Author Topic: How to tie many knots in a single rope  (Read 18021 times)

kiran

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How to tie many knots in a single rope
« on: November 18, 2008, 09:57:04 AM »
I want to tie many simple knots in a rope at fixed intervals / distances. (To climb up the rope. . .)

Can somebody tell me how to do so?

DerekSmith

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 03:01:11 PM »
Easy and Hard

Easy

Easy to tie, easy to adjust and 'easy' to climb  --  Tie a tucked (slipped) overhand knot and put a short length of dowel (broom handle) into the slipped loop, pull up tight and the dowel stops the slipped knot from coming out.  It also acts as a handy handle to help grip and even to stand on.  If you have put the knots in the wrong place, simply take out the dowel and pull out the loop to remove the knot, then tie it again in the right place, then slip in the dowel and tighten to lock.

Hard

The double strangle knot is an excellent chunky, stable line knot.  It makes a line knot roughly four diameters thick and once loaded the knots are virtually permanent.  The problems are that the knot uses up a stonking 26 diameters of rope to tie one knot, so a 1" rope is going to need over 2ft of rope for each knot, second, the knot puts two full turns of twist into the rope as it is made and this must be fed out of the rope to stop it deforming and finally, the knots are tied by passing the length of the rope through the centre of the knot to form it, which for very long ropes is a real pain - hint - start tying in the middle and work to the ends and have an assistant to take out the twist and help feed the rope through for you.

Derek

PwH

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 04:35:15 PM »
From 'The Ashley Book of Knots' (ABOK)
#264.The FIRE-ESCAPE KNOT is for the same purpose, (climbing down to escape fire) but it is generally a fixture found in country and seaside hotel bedrooms. The proper way of tying is most interesting and is described at the beginning of Chapter 4, "Single-Strand Lanyard Knots." In England this method of tying has long been a part of the regular drill in rural fire departments, and it is now being taught in America, where it is sometimes called the "PHILADELPHIA KNOT."

 The delightful tale below, also from Ashley Ch.4 p.93/94 gives a colourful explanation of how to tie "a hundred overhand knots" in 50 seconds, admittedly in smaller stuff than you intend, but the principle holds.

"There was, once upon a time, a sailor who had a sweetheart, The
girl was beautiful, and the sailor was handsome?so the girl thought.
But her father disliked all sailors, this one in particular, which may
have been because he had another husband already picked out for her,
a certain haberdasher's clerk, who had really very little to recommend
him save that he managed to keep both feet on solid earth most of the
time. That, as everybody knows, is too much to expect of a sailor.
But the girl found the haberdasher's clerk even less prepossessing
than her father found our hero.
When the father saw which way the wind was blowing he pleaded
with the girl, then he threatened and even stormed for a bit; but it
was to no avail, and the ship of True Love was practically on the
rocks.
But after a while the storm quieted down, as storms will. Although
the father remained obdurate, which means stubborn, the
girl too was stubborn, which means that she was her father's daughter.
But the haberdasher's clerk, although almost entirely devoid of
charm, was endowed with a certain native cleverness, and it was not
long before he thought of a plan which he communicated to the
father. Thereupon the father appeared to relent, and soon after he
suggested to his daughter that the selection of a husband should be
decided in fair competition.
Amid general rejoicing it was agreed that the suitor who could tie
the greater number of knots, while the father counted fifty, should
marry the girl.
Now the father had argued to himself in somewhat this fashion:
"Surely this haberdasher's clerk who does little from morning till
night, save knot ribbons and tie up parcels, should have no trouble
in besting this tarry-fingered son of a sea cook," But the girl needed
no one to tell her that her Jack would win, by a long sea mile.

On the appointed day and hour the father commenced his count,
and with nimble fingers the haberdasher's clerk tied OVERHAND KNOT
after OVERHAND KNOT, with such celerity and precision that a doubt
arose in the minds of the spectators whether his piece of string would
be long enough to last the full count of fifty.
In the meantime our hero, with apparent unconcern, and so deliberately
that it was maddening to watch, proceeded to cast one
hitch after another over his left thumb. "Forty-two, forty-three,
forty-four," counted the father; the race was practically over without
a single knot having been chalked up to the credit of Neptune.
The father was jubilant and had his blessing all ready. The poor girl
was in tears, the haberdasher's clerk appeared even smugger than
he had been before, but Jack remained calm as calm should be.
"Forty-five, forty-six"?the hitches completely covered his thumb.
"Forty-seven!" Our hero carefully tucked the lower end of his string
up through the center of the tier of hitches (which he had by now
shifted from his thumb). "Forty-eight! Forty-nine!" He pulled the
end through handsomely! (See Glossary for definition of handsomely.)
"FIFTY!" There on his string blossomed a hundred little
flowerlike knots, all neatly spaced and exactly alike!
The race was won; the haberdasher's clerk was ignominiously defeated.
There was nothing left for him to do but slink back to his
shop and hide behind the counter; and there, so far as we know, he
lurks to this day with his bit of string in one hand and his yardstick
under his arm."

