Author Topic: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?  (Read 15660 times)

erizo1

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What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« on: November 20, 2012, 06:46:14 AM »
I have a particular fascination with the category of hitches that includes the ground line, bag, snuggle, boom, etc. - I think there's something elegant and pleasing about them - but I'm not sure I can think of a practical reason I would ever prefer them to a slipped buntline or some similar hitch. They seem to use a lot of rope since they require multiple wraps around the object, and I don't get the impression from what I've read that even a boom hitch is any more secure than a slipped buntline or something similar.

I exclude from the knots I'm talking about the prusik and rolling hitch and other knots intended to resist a pull along the length of the object. I'm only referring to right-angle pull hitches that would be used in situations where a slipped buntline or gnat hitch or round turn and two half-hitches would serve. Is there a situation in which a wrapping-type hitch would be more suitable than another type? (And is there a better term to use in referring to wrapping-type hitches?)

As an aside, I think there's something delightfully funny about the spell check not recognizing "buntline" and "prusik."

Sweeney

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 12:10:00 PM »
but I'm not sure I can think of a practical reason I would ever prefer them to a slipped buntline or some similar hitch. They seem to use a lot of rope since they require multiple wraps around the object, and I don't get the impression from what I've read that even a boom hitch is any more secure than a slipped buntline or something similar.

Do they use a lot more rope? I have just tried a groundline hitch against a buntline hitch (not slipped). The result was that a groundline hitch consumed only 15% more rope than a buntline hitch with the same tail length. A slipped buntline depends on the size of the loop in the slipped end but is likely to be about the same as the groundline hitch or slightly more. ABOK 1674 uses the same rope length as a groundline (or any difference is so small as to insignificant).

A snug hitch of some sort has the advantage that the knot barely extends beyond the attachment point unlike 2 half hitches (whichever way they are tied). A slipped buntline may be more secure (though it can be hard to undo after a heavy load, slipped or not) but high security is unnecessary for say attaching a fender to the side rail of a boat or any application where the load is small. In these cases I agree - these are elegant hitches as well as practical.

Barry
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 01:44:17 PM by Sweeney »

X1

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 02:27:36 PM »
   I believe there is no one-to-one correspondence between the number of different knots we have, and the number of different practical tasks dictate the use of a knot - and nor that it should be. Simple knots would exist even if there were no pre-existing practical need for them whatsoever, and we may even go as far as to invent a task to use them, and then to learn to live using them - as it is often the case with many human inventions.
   We tie the simple knots because, in a sense, they are there, in an abstract world which would have existed even if we were not. So we wish to tie all the possible simple knots that can exist - and then we may discover, or invent, a need for them. Otherwise we would have had only a very limited number of knots, of works of art, or ideas, etc. We are not only built by the world, we are also building it - and, very often, we tear it down...
   "...the practicality or impracticality of a knot can be too much stressed. History teaches us that sooner or later a purpose is discovered for everything that exists."

erizo1

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 03:54:07 PM »
Do they use a lot more rope? I have just tried a groundline hitch against a buntline hitch (not slipped)....  A snug hitch of some sort has the advantage that the knot barely extends beyond the attachment point unlike 2 half hitches (whichever way they are tied).

Thanks, Barry. I guess it depends on how large the object you're hitching to is. A buntline will always use the same amount of rope, whereas a ground line or similar will use more rope the greater the diameter of the object.

I hadn't thought about how closely the wrapping-style hitches cling to the object. Are you able to think of a scenario in which this would be important? I expect that there is such a scenario, but I can't think of one.



   I believe there is no one-to-one correspondence between the number of different knots we have, and the number of different practical tasks dictate the use of a knot - and nor that it should be. Simple knots would exist even if there were no pre-existing practical need for them whatsoever, and we may even go as far as to invent a task to use them, and then to learn to live using them - as it is often the case with many human inventions.
   We tie the simple knots because, in a sense, they are there, in an abstract world which would have existed even if we were not. So we wish to tie all the possible simple knots that can exist - and then we may discover, or invent, a need for them. Otherwise we would have had only a very limited number of knots, of works of art, or ideas, etc. We are not only built by the world, we are also building it - and, very often, we tear it down...
   "...the practicality or impracticality of a knot can be too much stressed. History teaches us that sooner or later a purpose is discovered for everything that exists."

Thanks for your reply, X1. I agree with you, there are some knots I'll go out of my way to use just because I like them for one reason or another, even when they aren't the most practical. My question is not intended to imply that the practical value of a knot is the only reason for a knot to exist or for it to be used. I'm just trying to hone in on the practical application of these knots so I can appreciate whether they are sometimes a better tool for a given job than other kinds of hitches and keep an eye out for the situations in which that's the case. It's not the only question worth asking about these knots; it's just the particular question I have at the moment.

Sweeney

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 04:45:02 PM »
Thanks, Barry. I guess it depends on how large the object you're hitching to is. A buntline will always use the same amount of rope, whereas a ground line or similar will use more rope the greater the diameter of the object.

