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[TowerTalk] Knots for hams

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Knots for hams
From: (
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 1997 15:03:24 +0000
> > ...I consider the following to be the minimum 
> >  complement of knots for the tower worker: bowline, clove hitch, sheet 
> >  bend, half hitch, figure eight,...

>       A pretty aggressive list of knots for occasional tower workers.  If
> you're going to be cast away on a desert island  and can only take one knot
> with you, it should be the bowline.  I use if about 85% of the time.  
>      Second is the occasional clove hitch, then trucker's hitch for
> tightening a rope line (which includes an overhand knot and half hitches).
>  That's about it.

Not really (aggressive list). As you point out, bowline for 85%; the
clove hitch for hoisting masts or other round objects with no
handles, the sheet bend is the correct knot for attaching your rope
to an eye splice or to another rope, half hitches are useful in lots
of places including describing other knots (trucker's hitch, which
I've never used, for example).

> >  You do have a figure eight knot in the end of the rope for such
> > trips  up the tower, don't you? Ever try to re-rig your gin pole
> > up on the  tower because you let the rope run through? 

> The figure 8 is endorsed by my editor who is also a mountain
> climber. It's easier to teach someone than a bowline and you can
> tie it in a couple of seconds.  The downside is that it is a
> physically bigger knot than the bowline.  ...In this case, the
> bowline would be an inch or two smaller than the figure 8.  Other
> than that, the figure 8 is a very handy, easy to learn knot.  

I use the figure eight solely as a stopper knot. It is an overhand 
with an extra turn in it. I wouldn't use it for any load carrying, 
but it's principal advantage over an overhand knot is that it 
releases easily after having been under load. The overhand knot can 
be a nightmare in that regard.

73, Rod N4SI
    The DXer formerly known as N9AKE
         (c) 5 November, 1996

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