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» Pioneering - Bridges
Rope Maintainance I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 22, 2015 2:51 pm by Warloque

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» Pioneering - Tenting
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Rope Maintainance I_icon_minitimeWed Jan 30, 2013 2:53 pm by ChongHao

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Rope Maintainance

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Rope Maintainance Empty Rope Maintainance

Post  Warloque on Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:33 pm

All Ropes Must Be Stretched Before Use.

- Ropes can be stretched by tying both ends to 2 immovable stands, making sure that they are reasonably taut.

- One person then takes the middle of the rope and pulls the rope using his leg strength, keeping both his arms straight.

- After this, the rope will be slightly longer and the slack is taken up.

- The process is to be repeated once more and the rope will be ready for use.

Proper Care

- Ropes must not be left on the floor where they can be stepped.

- Wet ropes must be dried naturally and immediately before storing, otherwise they will rot. Do not try to dry ropes by applying heat, as it'll damage the fibers of most ropes.

- Ropes must be coiled properly before storing otherwise they'll develop "kinks".

- A rope with a right hand lay must be coiled clockwise while a rope with a left hand lay must be coiled anti-clockwise.

- All ropes must be prevented from fraying by whipping.

- The properties of ropes change tremendously when the rope is wet.

- They will be weakened, stretched and become slippery. This is obviously very bad for the ropes.

- Prolonged exposure to sunlight can also damage any rope. Therefore, ropes should be stored in a cool, dry place when not in use.


- All ropes should be checked after every use, especially when the rope was used in demanding conditions like pioneering.

- Most ropes are often trusted in safety situations. A rope failing in these situations can de very dangerous and hazardous. If a rope appears to be unacceptable for pioneering, condemn it and never use it in situations where safety lies on the strength of the ropes.

- If a small section is frayed, cut it out and whip the ends to retain the better section of the ropes.


- Whipping is a means of protecting the ends of ropes from fraying by binding the fibers tightly so that they cannot open.

- As whipping is done with carpet thread or sail twine, it increases the diameter of the rope a little.

- Before you start a whipping, run the thread through soap, shoemaker's wax or candle grease to reduce wear and tear.

- For 3 strand ropes, the best whipping would be the Sail-Maker's whipping followed by the West Country whipping.

- If the rope is not of a 3-strand variety, the plain whipping or the West Country whipping can be used.

- Synthetic ropes can have their ends fused together by heat to prevent fraying.

- All whipping must be neat and tight.


- Splicing is used to connect ropes together by interweaving the strands of the ropes.

- Splicing is the safest way to fasten two ropes together or to form a loop.

- Although Knots could also be used to do these jobs they actually weaken the rope by as much as 30 to 55 percent of the original strength of the rope. However, with a good splice, the rope retains about 85 to 90 percent of the original rope's strength.

- Splicing should be used whenever there is a concern about safety or when the loop or joint is going to be left in the rope.

Crown Knot

This is knot that is tied in the end of a rope with the unlaid strands. It is seldom, if ever, used on its own but as a constituent part of a multiple knot. It is also used to commence a Back Splice. The Crown Knot is the exact opposite of the Wall Knot

A simple and effective method of finishing the end of a rope in which a Crown Knot is made with the strands at the end which are then spliced back into the rope. It is clumsy compared with Whipping but useful in an emergency or if it is desirous to know by feel when the end of the rope has been reached.

How to Untie Jammed Knots (adapted from Notable Knot Index)

- One method is to quickly and firmly twist the parts of the rope just outside the knot back and forth as you push in slack.

The reason this method works is because of the phenomenon of compound sliding. For an example, set a book on a slight incline on which the book will stay put. Now, start pushing the book sideways with a pencil, and you'll notice that it'll start sliding down the ramp slowly even though it couldn't before. Friction forces act opposite of local relative velocity, so transverse motion takes very little force to occur. This also accounts for why it is easier to insert a plug gage in a hole if you twist as you push.

- Another method, for more complex knots, requires knowledge of the way knots work. Many knots have four parts of rope either going in or out of the knot in various places. If you jammed a loop knot by pulling on ends 1, 2, and 3, for example, the knot may be made to change into a more workable shape by pulling hard on only ends 2 and 3, or maybe ends 3 and 4. An easy way to exert this force is by tying the desired ends to bars, and holding down one bar with your feet while you pull the other bar with your hands.

Because this final method could cause the knot to become more tightly jammed than before if you don't know what you're doing, this should only be used as a last resort if you can't get the twist & push method to work after several minutes.

It also helps to avoid jam-prone knots to begin with, such as the overhand knot, the overhand loop, the figure-eight loop, the perfection loop, the fisherman's knot (water knot), grapevine knot, Hunter's Bend (rigger's bend), and others. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Prepared by Warloque


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