Author Topic: Constrictor knots in series  (Read 3817 times)

kirk

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Constrictor knots in series
« on: August 01, 2016, 08:35:38 PM »
Hi everyone,

I saw a reference in Grog's Knots to using "a series of constrictors, starting at the free end and working towards the standing end" use as whipping.  I have messed around with trying to do this, but the only way I can get this effect is to tie completely different constrictors, which is ok I guess but I wouldn't call that "in series."  I am wondering if it is even possible.  Does anyone know of a way to tie constrictors in series, i.e similar to the half hitches in a West Country Whipping which are repeatedly tied as often as necessary/desired?  Is there some sort of modification that can be used to that effect?

Incidentally, Grog credits John Robinson for the idea, but I haven't been able to find any images or references to it in actual use.

Thank you!!!

Twine

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 09:09:19 PM »
I too think he must mean separate constrictors. Anything else would be inefficient, since you need to pull both ends of the string to really tighten a constrictor.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 10:53:49 PM »
I too think he must mean separate constrictors.
Anything else would be inefficient, since you need to pull both ends of the string to really tighten a constrictor.
Not entirely so, but it is a challenge.
There are two ways I can think of to tie some
kind of "series" of constrictors --and here I'll
note that one might be better off using some
version of a strangle knot as its tails run
parallel to the bound object.

Long ago a fellow told me about tying a 2nd constrictor
on back of an initial one, but wasn't clear --and maybe
I didn't press for details enough-- about how ... .
Not so long ago, I've found that one can do this by
making a tucked turn (half-hitch?) with one tail,
placing the tuck opposite the initial knot's crossing
area, and then bring the other tail through this just
as making a c. --ta-da!  And, of course, one might
critique this as being imbalanced --the one tail making
the full turn to the other's mere tucking through to
finish ...-- and have both make full turns (and so get
two overcrossings and a double c.) !
Now, yes, you'll be putting these extra wraps around
/atop the initial knot's parts, but ... work it out as best
you can.

Otherwise, one can lead away from the initial knot
and tie the 2nd c. and just tighten it with pull on
the leading-away tail, depending upon mere resistance
of the leading-into one for achieving the "pull on both
ends" tensioning --which might be sub-optimal, but
still effective (YMMV w/materials --the more frictive,
the more difficult this will be).

Frankly, my favorite and best-looking whipping comes
from a multiple strangle knot in which there are e.g.
5 overwraps of mason line around a 3/8" rope (sizing the
materials here, for the example), and 1 extra crossing
beneath these (in mason line, this dbl'd inner part is
nicely just covered by 5 overwraps; in nylon fishline,
it seems to take 7ish overwraps to do the same).
And I often stopper the starting tail with end pointing
to whipped-rope's end, make the overwraps, then
tuck in a bight from the finishing end (which might
be with a lot of whipping line to be cut off), then work
a sort of sailor's/common whipping structure of
this bight (requires access to either end of whipped rope
--not a big issue on short, "play rope" pieces-- or brought
around the batch of whipping material to be cut off)
and so finish with both tails pointing out the tail end
of the whipped rope.

(I use pliers to squeeze the whipping
in hopes of better equalizing tension throughout --it's
delivered by setting to the end/initial overwraps, and
so needs some help to work into the center wraps.)


--dl*
====

kirk

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 08:58:57 AM »
Thank you Dan and Twine.  It sounds like the simplest approach is the multiple overhand strangler knots; I'll try messing with that one for a bit.  Although I must admit, some single constrictor knots seem incredibly effective all by themselves in most cases, that may be just enough to go with as well.

Twine

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2016, 07:20:25 PM »
Long ago a fellow told me about tying a 2nd constrictor
on back of an initial one, but wasn't clear --and maybe
I didn't press for details enough-- about how ... .
Not so long ago, I've found that one can do this by
making a tucked turn (half-hitch?) with one tail,
placing the tuck opposite the initial knot's crossing
area, and then bring the other tail through this just
as making a c. --ta-da!  And, of course, one might
critique this as being imbalanced --the one tail making
the full turn to the other's mere tucking through to
finish ...-- and have both make full turns (and so get
two overcrossings and a double c.) !
Now, yes, you'll be putting these extra wraps around
/atop the initial knot's parts, but ... work it out as best
you can.

