Author Topic: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts  (Read 401 times)

mju

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"Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« on: February 07, 2019, 06:14:58 PM »
Hello all, first time poster here, apologies for the long post...  Brief background before I post my question:  As an adult volunteer with the Boy Scouts, I felt that I should know the knots that our Scouts are required to learn. (square knot, sheet bend, clove hitch, bowline, two half hitches, timber hitch, taut-line hitch.)  In practicing these knots and researching their function, I soon found that the basic Scout knots are really not that great?most of them are insecure, temporary, or otherwise not suitable for regular daily use.  However, I also discovered that most of them could easily be improved with minor changes.  This led me to develop the "Knot Master Program", in which learners start with the basic Scout knots as a foundation, then improve their knowledge by incrementally building upon that foundation.

This program is organized similar to a martial arts program, in that students will work on a series of levels, eventually earning a colored "rope" once each level is mastered.  Levels must be completed in order, as higher levels build upon techniques learned in the lower levels.  This is intended to be a long-term program, not something that can be completed in a few weeks.

Here is what my latest draft looks like...each level has 6 knots, and some have terms to learn as well.  The attached image shows the same info, but also has color-shading that shows the "progression" of some knots, i.e. clove hitch to constrictor knot, Fig-8 family, Bowline family, etc.  I am seeking input regarding the design of this program, particularly regarding the specific knots that I've chosen.  My focus is to have our Scouts learn a variety of USEFUL knots (as well as a few decorative ones at the end).  BTW, a huge thanks to everyone on this forum for sharing your knowledge with others--I have learned a TON over the last few months!!!


Level 0:  Olive Drab Rope (beginner)
Terms:  standing end, running end, bight, loop (underhand & overhand)

Level 1:  White Rope
-   Overhand Knot
-   Overhand Loop
-   Two Half Hitches (Scouts requirement)
-   Cleat Hitch
-   Square Knot (Scouts requirement)
-   Sheet Bend/Double Sheet Bend (Scouts requirement)
-   Terms: turn, round turn, slip, dressing, setting

Level 2:  Yellow Rope
-   Double Overhand
-   Poacher's Knot
-   Bowline (Scouts requirement)
-   Clove Hitch (Scouts requirement)
-   Taut Line Hitch (Scouts requirement)
-   Timber Hitch (Scouts requirement)
-   Terms: hitch, bend, stopper, eye (fixed, adjustable, end, middle), loop (left-handed vs right-handed)

Level 3:  Orange Rope
-   Double Fisherman's
-   Figure-8
-   Scott?s Locked Bowline
-   Constrictor Knot
-   Rolling Hitch
-   Pile Hitch
-   Bowline Terms: nipping loop, collar

 
Level 4:  Green Rope
-   Alpine Butterfly Loop
-   Figure-8 Loop
-   Double Bowline
-   Water Bowline
-   Cow Hitch
-   Gnat Hitch
-   Terms: Rethreading, whipping, fusing

Level 5:  Blue Rope
-   Alpine Butterfly Bend
-   Figure-8 Bend
-   End-Bound Dbl Bowline
-   Zeppelin Bend
-   Backhand Hitch
-   Ashley's Knot

Level 6:  Red Rope
-   Necktie 4-in-Hand
-   Figure-8 Directional Loop
-   End-Bound Sgl Bowline
-   Zeppelin Loop
-   Mooring Hitch
-   Double Dragon Loop

Level 7:  Black Rope
-   Necktie Half Windsor
-   Carrick Bend
-   Bowline on a Bight
-   Anti Bowline
-   Trucker's Hitch
-   Reever Bend

Level 8:  Master Rope
-   Necktie Full Windsor
-   Lanyard Knot
-   Handcuffs
-   Triple Crown
-   Monkey Fist
-   Turk's Head


roo

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 06:42:33 PM »

Here is what my latest draft looks like...each level has 6 knots, and some have terms to learn as well.  The attached image shows the same info, but also has color-shading that shows the "progression" of some knots, i.e. clove hitch to constrictor knot, Fig-8 family, Bowline family, etc.  I am seeking input regarding the design of this program, particularly regarding the specific knots that I've chosen.  My focus is to have our Scouts learn a variety of USEFUL knots (as well as a few decorative ones at the end).  BTW, a huge thanks to everyone on this forum for sharing your knowledge with others--I have learned a TON over the last few months!!!


