Author Topic: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot  (Read 15806 times)

Simon Goss

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Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« on: September 13, 2010, 10:02:09 AM »
To hang your hammock at the right height you need a knot you can adjust but that will then block tight when you get in the hammock and stay that way. I have been using the midshipman's knot or the adjustable loop (boucle ajustable), both of which I took from Geoffrey Budworth's 'The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework'. However, for whatever reason inevitably after several days I would sit in the hammock, the knot would unblock, and the hammock would slump to the ground much to the amusement of my family. I have therefore tried to reinforce their self-blocking character and to prevent them untying themselves over time.

This post describes 'Papy's' knot, which is based on the adjustable loop (or 'boucle ajustable', page 197 of the 1999 French edition of Geoffrey Budworth's 'The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework'), which he credits to Robert Chisnall.

Attached image 1) Make one turn around the straight section of the loop,  Make a second turn, then half-twist the loop to bring the top part over the straight part.

Attached image 2) Make another turn around the crossed strands. Make another turn, but not all the way round, bring the end through the loop.

Attached image 3) Pass the end through the double ring bringing it parallel to the upper strand (and over the lower strand) of the loop.

Attached image 4) Tighten it well, and there you are.

Simon Goss
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 02:25:10 PM by Simon Goss »

Simon Goss

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, 10:23:49 AM »
A second possibility is a reinforced Midshipman's knot, or 'Double' Midshipman's knot. It's based on the Midshipman's knot (page 195 of the 1999 French edition of Geoffrey Budworth's 'The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework').

Attached image 1) Start with the Midshipman's knot (make a loop, make one turn around the straight section, working towards the left, make a second turn around the straight section, still working towards the left, bring the end around behind the straight strand before the loop and back upwards inside the second loop thus formed),

Attached image 2) Tighten it a bit, bringing the end down around behind the straight section, make a second turn around the straight section, working to the right.

Attached image 3) In order to secure the knot and the loose end, first open a little the turn on the far right. Pass the end through it.

Attached image 4) It looks a bit of a mess, but tighten the knot carefully and there you are.

I hope you find these useful.

Simon Goss

« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 02:28:24 PM by Simon Goss »

Transminator

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2010, 04:10:18 PM »
To hang your hammock at the right height you need a knot you can adjust but that will then block tight when you get in the hammock and stay that way.

Hi Simon

I disagree.
At home, my hammock always goes on the same spot. I therefore set it up once with a fixed loop that is secure and easily untied (such as the zeppelin or bowline) and that's that.
If I am to use it on a different spot, I take the time (a few minutes) to find the right length again for the loops I need.
Another option (when switching between different (known) spots) is to have several butterfly loops in a row with the right setup for the spots respectively.

But I usually use the zeppelin loop and regulate the height via the loop size, which is easily adjusted in the zeppelin loop.
I start with the loop rather large. If the hammock is too low, I simply decrease the loop size until the hammock hangs just right.
All in all, this method is just as flexible as using some form of adjustable grip hitch, only a bit slower,
but with the added advantage of not having to worry about falling down or slipping.

Simon Goss

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 05:33:47 PM »
Xarax, Thanks for your picture of the snell hook, which I didn't know. As for something that has multiple turns around two or three rope diameters, I wish I knew of one but I don't.

Transminator, What you say certainly makes sense, and I'll give your approach a try. With several different spots to hang the one hammock, I confess I've been too lazy to fix up different ropes for each spot (and I'm not sure my wife would like to have our garden festooned with brightly coloured bits of rope). Still, having hopefully eliminated the slipping problem, I would argue that these two adjustable friction hitches also give you an easy and flexible answer. In any case I adjust the hammock so that my rear end is at maximum 10cm above the ground, so if the worst comes to the worst ...

Simon

knot4u

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 08:12:49 PM »
Thank you for the pics!  I'll have to try out your hitch.

