Author Topic: Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...  (Read 1930 times)

75RR

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Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...
« on: May 20, 2013, 06:19:31 PM »
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 12:29:23 AM by 75RR »

Sweeney

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Re: Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 06:40:28 PM »
Would it be on your list of useful need to know knots?

The short answer is no! If I really needed to isolate a piece of damaged rope then I'd use the butterfly loop (not least because there could be no doubt that I had isolated the damaged bit). I did try it once to shorten a venetian blind cord in my office as when the blind was fully raised the fitting on the end jammed in the heating grill in the floor but with blind down the full length of the cord was needed. But even toggled it kept falling apart so I used a slipped overhand loop and a half hitch in the standing part around the legs. Of all the knots I know this is about the most useless for practical purposes yet as you say it appears with monotonous regularity.

Barry

roo

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Re: Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 07:41:15 PM »

The second use, shortening a rope, makes more sense and would be applicable if both ends were needed and the rope was of such a length that reeving all of it would be inconvenient; although a more common use is perhaps, as Ashley mentions: "the slack material of the stays was made up into Sheepshank Knots", that it was mostly used to tidy away excess rope.

If we use a different word, you may have an "ah-ha" moment.  The word is storage.  The sheepshank can be employed as a means to store rope on the bight, especially in its fattened version (in literature, this detail usually gets overlooked, to the confusion of the readers):

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

Also mentioned on that page, it can be used as a grip handle and it can also be adapted to be a double loop knot or a pouch knot.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 07:43:01 PM by roo »
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 06:30:13 AM »
Does the Sheepshank have any practical application nowadays?

"nowadays" ?!  Frankly, I still don't really see how it was
EVER useful or practical.  One reads some things about it
beind employed here or there, but usually w/o any sort
of detail into exactly what is done with it and how it can
serve well at all.

Quote
Anyone ever use it or see or hear of anyone else using it?

We had a poster here insist that he put it to good use;
but, alas, he could not come around to saying how he
actually managed this, and efforts to pull that bit out
of him proved futile.  It was a matter of having only
a short run for a log-hauling truck, and so the line was
supposedly shortened after each pull via the sheepshank
--but how that was done wasn't explained, in detail (think
about doing it : it's not all so handy, and I think I'd opt
for just putting in new eyeknots for attachment).

Quote
A staple in most knot books, pamphlets and knot lists, even short ones,
it is almost as if without it, no knot listing, however basic, would be complete.

And this should be instructive about most knot books.
(Sometimes, even errors get repeated!)

Quote
Would it be on your list of useful need to know knots?

Ha --and w/o knowing any good use for it, no less!
It reminds me of the hype offered with the Poldo tackle, where
authors present it but show no signs of understanding it,
yet proclaim that it has wonderful qualities, good MA.

In fact, though, I have used it, to shorten the haul line
of my rope-stressing pulley set up (in moderate-laid 1/4"
poly-Dac rope), so I cannot completely dismiss it.


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X1

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Re: Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 09:20:55 AM »
   So, anything we do not use, is useless, it is trash, therefore we must throw it away and forget about it...
   Just imagine how the material world around us would become if, by some miracle, this bright idea would be applied right now !  :) And why do we have to limit its application to the material world only, and not include plants, animals and people as well ?
   The Sheepshank is a marvellous knot, an amazing rope mechanism of the same kind we meet at one of the most used knots ever, the bowline - or the much less used but equally amazing Gleipnir. And if we were to "rank" knots according to the number of times they have been tied, I guess we would place the most useless thing in the world, the tie / necktie, right on the top of our list !  :)
   If one is not satisfied with the security of the common Sheepshank, he may well tie one of the many other more complex forms shown in ABoK. The Cube bend ( M. B18 ) or the bowline bend may be seen as modifications of the Sheepshank/Gleipnir/bowline idea, in the form of a collapsed binder. (1)

1.  http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4122
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 09:30:35 AM by X1 »

Wed

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Re: Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 09:53:33 AM »
I used it once towing a car. The rope was quite long and I shortened it with the sheepshank. As the rope was more or less rotten, it broke in several places before I gave up. Maybe the knot held together because the rope was quite coarse. But the sheepshank was not the failing link.

Naturally, I ought to have wound the rope a few times back and forth instead. But I was happy to have found a real life use for a knot that I knew.

Another time, I used the sheepshank to make a swing set adjustable. That time though, I threaded the ends through the loops of the knot. Thus it became locked in place. Worked very well.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 06:43:04 PM »
   So, anything we do not use, is useless, it is trash, therefore we must throw it away and forget about it...

Okay, your point is "sustained" as an objection.  But, ...

In a finite book --and those alluded to above are quite so--,
one must choose carefully what to present.  The sheepshank
IMO hasn't been well presented as something meriting
inclusion in the average knotter's repertoire.  E.g., I've
read Barbara Merry's remark about how it would be helpful
in some aspect of working with a dock-side crane (whip),
but don't follow that assertion to any reasoning about it
(and, now, don't find it --her book on splicing, e.g., doesn't
contain the knot in its index).


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X1

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Re: Sheepshank or Sheep Shank, either way...
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 02:05:14 AM »
  In a finite book ...one must choose carefully what to present. 

  True. I suppose I would rather choose to present the Gleipnir instead of the Sheepshank - but I would nt forget to include the "useless" Blackwall hitch !