Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rope Fender

Hello there... I'm back. I took some time off to do a little "production" work (tie things already published here, but for family and friends), and also to pursue another hobby. As the temperature had dropped here in Maine I've been getting the urge to get back into new knotting projects. In this case, it's more like finish a knotting project as this has been sitting in my drawer since the summer.

This is a rope fender, or more aptly a waste rope fender that I made from some dog leash left overs.It was fairly common practice "back in the day" to utilize old rope to make boat fenders. In this case I am using 1/2" poly-prop lobster pot warp line. The fender is probably only big enough to be effective on a dinghy, but it is is certainly something that could scale up. I also think in this day and age I'd stay away from mooring a fancy expensive yacht with a rope fender as I would be concerned about scratching the paint. The fenders sure can look nice though.

The project was adapted from the book The Marlinspike Sailor by Hervey Garrett Smith. It has a rope core crown wrapped in the 6 strands that come from a looped piece of 3 strand rope. At the bottom the strands are walled back up into the fender. I also whipped the loop with a 4 lead by 3 bight turks head. Could probably be a little neater, but the poly pro is a bear to work with and keep tight. A simple and fun little project. Thanks. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Coffee Mug and Handle Wrap

I received this OXO travel mug with handle for Christmas. I really like a stainless lined travel mug and I have been interested in a "handled" mug for some time - it was a good choice. I've read about the concept of taking two turks heads and combining them into one knot at a tee. For this project, I tied a long 4 lead turks head around the cup, splitting the center of the leads around the handle. Then I ran four separate strand through the 4 lead knot and created a helix around the handle and then back weaved the knot, essentially creating a 4 bight multi-strand turks head around the handle. I could have probably used a long 4 bight turks head to give me guide to follow for the handle, but I wasn't certain how if the pattern would work and in this case it was easier for me to manage multiple strands. I had to make sure I paid careful attention to the spacing of the strands at the bend in the handle as it got really tight on the inside, similar to my umbrella handle tie a while back. The knot was then doubled, tightened and the ends were trimmed. Half and half, a little java and off we go.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Simple Key Lanyard

A quick one here- I've been out of a key lanyard for a few weeks, so I decided to whip something together. I tend to like my key lanyards to be low profile so I can get my keys out of my pocket without much resistance. For this lanyard I used a short piece of orange paracord and tied a long two strand Matthew Walker knot as a stopper using instructions from the Ashley Book of Knots. I then added four bight gaucho knots at the top and bottom of the lanyard in tan nylon line. I reference Tom Hall's "Introduction to Turk's Head Knots" to tie the gauchos.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Leash and the Gaucho Fan

I recently purchased a reel of lobster warp, or rope that is normally used to connect the buoy to the trap when folks are fishing for lobster up here in Maine. I bought this rope to make a wreath for a friend, and now I have a few hundred extra feet of it. This rope is light and inexpensive, but still relatively durable. There are several vendors making rope door mats out of this rope in Maine.

This is a leash I made for one of our dogs using the rope. It is simply a claw style snap hook eye spliced to one end of the rope and a looped eye splice to the other end of the rope. I'd like to get better at eye spicing so this is a good way to practice. Around the splices are tied two-color gaucho fan knots. The two-color gaucho fan knots are essentially tied the same as the gaucho knot, but the second color is weaved in after the original turks head is tied.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pull Through Tool with Ashley's Herringbone

This is a knotting tool my father gave me a few years ago. It is simply a piece of piano wire loop inserted into a wooden handle. It is useful every so often to pull a string through a tight opening when tying knots, and you could certainly fashion similar tool out of any reasonably stiff wire. A heavy guitar or bass string might also work, for example. Around the handle I tied a multi strand herringbone knot from the Ashley Book of Knots. This knot was tied using 8 individual strands and is started in a similar manner to a standing/multi strand turks head. Note that I did not use a mandrel to tie this covering. In tying it, I had little reference as to how long the final covering was going to be and it came up a bit short. I added a bit of straight whipping to each end and then tied 5 lead by 4 bight turks head over the whipping, using the turks heads as end coverings.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Barber Pole Turks Head Bottle Opener

Hope the New Year finds every one well. It's been busy here in southern Maine with a dumping of snow, back to work, back to school for the kids, a new Homebrewing Kit and the like. I've spent most evenings since my return from visiting the family for the holidays cross country skiing which has been very enjoyable. As the snow has gotten more crunchy I finally sat down with some string.

This is a business promotional bottle opener I picked up at an open house recently. As far as business promotion widgets go, it's of fairly good quality and made of stainless steel. Around it is tied a variation of a barber pole turks head. If you poke around the web you can find some very complicated and impressive versions of the barber pole turks heads. This version is tied as a standing turks head, using 1 strand for each bight with 8 strands total- I simply zip tied the stands to the bottle opener rather than monkeying with a mandrel (I rarely use mandrels). When the initial helix of strands was made, all I did was alternate the colors and started tucking each end in the same pattern from one end to the other. There are a couple tutorials on Knot Heads World Wide for barber pole turks heads using only two stands. They can be found here and here.

Blog Archive