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tight knot for a stringline

housenut1's picture

What is the name of the knot  they use to keep a mason line taut  I've seen one recently for a fence installation but I could not figure out how to tie it.  My lines never stay taut, especially, when I hit them. If anyone has a link or can explain it, please let me know. 


Mike


 

(post #108836, reply #13 of 27)

Thank you for the links.


Mike

(post #108836, reply #2 of 27)

To make a loop in one end to secure on a nail:


I use a double surgeon's loop.  Double the string back upon itself, then working with the loop and doubled string, tie a simple overhand knot but do not tighten it now,  pass the doubled end through the loop created by the overhand knot one more time.  Tighten by pulling on the loop (doubled end) and both strings formed when you doubled the end of the string. Trim the excess and burn the cut end to prevent untwisting / fraying of the string.


Produces a strong, barell shaped, knot which pulls in a straight line (does not deflect string).


 


To secure the other end -- the hard part.


I use three different techniques:


1) A masons line block -- wooden, "L" shaped, string wraps around the block and secures by wrapping around pre-cut grooves. After the block is wrapped, the string is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d and the block is hooked onto a corner -- tension hold it in place.  BB or mason's supply house. Very handy.


2 &3) Securing to another nail at the other end of your string run:


2 - a tautline hitch -- google - I won't attempt to explain how to tie in words only. PITA, since to reuse your string, you must untie the knot, can be helped somewhat by tieing the last hitch with a loop -- AKA, quick release. 


3) My favorite: Use a HD galavnized nail for this end of the line -- the rougher the better.  Drop your loop onto the nail at the other end of the run.


S-t-r-e-t-c-h the string to the HD nail, wrap string around the nail shank 4 or five times (looks like a coil spring around the nail shank) starting your wraps at the bottom of the nail.  While holding tension on the string, lift the string up and stretch a little more to allow you to get this turn of string on top of a few of your wraps on the nail shank.  The tension of the string holds against the previous wraps. 


This is almost impossible to do with non-galvanized nails as the wraps just rotate around the nail shank and the whole thing falls apart.


3 strand, twisted, nylon, masons twine will stretch about 30% before it breaks.


I like the day-glo pink twine -- easier to see and not trip over.


Jim


 


Never underestimate the value of a sharp pencil or good light.
Never underestimate the value of a sharp pencil or good light.

(post #108836, reply #14 of 27)

Thanks for the detailed tips.


Mike

(post #108836, reply #3 of 27)

For a fence post:


You can use the same method JTC1 describes for a galvanized nail, only use the fence post itself to wrap around 3 times, then lift the stretched line over the wraps.


Drawback:  This will always always leave the line stretched from one side or the other of the post, and will not be centered. But if you're establishing a line for the elevation of fence boards or post tops, it works just fine.


You can very easily tighten or undo this simplest of knots.


No idea what the name is.

(post #108836, reply #15 of 27)

Thanks for the advice.


Mike

(post #108836, reply #4 of 27)

I use a "taut hitch" for that. #1856 here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taut-line_hitch


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #108836, reply #16 of 27)

Dan:


Thanks for your advice.


Mike

(post #108836, reply #5 of 27)

people r making this way to difficult


 drive a nail at both ends


tie a loop in the first end


hook on nail


go to other end and pull string (not to tight)


loop the string around your index finger and start twisting your finger so the string begins to wind back onto itself (maybe 10 times)


put your finger on the head of the nail and release the loop onto nail


pull string  between nails taunt with one hand and take up the slack with the other until string is very tight


then pull loose end back over the twist toward the nail and let it unwind


it will last for days


to release pull loose end back toward first nail and bingo it's loose


 


 


clear as mud


 


once you do it it seems to easy

(post #108836, reply #6 of 27)

That's the way I learned.  Takes 10 seconds and any bonehead can do it.

(post #108836, reply #24 of 27)

It is easiest and well explained but your wrong, some boneheads still don't get it. Think I will have them read this?

(post #108836, reply #7 of 27)

Step 3 n "Tie a loop in the first end"


Therein lies the hard part.


Ask 10 different people to tie a loop, and get 10 different "Loop Knots"  of varying effectiveness.


Fishermen, rock climbers, newbies, cowboys, enigneers, masons, carpenters... all have a different way to tie a loop.


Pretty cool actually

(post #108836, reply #9 of 27)

yep...Known as a "Mason's Knot" here

cept I use only 4 twists then a quick loop over the nail after the slack is out.


