Author Topic: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank  (Read 15863 times)

Sweeney

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2010, 07:23:58 PM »
I agree wholeheartedly with Dan - I used to have a very deep venetian blind in my office the double pull cord of which trailed on the floor when the blind was fully up but it could not be chopped off or else the blind would only drop halfway in summer. A minor irritation was that the plastic tab on the cord would drop through the vents on the heating duct on the floor and be a real pain to release. A sheepshank never held properly (there was no tension in the cord to speak of) but a slipped loop and half hitch did the job  - the only problem was that the poster of knots on my wall showed a sheepshank and about once a month some smart alec would ask why I didn't use it. Toggles would make it hold but life's too short.......

Barry

[Inkanyezi] gone

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2010, 09:16:53 PM »
Well, Cuba is a very special place, and although anywhere else, I wouldn't care a lot about a piece of string, another cord was not in my posession. And I really did try undoing those knots, but finding them just too hard, the sheepshank was the simplest solution. Of course the tension is always there.

And it's like a confession. When I teach knotting, I always omit the sheepshank, for the reason that I find it utterly useless. Till now I used to say that I never saw the knot in use, and through so many years, I never used it myself. So there it is, once in a lifetime. It is indeed the only time I actually had use for one, and maybe it was the simplest solution in that one case. I thought of making something with a bight drawn around the tubing, but the sheepshank was so simple to make, just three half hitches on the cord and pull the bights of the center one through the other two at each end. And it fulfills its function.

I thougth of it as an anomaly; here am I, claiming that said knot is never used, and yet I did use it once.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 11:16:00 PM by Inkanyezi »
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sharky

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010, 10:01:07 AM »
Say something nice about the sheepshank...

It looks really cool on a knot board! :-*
Sharky

alpineer

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2010, 05:00:45 PM »
Say something nice about the sheepshank...

It looks really cool on a knot board! :-*

Ahh, I get it. It's a "fancy knot that just happens to not be practical"! ;D
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 05:03:06 PM by alpineer »

PwH

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2010, 09:14:43 PM »
In defense of the downtrodden and maligned.

I quite like the sheepshank, it's been around a long time , and like an elderly maiden aunt, it may not be much use but it's a comfortable and familiar friend.

I have used a whole sheepshank once, about 2 yrs ago on my ditty bag shoulder strap, as mooted above by Dan Lehman. It's one of those variants with an extra knot in the middle, secured at each end with spring clips to allow it to shaken out and the bag clipped round a boom or other holdfast. See some pics here -

 http://picasaweb.google.com/peterwhennessey/MyKnottingToolsStringRopeKnots#

I use a half a sheepshank regularly when tying a truckers hitch, put the top ear in, twist the loop to firm it up, place the working end around the fixed hook or spar, bring thru the loop and cinch down hard. Works every time, and the harder you haul down the tighter the ear is gripped.  I guess you could use it to haul logs too, as someone mentioned earlier.

This gives rise to the saying "Half a Sheepshank is better than No Tackle!"    

(All right - I made that one up!)
 
I have also seen the driver of a crane lorry shortening an endless loop lifting sling with a sheepshank when he didn't have one the right size for the job. Not best practice, but it worked , and it's a real and genuine use for the sheepshank.

Cheers , Peter H
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 10:47:36 PM by PwH »
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Erickson

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2010, 02:37:03 AM »
The knotting world just wouldn't be the same without the Sheepshank to argue over. How's that for something nice? I like the knot. Not for actual use, just for toying around with a bit of line while doing something else. I think the loop locks (or whatever that bit of rope mechanics is called) is just this side of magical. I have the same feeling for the Wagoneer's Hitch (Trucker's Hitch with the half SS instead of the fixed-loop-of-your-choice.) There is (as far as I know) only one knot we are not allowed to teach Scouts, and that is the Hangman's Noose. To that I add the Sheepshank for safety reasons. If I need a shorter rope, I cut it. If I can't cut it I'll use an Alpine Butterfly (by far the best choice for strength!)

So I say hurray for the Sheepshank. But, no, I can't see actually using the thing.

K-

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2010, 08:00:43 AM »
The knotting world just wouldn't be the same without the Sheepshank to argue over. How's that for something nice?

Hmmm, that depends on whether one thinks that changing the
knotting world would be a Good Thing or not!

Quote
If I need a shorter rope, I cut it. If I can't cut it I'll use an Alpine Butterfly (by far the best choice for strength!)