That's largely true but the snug hitches such as the groundline become less effective around a large object.

Quote
I hadn't thought about how closely the wrapping-style hitches cling to the object. Are you able to think of a scenario in which this would be important? I expect that there is such a scenario, but I can't think of one.

It's a lot easier to tie a snug hitch where the object being suspended hangs below the attachment point and though not heavy you have to support it while tying (such as the boat fender mentioned earlier) but aside from that the snug hitch looks a lot neater when appearance matters more than security. The second case would be attaching rope to rope at right angles - 2 half hitches are clumsy for this in commercial fishing applications - a slipped buntline could easily snag and come undone.  The end of a groundline hitch is often tucked back through the lay of the rope (Dan Lehman posted a number of pictures of hitches used like this eg http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1017.msg12426#msg12426). One other application springs to mind (though in the case in point I remember using an anchor hitch variant) - hanging a new airing rack from pulleys in the ceiling. The attachment point needs to get as close as possible to the pulley. No doubt this is one of those occasions when a snug hitch is the obvious choice but only when the right problem presents itself.

Barry

X1

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 04:57:38 PM »
the snug hitches such as the groundline become less effective around a large object.

Why ?

erizo1

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 05:03:34 PM »
Awesome, thank you, Barry. I can't remember the specific situation now, but I do remember in the past hitching a rope to something and then wanting a minimal space between that attachment point and whatever else the rope was connected to; perfect moment to use a snug hitch, but I didn't know any at that time.

A follow-up question: can a snug hitch usually be slipped without affecting it's security? I'm thinking in particular of the ground line, bag, and snuggle hitches. I've looked at this in my own rudimentary way, and it seemed to me that slipped versions were okay in general, though the ground line seemed to lose a fair amount of security. I just learned the bag hitch, and I'm impressed by how much it seems to improve on the security of the ground line hitch. The sailor's hitch is also a new discovery for me, but I have already seen a slipped version of that referred to, and in trying it for myself, it seemed not to reduce the knot's security.

Sweeney

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 06:42:31 PM »
the snug hitches such as the groundline become less effective around a large object.

Why ?

I find that a groundline hitch around a large diameter object will loosen if tension is released then slip when tension is reapplied.

A follow-up question: can a snug hitch usually be slipped without affecting it's security?

You can slip a groundline or other snug hitch but they're usually easy to undo and if slipped then subject to a very heavy load the fact that it's slipped may not help much. Slipped knots are fine for a "quick getaway" but tie a slipped buntline in say 6mm accessory cord and swing on it and you could find that the slipped end loop is actually very difficult to pull through.

Barry

X1

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 07:33:54 PM »
a groundline hitch around a large diameter object will loosen if tension is released then slip when tension is reapplied.

   That is the description of a something that happens, the effect. I am asking a question for the reason, the cause. Why is this happening ?
   The tension of the riding turn(s) of a snug hitch is not depending upon the diameter of the object. If we have tensioned two snag hitches to the same degree, the first tied around a smaller diameter object and the second around a larger diameter object, their riding turns will constrict the movement of their tails to the same degree. So, if the tension is released, they will loosened at the same, to the same degree, isn't it that so ? 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 07:34:39 PM by X1 »

Sweeney

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 08:10:06 PM »
In theory they should loosen in the same way but I have just tried a simple experiment with 2 widely different tubes. When tension is applied to the groundline hitch around the larger tube the space which opens up between the tube and the actual knot is large enough to markedly reduce the nipping effect - around the smaller tube there is still some space but it is too small to allow the cord (5mm nylon) to loosen as much. No matter how much slack is taken out of the knot there is still this triangular gap appearing as soon as tension is applied.

I think that there is a fixed relationship between diameter of the cord and diameter of the pole, tube etc such that thin cord around a wide pole leaves an opening large enough to render the nip ineffective. As the cord increases and/or the pole decreases this gap which affects the nip becomes smaller. Any lessening of tension allows the rope to relax and when retensioned this gap becomes larger. Or so it seems.

Barry

X1

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 09:31:46 PM »
the space which opens up between the tube and the actual knot

  You mean the space between the surface of the tube and the rope of the riding turn(s) ? This is depending upon the diameter of the rope, not of the tube.

this triangular gap

   The height of the triangle is depending upon the diameter of the tail, of the rope. However, the base of the triangle is larger for a larger diameter tube - so, if you mean this, you are right. It is not the area of the triangular gap that matters, but the angle of its sides with its base. In a smaller diameter tube, these angles are greater, so the tail is squeezed upon the surface of the tube by the riding turn(s) harder : the tension within the riding turn might be the same, but it is nipping the tail(s) more effectively when it is wrapped around a smaller diameter tube.
   Do you mean this effect ? I , too, have seen something like this -even more pronounced - in the case of the simple-hitch-a-la-Gleipnir.

thin cord around a wide pole leaves an opening large enough to render the nip ineffective. As the cord increases and/or the pole decreases this gap which affects the nip becomes smaller.