Level 0:  Olive Drab Rope (beginner)
Terms:  standing end, running end, bight, loop (underhand & overhand)

Level 1:  White Rope
-   Overhand Knot
-   Overhand Loop
-   Two Half Hitches (Scouts requirement)
-   Cleat Hitch
-   Square Knot (Scouts requirement)
-   Sheet Bend/Double Sheet Bend (Scouts requirement)
-   Terms: turn, round turn, slip, dressing, setting

Level 2:  Yellow Rope
-   Double Overhand
-   Poacher's Knot
-   Bowline (Scouts requirement)
-   Clove Hitch (Scouts requirement)
-   Taut Line Hitch (Scouts requirement)
-   Timber Hitch (Scouts requirement)
-   Terms: hitch, bend, stopper, eye (fixed, adjustable, end, middle), loop (left-handed vs right-handed)

Level 3:  Orange Rope
-   Double Fisherman's
-   Figure-8
-   Scott?s Locked Bowline
-   Constrictor Knot
-   Rolling Hitch
-   Pile Hitch
-   Bowline Terms: nipping loop, collar

 
Level 4:  Green Rope
-   Alpine Butterfly Loop
-   Figure-8 Loop
-   Double Bowline
-   Water Bowline
-   Cow Hitch
-   Gnat Hitch
-   Terms: Rethreading, whipping, fusing

Level 5:  Blue Rope
-   Alpine Butterfly Bend
-   Figure-8 Bend
-   End-Bound Dbl Bowline
-   Zeppelin Bend
-   Backhand Hitch
-   Ashley's Knot

Level 6:  Red Rope
-   Necktie 4-in-Hand
-   Figure-8 Directional Loop
-   End-Bound Sgl Bowline
-   Zeppelin Loop
-   Mooring Hitch
-   Double Dragon Loop

Level 7:  Black Rope
-   Necktie Half Windsor
-   Carrick Bend
-   Bowline on a Bight
-   Anti Bowline
-   Trucker's Hitch
-   Reever Bend

Level 8:  Master Rope
-   Necktie Full Windsor
-   Lanyard Knot
-   Handcuffs
-   Triple Crown
-   Monkey Fist
-   Turk's Head
Remove the "Alpine" modifier for the name of the Butterfly Loop/Bend. 

The Mooring Hitch has capsizing issues and could be replaced with a slipped buntline or others:

https://notableknotindex.webs.com/slippedbuntline.html
https://notableknotindex.webs.com/tumblehitch.html (also see related hitches in footnotes of this page)

I think the number of fixed loops could be reduced.  I think I'd start with removing the Double Dragon Loop.  You might keep the Overhand Loop for disposable stuff.  I think I'd trade out the "end bound" loops for something with a bit of different functionality like the HFP Slippery 8 Loop:

https://notableknotindex.webs.com/slippery8.html

I'm a little uneasy with the shape-stability of the Scott's Locked Bowline (especially in the hands of novices), but there is a fix that would best fit very demanding conditions:  https://notableknotindex.webs.com/monsoonbowline.html

I hope the Ashley's Knot you are referring to is the stopper and not the bend, as the latter has serious evil impostor issues:
https://notableknotindex.webs.com/butterflybend.html

Since you are required to teach the Tautline Hitch, you could probably dump the rolling hitch in favor of a Sailor's Hitch:
https://notableknotindex.webs.com/sailorhitches.html

The directional 8 loop is so vulnerable to accidental tail-loading induced capsizing, I would look at the Span Loop as a replacement:
https://notableknotindex.webs.com/spanloop.html
It's not perfect, and can also capsize with certain loadings, but at least it's very jam-resistant.  A Midspan Sheet Bend can be used to make a double loop knot on the bight without much effort and it has surprisingly good properties:
https://notableknotindex.webs.com/midspan.html (see last paragraph, above footnote)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 09:35:40 PM by roo »
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SS369

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 02:10:17 AM »
Quote
I'm a little uneasy with the shape-stability of the Scott's Locked Bowline (especially in the hands of novices), but there is a fix that would best fit very demanding conditions: Monsoon...

