26 Gordias

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 06:59 PM

Now I get a clue to your choice of forum name: Gordian Knot?

 

Yes :)


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#27 Gordias

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 07:04 PM

Oh come on, all that's needed is perseverance, it gets easier after the first time.

 

I think the biggest problem with knots is the huge number of different ones for (almost) the same purpose.

 

This is why Grog (the link in the first post),  Andy's, and Roo's sites are so good.  They select the most useful ones and explain why to use them.

 

I'd actually like to learn the "right" knots for narrow boats, or perhaps the tasks (I can fit a knot to a task with the help of those sites).

 

For example, what about typing up while in a lock?  Do you set things up so the crew can shorten/lengthen the mooring lines while the lock is gaining/releasing water?


Edited by Gordias, 30 October 2014 - 09:05 AM.

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#28 Gordias

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 10:29 AM

http://www.scoutingr...s/knots_az.html

  - I can explain an easy and reliable way to tie an "Alpine Butterfly" (mid-line loop) with your eyes closed based on one of the pictures here if anyone is interested 

 

I decided to explain this anyway smile.png

 

The "Alpine Butterfly Loop" is the standard mid-line loop for climbing. 

  • Good:
    • It doesn't require doubling the rope. 
    • It's strong, jam resistant, easy to untie even after being loaded, and easy to tie. 
    • The loop can be loaded in any direction
  • Limitations:
    • It can be tied to a ring, but I wouldn't use it for that:  the tying method is different and not as easy to remember
    • It can also be used as a bend (joining two ropes) but I wouldn't use it for that either - IMO the Zeppelin and Carrick Bends are both better (see Grog) 
    • It's inconvenient to adjust the size or position of the loop after it's tied (retying is quicker)

The butterfly is actually two interlocked overhand knots like the Zeppelin Bend, but it's not so easy to see as with the Zeppelin.  See Grog:

http://www.animatedk...pelin/index.php

 

Step 1:  Follow the animation at Grog to tie two or three Alpine Butterfly Loops exactly as shown there:

http://www.animatedk...erfly/index.php

Get a feel for "setting" the knot after it's tied

Step 2: Look at the picture and read the text at the scouting site:

http://www.scoutingr...knots_az.html#a

The picture is good, but don't try to tie it that way - Grog's method is much better (hence step 1)

Step 3 (my "tie it in the dark" method)

 

Keep the picture from step 2 in front of you for A to C.

(you can easily do this sitting in front of a screen)

 

A. Hang the middle of the line over your wrist (it's a mid-line loop so we don't want the ends close)

B. Take the line from the top/center of your wrist, twist it to make an "eye", and hang that over your thumb

     Now the line is hooked on your thumb, crossing on top of your wrist, with ends to the left and right of your wrist

C. Make a second eye starting from the one on your thumb, twisting in the same direction (you get a different knot of you twist the other way) and grip the point where the line crosses with thumb and one or more fingers (I use thumb against the inside/center of my middle finger)

 

At this point we're at the first picture in the scouting link's description of the Alpine Butterfly Loop.

 

D. Use the other hand to take the top loop back and through the lower loop from underneath, as shown in that picture and set the knot.  It's easy to make the loop longer as you do this.

It helps to grip one of the ends with the little finger of the hand controlling the loops (feels weird, but very helpful).

 

(D) feels difficult the first time, but it becomes easy quickly. 

 

Note that if you've never tried this knot before, you have to practice how to set it after the knot is formed, and it won't necessarily look exactly like Grog's picture.  Those two "parallel lines" in the center may look more like an "X", and the loop may have a half-twist. Once you learn how to set the knot, you can set it so it looks exactly like Grog's (though AFAIK this doesn't affect its strength or properties.

