Author Topic: What knots would you use for these common tasks?  (Read 9155 times)

Hrungnir

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What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« on: December 07, 2010, 04:25:47 PM »
Eighteen years ago, me and my grandfather was going to chop down a tree. With some wind, the tree would be a real threat to my grandmothers brothers cottage. That's why we had to bring the tree down. My grandfather knew I was in the scouts and that I knew some knots, so he asked me to fasten the rope on another big tree, so the tree wouldn't crush the family cottage. I've learnt that clove hitch was a good knot, so that was the one I used. When my grandfather had chopped halfway through trunk, he became uncertain about my knot and went to inspect it. With one hard pull, my clove hitch came right off!  :o Nice knots we learn in the scouts, eyh? My grandfather made on of his own boating knots, and we brought down that tree with no damages on property or people.

I don't know what knot my grandfather used, but I would like to know your chose for a knot in this very common task. I assume sailor's hitch and timber hitch would be better alternatives than the clove hitch, but they are perhaps not safe enough when the family cottage is at stake? The timber hitch is also a bit awkward to tie when you have a lot of rope and want to keep tension on the line.

I would also like to know what knot you would prefer when towing a car over a greater distance? Old narrow roads on snow and ice, but also for roads which demands more speed. I guess the slipped buntline hitch would withstand all the pulling and jerking, but I'm a bit worried a slipped knot could accidentally come loose in such a situation. A none slipped buntline would probably jam  :'(

[Inkanyezi] gone

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 08:59:26 PM »
For securing the tree, I would make two round turns, followed by a backhanded turn that is secured to the standing part with two half hitches. The two turns are there, so the hitch will not slide upwards along the tree trunk.

For towing, it depends on what you can tie to on the car, but if there is an eye that is intended for towing, I would use a bowline with a round turn in the eye. Also on the towing hook on a car I prefer a bowline with an extra round turn. I have towed many times with bowlines without any problem. The extra round turn is there to avoid chafe.
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knot4u

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 10:37:39 PM »
There are so many viable knots that may be used.  Ink provided some good ones.  I've always wondered, what benefits does the backhanded turn provide?

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 10:49:26 PM »
The backhanded turn is very simple, and it also adds more than the friction of one more turn around the tree. The securing by two half hitches thus will take negligible load. The backhanded turn will permit releasing the hitch even under extremely high load. The load is taken by the round turns. Of course one could do without the backhanded turn, but it is a very simple way of adding much more friction to the belaying.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 10:50:59 PM by Inkanyezi »
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knot4u

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 11:21:10 PM »
The backhanded turn is very simple, and it also adds more than the friction of one more turn around the tree. The securing by two half hitches thus will take negligible load. The backhanded turn will permit releasing the hitch even under extremely high load. The load is taken by the round turns. Of course one could do without the backhanded turn, but it is a very simple way of adding much more friction to the belaying.

OK, I just don't see how a backhand turn adds more friction than does another round turn.  I'll take your word for it because I haven't tested the difference.

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 11:44:07 PM »
The backhand adds the friction of turning around the standing part plus the friction of one turn more around the tree. It also expends some of the rope, which comes in handy if it has to be released under load. If needed, you can bend another rope to the end before releasing. The holding power of more than one round turn is tremendous. The first turn around a frictive object like a tree will take about 90% of the load, and the next turn takes another 90% of the remainder, leaving us with just a puny percent of the load on the standing part. So that backhand will not take much load. It is only a bit of overkill, typical for the trade of a rigger.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 11:45:50 PM by Inkanyezi »
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roo

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 12:08:43 AM »
I don't know what knot my grandfather used, but I would like to know your chose for a knot in this very common task. I assume sailor's hitch and timber hitch would be better alternatives than the clove hitch, but they are perhaps not safe enough when the family cottage is at stake? The timber hitch is also a bit awkward to tie when you have a lot of rope and want to keep tension on the line.

I would also like to know what knot you would prefer when towing a car over a greater distance? Old narrow roads on snow and ice, but also for roads which demands more speed. I guess the slipped buntline hitch would withstand all the pulling and jerking, but I'm a bit worried a slipped knot could accidentally come loose in such a situation. A none slipped buntline would probably jam  :'(

Without endorsing your usage, I'll just say that if you want tension on a line, use a tensioning mechanism:

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/Versatackle.html

Deal with the excess rope on the non-tensioning side with a termination that can be performed on the bight before tensioning (like a Timber Hitch on the bight or a Midspan Sheet bend):

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/midspan.html

Towing isn't nearly as big a test of knot security as you might imagine.  There is little slack shaking or flogging.  If you don't want to use a slipped knot form, there are many alternatives.  To name a few:

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/sailorhitches.html
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/timberhitch.html
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/zeppelinloop.html
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/waterbowline.html

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knot4u

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2010, 12:12:17 AM »
The backhand adds the friction of turning around the standing part plus the friction of one turn more around the tree. It also expends some of the rope, which comes in handy if it has to be released under load. If needed, you can bend another rope to the end before releasing. The holding power of more than one round turn is tremendous. The first turn around a frictive object like a tree will take about 90% of the load, and the next turn takes another 90% of the remainder, leaving us with just a puny percent of the load on the standing part. So that backhand will not take much load. It is only a bit of overkill, typical for the trade of a rigger.

