Author Topic: Looking for a knot  (Read 11702 times)

jglohr

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Looking for a knot
« on: June 11, 2006, 09:57:28 AM »
Hi. I am new to the forum, and am looking for a knot for a very specific application. I have been using the adjustable hitch grip with moderate results, but am looking for something better.

The application is a homemade drum, which uses a cloth drumhead tightened over a cylindrical drum shell. A hem is sewn all the way around the inside edge of the cloth to hold a drawstring with an opening for the two ends. An adjustable grip hitch is tied at the end.



Using a piece of wood with a slot to hold the knot, the loose end is pulled upwards to tighten head.




The result is a high tension rope, and the hitch works great for holding the tension, but the drawback is that as it tensions the hitch slides to the right, causing the material to stretch, and eventually tear if enough tension is added.

My question is, is there a knot which would stay self centered in the opening in the cloth? It seems to me that for this to occur, one must pull both loose ends of the rope, with a knot that can slide on both ends. Does such a knot exist?



My other question is regarding rope material. Nylon works, although the stretch and high friction result in a very high force necessary to achieve proper tension, and it is very difficult to untie. Polypropylene works good because it slides easier and doesn't stretch as much, but the stiffer rope is harder to tie and dress the knot, resulting in less holding strength if not properly done. I haven't tried polyester yet. Cost is also an issue, which is why polypropylene is desirable.

Thanks for any input on this question.

Regards,

Josh

KnotNow!

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2006, 10:27:51 AM »
Hi Jglohr (aka Josh),
 The darndest thing comes to my mind:  Drummers have drum solutions and mandolin pluckers have mandolin solutions.
 I am happy that you came to IGKT for a "knotting "solution to a "drumming" problem.
 As I understand "drum" there is a mega change in tension as the drum head heats and cools.  My buds (buds = good friends who love to sit by a fire and pound a drum all night) hold the drum over the fire and the tone changes and modifies?  Me, I can't stay up all night but does that make me stupid?
 You come to forum and want a rigid drum head connection?  I have it.  Use steel.   What I have found is that "drummers" want the variation from heat and humidity... the tone they love.. flexible and on the curve.
ROY S. CHAPMAN, IGKT-PAB BOARD.

KnotNow!

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2006, 10:35:10 AM »
Hi,
 I contacted some "drummers" in my turf.  The "tie off" is nothing to them.  You could tie off with any good holding knot.  The heat over the fire on the drum head and the subsequent tension is the thing.  Knots have almost nothing to do with the final tone.  Of course they are all a bit out of it.  What was I saying?
ROY S. CHAPMAN, IGKT-PAB BOARD.

jglohr

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2006, 08:50:54 PM »
Thanks for your replies. I have to clarify my drum a bit, because it is not a typical application, and heating it over a fire is not an option. I am trying to design a drum that would be merely used as a practice pad (IE it makes very little noise when hit.) The head is a cloth mesh, as opposed to the leather heads that are typically tied off with rope. So all the tension must come from the rope, and it should be easily adjustable. There is not much tone on a practice pad, but the tension must be matched to a real drum so it feels authentic. Comercial practice pads and the drums I am trying to replicate use lugs and a steel rim to achieve the same results, but I am going for the low-cost alternative.

Thanks,

Josh

KnotNow!

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2006, 07:19:37 AM »
Hi Josh,
 I will sign out.  My local drummers play cedar hoop, hand made, leather skinned drums and have no info on "practice drums".  Good luck with your project.  As a knotter I am intrested but can not see what is needed for you as my skill as a drummer is limited to pounding on the bottem of my pasta pot with a "wooden kitchen scoop" (edited by me to keep the profanity filter from making nonsense out of my post.  This is fun because the filter knows "bad" words I have not learned yet).  I did bother to learn how the leather and cedar drums are made... just as a craft experience.  Some fun to be had there.  Good luck with the drumming and the drum you will make.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2006, 07:25:01 AM by PABPRES »
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jglohr

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006, 07:59:17 AM »
Thanks for your help Roy. I'm always looking for something that probably doesn't exist. Really, the drum is irrevalent to my problem, I am mainly asking if there is a non-sliding version of an adjustable hitch (the loop being what moves). The only idea I had was wrapping several passes around both ends of the rope with a different one, and pulling evenly on both ends, versus just one end. This didn't really work because the wrappings didn't maintain their tension. I figured if there was such a knot, you guys would know. I can't really think of any other applications for such a knot.