I'm still trying to understand the "need a shorter rope" problem;
it's as though there is some Rule requiring that principal knotting
must be done at the ends(!), and so the only hope to sizing
a length comes rather sheepishly in the midst via this shanked shot
at knotting.

As for the ("Alpine"-- a species?) Butterfly being "by far the best
choice for strength," is that so?!  One tester --CMC Rope Rescue Manual (3rd)--
found it to be about 69% strong vs. an offset Fig.8 eye knot at 65%;
that is rather close, not far.  But today we see in another thread mention
of the Reever, and that can be adopted in a tied-in-bight variation for
shortening rope, and I think it will show good strength.  Beyond that,
though, I'm pretty sure a twin-eye variation of Ashley's #1408 will
be strong.  But there is a lot of testing to do in order to put more
analysis into such conjectures.  The Butterfly is a good safe choice,
and needing something stronger than any-ol'-knot suggests that
you need stronger material.  (And, unlike this Reever variation,
the Butterfly will likely be able to be untied!)

--dl*
====

Erickson

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2010, 05:00:56 AM »
I'm with you on the need issue Dan. I can honestly say I have never needed to shorten a line. However if I were clinging to a cliff with a damaged rope (cliffs being the favorite nesting place for alpinus lepidoptora) I'd tie an Alpine Butterfly. You're right about the nearness of the strength, but it is consistently at the top and it's just so easy to tie.

K-

alpineer

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2010, 05:14:27 AM »
I'm with you on the need issue Dan. I can honestly say I have never needed to shorten a line. However if I were clinging to a cliff with a damaged rope (cliffs being the favorite nesting place for alpinus lepidoptora) I'd tie an Alpine Butterfly. You're right about the nearness of the strength, but it is consistently at the top and it's just so easy to tie.

K-

And by what method do you tie it, Erickson? Btw, welcome to the forum, it's good to have you here.

sharky

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2010, 05:29:51 AM »
Gotta' go with Erickson on this one. The way you tie it is to take out your short rope, use a climbers hitch above the frayed part so you can remove the load by lifting yourself up. Then you quickly use the hand wrap method of tying it. If your climbers hitch slips, you have the risk of getting your hand caught in loops under a load...bad situation. This is why I prefer the thumb knot on a slip placing a half hitch over the bight with the frayed part being the bight. This removes the danger quickly without any risk to having your hand caught in several loops under a load. Same principle applies when wiring fish over 500 pounds...I have a healthy aversion to putting loops around my hand when a possible load is eminent. Almost anything is better than the SS when a person's life or limb is involved...
Sharky

Erickson

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2010, 05:37:05 AM »
Alpineer,

Thanks for the welcome.

Three times around the palm (first near the thumb, second near the finger tips, third near the thumb) tuck the finger tip loop under the other two and pull. If I need a long loop I have to ask a friend for a hand (just kidding). For a long loop pull out a long bight, twist twice, make a turn with the loop around the middle and down (or up depending on your turn) between the two twists. It's easier than it sounds, but not as easy as using your hand.

K-

roo

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2010, 03:59:57 AM »
This hasn't been brought up yet, so I'll mention that the Ashley Book of Knots lists the Sheepshank as a double loop knot with communicating loops (ABOK #202 & #1088).  This is made as you might expect:  Just expand the two loops until everything is set firmly.

ref:
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/sheepshank.html
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 02:42:35 PM by roo »
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knot4u

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2010, 05:04:30 AM »
I didn't read the thread.  I trust the Sheepshank with double turns at each end.  It doesn't fall apart when tension is released.  I don't know why I don't see that in diagrams.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 05:07:00 AM by knot4u »


roo

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Re: Saying Something Nice About the Sheepshank
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2010, 04:38:28 PM »
How about this bizarre use

http://books.google.com/books?id=zt8DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA1032&dq=popular+mechanics+knots&hl=cy&ei=vLJiTLffNcz94Aaq77GECg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=twopage&q&f=false
Bizarre is right.  Even if you had no regard for your life, there's no reason to cut the rope (causing it to shorten for every imaginary terrace descent).  Such a suicidal person could just use an uncompleted bowline or a Bell Ringer's Knot as an analogous structure around the anchor point for the unstable knot.

ref for Bell Ringer's Knot:
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/spanloop.html
related:
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1621.msg11104#msg11104
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 04:44:02 PM by roo »
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