Generally, I agree with Transminator.  If I have a rope that's going in-and-out of tension, like your hammock, then I would avoid an adjustable friction hitch.  I don't think friction hitches are designed to go in and out of tension while being shaken, etc.  In contrast, a good loop (e.g., Zeppelin, Double Bowline, etc.) will have no problem with this task.  A loop is boring, but it will work for your application with high confidence.

The Slippery 8 Loop may fit your application perfectly.
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/slippery8.html
From my testing, the Slippery 8 Loop is more adjustable than a regular loop, and is probably more secure than most (or all) adjustable friction hitches.

Another good option is a Trucker's Hitch.  A good combination for a Trucker's Hitch is a Span Loop for the pulley loop, and Two Half Hitches for the finish.  (The combination I actually use most often requires pics.)  A good Trucker's Hitch is more adjustable than a loop, and more secure than an adjustable friction hitch alone.  By the way, I could tie a good Trucker's Hitch about as fast as I could tie your Papy's Knot or any other adjustable friction hitch.

Have you tried the Adjustable Grip Hitch?
http://www.layhands.com/Knots/Knots_Hitches.htm#AdjustableGripHitch
Making 3 turns (instead of 2) makes it even more secure.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 05:58:27 PM by knot4u »

knot4u

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I tried out your Papy's Hitch
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 04:46:48 AM »
I tested it.  The Papy's Hitch may be more secure than the good ol' Adjustable Grip Hitch. :)

It's a good idea to add a slip at the end because the Papy's Hitch doesn't loosen easily, even when tension is released.  That's a good thing for your application.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 05:24:09 AM by knot4u »

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 06:23:21 AM »
Quote
However, for whatever reason inevitably after several days I would sit in the hammock, the knot would unblock, and the hammock would slump to the ground much to the amusement of my family.

   :o   ???

I'm disturbed by the failure of these knots over time -- huh!?
That your family has been amused almost make me wonder if
you should examine the rope/knots closely for signs of sabotage!
For, otherwise, I'm not sure how the knots would fail; you aren't
clear if it is purely a change to no longer gripping, or if they are
coming untied.

Quote
I have therefore tried to reinforce their self-blocking character and to prevent them untying themselves over time.

To my eye, no, you have only made some alteration to the closing
of the same gripping structure, which might redress the latter
but not the former problem (and hence my question about exactly
how the usual structures are failing).

While I share Transminator's thinking about a fixed eye knot being
fairly simple to effect in a desired position, I don't want to yield on
friction hitches working!  One general tactic you can try --assuming
that you are not having (or redress, if so...) coming-untied problems--
is using a simple turn/half-hitch or double-turn as a *guard* to some
fuller friction hitch, thereby mitigating the load delivered to this final,
full knot.  E.g., you could make (perhaps) two turns or a "Munter hitch"
around an eye before tying the friction hitch.  (You might look up the
tying of "Blake's Hitch", as it's one that can be adapted to various
situations and holds well.)

Oh, and you've also not stated what sort of materials your tying,
or the nature of what's being tied to (e.g., as I said above, IF it is
a (metal) eye, then ... ).

--dl*
====

knot4u

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 08:07:18 AM »
The Papy's Hitch is an Adjustable Grip Hitch with an added turn around the standing and working ends at the finish.  The pics could be simpler to show clearly the similarity to the Adjustable Grip Hitch.  The Papy's Hitch is a bit more secure according to my testing.

To my eye, no, you have only made some alteration to the closing
of the same gripping structure, which might redress the latter
but not the former problem (and hence my question about exactly
how the usual structures are failing).

To me, his Papy's Hitch doesn't look like the same gripping structure as the Taut-line (Midshipman).

EDIT:  I realize now that you're probably talking about the knot in the Post #2 above.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 12:09:21 AM by knot4u »

SS369

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010, 02:50:00 PM »
A couple of turns around the tree or post (if that is what you are suspending from) would go a long way to the easing of tension at the knot and still allow for adjust-ability.

SS

Simon Goss

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, 08:02:21 PM »
Dear All, Thanks for your interesting comments.

