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Ropework

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Ropework or Marlinespike Seamanship is the set of processes and skills used to make, repair, and use rope. This includes tying knots, splicing, making lashings, and proper use and storage of rope.

Making a rope

To make a rope, take a long length of twine or yarn and tie it to a rod of strong material. Loop it around a second rod, held at a distance. Take it back to the first rod, loop it around, and then once more back to the second, to which it is then tied. There should be three lengths of twine running between the two rods. Each person holding a rod then moves backward until the lengths are taut and then begins turning his rod counterclockwise. This continues until the twine has been tightly twisted; at this point, the securing knots are untied. The twine is then secured to the rods again (as if the piece of three twisted lengths is one) and run between them as before was, with three lengths between the rods. The holders again pull the material taut and begin turning, this time in the opposite direction. When the rope is tightly twisted, each end is whipped (see below) and then cut between the whipping and the rod.

Whipping frayed ropes

A whipping knot is a type of knot used to hold the frayed end of a rope together. The simplest sort, the common whipping, is done by taking a two-foot-or-greater length of strong string, forming a loop with it, three or four diameters of the rope in length, and lying it on the rope near the frayed end. The rest of the length is then tightly wrapped without overlapping around the rope, moving up the loop. When the end of the loop is nearly covered, pull the remaining free length of the string through the loop and then pull on both ends, which will pull the end of the loop under the whipping. Cut off the end of the rope close to the edge of the whipping and then cut off the two free lengths of string.

A somewhat simpler method is merely to cut off the fraying and wrap a few layers of tape, usually electrical tape, around the cut end.

See also: Whipping knot, common whipping, Hangman's knot

Fusing frayed ropes

Fusion is a method of treating the end of a nylon or plastic rope through use of heat. Make a clean cut near the end and hold the newly cut end a few inches above a flame until the fibers have melted and fused together. Allow the end to cool before touching it or setting it down.

Another method of fusing, somewhat weaker, is simply to cut the end of the rope, coat the exposed fibers in glue or paint, and allow to dry. This is appropriate for ropes made from fibers that do not melt such as cotton or kevlar.

See also

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