 

The reasons I like this approach:

  1. It's easy to remember
  2. It can be done reliably without looking (in the dark)
  3. The knot is always under control as you're tying it - so for example this method can be used while walking, even dragging the line behind you, or lying on your back
  4. You can see the whole process clearly if you want to look at it

Grog's method is a little easier to do, and at least as good for (1) and (4).  But (2) and (3) are very important for me - I have a strong preference for knots that can be used in difficult circumstances.


Edited by Gordias, 30 October 2014 - 11:25 AM.

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#29 Gordias

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 04:15 PM

Some pictures matching the the description:
ButterflyLoop 0
 
Twist once, drop onto thumb:
ButterflyLoop 1
 
Twist again in the same direction, grip between thumb and finger(s)
Note that the line on the right hand side is controlled by a "spare" finger - helpful but not essential 
ButterflyLoop 2
 
After tying (see Grog if you need to review this step)
ButterflyLoop 3
 
NB:  If you twist the other way for the second loop you get a dangerous "anti-knot".

Edited by Gordias, 02 November 2014 - 04:24 PM.

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#30 Gordias

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 07:02 PM

The Zeppelin Bend is a good knot for joining two lines or ropes.  It holds well, doesn't jam under a load, and is easy to untie.  It's also easy to tie in difficult circumstances if you know how.

 

If you don't already know how to tie a Zeppelin, see Grog here :http://www.animatedk...pelin/index.php

to learn how. 

 

IMO there's a small omission in Grog for the Zeppelin:  most people remember how to tie this knot by thinking of the starting shapes as "p/"d or "6/9" or something similar.  Here's a picture to compare with the 4th picture in Grog's animation:

Zeppelin 0

 

Important:

  • The left side loop has the end of the rope over it
  • The right side loop has the end under it
  • The two loops are "mirrored"- left side down, right side up

Changing any of these can lead to similar-looking knots, so make sure you remember this shape, and can "see" it as you tie the knot.

 

From that shape you lay the left-side loop over the right-side loop so one of the ends is at the bottom, and the other at the top, with the two loops in the center.  Then each end is tucked through both loops, one upwards, one downwards.  See Grog's pictures 4, 5, 6 for the animated version.

 

Look carefully at picture six so you can see the interlocked overhand knots.  They are the reason the Zeppelin (and the other three knots with this topology, including the Alpine Butterfly) hold so well.  It also helps to see this clearly to follow my alternative approach.

 

Grog's way to tie this know is fine if your sitting at a table, but it's less convenient if you're outside on a windy day.  Here's another approach:

 

Start by making the left-side overhand knot:

Zeppelin 1
 
Then start to make the right-side knot.  Starting from an overhand knot oriented that way, the end must go upwards.  Of course it can also be done mirrored/reversed. 
In normal line/rope (my pictures are 6mm climbing rope (used for hexes)) you can tighten the overhand knot at this point.  
Zeppelin 2
 
Form the correct overhand knot.  Note the loop must be "opposite" the loop in the first overhand knot ("above" as shown in the picture)
Zeppelin 3
 
And set:
Zeppelin 4
 
In slightly stiff rope like mine the finished knot seems quite open, but that doesn't make it weaker, and it won't loosen after repeated tugs.

Edited by Gordias, 03 November 2014 - 07:05 PM.

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#31 Gordias

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:14 PM

Next thing to consider is a loop for the end of the line.  The Alpine Butterfly can be used, and there's another with a cool name: the Double Dragon.  Both have a significant weakness for casual practical use: you need to learn a second way to tie them around a ring or the center of a long bar.

 

There's a classic knot that doesn't have this problem:  the bowline.  It's an excellent knot, easy to tie, easy to remember, and you ties it the same way through a ring as you do to use it on a bollard.

 

The bowline has a weakness though: it holds well with steady tension, or if it's not shaken, but given the right conditions (like floating in water) it can come undone.  See Grog's description (linked) for a story smile.png 

Note that the "weightless" condition imposed when a rope is floating on water is very different to the "one gravity" environment in air - the standard bowline is a very good knot for most conditions.

