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May 18, 2007

How do >YOU< tie a square lashing?

After my post about guidelines for tying square lashings a few weeks back, Hawk, a Scouter from Perth, wrote in to say that he works to different guidelines. Specifically, instead of 3 turns and 3 frapping turns, his troop uses "thrap thrice Frap Twice" and has always had safe structures using this formula. He also mentions using sisal or synthetic twine for tying lashings on rafts. I started looking around on the net for Square Lashing variations, and while the outline is the same (clove hitch, wrap, frap, clove hitch) there is considerable variations about the number of turns and so on. Here is a brief survey of the top few Google results for 'Square Lashing':

  • Wikipedia recommends "at least three" frapping turns (In my experience 4 or more turns are really untidy).
  • asks for '3 or 4' turns and 'about 3' frapping turns.
  • Glen Cockwell's site recommends 'enough turns for the strength you need' and between 2 and 5 frapping turns.

There seems to quite a bit of variation around exactly how a Square Lashing is tied. So, this week I'd like to hear from you: how does your troop tie a square lashing? Leave a comment on this post, and if you have photographs, feel free to link to them or mail them to me.
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