Author Topic: lashings  (Read 3396 times)

kd8eeh

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
lashings
« on: November 13, 2012, 04:40:44 AM »
in my boy scout troop,  there is almost always a need to lash sticks together.  lashings are hitches to multiple spars that somehow secure the spars in place.  abok has a, in my opinion, very poor covering of lashings, and seems how they are so useful, i want a more concrete list of lashings, that can fufill more functions.  i personally have always been under the impression that a lashing tends to be very easy to invent for any particular circumstance, and have had to do so many times.  the basic four styles of lashings are square, diagonal, sheer, and round lashings, at least for just two poles.  how i usually work with them is anything that holds goes, but this is not an efficent approach.  also, there are many decorative or fancy lashings waiting to be discovered.  it just seems like we have nothing to show as far as development of lashings for hundreds of years of knotting.  so, can we all just go out and list all of the lashings we can think of?  i think this would be greatly healpful.

kd8eeh

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
Re: lashings
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 04:26:17 AM »
so, the first thing i have found is that a diagonal lashing may be vastly improved using tackle clamp hitches in place of wrappings.  however, i do not know the best tackle clamp hitch to use in this context and can't find one that seems to work well with one end going directly into tying a separate hitch, while not loosening the first hitch nor reducing the amount of rope (and therefore friction) with the second pole.  does anyone know a hitch that would work well?

Dan_Lehman

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4010
Re: lashings
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 01:30:51 AM »
so, the first thing i have found is that
a diagonal lashing may be vastly improved using tackle clamp hitches in place of wrappings.

however, i  ... can't find one that seems to work well ...

These two statements are at odds with each other.

And I wasn't aware that diagonal lashing stood in need
of ("vast"!) improvment ; what might that be?  (There might
be a reason it has been used for centuries, beyond some
lack of imagination to do otherwise.   ;) )


 :)

kd8eeh

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
Re: lashings
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 04:37:58 AM »
My principle problem with a diagonal lashing, and most other normal lashings, is that until tying the frappings, there is basically no use of mechanical advantage, witch usually isn't much of a problem.  However, I spend a good deal of time teaching these lashings to very young boy scouts who tend to have little understanding of how to keep tension in the rope while tying the knot.  This leads to very loose lashings that do not hold, and i would ideally like to find some lashings that are easier have new scouts tie given that they struggle to exert even half of the tension required for a truly secure lashing.

Also, despite us already having enough lashings to do most things, the number of lashings that i have seen formally described is stunningly few.  The boy scout handbook describes 6 lashings, and abok isn't much better.  I know there are many more ways in witch lashings may be used, but i feel we lack the proper array of lashings to do this.  The majority of the lashings i have ever seen are only good for lashing two poles together, and although that is the most common use of lashings, there are many other knots that work to attach 3 or more poles.  Currently, the only formalized 3 pole lashing i have seen is a tripod lashing, and that has a very limited use.

For example, at our last campout, being the most avid knot tier in our troop, i was designated to design a means of lashing together 4 catapults, using scrap boards.  In this case, i feel that there are a number of special lashings that could be specialized to a flat board opposed to round poles, and that would be stronger or more decorative, but i made due with basic lashing for the most part.  However, at the core of the design that we determined to use there was a place where 3 boards had to be attached to form the top of an A frame with a board running down the middle of it.  Seeing how these were all flat boards that had to be fit against each other, a tripod lashing was insufficient, as it separated the boards from each other.  The knot that i eventually settled on was a set of two sets of stitches like a tripod lashing, the one on top having the poles in revers order compared to the one on bottom, that was then secured with frappings around the sides of the middle board to hold the lashing tight.  The resulting lashing was especially strong, particularly between nice flat boards, and actually less sensitive to how tight the ropes were than most lashings.

What i draw from this experience is that these types of unorthodox lashings should be organized somewhere so that we can have a more comprehensive list of lashings that is more useful than what is already out there to the common user. (also, from a theoretical standpoint, the set of barely 10 formal lashings we have right now seems incredible incomplete, considering how many things we could want a lashing to do)

Andy

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 134
  • Five Knots a Day keeps Alzheimer's Away
    • My Selection of Most Useful Knots
Re: lashings
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 06:47:31 AM »
Greetings kd8eeh,

Nice to meet another lover of lashings. I use them quite a lot, but it sounds like you take them to another level!

I have felt the same way as you about the superficial covering of lashings, and have assumed that people who write knotting books may not be very interested (or versed) in bush structures. As with all assumptions, this one is probably wrong to some extent, so please don't everyone jump on me to tell me that "so and so" was a renowned camper!  ;D

Three things that have stood out for me as gaps in the lashing literature are clear, informed discussion from people who sound like they know what they're talking about, about:
1. how to start a lashing
2. how to end a lashing (this is where you often lose your lashing)
3. as you mentioned, techniques apart from (the wonderful) frapping turns to improve tightness, in particular what I call "backtracking" or zig-zag turns. I'm now curious as to whether that is similar to the "tackle clamp hitches" you've mentioned, as I've never heard about them.

To save myself explaining what I mean by zig-zag turns, here's a page where I've described them in detail some time ago:
http://www.asiteaboutnothing.net/cr_most-useful-knots.html#zigzag-turns

The text also links to a discussion we had about them on the forum, and to my short discussion of lashings.

