Knot

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Animated Knots show you how to tie Basic Knots, Fishing Knots, Sailing Knots, Climbing Knots, Forty Knots,
Special Knots, and Advanced Knots, for Wolf, Bear, Webelos, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.


Contents
Overhand knot
Square knot
Bowline
Sheet bend
Slip knot
Two half-hitches
Taut-line hitch
Clove hitch
Timber hitch
Whipping and Fusing

Here are the basic knots Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts learn. These few knots are the only knots you have to know to go all the way to Eagle. Cross-references are provided to the Wolf, Bear, Webelos, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class requirements.

Many knots below have very good Lesson Videos. Here is a general one for Scout Knots:

Overhand knot

Shortcut:
Overhand knot

The Overhand knot is used in other knots including the Square knot which is two Overhand knots. The overhand knot can be used temporarily but can untie very easily if tied around something. The overhand knot can be used as a stopper knot and can keep a rope from fraying or unraveling but the Figure Eight is a much better stopper knot.

Required for
  • Wolf Electives 17a. Learn to tie an overhand knot and a square knot.
Instructions

Make a loop and go through it.

The Overhand knot is one of the Forty Knots.

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Square knot

Square Knot
Square Knot
Shortcut:
Square knot
Granny Knot
Granny Knot

See The Ashley Book of Knots # 1402, p 258. Ashly states that: "There have probably been more lives lost as a result of using a square knot as a bend (to tie two ropes together) than from the failure of any other half dozen knots combined." The Sheet Bend is as easy to tie and untie

The square knot is also known as the joining knot because it can join two ropes together and because it is the first knot Scouts learn when they join the BSA. It has many uses-from securing bundles, packages, and the sails of ships to tying the ends of bandages.

To tie a square knot, hold one rope end in each hand. Pass the right end over and under the rope in your left hand and pull it snug. Next, pass the rope now in your left hand over and under the one now in your right, and pull it snug. Remember, right over left, left over right.

Boy Scout Handbook p. 8

Note: The Square knot comes untied easily and is not as strong as a Sheet bend.

Required for
Instructions

Right over left, left over right, makes a knot tidy, and tight.

The Square knot is one of the Forty Knots.

Granny knot

When your shoes keep coming untied, it is because you are tying Granny knots instead of Square knots. The Granny knot is given to show what not to do. The Granny knot will come untied almost immediately and is not used for any Boy Scout application.

Instructions

Right over left, right over left, makes a knot ugly and WRONG.

The Granny knot is one of the Forty Knots.

Lesson Videos
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Bowline

Bowline
Bowline
Shortcut:
Bowline
Bowline knot – rescue knot, most useful of knots because it forms a loop that will not slip and is easy to untie. Use it to attach a cord to a pack frame, tie a rope through a grommet of a tent, secure a line to a canoe, and in rescue situations, and in a thousand other ways. Learn to tie the bowline around a post and in the free end of a rope. With practice, you can even tie it with one hand.

Make a small overhand loop in the standing part of a rope. Bring the rope end up through the loop, around behind the standing part, and back down into the loop. Tighten the bowline by pulling the standing part away from the loop.

Boy Scout Handbook pp. 148-149
Required for
Instructions

Make a loop (top to you). The rabbit goes out of the hole, around the tree, and back into the hole.

The Bowline is one of the Forty Knots.

Lesson Videos
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Sheet bend

Sheet Bend
Sheet Bend
Shortcut:
Sheet bend

See The Ashley Book of Knots # 1431, p. 262. Ashly states that the Sheet Bend: "...serves almost every purpose well, and unties readily without damaging the rope."

Grog notes: "The Sheet Bend is recommended for joining two ropes of unequal size... It works equally well if the ropes are of the same size." The Sheet bend is much more secure than a Square knot.

Required for
Instructions
  • Make a loop in one end. The rabbit goes out of the hole, around the tree and back under his path.

The Sheet bend is one of the Forty Knots.

Lesson Videos
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Slip knot

Slip Knot
Slip Knot
Shortcut:
Slip knot

The Slip knot is also called the Running Hitch.

Required for
  • Bear 22b. Tie a square knot, bowline, sheet bend, two half-hitches, and slip knot. Tell how each knot is used.
Instructions

Make a loop. Pull a loop up through the loop. Pull tight.

