Author Topic: Blackwall bend  (Read 3421 times)

xarax

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Blackwall bend
« on: May 11, 2015, 06:27:46 PM »
   I think we should keep any knot which is sharing the name " Blackwall " with this great knot, the Blackwall hitch, as simple as possible... ( Personally, I include the Blackwall hitch in my Pantheon of best 12 "old" knots, and I always enjoy to tie it, and see how secure it is, against all odds !  :) Of course, I do not tie it within a hook, but within a bight/eye - I have nt touched a lifting hook for decades now...). Therefore, I keep the "right-red" link of this adjustable bend ( the link with the bight/eye within which the "left-blue" link, with the one-way mechanism of the Blackwall hitch, is entangled ), as simple as possible : just a half hitch. The Blackwall hitch is probably the simplest practical knot, so I believe it would nt be fair to saddle this most simple knot with something much more complex... I tried many loops which can serve the same purpose, but I did nt find any reason a humble half hitch will not "do the job". The only problem is that, during adjusting the length of the line ending on the left link, one should hold both ends of the right link, the Standing and the Tail End, in his palm, so the Tail End will not run the danger to slip and be fed into the half hitch, and be shortened too much, or even released. However, once the bend is adjusted, and its two end are under tension, this humble half hitch will be at least as secure as the Blackwall hitch itself - so a more complex loop seems pretty much redundant to me..
   With very slippery lines ( like the cheap all-nylon, braided, "compressible" 1/4 - 1/2 inch lines I had tried ), the adjustment can be done even if the bend is already under some tension. ( Of course, when tied on slippery material, the half hitch would not be enough, and it should reinforced with yet another half hitch, or replaced altogether by a more secure "neck" of the loop ). However, with really heavy loads, and/or with stiffer ropes, the right link can squeeze the two legs of the Blackwall hitch too much, and, as a result of this, it may become difficult to adjust it. An advantage of the simple half hitch is that, before any adjustment, we can easily and instantly release it just a little bit, so the turn of the Blackwall hitch will be more free to revolve around the eyeleg of its opening.
   It is almost 4 years since the last time I had tried this knot, and I did nt remember it well. Now I have tied and tried it on more materials, and I am happy that it is as secure as I believed it would be - and that, when tied on slippery ropes, it can "work" even under moderate loading.
   ( Unfortunately, perhaps due to same sympathetic magic  :), my camera has started to see things just as my eyes do ; that is, blurred !  :)  I try to insert some artificial "sharpening", but the outcome is not very satisfactory...Until I will buy a new one, with a non-zoom, "prime" lens, that is all I can do, I am afraid.)

   Note : The interested reader can compare this bend, with the 4 variations of the also asymmetric i]Hoban bend[/i], or HH bend , shown at :
    http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4116.msg26738#msg26738
    http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4116.msg26739#msg26739

1. http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3656.msg21113#msg21113
2. http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3656.msg21375#msg21375
« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 06:34:12 PM by xarax »
This is not a knot.

xarax

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2015, 11:41:18 PM »
   I would like a add a few notes for this bend, just for the record :
   1. I do not like a-symmetric bends, for many reasons which are not the issue here. However, I would bet that there can be no symmetric bend which would be "adjustable", the way the Blackwall bend is. If the one link would had been symmetric, so as simple as the other one ( which is able to pass almost freely though the "unlocked" link ), I believe that the knot could fall apart too easily.
   2. I had also tried the second variation of this bend, where the half-hitch part ( which provides the opening, the eye / bight on the leg of which the turn of the Blackwall hitch part is revolving ) is tied the "other" way ( shown in the second picture of the original old post ), and I had seen two things :
   First, that it is better as "adjustable" bend, regarding the "adjustability" part : The one leg of the Blackwall hitch is adjacent and parallel to the Tail End of the half hitch, so, when it is released, it can slide on it more easily, allowing a more free revolution of the whole turn around the leg of the eye / bight. However, when those two segments are like that, adjacent and parallel to each other, the danger of the one dragging the other inside the nub is increased, so, if we do not pay due attention during the adjusting stage, the Tail End of the half hitch can become too short, and finally disappear inside the nub, and release the link.
   Second, that it is worse as adjustable "bend", regarding the "bending" (= "locking" the Tails ) part. Two parallel segments can not "bite" each other as hard and deep, and so the one can not immobilize the other as effectively and securely as when they are perpendicular. The optimum angle for the best possible "lock", the right angle for two segments of rope to meet while they are being pushed on each other, in order to be mutually immobilized, is the "right" angle, 90 degrees. Segments meeting each other at very oblique angles, or parallel to each other, tend to slide much more easily as when they meet at angles near 90 degrees - i.e., when they work more or less as rope made wedges.
   Therefore, I believe we should sacrifice some of the "adjust-ability", and increase the security, because that is what bends, end-to-end knots, are all about in the first place : secure joins of two segments of rope. Security comes before functionality.
   3. I have tied variations of this bend, where the Tail End of the half hitch part is re-tucked through the nub, and finally penetrates the turn of the Blackwell hitch itself again : that is, the turn of the Blackwall hitch is wrapped around a doubled line, so it remains wider, and it revolves more freely during the adjustment stage.(  I had already seen back in my first trials that the Blackwall hitch within-a-bight / eye works better when it is tied within a doubled bight / eye, and I had tried to see if that also happens in the bend ). However, this way the knot becomes bigger and more complex, and the initial outmost simplicity, the minimalistic aspect of the underlying Blackwall hitch disappears - so I decided to keep it simple... :)   
« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 11:45:20 PM by xarax »
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Twine