Dear Knot 4U, I'll try the slippery 8 loop and trucker's  hitch this weekend. The adjustable grip hitch was indeed R. Chisnall's  'boucle adjustable' (2 turns) I referred to and which I never managed to tie very securely for long, and which was the base of Papy's knot (Papy, c'est moi ? Granpa).

Dear Dan,  I'll try out Blake's hitch this weekend. You asked for some precision. Each end of the hammock is attached to a hook in a wall (5.50 m apart) by a single strand rope (SS369: Indeed several parallel strands would reduce the tension). A 'boucle parfait' (not sure what it's called in English, see page 176 of G. Budworth's Ultimate Encyclopedia FR edition, his first  loop) on the wall end, and (before the new variants) the adjustable grip hitch or Midshipman knot attached to the hook at the hammock end. What rope is being used? I confess I don't know technically (I went to my local professional rope shop and bought the nicest looking coloured nylon ? I think ? climbing ropes, as per photo).

I take the hammock and the ropes in several times a week, so I think you are probably right that some of the problem was the knot being moved about and loosening. 'Papy's' knot and the 'Double' Midshipman's knot certainly seem to be more secure over time. However, I also think that they increase the gripping factor, as I was trying to accentuate the double kink (130-140 degrees) in the standing end. It's not easy to convey this in words (look at the photos instead), but the extra turns appear to make the standing end deviate more from a straight line when the loop is under tension, and so increase the friction. As evidence you can feel that it's harder to slide the knot up and down the standing end in the two reinforced knots that with the standard Midshipman's knot or adjustable grip hitch (Xarax: but still easier and more convenient, I would argue, than partly untying an retying the Zeppelin loop, especially if it's been under hammock weight tension for a while).  

Simon
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 08:04:43 PM by Simon Goss »

knot4u

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2010, 08:42:32 PM »
I like the Papy's Hitch (Post #1) and will try it in place of my old friend the Adjustable Grip Hitch.  By the way, you should call the knot in Post #2 a different name because it's different knot than the Papy's Hitch of Post #1.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 08:47:44 PM by knot4u »

SS369

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2010, 10:36:57 PM »
Simon,
I think that Dan's suggestion, the Blake's knot, will do you justice. It is used daily by tree climbers/arborists and holds them and their lives well. Other slide and grip knots from climbing and spelunking could be in the mix if you are inclined to learn a few more tricks.
Coupled with a few round turns on the attachment point and I think you'll be stable.

SS

Simon Goss

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2010, 02:01:52 PM »
Dan, SS,
Blake's knot works fine, thanks for the suggestion.
Simon

knot4u

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2010, 12:08:03 AM »
I have found the Papy's Hitch to involve an extra turn that I don't need.  Below is a simpler knot that I call Adjustable Grip+.  It's basically an Adjustable Grip Hitch plus a turn around the standing end at the finish.  I have found it to be more secure than the Adjustable Grip.  The extra turn adds friction and displaces the standing end from being straight once the knot is dressed tightly.  The pic doesn't show this behavior because the knot is loose.  This hitch is a similar concept to the Papy's Hitch, but simpler.

Adjustable Grip+

Not shown in the pic, add a slip at the end to make untying easier.

Compare the Adjustable Grip...

http://www.layhands.com/Knots/Knots_Hitches.htm#AdjustableGripHitch
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 03:06:49 AM by knot4u »

Simon Goss

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Re: Hang your hammock with a reinforced adjustable self-blocking knot
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2010, 04:30:49 PM »
Dear knot4u, Thanks for your interest and various comments, and fr having adopted Papy's knot for a while. Your AG+ does seem simple and secure. Over here (in Europe) the hammock season is well and truly over (rain, 12?C). I look forward to next season to try out all these alternative knots (I'll have to buy some extra hammmocks, and a bigger garden). I guess knots are like wine, a lot of them them get the basic job done, but some are more elegant than others; some days you feel like using one sort, the next day another; some give you a headache, others are clean and simple; etc.  Simon