Sorry for replying so late, I haven't been on the forum much lately.
Looking forward to talking lashings with you if you're still interested.

Wishing you a fun week,

Andy
my selection of most useful knots

kd8eeh

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
Re: lashings
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 05:59:53 AM »
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4035.0 explains what a tackle clamp is.  It also shows how I define a zigzag knot, but it's good to see that that is an actual term, even if i define it slighlty differently form your definition.

As far as you points number one and two are concerned, i find there is sort of an anything goes nature.  You can start most lashing however you like, although i tend to use a constrictor knot around everything, because it keeps the poles from falling apart while i tie the lashing.  The boy scout handbook says to finish with a clove hitch, but i find this is impossible under tension.  I usually like to finish my lashings by tying a reef knot between the beginning and final ends of the rope, because most of the ropes i use are just a wee bit shorter than they need to be to tie the lashing well (the rope in the troop rope bag was cut long ago, and no one really wants to re make all of it in longer segments).  I like reef knots for this because they can be tied well under tension, and most people use them to tie their shoes, so they have practice tying them under tension.  A surgeons knot works too.  If you have to use a hitch, a tension-less hitch would be ideal, my favorite being the zigzag hitch although you would probably prefer a conventional tension-less hitch in most situations as you may bump into the other poles tying a zigzag hitch.

In regards to your third point, as tho improving tightness of the lashings, i find frappings work great, on almost any lashing, assuming you can fit them around it.  the only problem comes with shear style lashings, where the frappings really can't do much.  In those lashings, the best way to tighten them i could think of would be a tackle clamp hitch, or a tackle clamp hitch with frappings could easily replace the entire knot.

However, still the biggest problem i have with lashings is that there is not a lashing for every occasion.  Perhaps you've never experienced that problem, but i find it can require often much more effort than it is wort to fabricate a new lashing that does what you're trying to do.  What would be nice would be to generalize a lashing to as many poles as you'd like, at whatever angle you want.  also, there is often the occasion where one needs a decorative lashing, just like all other knots, but for the most part, those don't exist either (abok gives one that can only be tied if the two poles are nested inside each other already, but that is very seldom practical.

Andy

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 134
  • Five Knots a Day keeps Alzheimer's Away
    • My Selection of Most Useful Knots
Re: lashings
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 08:53:40 AM »
Hi kd8eeh,

Thanks for your link to the tackle clamp, I'll go study that with a bit of paracord.
We're on the same page with the reef knot, I often finish my lashings just the same. Rarely start with a constrictor these days, more likely a loop, then going inside the loop to make a noose and clamp it all together. But hey, to rephrase what you said, whatever works.

Quote
shear style lashings, where the frappings really can't do much
True. I had to do one the other day as I was distracted and cut the wrong transversal pole in a multi-pole garden structure... It fell down and needed some "band aid".

Quote
the biggest problem i have with lashings is that there is not a lashing for every occasion

Many angles... Sounds like you are doing a lot more with lashings than I am.

Regarding 3-pole lashings, I'm certain you know this, but mentioning this quick tidbit in case some one from the future stumbles upon this thread. Scout literature mentions a tripod lashing, but for starting a tipee I was taught to do a square lashing, laying one pole perpendicular to the other two. When you open it up, it really tensions up. I do that for all my tripods, it works great.

Regards

A
my selection of most useful knots

kd8eeh

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
Re: lashings
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 03:42:12 AM »
Actually, I have never tied a tripod lashing that way.  That's really interesting.

The problems I have when it comes to 3 pole lashings mostly comes in various poineering projects I make for my boy scout troop.  The most recent such occasion was when i was making catapults for a campout, and per the design needed to figure out a lashing to lash 3 boards together so that they were aproximately at 120 degree incriments.  Because they are boards, they laid flush with each other, so you could get away with murder tying them together, seems how as long as you pinch them tight enough, there's tons of friction anyway.  What i wound up tying was two tripod lashing style lashings; one on top of the intersection and the other below it, with the outer two poles swaped in each tripod lashings.  One came in front, and the other went behind.  I frapped both lashings with the same two frappings on either side of the main board.  The frapping didn't hold well, so i need a new way to do that, but the lashings all held excelently.  the boards broke before any of the lashings slipped, once we got the design down.  Sadly, there wasn't a large enough counterweight in the end, so the catapults didn't really work.

...
The design actually called for either a bolt or nails or screws, but what fun is that?

I've also had issures tying tiki-torches to monkey bars and the cross beams used to support the monkey bars.  That just turned into a tangled mess, but they were just tiki torches.  unfortunately, the siticks i picked for monkey bars weren't strong enough to support my weight, yet another of my projects gone arie.

Also, abok describes a four pole tripod like structure, and gives a lashing to tie it, but i can't figure out how to tie it.  Could anyone help with that?

Andy

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 134
  • Five Knots a Day keeps Alzheimer's Away
    • My Selection of Most Useful Knots
Re: lashings
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 09:50:15 PM »
Quote
Actually, I have never tied a tripod lashing that way.  That's really interesting.

Curious to know how you like it. For me there's no going back.

Boy it sounds like you are doing some cool stuff with lashings. Out of my league, can't help with your question.

Wishing you a fun weekend

A
my selection of most useful knots