The Running Hitch is one of the Forty Knots.

Lesson Videos
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Two half-hitches

Two Half-Hitches
Two Half-Hitches
Shortcut:
Two half-hitches
Use two half-hitches to tie a rope around a post. Pass the end of the rope around the post. Bring the end over and under the body of the rope (known as the standing part),then back through the loop thus formed. That makes a half hitch. Take the end around the standing part a second time and tie another half hitch. Pull it snug.
Boy Scout Handbook p. 36

The Two half-hitches knot is only secure when it is tight against the post.

Required for
Instructions

Loop over the top and pull through the hole to make a Half hitch. Make a second Half hitch on the outside. Pull tight.

The Two half-hitches is one of the Forty Knots.

Lesson Videos
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Taut-line hitch

Taut-Line Hitch
Taut-Line Hitch
Shortcut:
Taut-line hitch
The taut-line hitch is tied to a line that is tight, or taut. Use it to tighten or loosen a tent guyline by pushing the hitch up or down. Here's how:

Pass the line around the tent stake. Bring the end under and over the standing part and twice through the loop you have formed. Again bring the pore end under, over, and through the loop, but this time farther up the standing part. Work any slack out of the knot, then slide the hitch to adjust the tension on the line.

Boy Scout Handbook p. 37
Required for
Instructions

Loop over the top and pull through the hole to make a Half hitch. Loop over the top and through the hole again. One last Half hitch on the outside. Pull tight.

The Taut-Line Hitch is one of the Forty Knots.

Lesson Videos
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Clove hitch

Clove Hitch(Method 1)
Clove Hitch
(Method 1)
Clove Hitch(Method 2)
Clove Hitch
(Method 2)
Shortcut:
Clove hitch
Clove comes from the word cleave meaning “to split”, clove hitch is split into two parts like the foot of a deer or a sheep – used to end lashings… form the first half hitch of the clove hitch by taking a bight (loop) around the pole and then across itself.

Form the second half hitch of the clove hitch by taking the second bight around the pole and tucking the end of the rope under the rope between the two loops. When pulled tight, the clove hitch should look like an X. The difference between a clove hitch and two half-hitches is that a clove hitch is tied around an object and two half-hitches are tied around the rope’s own standing part.

An alternative way of tying a clove hitch it to make and overhand loop in the rope. Then make a second overhand loop next to the first loop. Next, without turning over either loop, place the first loop on top of the second loop. Finally, place the two loops over the end of a pole or around the neck of the bear bag and pull tight.

Boy Scout Handbook p. 139
Required for
Instructions

Loop over the top. Loop around again below. Pull through the hole.

The Clove hitch is one of the Forty Knots.

Lesson Videos
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Timber hitch

Timber hitch
Timber hitch
Shortcut:
Timber hitch
The timber hitch is the knot to use for dragging a log across the ground. It is also the knot that starts a diagonal lashing.
Boy Scout Handbook p. 138
Required for
Instructions
Here's how to tie a timber hitch:

Pass the end of the rope around the log. Loop the end around the starting part of the rope, then wrap the end around itself three or more times. Tighten the hitch against the log.

Boy Scout Handbook p. 138

The Timber hitch is one of the Forty Knots.

Lesson Videos
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Whipping and Fusing

Whipping
Whipping

Whipping:
If the cut end is left un-whipped, the rope will fray or untwist, and loose strength. Whip the ends of ropes to prevent fraying and prolongs the life of the rope.

Instructions

Lay twine (or dental floss) on rope to form a loop. Wrap the twine around with neat, tight bindings until the length of whipping is two to three times the diameter of the rope. Pull the working end of twine through the loop. Pull hard on the other end of the twine to draw tight under the wraps. Cut off loose ends and roll the whipping under foot.

Fusing:
Tape the nylon, polyester, polypropylene rope around the area to be cut. Cut in middle of the tape leaving tape intact on each side. When cutting these fibers with a pocket knife or scissors, the cut ends should be fused with a match or candle flame to prevent untwisting. Natural fiber ropes do not fuse.

Required for:

  • Webelos Outdoorsman #10. Demonstrate how to whip and fuse the ends of a rope.
  • Tenderfoot #4a: Demonstrate how to whip and fuse the ends of a rope.
Fusing
Fusing
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