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2015, 05:36:05 AM »
It is a lovely bend. I like that it's made to work out of the simplest principles. It holds very well. It is more easily adjustable than a blackwall hitch tied to an eye. It's even beautiful.

But it is very difficult to construct. It has to be dressed very neatly before it can be used at all, and the dressing of this knot seems to require that you are an octopus with eight arms. Well, either that or that you have very dextrous fingers like a musician or a prestidigitator.

You did present some pictures of how to make this knot in the thread started by Tex about an adjustable grip bend to save Gotham City and a girl (Batgirl? Catwoman? Harley Quinn? It was never made clear). By looking at those pictures I finally managed to tie this bend, but now the pictures are gone. Could you please put them up again, in this thread?
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

xarax

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 07:26:56 AM »
   Thank you, Twine.
 
   As you might had seen by now, I am reluctant to post pictures of tying methods, because they may be mis-interpreted ( and then blindly followed, so mis-used ) - in short, they might be considered as tying recipes, and this is what kills the science and art of practical knotting ! Generations of clever humans had been turned into clever birds, and of no-so-clever humans into not-so-clever birds  :), by knot parroting !
   I find very easy to tie and dress this bend, perhaps because I had tied it more than 12 times  :), and because I understand how it works : I see the segments which are squeezed on each other into a shrinking noose ( the opening of the half hitch ) and meet each other at the optimum angle, the "right" angle, so they are mutually immobilized.
   I am sure somebody can tie it much more easily and quickly than me - because I have seen how Alan Lee ties the bowlines and the Butterfly loops, for example !  :) :)
   See the pictures at :
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3656.msg21113#msg21113
   Also, read the other posts of this thread, where we discuss the Round turn and/or the two half hitches solutions.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 07:29:35 AM by xarax »
This is not a knot.

Twine

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2015, 10:19:40 AM »
Thanks for linking to those pictures, Xarax. I am one of those unfortunates who actually need some kind of tying recipe in order to be able to tie a knot. I don't think I could ever figure out a good way of tying the butterfly loop or the farmer's loop just by studying a picture or a diagram of the finished knot.

What I do instead, or like to do, is to learn a method of tying a knot first, before I try to develop other methods for comparison to figure out what method really is the best for me, personally. Once I know a way to tie it, I can then get familiar enough with it to learn to recognise by sight whether or not it was tied correctly. For instance, I recently figured out a way to tie the Zeppelin Bend that is so foolprof that I can now tie it with my eyes closed. Tying it from its diagram was difficult.

Knot's I don't know how to tie I usually leave untied. Now (thanks to your images) I can tie this Blackwall Bend whenever I like (but still not easily), and knowing that method will, with increasing familiarity with the knot, help me make sure that I tied it correctly. Muscle memory, you know. We all learn things in different ways. I will later on try to find other methods to tie it, hopefully more comfortable for me.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

xarax

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 02:45:26 PM »
   What I am afraid of is that the first impression of something new on our minds takes the inside track of our memory, and then it is not so easy to push it out of this privileged path... If your mind has the ability to just utilize, temporarily, a tying diagram as a mere sign suggesting one particular road to go somewhere, but you know, and you do not forget it, that there are many other roads starting from where you are and arriving where you want to go, and that some of them will probably be shorter, or faster, or easier, or more pleasant, then to see a tying diagram the first time you meet a knot will make no harm, of course. 
   However, we have seen that this is not the case with most people - in 99% of the cases  :), when they happen to learn to tie a particular knot by one particular tying method, they will keep tying it, by following blindly the same method, for the rest of their lives !
   If, on the other hand, you like to "decipher" a picture of a knot, before you have learned any way to tie it, you may lose some time at the start, but you will gain many times that time in the future ! Because you will be forced to pay attention to the details of the knot nub, and analyse it in smaller, interconnected parts, in order to become able to "take it apart", make it "explode", and find out how you can arrive there starting from the unknotted straight line.
   I have also seen that the "common" tying methods of two knots or more knots which essentially are but two or more variations of the same knot, may differ so much, that the "similarity" of the knots themselves may remain hidden/unnoticed. When two or more knots have the same structure, I always prefer to tie them by the same tying method, and ignore the convenience of other, perhaps "simpler" or easier of faster methods, which are tailored for each one of them, and so they differ more than the knots themselves.
   I have met some pictures of knots that are difficult to "decipher", and which even I, who had tied them and taken their pictures in the first place, am not able to distinguish from other similar knots. See the attached pictures : those two knots are NOT the same ! However, those are rare cases - in general, two pictures, from two opposite "flat" sides of a knot, are more than enough.
   I believe that knot tyers should practice their ability to "read" the pictures of compact knots, which ability they already have ( otherwise they wouldn't had become knot tyers !  :) ) If anything comes ready-made, on a plate, you become lazy, and you miss a first stage which can teach you many things about a "new" knots.
   Understanding how a knot works, also makes you to tie it differently ! I do not tie the Zeppelin bend as I used to do in the past, because I now "see" it as a rope-made hinge, where the pair of tails is the pin of the hinge. So, I tie it as I would had do, if it was made by the two leafs of a hinge that I want to join, to compose them in one integrated articulated/hinged mechanism. I have seen that after I form the two knuckles of the hinge ( the first curves of the bend on each link ) I sometimes place them horizontally so that the one is above the other, because that is the way the knuckles of most of the hinges I see in my everyday life are !  :) :)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 05:55:16 PM by xarax »
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Twine

