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December 14, 2006

Tourniquet Lashing from John Thurman's Pioneering Principles

This excerpt from John Thurman's 'Pioneering Principles' describes a FAST alternative lashing for lightweight structures:

This will shock the purists, but I am unrepentant.

Imagine a big Scout Rally with the main attraction publicised all over the town; “Pioneering Display”. If the publicity has been good along comes the public, the Mayor and Corporation, and the mums and dads. The order is given; the Scouts rush on carrying a tremendous assortment of ropes and spars. Expectation is very great. The Scouts start work with a will and they try very hard, but the minutes and the half-hours pass and all over the arena Scouts of various sizes are putting on square lashings, diagonal lashings, and possibly other lashings as well – and they are probably enjoying doing it. But the audience cannot really see what is happening and the expectation of the crowd subsides gradually into the boredom associated with any English summer afternoon when much has been promised and little is being achieved. The spectators remember pressing engagements, the Mayor begins to look at his watch, the District Commissioner becomes increasingly harassed and runs out of small talk. The Scoutmaster in charge knows that Lashing should not be hurried and yet wants to hurry it. Eventually the project or projects appear, but too late; no one is really interested now but thinking of tea and gardens. They have been kept waiting too long. Not an imaginary picture I assure you – I’ve seen it – I expect you have too.
How can we overcome a situation like this? The thing that is taking the time is the lashing, the most important and the least spectacular part of any enterprise in Pioneering. Well, there can be a certain amount of pre-lashing so that for the final erection of the bridge or the tower a very small number of lashings have to be put on (remember the bridge in “Boy Scout” at the Albert Hall), but even this can take a long time. That is why I commend to you for display work the Tourniquet Lashing. It is my own idea and I don’t think you will find it in any other book. As I said earlier, I am sure it will shock many people, but I hope it may shock some of you into trying it. It is illustrated above, and it does work!
Take a simple strop and then with a mallet handle or the butt of a stave you can fix two spars together by using the process of a tourniquet. Unless you are going to have a Scout holding the strainer of the tourniquet (an unpopular assignment) you must have a loop of rope or a piece of sisal, as shewn in the drawing, to fix it in place after tightening. Use this method for display purposes and I promise you that with a little practice you can put on a Pioneering Display that really does come up to expectations.
This is the method advocated in “The Ten-Minute Tower” which you will find described later in this book.
This leads to the final lashing suggestion, which will bring us to the end of a long but very important chapter and one which I hope you have found useful.
A great many valuable commercial discoveries have emanated from the thought of how to use something for a purpose for which it was not intended. Something is invented for one purpose and then ingenuity finds a different use for it. In lashing I cannot offer anything very profound except the tourniquet lashing and now this.

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