   So, I think that it is the shape, not the size of the gap that matters - and it is the reason behind the observed differences.

knot4u

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 09:59:25 PM »
Responding to the original post, there's something to be said about elegance.  For any kind of system, the more elegant solution is usually the better solution, aesthetically and practically.  That goes for hitches, electrical circuits, a surgeon's stitches, plumbing, bikes, cars, bridges, etc.  Elegance is a mark of professionalism and pride, while big and sloppy are marks of amateurism.  Elegance separates the gentlemen from the boys.

If I'm hitching to a tubular object, I'm more likely to use a wrap-type hitch because they're more elegant than a noose-type hitch like a Slipped Buntline or a Gnat.  More importantly, a wrap-type hitch is much less susceptible to tampering compared to a Slipped Buntline (or any hitch that requires a slip).  Consider the Timber for example.  I bring this hitch up because nobody mentioned it and because it's a hybrid between a wrap and a noose.  I have some ropes in my garage that are under tension in some exercise equipment I invented.  Some of the rope systems are anchored with Timbers.  Where a Timber is viable, it is absolutely exquisite compared to a Slipped Buntline.  While under tension, a Timber is virtually impossible to loosen by tampering, and is super easy to untie after the tension is released. Also, a Timber sits snug and neat against the object.  In a word, a Timber is more "elegant" than a Slipped Buntline or a Gnat, etc.  Other wrap-type hitches are more elegant in their own way as well (e.g., a Sailor's ease of untying is pure joy).

Regarding the Gnat, this is perhaps the most elegant noose-type hitch.  It's small, doesn't require a slip, is tie-able on many different object shapes, and is difficult to jam.  If I need a noose-type hitch, I tend to think of a Gnat first and then move down the list from there.

Regarding the Slipped Buntline, this hitch is for when all else fails.  It's like a nuclear bomb.  It's not pretty.  It's big.  I don't like how it requires a slip.  HOWEVER, it just works on almost everything.  Heck, a Buntline almost works as a fishing knot.  (I said almost.)  By the way, I would tie a Buntline (non-slipped) only if I wanted a hitch to be permanent.  Outside of fishing, a permanent hitch is something I rarely (or never) have needed, but I can think of at least one application.  When I was in Jamaica, workers would tie buoys to anchors on land.  They would tie a bend to connect the buoy's rope to a permanently hitched rope, which they would just leave there on the beach when not in use.  That's a situation where I'd want the rope on land to be jammed to help prevent it from walking off.

This is a great thread topic.  I went through this exercise awhile ago when I was organizing hitches in my head.  Note, it's difficult to talk broadly about these hitches because each has their own characteristics.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 11:05:11 PM by knot4u »

X1

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 10:16:12 PM »
... there's something to be said about elegance.  For any kind of system, the more elegant solution is usually the better solution, aesthetically and practically.

   I agree (!). Elegance matters.

Regarding the Gnat, this is perhaps the most elegant noose-type hitch.

   However, elegance of the Gnat is almost a contradiction in terms !  :)  Not so much because of the Gnat - a not-so-bad knot, but nothing special / notable ...- but because of the shape of its nipping structure. As I had tried to say at (1), any overhand-knot-like shape is not elegant, it is ugly ! :)
" ... the overhand knot itself is an ugly knot ! I know that this statement would sound odd or incomprehensible to "pure" practical knot tyers, but it is true.         
   Compare the tight overhand knot to the fig.8 knot, or to the overhand knot itself in its loose fig.8-like fluid form. I do not wish to imagine how the world would look like if the living things, in general, and the humans, in particular, had such a form..."

   On the contrary, the fig.8-knot-like shape is elegant, and a really elegant noose hitch based on it is presented at (2) and (3) ( see the attached pictures ).   

1.   http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4084.msg24517#msg24517
2.   http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3133
3.   http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3020.msg21738#msg21738
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 10:28:32 PM by X1 »

TMCD

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 01:02:28 AM »
I'm not getting into what niche they serve but IMO, ABoK 1244 is about the best of the so called Miller's Knots. ABoK 1244 can be tied in the bight, unlike most other Miller's Knots.

I'm a painter by trade and I constantly climb extension ladders with a paint pot/rope attached. When you get to the top of the ladder you need to tie off the paint pot to one of the ladder rungs. If you don't tie it off, you're forced to try and hold onto the pot, not really a safe way to paint. I've found in this situation I'm better served with ABoK 1244 rather than tying off with two half hitches. It's easier to tie the Bag Knot while standing on a ladder, trying to tie two half hitches in this spot is sort of tough. A Clove Hitch works almost as well, it simply lacks the security of the Bag Knot.

TMCD

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Re: What niche does a wrapping-type hitch fill?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 04:49:27 PM »
Let me be a little more emphatic, these Miller Knots or Snug Hitches clearly serve a great purpose in my line of work. As I explained above, it's very difficult trying to tie off to a ladder rung with two half hitches and much easier tying one of the Miller's Knots IMO. So there's a perfect niche for these knots, among many I'm sure.