Tie the knot!

During the midwinter several informal knot tying tutorials were held at CVCEC over the lunch period.

Although knot tying might appear to be a somewhat arcane activity – contemporary professional grade ropes have such great strength, flexibility, and abrasion resistance that they frequently put steel cables out of work, and make those who can tie knots effectively, indispensable.

Interested students were asked to purchase a piece of quality 10 mm double braid nylon rope (N.B. – its average breaking strength is 6600 pounds, or three metric tons), well suited to clearly tying (and untying) knots. They also received a handout out that illustrated 14 of the most useful knots for general rigging.

Each session I presented three of four knots, had the group tie them, and requested that they practice these knots every evening while at their leisure. (Many people find knot tying with a good rope, a relaxing and satisfying activity – if they give it a good try.)

Although the number of rope tying class attendees did diminish over time, several of the participants became proficient at tying all 14 knots. They can now use their rope skills for activities such as rock or tree climbing, safety harness rigging or rescue, load lifting or skidding, and cargo control.

Peter Dahms, Carpentry Teacher

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