Interesting in theory, but in practice, well, wouldn't it make for a very fat and clumsy-looking whipping, almost making the end of the rope thicker than the rest of it?

Frankly, my favorite and best-looking whipping comes
from a multiple strangle knot in which there are e.g.
5 overwraps of mason line around a 3/8" rope (sizing the
materials here, for the example), and 1 extra crossing
beneath these (in mason line, this dbl'd inner part is
nicely just covered by 5 overwraps; in nylon fishline,
it seems to take 7ish overwraps to do the same).
And I often stopper the starting tail with end pointing
to whipped-rope's end, make the overwraps, then
tuck in a bight from the finishing end (which might
be with a lot of whipping line to be cut off), then work
a sort of sailor's/common whipping structure of
this bight (requires access to either end of whipped rope
--not a big issue on short, "play rope" pieces-- or brought
around the batch of whipping material to be cut off)
and so finish with both tails pointing out the tail end
of the whipped rope.

(I use pliers to squeeze the whipping
in hopes of better equalizing tension throughout --it's
delivered by setting to the end/initial overwraps, and
so needs some help to work into the center wraps.)

--dl*
====

Yes, this is how it should be done. It gives a nice-looking, functional, and not over-elaborated whipping. I might add that the number of turns in the whipping should not be a fixed number. Adjust according to the thickness of the rope to be whipped and the thinness of the twine used for whipping. For thicker rope, more turns and vice versa.

How long should the whipping be? Some say that one rope diameter is enough, while others say that it should be as long as the circumference of the rope (3 diameters). Any thoughts on that? It's a difficult question, because it's partly about aesthetics, partly about economy of materials, partly about functionality, partly about amount of labor. These days you often see ropes whipped with just a few turns of electric tape, which is ugly but saves time and so makes sense in industrial usage.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 01:58:41 AM »
Long ago a fellow told me about tying a 2nd constrictor
on back of an initial one, but wasn't clear...
Interesting in theory, but in practice, well, wouldn't it make for a very fat and clumsy-looking whipping, almost making the end of the rope thicker than the rest of it?
It depends on your relative sizes (and nature)
of rope & whipping material.  (E.g., I use parts
of PP bailing twine (fibrillated PP --so, I will strip
out an appropriate width of flat fibre) because it
is so flat and I can to back'n'forth half-hitches
as befits the groundline knot (put on in reverse, for
eas) --something that looks knotty awkward in firm
round material.)  In some cases the few extra wraps
can pretty much bury between prior ones.  YMMV


Quote
How long should the whipping be?
...
 These days you often see ropes whipped with just a few
turns of electric tape, which is ugly but saves time and
so makes sense in industrial usage.
Pretty much that's ALL I'VE SEEN in commercial-fishing
cordage !!  Yachters are more likely to be fancy, methinks.
And I've occasionally done the former BUT adding some
quick keep-the-tape-from-unwrapping whipping in real
material (such as fibres from bailing twine --got this on
my bike handlebar tape, now).

My whippings don't see any real usage, but for play
ropes tying knots --where sometimes pulling a tail out
of a knot can shed the whipping, if not done well.
(for small stuff where tension is less, I often INSERT
the material at the start through the whipped cord).

Rather than "long", I'd opt for "dual" whipping --thinking
that one can fail w/o affecting the integrity of the other.
(Though, the type of whipping one does might also
build in redundancy --West Co.'s series of knotting I suppose
gives this, to some degree.)  But, really, how much wear
and so on can get to a whipping?  (And it's something
that hasn't a huge immediate bad effect, usually, and
is easily redressed, even if by at first some temporary
measure.)