They can't get your Goat if you don't tell them where it is hidden.

Life is Good

(post #108836, reply #10 of 27)

I agree with mikeroop this is the easiest and fastest way by far (both to tie and untie) and the only people who will argue that are the ones that have never used it.

(post #108836, reply #11 of 27)

>> clear as mud <<


It was clear enough!


Very cool knot --- I think I have a new favorite.


Offshore sport fisherman will see a distinct similarity to the top end of a Bimini Twist and also the clinch knot.


Tried it with less twists - not so successful.


Jim


Never underestimate the value of a sharp pencil or good light.
Never underestimate the value of a sharp pencil or good light.

(post #108836, reply #12 of 27)

yea I always give it a few extra than what it needs but what it doesn't need to hold comes unraveled any way so all is good.

(post #108836, reply #17 of 27)

Mike:


I will try it today and I appreciate and really need easy. Thanks


Mike

(post #108836, reply #18 of 27)

people r making this way to difficult


Yea, that's what I was thinkin' too.  You don't need to be an eagle scout to handle a mason line. 


The method that you described is the way I learned it, and perfect for the second knot.


The initial knot is easy too.  Make a loop with your off hand, holding it between the thumb and index finger.  Place the thumb and index finger of the dominant hand through the loop, then rotate them around the outside of the loop's legs, making a doubled loop.  Pull the doubled loop together, then place it over the nail. 


Solid, fixed line but easy to remove with nothing to untie.


 


Edited 9/3/2009 5:49 pm by Hudson Valley Carpenter

(post #108836, reply #21 of 27)

That's how I learned too...
Now can you explain how to make an extension cord "chain"?

We will rule over all of this land, and we will call it...."This Land" 

Wash

(post #108836, reply #22 of 27)

Just tie a series of slipknots, pulling the bight of each succeeding one through the previous one's loop. When you run outta cord, pass the end through the last loop. For 100-footers, some people double the cord before starting.


That isn't real good for the extension cord, though, and unhitching one is a pure, steam-out-da-ears PITA with plastic-jacketed cords when it's cool outside. You're better off coiling it with alternating hitches.



Dinosaur


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....


Dinosaur

How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....

(post #108836, reply #23 of 27)

do you understand that ( dinos reply)? or do you need more detail?

(post #108836, reply #25 of 27)

Been rolling up cords like that since I was a "little" apprentice;
just wanted to see someone explain it in writing!

We will rule over all of this land, and we will call it...."This Land" 

Wash

(post #108836, reply #26 of 27)

That's the way a seasoned framer taught me, too. No knots to untie and fiddle with. If it loosen's, just redo it. Takes seconds.

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!

(post #108836, reply #27 of 27)

don't even remember where or who taught it to me but I'll tell ya one thing I've never forgot it.

(post #108836, reply #8 of 27)

This is an easy one.


On the end of the stringline, tie a bowline. You drop that loop over a nail at one end of your run.


At the nail on the other end, you tie a 'scow hitch' (also known as a 'mud hitch'). You start by pulling the string tight in a counter-clockwise U-turn around the nail.


Now, pass the bobbin under the standing part from left to right, then bring it up and pass it back over the standing part from right to left. Finally go back around the nail in a clockwise U-turn.


Now repeat those moves, but in the opposite direction.


Then do it again, and yet again.


You now have four hitches figure-eighting around the nail and the string itself, stacked on top of each other. You can drop the bobbin and let it hang free; the string won't slip even on a bright common nail.


Best part is, when you're done with your stringline, just pull the nail...and the hitches instantly disappear.



Dinosaur


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....


Dinosaur

How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....

(post #108836, reply #19 of 27)

dinosaur,


That's what I'd call a "Capstan Hitch". You can tie it in a mooring line with tension on it and slack it off without powering up the capstan.  


On the job, I think the best end knot if the one that mikeroop described, which I also know as the "mason's hitch". A second to tie and tighten, a second to untie and you can leave your nail in place for future checking.


Ron

(post #108836, reply #20 of 27)

Ron--


Yeah, what I described is the same as the capstan hitch; the basis for it is it can be put on a single bit, pin, bollard, or pile and does not require a cross-bar, nor does it require you to have access to the bitter end of the line.


Tugboat drivers call it the mud or scow hitch because it is used when making up a tow of mud, sand, or gravel scows--basic, no-frills open barges usually built without double bits.



Dinosaur


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....


Dinosaur

How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....