 

There are stronger bowlines though.  One, called the Water Bowline, is just a little harder to tie and undone, but doesn't loosen in water.  There's another called the double bowline, but the Water Bowline has another advantage:  it can be "upgraded" to a "Monsoon Bowline" which is a little harder to tie again, but very secure.

 

See below for descriptions and links..

 

If necessary, practice the Bowline first until it's natural (it's easy to tie and easy to remember)

One thing will help with the Water Bowline;  create the loop (Grog's picture 2) by twisting the rope.  If you're holding the rope in your left hand, twist with the right, and hold the loop with thumb and one or two fingers of the left hand.  Then the right hand takes the end "up, around, down" to form the knot.

http://www.animatedk...wline/index.php

 

Next the Water Bowline.

Here we make two loops:  bottom loop first, exactly as with a Bowline.  The second loop is further up the "long side" of the rope - make the same twist as the first, then put it on top of the first loop (creating a clove hitch) - see Grog's pictures 4 and 5 for this.  Control the result with the left hand - I put two fingers through the center of the clove hitch and use my thumb against those fingers to hold it.

Now thread the end of the rope exactly as for the normal bowline, but through the clove hitch as a whole (as you do it you'll see why I have my fingers inside the clove hitch).

Tighten moderately as though it was a normal bowline, which will draw up the top half of the clove hitch.  Then draw up the lower half using the appropriate "side" of the loop.  After that set the knot as a whole.

http://www.animatedk...water/index.php

 

Next the Monsoon Bowline.  The relationship between this and the Water Bowline is a little like that between the Water Bowline and the normal one:  it's a minor modification to the base knot.  You should be able to tie a Water Bowline without thinking about it before you learn the Monsoon.

Grog doesn't have an animation for this knot, but there's a good picture here you can use:

http://notableknotin...oonbowline.html

Look carefully at the first of the large pictures until you can see the Water Bowline clearly, then make one with a loger end section than usual, and thread it as shown.

 

A quote from notableknotindex.webs.com:

The Monsoon Bowline is  ... designed for the occasion where slick, springy rope subjected to severe or persistent slack motion must stay tied for extended periods.  While this loop maintains jam resistance and supreme security, it sacrifices compactness, simplicity, and ease of adjustment.

 

After you've tied it a couple of times you'll decide not to actually use it until there's a hurricane warning on the weather report smile.png   Even so, make sure you practice it a couple of times, and store the picture in your phone or tablet as a reminder.


Edited by Gordias, 07 November 2014 - 03:21 PM.

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#32 Alan&sue

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 10:01 PM

Good stuff Gordias. But I suspect there's a lot of folk on this ere forum who would run a mile at the very thought of  ''Tying the knot''  or ''getting spliced'' for that matter. :)


I was soooo pleased with myself when I learnt to splice so far I have spliced fender ropes, mooring ropes I drive OH mad asking does that need splicing
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#33 Gordias

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 08:02 AM

Where did you learn how to splice?  Splicing is nearly always (much) better than knots for permanent use (ropes that always have the same job).  Splicing has a somewhat higher skill threshold than basic knots, but the results definitely justify the extra effort.  Plus you can impress people with your skills smile.png

 

I quite like the content at Grog's , but I haven't actually tried any of the methods it explains for modern ropes so I can't recommend it (yet smile.png  FWIW I'd test it but all I have at home these days is old climbing rope, which can't be spliced - I guess it's time to go shopping for some modern braided rope.

 

The explanations at Grog's for splicing in twisted rope, which I already knew, are all fine.  FWIW I agree that the "long splice" is rarely useful IRL (even for rope twisted in high-friction fibre like hemp, where it works reasonably well).  IMO if you need a long permanent rope you should buy one.

 

Anyway if you have a better source for splicing, and/or suggestions based on your experience I think you should add them here.


Edited by Gordias, 18 November 2014 - 08:08 AM.

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