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[TowerTalk] Braiding Eye into wire rope (long)

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Braiding Eye into wire rope (long)
From: (Arne Gjerning)
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 22:39:26 -0700
Have had several requests to describe how to braid an eye in wire rope so 
will try to describe how its done.

BTW, I usually am the one on top of the tower and the ** knots I see 
arrive continue to amaze me and I can't find them in any books or 
articles anywhere. Will be on a 87 ft Rohn 45G tomorrow, I did this 
complete installation with ground help, and will see more ** knots. WHERE 

Wire rope in most sizes consists of 7 major strands which consist of 
varying numbers of indivuals strands of wire (ie; 7 x 19 designation 
which is seven major strands consisting of 19 indivual wires is very 

1. The first step in the process is to separate the major strands, 4 in 
one group and 3 in the other. This must be done carefully to not kink of 
otherwise disturb the normal lay of the strands. I usuall divide the 
major strands with a knife blade. The idea is to separate them evenly 
(the result should look very much like preforms).

2. The amount of separations depends upon size of eye required and dead 
end left (for 1/4" I separate at least 12").

3. Next double the 4 strand group back onto the wire rope creating a loop 
(soon to be the eye) of the size needed.

4. Nezt double the 3 strand group back onto the wire rope. The trick here 
is to do this in such a manner that the two strands will lay back 
together to form a section of the eye looking like the wire rope. Only 2 
ways to do this, either the left group crosses over the right group of 
right group crosses over left group. On the wire rope in front of me the 
right group was placed on top of the left group and then the end of the 
right group was fed thru the resulting loop from the far side (bottom 
thru loop to top).

5. Pull the 2 strands in opposite directions until the desired loop size 
is obtained and the 2 strands lay together (this will look like the wire 

6. Continue to weave the strands into the eye being created toward where 
they separate from the original wire rope.

7. After all of the eye has been woven forming the eye, weave the 2 
strands back together forming a dead end. I usually place 1 wire rope 
clamp on the dead end to hold it in place.

I hope this will help those wishing to braid an eye into wire rope. 
Patience while trying this is very important, but once learned you will 
be surprised how easy it is to make an eye.

I learned this from my father, he set chokers in a logging operation in 
Oregon, when I installesd my first tower in 1964 (a 71 ft Tri-ex 
crankup). This was the only condition my father placed on the 
installation and I put up a TM30C and 2el HyGain 40 at 72 and 85 ft 
respectively). BTW, W7NI saw this installation many times until I took it 
down in winter of '67.

Wish I could make a video of the eye braiding process but not possible so 
I will make this offer. If when trying this you get lost (or patience 
runs a little short) I will accept phone calls and will lead you thru the 
process. But please only call me from 7 -9 PM MDST Mon thru Fri at 
(505)898-3124; weekends after 10 AM until 9 PM. Have your piece of wire 
rope handy and it should take less then 5 minutes. If you reach my 
recorder leave message and call back. I WILL NOT return calls.

Braiding an eye in common rope is possible, much more involved and I will 
not describe this process. Basic knot tieing is a MUST for all amateurs 
and I hope everyone will learn how to tie a bowlin and half hitch at 

The terminologies above are mine, I didn't have a copy of the MIL SPEC 
for wire rope here at home this evening. I do have access to it at work 

BTW, I will be using the braided eye on my 4X4 winch cable (7/16 wire 
rope). Do I trust the eye? YUP.

Have fun and good luck.

de Arne N7KA

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