Josh

KnotNow!

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006, 09:50:33 AM »
Hi Josh,
 Now that we are not making a musical instrument there may be many knots which will slide to an adjustment and not slip back when released.  Every day I use a very old "slip and hold" knot.  It is the blackwall hitch.  The hook is fixed and the line is  moving.  This needs "hardware".
 But the rolling hitch, the midshipmen's hitch and just a whole "boat load" of knots would seem to meet your needs.  These knots will slide in one direction and when released will still hold.  Most will put a kink in the original main line.  As you tension your line these may hold.  However the "icecicle hitch" will hold without putting a kink in the main line.   I am sorry that icecicle or icecycle or other is not in my "spelling checker" at IGKT Forum.   The hitch has so many turns and locks that it will hold on the tapered frozen ice that forms on the eves of your home in midWinter.  Since the frozen water will not yeild or bend the hitch must apply all the stress in the structure of the knot.  The fun part of this is that many readers of this post may not know of ice on the roof.
 Ice or not (knot) if you need a knot that can be pulled tight on a standing line, to to draw tight a drum head or other object you may want to look at the series of knots that start with the midshipman and progress from there.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2006, 11:41:19 AM by PABPRES »
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roo

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006, 10:00:28 AM »
Quote
Hi. I am new to the forum, and am looking for a knot for a very specific application. I have been using the adjustable hitch grip with moderate results, but am looking for something better.

Perhaps you could modify your design to involve grommeted eyelets in a smaller skin... lacing in a zig-zag pattern though holes in the bottom of your cylinder.  

I'm not certain, but it seems like it might make motion of the cord less important and it might even leave enough room for a Versatackle, which can easily produce a large amount of tension, and can also be easily released:

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

Grommeted eyelets may also be able to be used with your current design if the lacing is done in a "star"-like pattern.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 05:10:09 PM by roo »
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KC

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2006, 05:49:58 PM »
Very Nice!

A Versatackle to me is like the tightening of a Trucker's Hitch or Z-Rig; only with another loop eye to reeve bitters thru, allowing trailing the bitters thru both loops a number of times.  This gives much more power; by giving more distance to pull for same work/ distance of drawing ends of systems closer together.  The more turns taken on the moving load end, the more power output.

Continued
« Last Edit: June 12, 2006, 06:03:21 PM by KC »
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Willeke

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2006, 07:32:27 PM »
Josh,
do you have, or can you make, a fixed point to use as anchor?

Willeke
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nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

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jglohr

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2006, 07:54:40 PM »
I tried several sliding hitches, such as the rolling, midshipman's, tautline, etc. All work good for tightening, but the problem is the same with all of them - because of the friction in the drawstring seam, instead of the entire loop moving when tightened, the hitch moves, causing the it to slide to the right and stretch the material. So I need to either fix the hitch from moving, or have a self centering hitch. I like the grommet idea, but the idea is to make a dozen of these drums as quickly and cheaply as possible. I may be able to have an anchor, but the forces may be to high, as the material is only  5mm MDF.

Thanks,

Josh

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2006, 11:03:32 PM »
Quote
... because of the friction in the drawstring seam, instead of the entire loop moving when tightened, the hitch moves,
But this is given your particular tightening method--of pulling the end UPWARDS
through the wood--; can you pull more in line with the circumference,
holding the knot in place and pulling the end to/through it?  --that could have
a lesser problem, perhaps, of the end's movement drawing the hem towards
the knot with it; but can this disturbance be countered by some iterative
fiddling with the stuff?

As for material, you cite chemical composition, but that's only part of the story
(and IIRC, nylon's pure coef. friction is lower than PP's), another being structure
of the cordage.  The cord in your photo looks to be a sort of diamond braid, which
has a relatively rough surface; "solid braid" nylon would be smoother (and not all
so stretchy, though I'd think that your braid wasn't so much either).