??They won't be novices after they learn and get tested.

In the hands of novices your Monsoon, which is derived from the simple lock I offered and more complicated by additional fiddling turns, is just as shape unstable. As is many that you and others offer.

Knots need to be learned and practiced and hopefully mju is an competent teacher. I see no problems or challenges that can't be overcome by becoming adept at the tasks.
So, if the student learns a knot, passes the competency test, gets their reward, all is good.

Good luck mju !

SS
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 02:27:04 PM by SS369 »

siriuso

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 06:33:34 PM »
Hi mju,

I think you have missed a lot, such as whippings, splicings and lashings. Mountaineering and pioneering are important activties in the wild and surely use knots. Hope you will include them in your programme.

Happy knotting
yChan
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 11:43:25 AM by siriuso »

mju

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 02:55:35 AM »
Hi all, thanks for the replies so far!!

Roo, I agree that there are a lot of fixed loops.  I used to think the Bowline was a phenomenal knot, until I did some research and discovered its weaknesses.  Hence, I wanted to include several bowline variations, including a simple locked bowline.
- I chose the Scott's locked over the Lee Locked, purely because it's just one more step beyond the basic bowline.  I originally had the Yosemite, but soon realized it was not a sufficient "lock", especially when tied or tightened incorrectly.
- I want to keep the Double Dragon, because I like the look of that knot, and it's one that most people have never seen before.  Also, some people may find it more intuitive to tie than other fixed end loops.
- Yes, the Ashley Stopper is what I'm referring to.
- For the rolling hitch (aka Midshipman's Hitch), I included it to show how a very simple modification improves the Taut Line Hitch.  Same as the single/double sheet bend, clove/constrictor hitch, etc.
- I hadn't seen the Span Loop before, I'll look for a way to include that knot.
- The Directional Fig-8 Loop is included primarily so it can be used in the Trucker's Hitch (i.e. knowing it will be loaded only in the correct direction).  For most other midline loops, I steer towards the Butterfly Loop.

Siriuso, this program is intended to just discuss knots (though we will talk about whipping and fusing rope).  The Boy Scouts requirements cover lashings and splices separately, either in the rank requirements or in certain merit badges.  I wanted to focus on knots because I feel that, outside of very specific applications, lashings and splices are not used by 99% of people in daily life.  But knots tend to be used/needed much more often, so knowing a variety of useful knots will come in handy much more often.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 06:19:45 PM »
I've but time for a quick comment.

It would be helpful if the students work in
multiple bits of cordage --i.e., some that
are easily and others NOT easily knotted :
this is to demonstrate in hand why one might
NEED to know multiple knots!

There can be better organizing of the sections,
and maybe fewer,
but looking to show concepts and entail knots
so fitting :: e.g., if one shows the overhanad,
fig.8, dbl.oh --in anchor=bend, strangle, &
pretzel forms--, and ...,
maybe at one level;
then at an upper level on can show what happens
if these knot forms are done with a bight
--i.e., presto, one has eye knots.

...

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Dan_Lehman

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2019, 02:37:27 AM »
- Yes, the Ashley Stopper is what I'm referring to.
This stopper exhibits a simple construction rule for
making stoppers :: form a noose; hitch the noose
onto its tail.
Despite the promulgation of this knot, there is little
good advice for tying it (and a few even IGKT authors
get it wrong (even SmitHunter's bend has been botched!).
It's important to set the overhand component tight,
as loading will NOT do this, and will try to pull the
noose-hitched/-toggling tail through it, to capsize.
Finishing with a slip-bight is one way to put an
extra diameter in this toggling part.

As for "Ashley's bend" --a name given to #1452 by his friend
Cyrus L. Day--, that's a good knot to learn, nevermind all the
worry about "evil impostors" : TEACH THE KNOT, don't skimp
on it like knots books!  (Even Ashley is pretty lame here,
not showing the various forms of #1452 and too quickly
dismissing the good #1425.)
SHOW how the combined/like draw of the SParts' turns
will twist the nipped tails --ever tighter when right,
and arguably evilly looser if not.  (#1452 isn't so
vulnerable to spilling as is #1408=>9; rather, when
tails are oriented in what would see# #1409 roll
--and sometimes it rolls to secure form--, it just
can lead to a locking that potentially jams.
One might WANT this "jammed" form.  (Not if one
is hauling hard on fine cord in some test; but in
rather common, 1/4" poly cord which has a springy
slickness to defy slack-security in many knots.)

