Author Topic: A Splice ?  (Read 7518 times)

DerekSmith

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A Splice ?
« on: January 03, 2010, 03:39:14 PM »
In the section knots on Wikipedia there is an image --



The example numbered 1. is indexed as a 'splice'.

Is it ?  If so, then I will have to revise my understanding of what a splice is.

If it is not a 'splice', then does anyone know its correct name ?

Derek

squarerigger

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 03:39:16 AM »
Hi Derek,

It is a rope-yarn knot, correctly identified by you as "not a splice", identified in both Brady and Nares as a rope yarn knot.  I do not have an adequate illustration in my copy of a copy of Brady (ninth ed., 1857) and it may have appeared in there as a better illustration, although Brady generally does not number his illustrations and the print out you have appears as unrelated to that Brady illustration.  The Brady illustration is the first on the page, however.

It is number 41 in Nares' "Seamanship", from 1862, and may have been copied there from other previous printings of other seamanship books to save on payment to another engraver.  I am certain it did not come from Bowling's "Book of Knots" but it is mentioned in ABOK as #2688, with a variant at #2689 (repeated at #1480 & 1481 respectively), with no indication of its source.  Does that help?

Lindsey

DerekSmith

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 10:34:26 AM »
Thanks Lindsey,

The image is apparently from Nordisk Familjebok at Projekt Runeberg (402) where it is called 'garnknop' which translates from Swedish as 'yarn knot'.  Then, when I realised that Ashley was also calling it a 'marline bend', and that marline is just light two strand twine used primarily for serving, it all became clear.

I could not understand how anyone would choose to deliberately weaken cord in this manner (this end must have as little as 25% to 30% of the strength of the unknotted twine).  But the twist comes in the almost throwaway term that "This knot bulks three times the size of the rope yarn where a REEF KNOT bulks four times the size,"  --  this bend is being used where size is more important than strength.

Then I realised something else - if this knotted yarn was being used for serving, then the ends were going to be laid in under the serving, so their strength was not going to be lost as they would be gripped by the overlaying turns.  All in all a very neat and subtle method of finessing the uniformity of simple serving.  It is almost 'mind blowing' the care of the detail that went into these works - developing a low bulking bend just to join serving twine...

This little exercise has taught me -

Marline is typically a tarred loose two strand cord used for serving,
A marline bend is a low bulk bend used to extend a length of marline,
Sometimes loss of strength is just an illusion,
And that in the times that this knot was developed and used, rope was an absolutely key part of everyday life, and indeed of life itself, so ropes were treated with great care and respect.  It helps explain why I never saw my father, nor my grandfather cut rope unless it was as they would call it - 'dead'.

Thanks for your help Lindsey.

KenY

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 01:00:46 PM »
Derek,

Not only in spun yarn, these fellows turn up in seaming and roping twine, they normaly come to light as you pull the twine through your bee's wax.
But on to misnomers,
No 6 has caused some past discussions, it is tucked as a splice, yet two wall knots make it a Shroud Knot, then when it is served it looks like a perique. I place them side by side on my display table at shows, it is good for furrowed brows, and it is good as an opener of dialogue.

Yours Aye

Ken
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 03:28:18 PM by KenY »

squarerigger

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 03:30:22 PM »
You are welcome Derek,
An interesting side-line to this is that Brady also describes the knot as being made in a single yarn, split for the purpose of joining it to another yarn.  He states "We shall commence with knotting a rope-yarn.  1. To knot rope yarns
Take the two ends of the yarns, and split them open about two inches from the end; and if to make a smooth knot, you may scrape down a little with a knife, so as to make the ends lay smooth; you then crutch them together as you see in Plate No. 1....."  He goes on to describe the making of the knot with the split yarn ends, finishing by saying "Take two opposite ends (leaving the other two dormant), pass one of the ends under, and the other over the standing part of the yarn, connecting them together at the same side you took them from at first; then jam your knot taut, and see if it will stand test by stretching the yarn from knee to knee, and hauling on it; if it stands without drawing, you may trim the ends, and go on."

He appears to be describing an action to join yarns rather than joining strands or twines.  I imagine this could have applications in making rope (testing the yarn before proceeding) as well as in your suggested marline applied to standing rigging.  I will have to try it and see how it comes about!

Lindsey

Dan_Lehman

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 04:02:45 PM »
On the other hand, one can ask What do you mean by "splice"?

