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Eye splice

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Eye Splce

The eye splice is the best method of creating a permanent loop in the end of three stranded rope by means of rope splicing. The ends of the rope are tucked (plaited) back into the standing end to form the loop. Originally this splice was described with each end being tucked only about three times. When the splice was made in tarred hemp or cotton this was reasonably safe. With modern synthetic ropes, five complete tucks is a minimum and additional tucks are recommended for critical loads. The eyesplice is also commonly used on wire rope.

Technique

The ends of the rope are first wrapped in tape or heated with a flame to prevent each end from fraying completely. The rope is unlayed for a distance equal to three times the diameter for each "tuck", e.g., for five tucks in half inch rope, undo about 7.5 inches. Wrap the rope at that point to prevent it unwinding further. Form the loop and plait the three ends back against the twist of the rope. Practice is required to keep each end to retain its twist and lie neatly. In stiff old rope or in new rope which has been tightly wound, a marlinspike or fid can facilitate opening up the strands and threading each end.

In some cases, the splice is tapered by trimming the working strands after each tuck. Also, the splice can be whipped to protect and strengthen the splice.

Alternatives

The Bowline is a quick practical method of forming a loop in the end of a piece of rope. However, the bowline has an awkward tendency to shake undone when not loaded. The bowline also reduces the strength of the rope at the knot to ~45% of the original unknotted strength.

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