As for the butterfly, see Roo's image and just
rotate the right-side (grey'd) around the horizontal
axis (top part towards viewer & down --there is only
one rotation possible), AND THEN make the eye tuck,
giving a fig.8 component on the right side, and
--this is the point--
having the two SParts have like rotation as for the
Ashley knots.  Better to load against the overhand
part, as the Fig.8 part will better impede jamming
of an unloaded SPart.   YMMV per conditions.

Quote
- For the rolling hitch (aka Midshipman's Hitch),
I included it to show how a very simple modification improves the Taut Line Hitch.
Same as the single/double sheet bend, clove/constrictor hitch, etc.
I'm not sure what's being said, here.  But what you should show
is friction hitches that grip with coil-back structures (as in the
rolling hitch) and then with a going-away coil (as for
the Prohgrip/Blake's hitch, klemheist h..  AND point out
what the parts of the knot DO :: i.e., that the gripping comes
from the coil, and outside of that is knotting just to hold
things in place; and, e.g., one might include a *guard*
(my term) structure that is just a coil (coil-back), jammed
as midshipman's often are (aka "awning hitch") or
not, which lead to complete knot --a 2nd gripping, the
first maybe giving one ease of tying the 2nd, and IMO
additional holding power.
(IMO, "tautline" is a noose structure working as a sort
of adjustable loop, and using a rolling hitch knot.
Re the latter, and also the simple clove h., one should
show how an overhand stopper'd tail gives security;
and how a slip knot enables slipping both the stopper
and the main knot in one fell soup.  (-;

Quote
The Directional Fig-8 Loop is included primarily so it can be used in the Trucker's Hitch
Why do this (too clever by half)?  Putting in a bowline
with a bight yields a 2-eyed sheave for distributing wear
of the haul line?!  Or just the simple knot usually used.
But here is where considering different materials will
shed light on knot choice.


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Dan_Lehman

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2019, 08:14:34 PM »
- ... I included it to show how a very simple modification improves
 ...  Same as the single/double sheet bend, ..

You should find the Dave Richards test results for
these knots in 12.7mm & 7mm kernmantle ropes
("static line" & "accessory cord" is how rockclimbing
sources mighj call them) *interesting*:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160429000028/http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/03_Cordage_Institute_Tests.pdf
The dbl.sheet bend does MORE slipping (!!).

(The tables are correct; one pair of bar graphs
have swapped labels --those labeled for static & dynamic
lines (12.7 & 10mm) should be swapped each for the
other, in bar graphs.  (The tables' values show their
correctness vs. the bar graphs.)


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tomh

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 09:03:57 PM »
Lots of good stuff in your outline, mju. I appreciate that it is about knotting, but I really think something about selection, application, and care of cordage should be part of such a program. And I would encourage you to include lashings etc. so that they would become more familiar! In my experience, they generate a lot of interest among learners.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 09:26:43 PM by tomh »

Harold Kahl

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2019, 10:56:25 PM »
I'm thinking a knot master should know at least a few basic fishing knots. My suggestions would be the blood knot, improved clinch knot, and Palomar knot.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2019, 06:15:15 PM »
I'm thinking a knot master should know at least a few basic fishing knots.
Bingo!  I'm thinking that fishing knots are likely the most
well researched/tested/varied of knots.  (And are a glaring
hole in my knots knowledge, alas.)

Thanks,
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capellagroup

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Re: "Knot Master Program" for Scouts
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2019, 02:02:45 AM »
I think you have made an outstanding effort, just being involved with the Scouts.  This forum chapter just goes to show the complexity of the subject of knotting. Add selection and caring for working ropes and cordage (I was once a military cliff-roping/climbing instructor) and decorative knotting,and fishing knots, and construction knots, and weaving and farming and crafting knots, and, and, and.....
Gosh, it's a big topic, innit?