There is a general definition of joining pieces of material (think
of movie-film strips), and of joining cordage by means of using
parts rather than the item qua unit.  (Some of the traditional,
older definitions of "splice" need updating, IMO -- to account
for such unions that depend upon whole-material insertion,
rather than a manipulation or "interweaving" of strands. )

--dl*
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KenY

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 04:47:24 PM »
Lindsey,

I can remember  watching Chinese shoe makers joining threads just like this, and also onto the other end they tucked a bristle in the same way, to use as a bendy needle, so they could poke two threads from oposite sides through one hole in the welt, and both would pass without obstruction.
Sorry I have no details, I was just privileged to be there and to drink their green tea.

Your Aye

Ken.

squarerigger

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2010, 05:07:19 PM »
Hello Ken,

I imagine that the Chinese method may have been much in line with ABOK #178, 179 & 182 where he shows the joining of a bristle in bootmaking using a half hitch over a twist - Ashley has a great description of the work involve4d which, I imagine, would be quicker to perform than describe!  You are so right about the Chinese green tea - an excellent source of anti-oxidants and a good settler for the stomach too!

Dan,

I wonder about the sufficiency, too, of describing a splice as an interweaving, particularly when it comes to braided construction where a squeezing or compressive action is used rather than an interweave, both relying on friction (perhaps, hence, frictive joint?) for their strength.  What about the interlocking device of the Brummel splice?  That defies the friction and interweave factions and yet is still considered a splice?  Perhaps something that is the negative instead - not a knot, bend loop, binder or hitch?  Incidentally, a rope IS parts (fibers, yarns, strands) and therefore there is no whole-material insertion - it is all interweaving of parts, n'est-ce-pas?

Lindsey

Dan_Lehman

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 03:15:46 PM »
Hello Ken, You are so right about the Chinese green tea - an excellent source of anti-oxidants and a good settler for the stomach too!

Oh, that is sooooo yesteryear:  white tea is the modern magic!
(-;
(from he who gifted --additionally-- with an assortment of tea bags happily,
again, this year:  good strong Assam/Kenyan black, jasmine & "gen mai cha" ("toasted")
green, white, and a rich reddish pu-erh)

Quote
What about the interlocking device of the Brummel splice?
That defies the friction and interweave factions and yet is still considered a splice?

The Brummel entails friction, and a body bury.  The 16-twin-strands CoEx PP/PE mooring
lines of trawlers I've seen make 5 Brummel tucks and then a bury; I have seen SOME that
chose a more traditional by-strand splicing (much shorter).  Every knotted structure with
a free end entails friction; an Overhand or Fig.8 "wind" knot mid-line, or a mesh knot,
arguably can dispense with it.  (Coated HMPE seems close to dispensing with friction!)

Quote
not a knot, bend loop, binder or hitch?

I'll be happy to see "knot" as a general term, not some particular (sub)class.

Quote
Incidentally, a rope IS parts (fibers, yarns, strands) and therefore there is no
whole-material insertion - it is all interweaving of parts, n'est-ce-pas?

Whoa, Nellie, this gets ridiculous  ::) :  it's the wrong-headed thinking
that the Cordage Institute takes to assert that cordage is "a machine" !!
C'mon, the functioning is pretty unitary, no matter that there are discernible
parts (which parts, by golly, are actually smaller "machines" of molecules
working together (which m.s are by golly actually machines of atoms
(which ...) ) )

A "termination" --most commonly an eye-- can be effected by the cordage
being knotted, spliced, or bound with another material (device or seizing).
Anything else (besides combinations of these three ways)?

--dl*
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DerekSmith

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 06:40:39 PM »
So would it be fair to say that the marline bend is a hybrid splice/knot ?

The cordage has been opened as if to splice, but then knotted instead of interwoven, whereas in a knot propper, the cordage is not opened nor woven into itself in any way, rather, it is made around itself rather than into itself.

Derek

squarerigger

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2010, 09:31:22 PM »
Derek,

Yes, I think it is fair to call the rope yarn knot a hybrid knot/splice, because the flexible matter that was formerly twisted together has been opened for purpose of joining and has then been bent around its opposing part to form a square knot.  As for the marline bend I believe that this is still a knot because the yarns that comprise the flexible matter (two-strand marline) have been separated from each other as two distinct entities (strands that were part of the marline itself) that exist without changing their basic form, just as in a splice, but then have been knotted (as in causing the individual parts to be bent around each other) rather than woven over/under each other, wrapped around each other (as in Liverpool splice, sailmakers splice etc.) compressed  along their length (braid splice) or subjected to other splicing techniques (Brummel interlocking).  Of course, we have no real definition of a knot and we may never get one, because we can always find an exception to the rule, if we look hard enough or have a sufficiently vague definition!