I've mused over having a 2nd rope in which the hitches would be formed, through
which one would equally draw the two ends of the tensioning rope, but in practice
I think one will find that things don't work out to their theoretical niceness
--one end would pull through whilst the other just thought about it.  :P
(I tried Rolling H. with a Prusik orientation, 1/2 turns; loaded on both ends,
when pulling down against the 2 turns, the one turn pushes the knot and prevents
it from gripping--this would be the tightening mode--; going the other way, it
grips.  (This idea arose from a mistake in the revision of On Rope for
its 2nd edition, where presumably a layout person inverted images and changed one
word of text to match, yielding sliding hitches that will do ONLY that--slide!))

--dl*
====

jglohr

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2006, 06:46:53 PM »
Yes, I agree that pulling upward isn't helping, but I have yet to find a good way of gripping the hitch and pulling tangentially. I think in the end it would still slide, because the tension is so high that there is a huge frictional force all along the rope and hem.

I also experimented with the second rope method. What I saw as the problem was that on a normal hitch increased tension causes the hitch to self tighten, whereas with a second rope nothing keeps it tensioned. So I was wondering if there is another knot that I don't know about that achieves the same purpose without a second rope.

The rope in the picture is popypropylene. My main reason for using pp is cost at this point. It is obvious that cost is a big factor in the design of this drum.

DerekSmith

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2006, 01:22:27 PM »
Hi Josh,

I don't think you need a different knot, just a method of using this one to best effect.  Dan cracked it by identifying that you need a tangential tensioning force, so how about this as a means to obtain just that.



First tie the slip/grip knot inline with the ring rather than sticking out of the ring as you had been doing.  Leave a good end on this knot, (I will call it the S/G end).  Tie a loop in this end in order to apply tensioning pull.  The end you previously used to haul on (coloured red in the picture) I will call the Red end.

Having made and dressed up the knot nice and tight, slide the knot along the cord to gently tighten the ring into position and make sure the knot is central in the gap you want it to stay in.

Now for the tensioning.

Throw a cable over a beam and tie it to the loop on the S/G end so that the drum is suspended about shoulder height.  Then tie a loop in the Red end about a foot from the ground so you can put your boot into it.  Hold the drum up with your hands so the line falls straight from the beam to your boot with the drum sort of fixed on one side.

Gently press with your foot to tension the knot.  As you drag the Red end through the knot, the force will be transmitted arround the loop and up to the beam (which is effectively pulling in the other direction).  This is the same effect as if you had grabbed hold of the S/G end in one hand and the Red end in the other and pulled the ends apart.  The knot stays still as the loop tightens because there is no unballanced force dragging it in just one direction.

However, because it is your foot in the loop, you can add a lot more tension than if your were just pulling by hand.

Let the tension off with your foot and allow the tension in the loop to tighten up the knot.  This will remove slack from within the knot and lets you check the drumskin for correct tension.  If you need more tension, press down with the foot again, but harder, to pull more cord through the knot.  Again, release the foot pressure and recheck tension in the skin.

If you need to (and your stitching can take it) you can even jump up and down to pump in more tension and each time the S/G hitch moves forward over the red part, it locks in that tension like a one way ratchet.

Technically, you should be able to release the S/G by pushing the nose of the knot back towards the Red end.  In practice, (with a few hundred pounds put onto it) the knot locks rock solid and cannot be released without cutting it off.

Thank you for posting this challenge. I have often wanted a good knot to apply tension progressively, but generally have finished up with the parcel hitch which is very weak and seriously limited.  Your use of the S/G hitch has been the all important catalyst to solving the problem.

Thanks - and good luck with the practice drums.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Looking for a knot
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2006, 05:11:27 PM »
Following up on Derek's idea, another hitch to try in the same orientation
is what I call the ProhGrip (aka Blake's) hitch.  Various sites show this, incl.
http://storrick.cnchost.com/VerticalDevicesPage/Ascender/KnotPages/KnotBlakes.html
which has several other friction hitches.  Loading the end should defeat the grip
of this hitch to enable the tightening as Derek shows for the other hitch.
You'll still have to deal with the biased draw of hem on the side being drawn
through the hitch, though.

:)