The backhanded turn, do you keep it touching the two half hitches?  Or do you work the backhand turn around so that it ends up pressing against the object (e.g., tree)?  Or does it not matter?

knot4u

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010, 12:16:51 AM »
...Deal with the excess rope on the non-tensioning side with a termination that can be performed on the bight before tensioning (like a Timber Hitch on the bight or a Midspan Sheet bend)...

I don't follow exactly what you're saying.

roo

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 12:18:31 AM »
...Deal with the excess rope on the non-tensioning side with a termination that can be performed on the bight before tensioning (like a Timber Hitch on the bight or a Midspan Sheet bend)...

I don't follow exactly what you're saying.

Which part don't you follow?  How to make a Timber Hitch on the bight?
« Last Edit: February 24, 2011, 06:12:26 AM by roo »
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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 12:25:02 AM »
The backhand is akin to #1797, only that I make two round turns first, then go around the standing part and back around the tree, upon which I put two half hitches to secure.

That is just a belaying, anchoring the end of the rope. If you need to haul on the rope, it calls for other solutions.
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knot4u

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 12:30:21 AM »
...Deal with the excess rope on the non-tensioning side with a termination that can be performed on the bight before tensioning (like a Timber Hitch on the bight or a Midspan Sheet bend)...

I don't follow exactly what you're saying.

Which part don't you follow?  How to make a Timber Hitch on the bight?

I don't follow how the Midspan Sheet Bend conveniently handles excess rope if I'm doing a Versatackle.  Or maybe I'm thinking about it wrong.  There would still be rope excess at the working end of the Midspan.  Is that right?

roo

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2010, 12:50:33 AM »
I don't follow how the Midspan Sheet Bend conveniently handles excess rope if I'm doing a Versatackle.  Or maybe I'm thinking about it wrong.  There would still be rope excess at the working end of the Midspan.  Is that right?

The Versatackle would be on one end of the rope.  This end would have no more rope than what is needed.

On the end of the rope with too much length, a Midspan Sheet Bend would pinch off a loop around the object without the need to have access to the end of the rope.  See the center diagram here:

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/midspan.html

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SS369

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2010, 12:51:56 AM »
Normally when I have to fell a tree and need to add some directional assistance, what I do if there is a suitable anchoring structure to use is:
Tie off on the tree with one end of the rope using multiple wraps of the cord and fasten the cord to itself with a bowline hitch, generally slipped. This really depends on so much,i.e., there is only straight trunk, a branch crotch available, able to get to the tie off location, etc.
Then I will find the mid-point of the cord between the tree and the anchoring structure (can certainly be another tree) and tie a mid-line loop. I tie a Butterfly loop and I leave it loose. Then I will take the free end and go around the anchor and thread the rope into the loop and take up the slack, pulling approx. 90 degrees to the tensioned line.
This affair gives you a slight mechanical advantage but more importantly, to me, it lets me or the help pull the rope in a safer direction than the the tree will lean and fall towards. It has always worked, except when the wind and tree weight are too much.
But then some more common sense is needed for such tasks.

As for a tow rope. I opt for a sling out of overly suitable material. Webbing is wonderful and strong stuff, but rope works as well, sized accordingly.
Me, I use a Zeppelin bend for a rope sling that I re-tuck the working ends back into the center of.
For the tape sling I have only used the "Beer knot" because the tape was tubular in design. < This is still tied, guess why.

If the towing is going to be lengthy and jerky and you have accessibility to suitable anchor points I would opt for a simple cow hitch (using the sling) if possible. Just depends on where you will tie in.


Dan_Lehman

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Re: What knots would you use for these common tasks?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2010, 08:10:47 AM »
As Knot4U noted, there are many ways to solve this problem.
And the particular circumstances can influence what one might
do (e.g., tying to a big tree one might do so with just a couple
wraps and then tie off to a small nearby tree.  The so-called
"Tensionless Hitch" --implying that the final, knotted termination
sees little if any force-- can be approximated by the wraps and
tying off to the SPart with a Rolling Hitch (or a couple turns
on the SPart and then the hitch beyond them.

I would use a bowline with a round turn in the eye.  ... The extra round turn is there to avoid chafe.

Where is the chafe point?
How does the Dbl. Bowline (aka "Round-turn Bowline") help?

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