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2015, 06:58:43 PM »
They're really different? Maybe that would be easier to see if you had taken the photos from another angle. I think, if they are actually different, I could judge that much easier if I was allowed to examine the knots with my fingers, or if I knew their methods of tying. The similarity between the two photos is, to me, a perfect illustration of how much better it is, for me, to actually be shown a method of tying a knot than just being shown a picture of it. However, I do realize that, for you, your way of studying knots is better. I'm just saying that we are all different, and explore reality through different means. Some are more visually inclined, others are more tactile. What we learn may still be the same, even if we learned it in different ways.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

xarax

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 07:08:53 PM »
They're really different ?

   MUCH different !  The one is a locked Cow hitch, while the other, the ingenious Alaskan hitch, is an altogether different kind of hitch - which, unfortunately, is not EEL (1).
   However, this is a quite RARE situation- in most cases, with the simple practical knots ( because practical knots should be simple, otherwise they are not practical...) one or two pictures are enough. ( Me, for example, I usually post two pictures, taken from two opposite "flat" sides ).

1.  http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4739.0
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 11:36:06 PM by xarax »
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knot rigger

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 10:48:38 PM »
Quote
For instance, I recently figured out a way to tie the Zeppelin Bend that is so foolprof that I can now tie it with my eyes closed.

Twine, I would be very interested in seeing your version of tying the Zepplin bend. Please post it :)

Xarax, your Blackwall bend is vey nice

xarax

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 12:19:07 AM »
   Thank you, knot rigger.
   
   I hope I remained loyal to the minimalistic mechanism of the great Blackwall hitch.
   You should tie and try it on soft/compressible and/or slippery ropes, to see how smoothly it works. Do not forget to hold both ends of the link of the half-hitch with your one hand, while you pull the Standing End of the link of the Blackwall hitch with the other - and, if/when the half-hitch "closes"/clinches around itself too tightly, squeezes the Blackwall nub too much and does not allow it to revolve around the eye leg easily any more, just feed it with a small portion of its Tail End, to loosen it just a little bit : with the single half-hitch, this can be done very easily. More tight than the single half-hitch links are more secure during the stage of adjustment, of course, but they can not be loosened so easily when the eye has been shrunk too much. And when the bend is "locked" and tensioned, the single half hitch, the way the Tail End is "locked" inside its eye, is very secure : at least as secure as the Blackwall hitch, so I believe there is no reason to replace it with a more complex noose, or with a fixed eyeknot.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 01:13:21 PM by xarax »
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Tex

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 12:22:24 AM »
Sorry to extend the tangent, but I find this way to be pretty eyes-closed foolproof:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O7PgfkqskA

Twine

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 09:40:43 AM »
Twine, I would be very interested in seeing your version of tying the Zepplin bend. Please post it :)

Because you just know it's the best of all possible ways, right?  ;D  Okay, I'll post some pictures, but they would be off-topic in this thread. I'll make a new thread for this over in the "Practical Knots" section. Expect something coming up there fairly soon.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 09:50:54 AM by Twine »
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

xarax

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Re: Blackwall bend
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2015, 01:44:44 PM »
   Some more ( probably last ? ) pictures, of this bend with shorter tails, so the knot fills the frame more than at the pictures shown in the previous posts. As a reminder, I have to repeat that if, in general, the tails of bends should always be left longer than they are usually shown in pictures ( and in my pictures, too ), THOSE tail,s of THIS bend, should be left MUCH longer - or be finished by a final half-hitch, after the adjustment procedure has been over. This is a special-purpose bend, designed so that the knot tyer can easily adjust the length of the one line - it is not meant to be a general purpose bend. It should remain constantly under tension, and NOT, I repeat, NOT submitted to any jolting motion or abruptly induced alternating pull. Otherwise it will swallow /consume its tails ,especially the tail of the half-hitch link, very quickly.
   For a secure bend which does not need long tails or further securing, as simple as this, I would recommend the great Double Harness bend ( ABoK#1420).
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 03:37:01 PM by xarax »
This is not a knot.