The Other, Larger Of Two Screwdrivers With Knot Enhanced Handles.


A large screwdriver with the handle much improved by stacked Turk's Head variants.

A large screwdriver with the handle much improved by stacked Turk's Head variants.

We live in world which is a marvel of mass-produced, affordable goods. As in all things, there are levels of quality available for differing levels of cost. The problem is they make things to fit the “average man” to get the most sales per unit of investment. What happens if you fall outside that average range in some way? All these marvels of the modern world don’t fit you. You can either spend astronomical sums buying custom made goods — or you can buy off the rack and customize them yourself. If you aren’t wealthy, or have a frugal streak, there is only one answer: buy off the rack and make them fit.

The knots used to make this screwdriver fit my hand are:

If you look at the picture at full size you will see it is made up of a stack of Turk’s Head variants. When I was clapping those knots on the handle I hadn’t even thought about a blog. I would try fit the handle and note where it didn’t fill my hand, add a knot in the worst spot, try fit, repeat til happy. Because of this I didn’t keep notes, so some of this is a best guess using an admittedly faulty system.

The handle at the start was about 1″ wide on the major part of the grip. After adding the knots it is just over 2″. The large knot that is on the butt/right end is a Gaucho knot of 2 passes, with 17 Leads X 15 Bights. Like all the knots on this project, it is done in black paracord. Paracord because it is very durable, and I keep reels of it. Black because it is on a work tool and black doesn’t show soiling or stains as much as other colors do.

Just to the left of the Gaucho knot is a Spanish Ring knot — the thinnest Gaucho knot as per Mr. Tom Hall. It is there to smooth out the bump where the edge of the large Gaucho knot ended. The step down to the next lower knot was too abrupt to give a comfortable grip.

If memory, prompted by that part of the knot I can see, serves me, the knot beneath those already named is a Turk’s Head. I think it has 13 Leads X 4 Bights, doubled.

Beneath all these, and visible as the last knot at the left end of the grip, is a Herringbone knot. It has 12 Bights on the exposed end. The count of the Leads is lost under the other knots. It served to fill in a dip in the original grip, and to add size and increased friction on that edge of the handle.

I seem to recall there being another small knot under there somewhere, to even out the profile of the grip. What that knot is will be left as an exercise for the reader.

The end shape, with a taper going from just over 1″ to just over 2″ is nearly perfect for my hands. I can put a lot more torque into the fastener than I could with the factory grip. It is also much easier for my battered and dinged up hands to hold.

Thank you for coming by my site. I appreciate your visits, and any comments you care to leave. Come back again; I don’t post every day, but I try to put something up often enough so most of your visits will be rewarded:

William

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Medicine Bottle # 44; Graced With A Novel Herringbone Knot, With The Bights Worked To Form A Straight Line


Medicine Bottle #44; a straight edged Herringbone knot.

Medicine Bottle #44; a straight edged Herringbone knot.

Medicine Bottle #44; the next piece from the “Medicine Bottle Collection”. I am always trying to learn, or create, different variations for the knots I know, or new knots. Sometimes the variations change a knot so much that it may deserve to be called a new knot. This may be one of those times. What do you think about this?

The knot on this bottle is:

I was using the “Monkey Method” of knot tying, trying for something novel to clap onto a bottle to make it stand out at the Bottle family bedside reunion. I used white paracord because this was for one of the medicines I had to take at 0-dark-thirty. The basic knot is a Herringbone, of 14 Leads X 12 Bights. I worked the rims in the way used on the “Colima Lazy Man’s Knot” in Grant’s book. It not only gave the familiar straight edge, which is the defining characteristic of these knots, but also gave a new alternating short and long pattern where the bights turn back into the knot. I think this makes a very handsome knot.

The straight edges on some knots solve a few of the problems you face when planning/fulfilling a project. You can butt up to a hard structure with minimal gap, either visual or physical. You can also tie two straight-edged knots hard against each other with none of the core showing. This also gives a more even profile to a stack of knots. It is a good thing to have in your kit for those times you need it.

Thank you for coming by my site. Come back again. I do appreciate your visits:

William

A Small Brush With The Grip Dressed By A Herringbone Knot


A Herringbone knot graces the handle of a small brush.

A Herringbone knot graces the handle of a small brush.