See ABOK #564 "The FIRE-ESCAPE or PHILADELPHIA KNOT is tied at sea in jibboom footropes. A series of SINGLE HITCHES is first built up, one on top of another, each succeeding hitch being slightly larger than the previous one. Then the lower end of the rope is rove up through the center of all the hitches and is pulled out, one hitch at a time. This forms a series or chain Of SINGLE OVERHAND KNOTS which is of assistance in lowering oneself hand over hand. Country and seaside hotel fire escapes are often so equipped."

So, stack up a tier of hitches in your chosen rope, feed the end up and pull through and there you are- as many overhand knots as you like just needing fairing and setting to the correct spacing. Just be aware that you won't be able to get them out again once the rope has had some strain put on.

In ABOK # 565 a similar way to do this with figure 8 knots is shown, which are altogether more suitable for your purpose.

mmm so far havn't managed to upload the diagram-----
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 06:35:23 PM by PwH »
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DerekSmith

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 12:08:53 AM »
You can use exactly the same 'trick' tying method to cast a string of Strangles and even double Strangles.

The Constrictor and the Strangle are sisters.  Cast a series of Constrictors onto your thumb (keep them loose !!), pass the starting end (i.e. not the working end) through the loops and one by one feed the tightening Constrictors out through the center of the other Constrictors.  As they unwrap they will morph into single Strangles daisy chained along your cord.

To create the double Strangles, simply cast doubled Constrictors onto your thumb.  When you pull these through and they unwrap, they will morph (with a little effort) into a string of double Strangles.

If you fancy getting really clever, tie the Constrictors alternating between left and right handed, then as you pull them out the twist will automatically compensate.

Derek

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 10:07:17 PM »
Seems like the simple answer is "just do it"--just tie those simple (Overhand) knots in the rope.

Going beyond this to *doubles* is, as Derek remarks, an increase of material consumption
to which I see little or no consequent benefit:  the Overhand is traditionally what has been
used, and w/o problem!?  (One can think of the retort "Real(tm) men don't need no stinkin' knots!")

The formation of multiple such knots could be done as Ashley suggests--in general (but clearly
in the case of a rope to climb, not i.p. around one's thumb!)--, using some horizontal protuding
bar on which to cast the Half-hitches; then move one end's to the far end, over/around the
others, then move the next one to next-to-far-end, and so on, reversing the order of the
rope (end-2-end) and in so doing, forming wide-open Overhands.  THEN, set each knot
making careful measure of your spacing, tightening them as you bring them off of the support.

--dl*
====

WebAdmin

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2008, 10:56:45 PM »
Its late, and I know I'm going to regret showing my ignorance, but I was fascinated with the tale from Ashley.  Please remind me - what is a single hitch?  Just the loop round?  I know Cow Hitch and Clove Hitch, but can't get the grey matter into gear enough to think of single hitches.

Regards

Glenys
Lesley
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squarerigger

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2008, 03:18:03 AM »
Hi Glenys,

It's a half of a clove hitch (first half or last half) around a line or object, or a single piece of line with a loop in it, underhand when thinking just about the line.  ABOK shows it in #50 and illustrates many variations of what some think as the same (pp 14 - 15).

Hope this helps!   ;D

SR

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2008, 07:47:08 AM »
Hi Glenys,
It's a half of a clove hitch (first half or last half) around a line or object,

Except that it's not:  qua "hitch", there is direction, and loaded / unloaded ends,
and the Clove's 1st half at least presumably has the SPart being crossed OVER,
contrary under, as per Ashley.  Now, the 2nd half, assuming the constant direction
of the 1st, IS Ashley's Single Hitch--as it finished UNDER itself, jamming.  Well, "not"
with a perpendicularly oriented SPart into the Clove, as ...

