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The Fount Of All.... Hignorunce?

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Nigel Graham 214/02/2022 12:46:27
2133 forum posts
29 photos

Not ever so long ago one could type in a request for information into one's confuser, and a collection of informative articles would appear. There were links to traders too, but they usually seemed further down the page.

Not now it seems.

I want to add to my skills (using the term advisedly) that of rope-splicing. I know a modest range of useful knots but there are applications where splicing would better, e.g. for making special lifting-slings for the workshop.

So I typed "Rope eye-splices" or similar.

This elicited not merely hundreds of ads with most having only slender linguistic connections to the topic, but a bewildering maze of links, mainly to ads, often going round in circles. I did find what I wanted, eventually, but it was far more difficult and time-consuming than even only a year or so back.

Most were videos too, which I find useless as tutorials. Indeed, those on the site of one of Britain's best-known, long-established rope-manufacturers were the worst I have seen - an object lesson in how not to make training videos.

I found static instructions on another site and printed them, though they are not very explanatory.

That is one example. I have found this with other topics - apart perhaps from Wikipedia, the information still exists in assorted blogs or whatever they are, but now buried under an avalanche of advertisements.


Incidentally I did stumble on a rather lovely set of videos that animate the rope splicing itself, no human hands involved at all. The strands gracefully slide around, above and below each other like honeymooning snakes. The animations are continuous loops, and if given a random screen-location routine would have been great screen-savers on C.R.T. monitors!

(I do have a small book on splicing yacht-ropes. It says "almost anyone can make an eye-splice in three-strand [hawser-lay] rope" . Which is somewhat disheartening when it gives rather unclear directions to a technique far harder than it looks. Effectively you make three strands go through two gaps all the time, without threading one through an occupied gap, or discovering a previous strand has quietly sidled round the lay to meet its mate! It rather reminds me of a sleight-of-hand puzzle my Primary School Headmaster enjoyed showing us on the blackboard, of fitting a gang of 20 brigands into a 19-room inn so each had his own room - the story said they were so dangerous that if two shared, one might kill the other.)

Michael Gilligan14/02/2022 12:54:11
20183 forum posts
1053 photos

Oddly enough … When I copied and pasted your exact text [complete with the quote marks]

"Rope eye-splices"

into Google … the results seemed quite reasonable.


pgk pgk14/02/2022 13:53:48
2563 forum posts
293 photos

I like this site for animated knot tying. Link is to a splice but loadsa variants.


Martin Connelly14/02/2022 13:55:38
2137 forum posts
222 photos

From the book Knots, Splices and Fancy Work by C. L. Spencer



Martin C

Martin Kyte14/02/2022 14:05:18
2753 forum posts
48 photos

It's about asking the right question.

Try "How to splice rope"

rather than "Rope eye splices"

regards Martin

Nigel Graham 214/02/2022 14:07:54
2133 forum posts
29 photos

Michael -

That suggests the actual words used may be critical, perhaps by numerical order. I could not recall what I had really typed.



Thank you. In fact that was the animation I'd spotted but I'd not realised it is a far more comprehensive site than first appears, and I have now book-marked it.

I looked at its list of knots, too. Some are ones I learnt while in the Scouts and still use, although to me the "Square Knot" has always been the "Reef Knot", from its original use in sail-reefing. (A square sail was reefed by folding it up towards the yard, then closing it by a row of short cords on each side being tied together under the bundle.)

Of those "Scout" knots the Bowline (another old maritime knot) became familiar to me in caving, though now we use the Figure-of-Eight and Alpine Butterfly on that site's other knot section.


Martin -

I'll keep an eye out for that book!

KWIL14/02/2022 15:30:24
3554 forum posts
70 photos


Very good illustration of how to do it, downloadable pdf

old mart14/02/2022 18:05:49
3775 forum posts
233 photos

When I was a kid, we had a book called "Knots, ties and splices". I have just googled the name and there are lots of hits including much newer editions than our one which was probably pre war.

Neil Wyatt14/02/2022 18:25:57
19033 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles
Posted by old mart on 14/02/2022 18:05:49:

When I was a kid, we had a book called "Knots, ties and splices". I have just googled the name and there are lots of hits including much newer editions than our one which was probably pre war.

That brings back Sea-Scout memories!


Howard Lewis14/02/2022 18:42:48
6113 forum posts
14 photos

In my experience, one search engine employs such a blunt instrument that an enquiry about ropes, would be quite likely to bring up details of strings of pearls or boxing rings, in addition to vegetable or wire ropes.!

"Splices" would probably bring up a load of possible wedding venues!


Bazyle14/02/2022 18:59:12
6324 forum posts
222 photos

You have to watch out with some of this online stuff whether they are having you on or just don't know what they are talking about. Somewhere out there is a video instruction to tie a bowline but with the 'free end' as the standing line. Not only confusing but also unsafe.

Andy Stopford14/02/2022 19:21:57
158 forum posts
18 photos

Nigel, have you checked that your browser hasn't been switched to search 'Shopping' rather than 'All'?

+1 for Animated Knots, I'll bookmark that.

bricky14/02/2022 20:18:44
575 forum posts
68 photos

I learned to tie knots and splice rope from the book that Niel mentioned and I still have it somewhere.When I was an apprentice, the lorry drivers on the firm would bring their ropes to me to splice the cut ends and also to make eye splices and I would whip them on completion.


old mart14/02/2022 21:24:11
3775 forum posts
233 photos

I used to love splicing rope, not now as my fingers are arthritic.

Bill Pudney14/02/2022 22:44:36
611 forum posts
24 photos

My (sadly late) elder brother was in the RN for 22 years. Although he was an ERA, he always had a love of sailing and the techniques required. I once watched him splice a couple of bits of rope together, with the comment "...hardly ever get to do this, so I'm a bit rusty.", bish, bash, bosh as if by magic a beautiful splice!! He finished off with the comment, "...(Training Ship) Mercury was good for something after all".



Nigel Graham 215/02/2022 11:43:55
2133 forum posts
29 photos

Thank you for the help, everyone -

Andy, I'll look out for that 'Shopping' / All' switch. I use Firefox and I don't know if that has it.

I'd actually used splicing instructions as an example, for I had encountered the search problem on other topics.

Bill - the "as if by magic" was rather like the supposed training videos on the major rope-manufacturer's site I'd perhaps better not name. The videos were of someone frantically splicing a rope as if to stop his yacht sinking; there was no commentary just background music worse than that now infecting Radio Four; and the occasional instruction-captions were shown and faded too quickly to read, absorb and link to the main images.

Ropes Direct (a retailer not manufacturer) gives much better instructions.

I have a book on knots and braiding but splicing is the one field it does not cover.

Nick Clarke 315/02/2022 14:09:43
1427 forum posts
63 photos

Even melting the end of polyprop rope is not guaranteed to keep the ends together and a back splice is much more effective and long lasting - and so much more satisfying to do!

Nick Clarke 315/02/2022 14:09:44
1427 forum posts
63 photos

Even melting the end of polyprop rope is not guaranteed to keep the ends together and a back splice is much more effective and long lasting - and so much more satisfying to do!

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