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Knot Tieing

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Forgive me if this is posted somewhere as I've searched and didn't see anything listed. If someone can provide a link if already talked about that would be great.


I love ship building, it's fun. I admit I'm not that good with knowing all the lingo on all the parts, but it's about the joy of learning. This could be a noob question sure, but if not asked I will never know and maybe other's can benift. The ships I build I never finish as I tend to stop at the rigging, more so as it can be intimidating, but there is also other problems I run into.


I know how to tie a basic shoelace knot and that is part of a big problem, in which I would love to learn how to tie other knots. My question being, what knots are commonly used in tieing blocks/masts/deadeyes and such. Is it just one common knot used for most or good to utilize other knots, or just whatever I find that works, just do it?


Thanks for any feedback!


Current builds: San Fran II AL, Santa Maria AL

Finished Builds: Sharpie Shooner Midwest

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Worn cowboy boots all my life because of those shoe knots. ' http://www.animatedknots.com/knotlist.php?LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com', is one of many sites on the net dedicated to teach how to tie knots, also many books are out there, I have many of them that I have obtained over the years, think the first one was my dads Boy Scout Manual, won't dig it out, but I think it is the 1923 model. You may feel intimidated with knots, get yourself a  4 foot +/- piece of cotton rope, a book or computer site and start learning how to tie the knots you hear mentioned on this site, not that many of them. You won't be needing a Mathew Walker knot, masthead knot or need to learn how to tie a bowline in the center of a line, that is one I use regularly, either that one or a truckers hitch used like a block and tackle to tighten up load holding ropes.  Today handling rope or line and the knots needed is not part of everyone's life, so you will need to practice, heck you might become one of the few people in the world that knows how to handle a lawn hose without kinking it up, it's just like a stiff rope, the same rules apply. Get started, it can be fun and creating decorative but useful items from rope or lacing using knots and hitches can become a fun hobby by itself. Never know when you will need to know how to use a clove hitch to make a quick halter so you can lead a loose horse home.

jud :pirate41:

Edited by jud
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If you really want to be something of a purist about rigging, very very few "knots" are used in actual rigging practice.  The few that I can think of immediately include the matthew walker knot, the manrope knot, the tack knot, and the spritsail sheet knot.


Everything else on the ship are hitches, bends, splices, seizings, and lashings.  Each performs very differently from what is traditionally called a knot and share an important difference.  A knot, once tied is relatively permanent.  The others, although very secure, can easily be un-tied.  Remember, a ships rig is a working system with parts needing to be unrigged and shifted easily and sometimes with a moments notice.


Depending on how detailed you want to make your model rigging, it may be to your advantage to learn a few of these ways to fasten ropes to various objects.





Laissez le bon temps rouler ! 



Current Build:  Le Soleil Royal

Completed Build Amerigo Vespucci

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I am a huge knot nerd, I can't get enough knots. But, in ship modeling you do not need to have encyclopedic knot knowledge. The simple Overhand Knot - the one you use to begin tying your shoes, the one that goes on before the two "bows", -will get you through nearly every model rigging job. Very few knots on a ship are large enough to be discernible at any scale so it won't matter if you use the Overhand Knot to represent ALL the specialty knots found on an actual ship. Possible exceptions would be the Fishermans Bend (and near cousins) and Clove Hitch often found on the anchor. And this only because the anchor cable is so thick. Some knots are have properties that make them superior for certain tasks at any scale and the Clove Hitch is probably the second knot you should use on a model, after the Overhand Knot. Clove Hitches are easy to tie and are used on the ratlines on the shrouds ( so you may wind up tying hundreds of them on your model) but they are also THE BEST knot for tying a line to any cylindrical object, at any scale. Finally I will put in a plug for the Constrictor Knot, which I think is the third indispensable knot to know. Its very similar to the Clove Hitch but holds so tight it never loosens once tightened. This becomes very useful in ship model building.




 Niagara USS Constitution 


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