OR it's a matter of a different direction, with the Clove tied qua friction hitch
so that the initial turn is jammed then beneath the SPart, and then being pulled
up into another--the "two Half-Hitches" form:  ah, but, whoa, we just crossed over
the page to the supposed confused entity!  (And have at least demonstrated the
confusion.)

The Blackwall Hitch seems fitting as Ashley's Single Hitch.  And, as I argued above,
I'm ready to call nooses that and not pretend otherwise.
And, as noted previously, the Reverse Groundline qua seizing hitch is a paradigm
of Ashley's "Single H." working--a back-2-back jamming of material under itself (as a bag
knot, ends are untensioned, thus directionless--the direction is what fed into them (and
I guess I end up seeing this too in the Clove qua binder, where the tension is IN the
knot, ends directionless/slack).

 ???

(Prudence thrives on circumspection,
as oft' the patient mind, reflective,
reveals ideals of some "perfection"
as mere illusions of perspective!
   --Anon., II )


 ;)

squarerigger

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 08:33:41 AM »
Hi Dan,

Well excuuuse me for my imprecision.  Glenys, did Dan's answer help you to understand what is a half hitch?  Not trying to compare, just seeking to find what represents the answer you are seeking.  Do let us know....

SR

PwH

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2008, 11:04:08 PM »
I was fascinated with the tale from Ashley.  Please remind me - what is a single hitch? 
Glenys

Hi Glenys,
 
As SR says, it's half a clove hitch. If you cast a pair of hitches as if to drop a clove hitch onto something but do it with a short standing end, then pull the standing end up through the middle of the CH it will fall into two OH knots as the line reverses. To perform the trick of 100 OHK in 50 seconds do it 100 times before pulling thru. If you form them on a hollow tube (is there any other kind?), you will effectively have a length of 'French Hitching'. Push the St End up thru the tube, withdraw the tube from the stack of hitches towards the W End, pull the St End thru and "Voila!" a string of OHK's. I have to say Our Jack must have had a very long thumb, or very fine line, and pretty nimble fingers!!

Hope this helps,

Cheers, PwH

« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 11:16:55 PM by PwH »
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PwH

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2008, 11:39:41 AM »
Having thought about it it should work whichever end you push thru the stack of hitches, but one way will give you a piece of knotted string, and the other way it's 'anti' equivalent. And we all know what happens if you let matter meet anti-matter--------

Seriously tho, to make a string of F8's, put an extra half turn in each hitch to form an 'elbow' neck b4 dropping it on the pile or tube or whatever. Pull an end thru and lo & behold- a string of F8's. Further evolutions would I think fall into strangle knots and so on, but would become progressively more difficult to pull thru and fair up.
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PwH

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2008, 08:03:20 PM »
Having had a play with my yard and a half of 5mm dyneema 'fiddle string' I find I can only cast 10 hitches before I run out of thumb, so Jack must have used something much smaller, and something fairly stiff that retains a good 'hoop' in the hitch would work better too. This works well with alternate left and right hitches (cockscombing) which takes the twist out of the line and renders alternate left and right hand OHK's. Left and Right 'elbow hitches' works too, again relaxing the twist and rendering L&R F8's. Wonder what will happen with Moku, St.Mary's, or Portugese hitching? Just might have to try it and see!!

With regard to the big stuff in the original post, for a permanent 'climbing up' rope I suggest casting a length of cockscombing around a 250mm or 300mm drain pipe, push an end thru the pipe, then pull the end thru the pipe while simultaneously sliding the hitches off the pipe. This should in theory result in an untwisted finished piece with L & R OH knots spaced roughly the outer circumference of the pipe apart, less the length of material consumed in each knot. 300mm pipe would I suggest give a spacing of something like 600mm to 750mm depending on the circumference of the rope used.

Please let us know how you get on Kiran, and what technique you use, I for one would love to know?

Cheers, PwH
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 08:23:07 PM by PwH »
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WebAdmin

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 11:28:33 PM »
Hi everyone,

Dan, thank you very much for the answer, but I must admit that as an amateur knotter it was beyond my knowledge of the craft.  I haven't yet saved enough money for an Ashley's (despite keeping my eyes open at 2nd hand book places) and you referred me not only to several knots I didn't know, but also to - what is to me - the rather more technical side of knotting.

