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December 14, 2006

Gilwell Scaffold Lashing from John Thurman's Pioneering Principles

This excerpt from John Thurman's 'Pioneering Principles' describes a new lashing useful for tying poles that need to be supported while they are being lashed:

If you have done any Pioneering at all you must have faced the difficulty of trying to lash one spar to another, possibly in a position high above the ground, when you obviously needed another arm, i.e., two hands to do the lashing and one hand to hold the horizontal spar in place. The problem is to make one spar secure to another before you have actually completed the lashing. Following the line of thought about eliminating the difficulties my thinking resulted in this: Why wait until I have done all the lashing turns before I put on any frapping turns? So, I experimented.
The Gilwell Lashing is simply this: Start in the orthodox way as for square lashing but, having made one set of lashing turns, put on one frapping turn. Providing you don’t lose the end of the rope this does hold the spars together and they cannot slip; you are therefore free to continue work in the traditional way. Put on a second lashing turn followed by a second frapping turn, followed by a third lashing turn and a final frapping turn, and finish with a clove hitch as in the square lashing.
I admit that this lashing looks a little clumsy because the turns do not fit neatly together, but in my estimation it is definitely stronger and consequently is more efficient, and in Pioneering it is worth sacrificing a little beauty for added strength. In addition, it is easier to tie except when you are working flat on the ground; you have more control over the spars when using this lashing than when using the traditional square lashing.

This item is reproduced here in compliance with the Creative Commons license held on the book.

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