I have a very competitive personality — if there is no one else to compete with, I compete with myself. I am always trying to improve my skills in whatever my present endeavor might be. I’m always trying to go bigger, higher, faster, further, or for a longer duration. This applies to my web site, as it does to everything else I do. In trying to better the photographs I take for my site, I discovered that the close-ups the site requires are different than any other pictures I’ve taken in the past. The tiniest speck of dust shows loud and large on a tight close-up. So I procured this brush to dust the knots off before I take the shots. Of course, a store bought off – the – shelf brush couldn’t live around here for long without ending up with a knot of its very own. It improves the grip by making a larger, high friction surface for me to get my fingers on. The whole brush is only about 4″ long, so there isn’t much for me to grab with my big mitts. The raised knot is a great improvement. Any bets on how long it is before the star of this post is demoted to mouse, and covered up with another “even better” knot?

The knot I used on this brush — so far — is:

Because of the small area I had to work in, I used a smaller knot. This is a Herringbone knot of 10 Leads X 8 Bights, done in an off-green paracord. It makes the handle on this little imp about 3 times thicker than it was — an enormous improvement in my ability to get a secure grip. The fact that it is also a high friction surface doesn’t hurt it a bit in that role either.

Thank you for dropping by my site. I appreciate your visits, and any comments you care to leave. Come back again; tonight, at the zenith of the first quarter of the moon, the rites to the Gods Of Ropes And Knots may bear fruit:

William

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 7:30 PM  Leave a Comment  
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A Neon Yellow Spanish Ring Knot Stacked On A Herringbone Knot Makes This Flashlight Easier To Find


A neon yellow Herringbone knot and a Spanish Ring knot improve a flashlight.

A neon yellow Herringbone knot and a Spanish Ring knot improve a flashlight.

This relatively expensive C-cell flashlight light was a gift from My Lady Rose. This means that I waited til she left the room before I started tying knots on it to “improve” it. The proverbial problem with flashlights is that when you really need them, you can’t find them in the dark. A white or neon yellow knot makes this task much easier. Of course, over time I tend to crowd on more knots. If the quantity of cord used had any correlation to your ability to find them in the dark, I have a couple I should be able to find over the phone.

The knots shown in this photo are:

At first I put on a Herringbone knot of 10 Leads X 8 Bights. It greatly improved my ability to focus the beam — that hand thing you know.

I then noticed one odd little quirk. I keep this light standing bell end down on the floor nest to the bed. This meant that when looking down on the flashlight to find it, I was presented with only the edge of the Herringbone knot — not the best visual target. To enlarge the target for this butt end view, I clapped on a Spanish Ring knot, also in neon yellow paracord. This is a knot of 3 passes. Now that I know Mr. Tom Hall counts the Leads & Bights on these knots, it is of 7 Leads X 23 Bights. Yes I counted the little devils, and yes I lost count, twice — stubbornness is a vastly under-rated virtue.

Some years ago I had to remove a Spanish Ring knot from a project; it just didn’t fit the spot. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I slowly vivisected it to try and learn its secrets. What I saw was the same structure I saw when I un-tied a Gaucho knot. It was only one vee wide, but it was the same. Since then I have always thought of Spanish Ring knots as the unwelcome in-laws of Gaucho knots. Last year I bought Tom Hall’s book on Turk’s Heads & their kin. In it he called the Spanish Ring knot “the thinnest Gaucho knot”. Look! Outside verification, by a recognized authority in the field no less. Geesh — will wonders never cease.

Thank you for coming by my site. Come back again; I will try to make sure it repays your investment:

William

A Red Flash Light Dressed In Knots; One Turk’s Head And One Herringbone Knot.


AA flashlight dressed by a Turk's Head and a Herringbone knot.

AA flashlight dressed by a Turk's Head and a Herringbone knot.

A flashlight in the dark, visible only because of the knots.

A flashlight in the dark, visible only because of the knots.

It seemed like it was time for a change of pace, so away we go from bottles to flashlights. This useful little devil is powered by 2 AA batteries. The on/off and focus are handled by turning the belled-out shape on the business end. The knots are there firstly to perform the now infamous duty of making the thing fit my hands better. They also make it easier to operate, and to hold on to in capricious circumstances. They act as a sign of ownership. And maybe fighting it out with improved grip for the primary roll — they make it easier to find the thing in dim light.

I realize the color combination is not the very latest rage in understated classic elegance. I don’t want understated; when I need it quickly in the dark I want to be able to find the demonic thing. There have been times I was sure that it had moved when no one was watching. The reason they make prisoners dress in bright orange is so they can locate them with a glance — samesame him fella bigbig.