Half of a clove hitch, for me, was a more immediately graspable mental image.  Although, I then found myself with two other questions:

Was the sailor tying whole clove hitches, or did he do something to change the direction of the cord? and
How small a cord do you use (diameter-wise) to fit 50 loops on your thumb - without it tangling either?  Presumably not very much thicker than button cotton?

Has anyone ever actually put this story to a test?  I mean, the western world spent about 1500 years or more believing an untested Greek logic theory, is this something similar for knots?

Regards

Glenys
Lesley
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DerekSmith

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 01:55:44 AM »
Glenys,

Attached is an extract from ABoK p94.

It is just a great long string of half hitches.

Can it be done?

my thumb is 60mm long, so if I wanted to cast 50 turns onto it the cord would have to be roughly 1mm diameter.  I am sure 1mm cord would have been available, after all sewing thread is much finer.

Using my 3mm fiddling string, I can cast 20 turns onto my thumb and make a chain of 20 OH knots in less than a minute, I am sure that someone with dexterity and practice could cast 50 in a minute, however, pulling the OH knots out of the stack really does take care.  I can't do it but I certainly would not bet that it can't be done.

However, you really should not believe a word a sailor tells you !!!

Derek

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How to tie many knots in a single rope
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2008, 07:28:30 AM »
Dan, thank you very much for the answer, but I must admit that as an amateur knotter it was beyond my knowledge of the craft.
I...
Half of a clove hitch, for me, was a more immediately graspable mental image.
Although, I then found myself with two other questions:

There is a difference between "more graspable" and "correct":  I tried to point out the issues
before, and I guess I need another go.  Firstly, I'm taking the position that your question
"Please remind me - what is a single hitch?" is to be answered from who I presume
defined the term (or whose definition is taken as "correct")--viz., Ashley.  Thus, SR's jump
to "#50" when Ashley has gone to point of distinguisihing that as a "Half Hitch" from the
"Single Hitch" makes me wonder if he mis-read your question, or prefers to ignore Ashley.
(I can certainly see reasons for stepping clear of much of the historical nomenclature muddle.)

Ashley writes that his "Single H." along with others he presents on the lefthand side of the
page (15) "are tied directly to another object" and are "snug hitches in which the ends
are secured under the turns"; there is no such security in half a Clove Hitch, unless one
prescribes specific orientation details not generally associated with it.  Ashley's example
is of a line running UPwards and through the crotch of a (cut-off) tree, turning around one
arm of the crotch and passing through the crotch under its own part (and so it nipped/secured).
This is half a Clove hitch with a lot of help; or a Blackwall hitch moonlighting from its hook.

But Ashley continues and soon tosses on another Single Hitch (not another "Half H.",
mind you), in #53 creates a "Clove Hitch", in the same crotch--which leaves me crotchety.
Because Ashley doesn't cut a clear path, to my mind.  He writes (for #48) that "the Half
Hitch is tied with one end of a rope which is passed around an object and secured
to its own standing part with a Single Hitch."
  Hmmm, one might from that expect to see
the name "Round Turn & Two Single Hitches" (which someone would no doubt re-fashion
as " ... & Double Hitch(es)").  And subtracting Ashley's "Round Turn" (which he shows as
540deg turn--a U-turn upon a 2nd thought) from RT&2HH one is *lingo-logically* left
equating "Two Half Hitches" with two "Single Hitches"--what Ashley was trying to distinguish!

(What was it you said about testing Greek logic?  --what sort of test do think might exist?!)
((Okay, the law of the excluded middle (sometimes "muddle") has been questioned, but ... .))

.:.  To me, the essence of a Half hitch (and I dispose of any "Single H.") is that it has some
chance of holding--that the working end is jammed under the SPart--; and this isn't the
case with the Clove Hitch's initial turn, in general.  It does obtain in the Clove structure
qua binder, from the perspecitve of the center of the crossing part, working away
in both directions, where each end is brought around then as Ashley's Single Hitch,
jamming back-2-back against each other.  With the Clove qua hitch, and tension
brought to it on one end (the SPart), the rope flows around the object and OVER itself,
not at all jamming as is prescribed for the "Single H."; only the finish, then fits Ashley's
prescription, locking the structure in a Single H. sort of way.

> Was the sailor tying whole clove hitches,

That's a matter of perspective:  he was casting a host of Single hitches, any two of which
one might choose to see as Cloves, I suppose.  "Whole clove" sounds like something
for a recipe, though.

 ;)