Lindsey

Dan_Lehman

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2010, 06:40:56 PM »
Derek,
Yes, I think it is fair to call the rope yarn knot a hybrid knot/splice,b ...
As for the marline bend I believe that this is still a knot because the yarns that comprise ... [<="compose"]

In ABOK numbers, I'm looking at #1480 & 1482; and given Ashley's
remark about the optional status of one half-knot, the two are equal!
In any case, with the extra half-knot, they are yet quite similar, for the point
of this discussion.  And to add an extreme case, just consider any ol' 3-strand
rope in which its separate strands are joined from one end to the other with,
say, Double Harness bends.  Clearly one is not looking at a "knot" or a "splice"
in the usual sense; how best to describe such cases?  In the former cases,
though, there is some aspect of the joint that is splicesque, the way
that the u-turned strands' half-knot compresses upon other parts (whether
those are themselves half-knotted or not).  And the mere half-knotting is
not unlike the start to a standard Short Splice, anyway.  Perhaps we might
coin the term "knot splices" for such things.  What use is it to talk about
them in one way vs. another.  (Don't think that there is some fundamental
Trvth waiting to be discovered -- this is a matter of conception with us,
not perception of some Reality.)

["comprise" / "compose" / "constitute" / "include" / ... are better defined,
and "comprised of" should be actively resisted as invalid grammar!  (and
usually best replaced by "comprises" vs "compose of" to affirm "comprise"'s
definition!)  "The whole comprises (all of) the parts; the parts compose or
constitute the whole.  Some part is included in the whole; all
parts (i.e., full set together) are comprised in the whole.   ... and so on,
damn the descriptive dictionaries who fancy look-&-see over good sense.]-:

Quote
Of course, we have no real definition of a knot and we may never get one,
because we can always find an exception to the rule, ...

Let not Perfection be the bane of Good.  Again, we need to take stock
of how best to conceive/categorize things, in developing a nomenclature,
and not fear fuzzy boundaries entirely.
And we should put forward what definitions we can find,
for critique and a launching point (or point of information) to our
effort to develop a nomenclature.  --this, a Topic for another (sub-)forum.

--dl*
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KenY

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 12:31:37 PM »
I think, one thing is for sure, the craftsmen of yesteryear,who first used knots and splices together would not have had time to sit on a forum, yet at the time they were at the cutting edge of technology and if it was not funtional they would not have used it.

As to its name, most likely they could not even write their own, so for my twopenny worth of tosh, on their behalf.

Composite  or  Fusion.


Ken.

DerekSmith

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 09:47:45 AM »
All the parts have little parts within themselves to form them, and little parts have lesser parts and so ad in absurdium (with apologies to those latin lovers who's teeth I have just set on edge - but I don't like infinities, they make my head spin and my stomach wants to follow)

Although we have to accept that cordage almost certainly has all the entities of knots, splices, bindings and sub cordage within it, right down to the 'Strings' of physicists nightmares, I have to agree with Dan - for the purposes of creating some sense of definition in order to clear the morass of ages, we need to take the cordage we are working with at face value and as an entity with an outside and an inside and leave their fractal nature for another day.

I also agree with Dan that we have Splicing, Knotting and Binding as our methods of fixing, but would add a fourth - Stitching (the reason for its inclusion will become clear).

And yet again, I must stand with Dan in his call "Let Perfection not be the bane of Good." - indeed, if a definition is useful and works, then lets try it for a while to see if it works better than the mess we presently inherit.

Proceeding then, could we try these five definitions on for size ---

Cordage - the generic term for any flexible linear material which we will use for binding or force transfer.  Examples might be - string, rope, chain, wire rope, cotton, sinew, monofilament, thong, vines...

Splice - the generic term for a fixing or means of force transfer from one point of a cord to another where both the inside and the outside of the cord(s) are involved.

Knot - a subset of Splice which utilises ONLY the outside of the cord(s) for force transfer.

Stitching - the generic term for a fixing or means of force transfer from one point of a cord to another by means of the use of a finer auxiliary cord which contacts both the inside and outside of the cord(s).

Binding - a subset of Stitching which utilises ONLY the outside of the cord(s) for force transfer.


Can we build from here ?

Derek

DerekSmith

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Re: A Splice ?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 09:54:06 AM »
Using these definitions, only 3, 8, 9 and 10 in the image are knots, the rest are splices, including No. 1 - which is sort of where we came in...

ho hum

Derek