The knots on today’s offering to the Gods Of Ropes And Knots are, from the right, light-emitting end:

The bright chartreuse knot is a Herringbone knot of 10 Leads X 8 Bights, done with a single strand of paracord. When I say single strand, I mean it two ways: The passes in this knot are only a single strand. The knot is composed of 2 nested Turk’s Heads of 5 Leads X 4 Bights, but I tied them both with one long uncut strand of paracord. When I get to the finish of the first knot I deflect the lead of the cord beneath the parts of the knot already there, and come up as the first tuck in the interweave. It makes a good knot, but there is that one place where the lead of the cord is not theoretically perfect. If you know what to look for, it is obvious — most people don’t know, and most people don’t spot the change in pattern. If they do, I tell them that like many cultures I don’t dare make a perfect knot lest I anger the Gods. The perfect excuse — I don’t dare try to steal the power and perfection of the Gods, so I did it on purpose.

The barrel of the flashlight is covered by a Turk’s Head of 13 Leads X 4 Bights, doubled in paracord. This is an excellent knot to have in your kit. Like the Turk’s Head of 2 Bights, you can make it as long as you want to, by just extending the pattern. I have made them with only 1 crossing in the first movements, and I have made them with 33 crossings in the first movements. The 33 Lead X 4 Bight Turk’s head, doubled, really changes the looks of a walking stick.

I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have started a links list about knots and knotting/cordage related stuff. The front door is in the list of pages on the upper right of this blog. Like the rest of the things I do here I am very open to suggestions. It is starting out a little bare, but I am populating it as I visit sites to make a last review before posting a link. This means you can have a lot of input into how it grows — sing out.

Thank you for coming by my site. It is nice seeing you at the parade of knots. Come back again; wave if you spot me:

William

Medicine Bottle # 41; A Bi-Color Herringbone Knot, A Turk’s Head On The Lid


Medicine Bottle #41; With a bi-color Herringbone knot and 2 Turk's Heads.

Medicine Bottle #41; With a bi-color Herringbone knot and 2 Turk's Heads.

This is the next piece from the “Medicine Bottle Collection”. Though it once held medicine, it is of a different size and shape than most. Its nice to have some change now and then — the spice of life, you know. All this restricted knot tying is hard on someone whose picture is next to “Bored Easily” in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The knots on this bottle are; from the top of the picture — bottom of the bottle:

A Herringbone knot of 2 passes. Each pass is of a different color. I was experimenting with the idea of using a probe to forcefully dress the bights so that they nested tightly within one another. Not a good idea, even where it worked, as it made the knot look odd compared to my mental picture of a proper Herringbone knot.

The thin black ring is made of gutted paracord tied as a 3 Lead X 5 Bight Turk’s Head.

The knot tied around the lid is there primarily to improve the grip. The fact that I also find it to be a handsome improvement is just good karma. The knot is a Turk’s Head of 5 Leads X 9 Bights, raised from a 3 Lead knot.

The larger diameter makes for better leverage, the texture makes for good grip, the looks makes for a more attractive stack of bedside bottles — all in all, a win.

Thank you for dropping by my site. If you can see any improvements I could make to knots or site, sing out. I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Come back again; the parade of knots is building up to normal speed once more:

William

Medicine Bottle # 40; A Triple Header, A Gaucho Knot, A Herringbone Knot, And A Turk’s Head.


Medicine Bottle #40; covered by three knots. A Gaucho knot, a Herringbone, and a Turk's Head make up the trio.

Medicine Bottle #40; covered by three knots. A Gaucho knot, a Herringbone, and a Turk's Head make up the trio.

Another decade on the count for the “Medicine Bottle Collection”. Forty seemed like a high number when I first typed it, but the reality is that this is a fraction of the bottles since all this started. I don’t recommend it very highly as a hobby — but as long as I have the bottles anyway …

The knots on this bottle are; from the top/left end:

One of my stock knots, a Gaucho knot of 9 Leads X 7 Bights, done in black paracord.

The center knot is a Herringbone knot of 10 Leads X 8 Bights, in green paracord.

The bottom ring is a black Turk’s Head of 3 Leads X 5 Bights.

One thing to keep in mind is that the interweaves are not subject to the common divisor rule that regulates which single strand Turk’s Head knots are possible. As an example; 2 Turk’s Heads of 5 Leads X 4 Bights interwoven to give a Herringbone knot of 10 Leads X 8 Bights. This would be an impossible Turk’s Head to make with a single strand. You can tie this as a “perfect Herringbone knot” using one strand by deflecting into an interweave.

Thank you for coming by my site. Come back again; the parade of knots is marching on:

William