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Square Lashing

Square Lashing

Used when lashing two spars or staves together at, or near, right angles to each other.

A square lashing is started with a clove hitch around the leg, immediately under where the cross piece is to be. Twist the short, free end of the clove hitch around the main part of the rope and begin laying the turns as in Fig. i. 

When laying the turns, the rope goes on the outside of the previous turn around the cross piece and on the inside of the previous turn around the leg. Keep the tope taut. Three or four turns are necessary before you begin the flapping. Fig. ii.

Make two or three 'flapping' turns between the spars and strain them tightly as in Fig. iii.

Finish the lashing with a clove hitch around the end of a cross piece as shown in Fig. iv.

Remember: Start with a clove. wrap it thrice. frap it twice and end with a clove.


Japanese Square Lashing

Japanese Square Lashing

This is used as an alternative to the square lashing for light spars and staves.

Fig. 1. Take the middle of the lashing rope round a spar;

Fig.2. Using both ends together (rope doubled) lay 3 turns as in ordinary square lashing;

Fig.3. Take one end across the diagonal and behind the crossed spar; 

Fig.4. The other rope now doubles back in front of the vertical spar; 

Fig.5. The ends are now going in opposite directions to make frapping turns;

Fig.6. Finish the lashing with a reef knot across a spar.


Diagonal Lashing

Diagonal Lashing

A diagonal lashing is used to 'spring' two spars together.

This lashing is started with a 'timber hitch' around the two spars at the point where they cross, so binding them together. Fig. i.

Take three turns around the spars, following the lay of the timber hitch, making sure that the turns lie beside each other, not on top of one another. Fig, ii.

Lay three more turns, this time crosswise over the previous turns and strain to tighten. Make two frapping turns between the two spars, around the lashing turns. Fig. iii.

Strain the frapping turns tightly and finish the lashing with a clove hitch around any convenient spar. Fig. iv.


Filipino Diagonal Lashing

Filipino Diagonal Lashing

This is used as an alternative to the usual diagonal lashing for light spars and staves.

Fig. 1: Start with the middle of the rope and pass the ends through the loop;

Fig. 2: Lay three turns around both spars and then three more turns at right angles;

Fig. 3: Split the two ends of the rope and make flapping turns between the spars;

Fig. 4: The two ends, now going in opposite directions, are pulled tight;

Fig.5. Finish off the lashing with a reef knot across one of the spars.


Sheer Lashing

A sheer lashing is used when constructing sheer legs. Start with a clove hitch around one of the spars then lay the spars together and lash with seven or eight turns laid side by side. The lashings should be fairly loose to allow frapping turns to go in between the spars. Make at least two frapping turns and pull tight. Finish with a clove hitch on the opposite spar you started with.

Another type of sheer lashing is used when you want to lash two spars together into a long one. When lashing two spars together in this fashion, the ends of the spars must overlap each other by at least a third of their total length. Two sheer lashings are used this time, without any frapping turns, at each end of the overlapping spars. Start with a clove hitch around both spars, bind tightly with seven or eight turns and finish with another clove hitch.

Sheer Legs

This is one method of lashing three poles together to form a tripod.

Three spars are laid side by side and loosely lashed with a figure of eight lashing (not a true description). The lashing is started with a clove hitch around one of the outside spars followed by six or eight loose turns over and under the other spars. The lashing is finished with frapping turns between each pair of spars and a final clove hitch.

The three legs are then opened out to form an equilateral triangle at the base. To complete the tripod, three extra spars should be square lashed across the butts a foot or so above the base.


Sheer Legs

This is the other method of making sheer legs (favored by most pioneers).

Lay out the spars with the tip of one pointing in one direction, and with the other two, one at either side, pointing the opposite way. Continue as for the previous example.


"Gyn" or Tripod Lashing



Start with a Clove Hitch on one spar and end with another Clove Hitch on the spar opposite.


Alternative "Gyn" Lashing

 This is exactly the same principle as the Sail-maker's Whipping.


Hold Fasts

Ropes under strain must be anchored securely.


Usually formed from PICKETS; these should be 4 feet long and 3 inches diameter, driven into the ground:


Log and Picket Holdfasts are for lighter soil. (Takes strain of 12 cwts for each pair of pickets).


Deadman Holdfast is a semi permanent anchorage or for stony and sandy soils.  Log buried in ground at depth of not less than 3 feet.  Ramp must be dug for hawser (preferably of wire rope).


 3 - 2 - 1 Holdfast will take 2 tons - heavy soil(?).


Natural Holdfasts (trees, etc.) are obviously best. Protect with sacking, make round turn with separate rope, attach tackle by slipping hook of block through both loops. If using a strop, used ends should form Larkshead and not slipped one through the other.

 Traditional Training Handbook
2003 Baden-Powell Scouts Association






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