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Tying tiny knots!


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Hello again friends,


Topic pretty much sums it up. I know knots, square, double half hitch, bowline, etc. but when it comes to tying them with tweezers I am a bit befuddled.


I also have issues with the knots staying tied.


If you could point me to hints, tips, tools, and tricks I would be very great full !

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Hello there...


I can not show you how to tie small knots, since to be honest, I don't see the difference of tying them with your hands or tweezers. A knot is a knot, and the only difference is the thickness of the thread you are using. If anything, make sure you use pointed tweezers able to hold those tiny pieces of thread and hold them under stress, aka when you are pulling them. Tweezers to pluck eyebrows work very nice. Look for the fine stuff, not the el cheapo.

Also, make sure you have enough thread in your hands so you are able to handle the knot-tying. Thread is the most wasted resource in our hobby: You need a ridiculously large piece of thread to tie a very tiny knot, and then you snip off 99.99% of the thread.

Here's a trick to prevent your knots from untying. Go to a music store and buy a cake of rosin. That's the stuff violinists use to rub their bows with. Rub your line several times over that cake on the area where you estimate the knot will be. Make sure the knot is where you want it... once done and tight, you will never be able to undo it. 

As a bonus, the smell of pine rosin is delightful.

A perhaps simpler trick, is to put a tiny drop of diluted white glue, or FLAT lacquer on your knot. I'd suggest you never use CA for securing your knots.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Ulises Victoria

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I suggest you GOOGLE "Instrument Ties" There are a number of video hits showing how to tie knots in tight places using surgical instruments and a small amount of thread. Really all you need is a couple of readily available hemostats. A little practice and you will tie knots like a surgeon.

Good luck

Bill Lell

Birmingham, Alabama

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Very cool many thanks, might I suggest googling "Surgical instrument ties" as "Instrument ties" comes up with a bunch of neckties with instruments on them :)


Here is a good one I found, Lo and behold I've been holding the hemostats wrong after all these years !!



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Thanks for the YouTube on knots; I have wondered about that for years (I'm not a surgeon). 


Echoing a prior post, do NOT use CA glue on rigging lines.  Instead use diluted white glue, or sometimes I use a fixament that fly fishing people use when making flys.  I might try the rosin. 


Above all, have fun~!



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Thanks for some very interesting guidelines. Why is CA such a transgression when rigging?

I found a clear version of Elmer's that works pretty well.

I'm building the masts for my Syren so any rigging hints are greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Harley

Cheers, Harley<p 



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  • 2 years later...

Guys; I'm new to the forum (and ship building) and reading this great thread in 2016. I'm currently building the Ranger. Are there any new tips on tying and which glue to use? My knots are terrible and I must confess that I use ca for glue (because it is fast). Any suggestions or updates! Thanx.....Milo

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  • 4 weeks later...

I do love CA glue for a lot of my build but after using it on a ships rigging years ago I will not do that again. I'm not as concerned with not being able to untie the not as often by the time I realize I have messed up the threads have been trimmed and the only solution is to cut through the knot and start over. The white residue that it leaves behind is the main reason I dislike it. Watered down white glue does take longer to dry, (heat guns can help speed this up if it's in a critical spot) but as it dries clear without leaving a film it is much better. Plus If I am doing a lot of knots in one sitting I like to make a small puddle of the glue that I can dip the tip of a toothpick into so I do not get an excess of glue on the knot or small part.


I have not tried rosin but, I will be calling my cousin who is a musician and plays the violin to see if he has some I can try or where locally I can buy some. I have always used beeswax and have been happy with the results it gives.  

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There's also fabric glue available at some arts/crafts stores and many yard goods (sewing) type shops.  Also matte varnish works well.

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