Btw, with the finish of a constrictor being a straight
pass of the tail (slight twist), I think one gains of one arranges
for this tail to make a U-TURN on some final tuck.

--dl*
====
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 08:37:01 PM by Dan_Lehman »

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2016, 11:14:08 PM »
FYI, I just used a "constrictor knot in series" for whipping
some cable-hauling webbing (solid, soft weave, 1cm? wide
polyester) --so as to keep the flat profile (vs. what I've
usually done for use with more conventional whippings :
fold end into a "S/Z" shape, weaving a pass of whipping
through the material and then binding it thus; sometimes,
just the simpler folding in half).

So, I have a short line of knots running across the tape,
and set each succeeding one by trying to get it up snug
to preceding one so when hauling on the one available
end (the working end) there'd be good resistance from
the coming-from-prior-knot end and some expected
slight lengthening into the tape's flat plane when done.
Hey, works okay I think for this.

 :)

Twine

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 04:12:41 PM »
I don't quite understand how the webbing can stay flat if you tie constrictors around it. In the case of webbing or tape I would not feel it was beneath me to just use a few turns of duct tape for a whipping. Or maybe I'd just use a hot knife to cut it. I've never actually had to cut webbing, so I have no experience with that sort of thing.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2016, 08:48:59 PM »
I don't quite understand how the webbing can stay flat if you tie constrictors around it.
But I ...' just used a "constrictor knot in series" ' ::
think about the series aspect --each knot was
around just some small number of fibres, and the
series was necessary so to run side-to-side and thereby
keep it flat (perhaps the tape ends up a little as though
it has a series of holes in it, where wraps of the knotted
whipping impale it to grip).

Quote
In the case of webbing or tape I would not feel it was beneath me
to just use a few turns of duct tape for a whipping.
Or maybe I'd just use a hot knife to cut it.
Ack, I'd think taping a pliant flat material would be
lousy (vs. something with a firm round cross seciton).
As for hot-cutting, that leaves hard-/sharp-edged
bits which can be annoying in snagging or even painful
in playing around with it fiddling knots.


--dl*
====

Twine

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2016, 06:22:09 AM »
I don't quite understand how the webbing can stay flat if you tie constrictors around it.
But I ...' just used a "constrictor knot in series" ' ::
think about the series aspect --each knot was
around just some small number of fibres, and the
series was necessary so to run side-to-side and thereby
keep it flat (perhaps the tape ends up a little as though
it has a series of holes in it, where wraps of the knotted
whipping impale it to grip).

I never doubted that you had actually done it, I just couldn't understand what "it" was, or what it would be like. But I think I get it now. I overlooked the part where you said the whipping went THROUGH the webbing. I thought you meant it was somehow around it. Sorry about that.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Constrictor knots in series
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2016, 01:54:21 AM »
I just couldn't understand what "it" was, or what it would be like.  ...
I overlooked the part where you said the whipping went THROUGH the webbing.
It definitely has some "too clever by half" aspect
to it all, and "this guy must be knots!" ... , but
what good is a lot of ropey stuff w/o some play?

Again, in setting the N+1st knot, one hauls on the
crossing part such that the draw through to the
connecting-end (i.e., what comes from the Nth knot)
brings the webbing up sort of right-angled (seemingly
overtightened), and then when one gets around to
pulling on the working end --your note that one doesn't
have the usual ability to pull both ends--, you end up
giving adequate tensioning to the passive/anchored
end.  (in theory ...  ;)  )

It's likely something you might fancy doing once or twice
--or more, if you forget about what a minor PITA it is--,
but it won't become habitual.  (Oh dear, just now the
thought of, leading-to-a-greater-PITA, alternating
sides
that the crossing bits of the constrictors
lie on just occurred to me (along with the thought of
running one row on one side, and then "turning the
other cheek" --why I often can make no headway on
recording (in ink on paper) "new" knots fiddled : I just
keep on having thoughts ... !   :P  )

 :)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 08:39:14 PM by Dan_Lehman »