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June 15, 2007

Clover-leaf lashing

I came across this lashing, which is new to me, on the excellent Dutch Scouting wiki, This is a lashing used to tie 4 or more poles together at one point. Here is my rough paraphrase of the original Dutch wiki entry:

The Cloverleaf (or polypod) lashing is used to lash a number of poles together to make a 'multi-pod' - a tripod, quadpod, pentapod or hexapod.

You could use a figure of eight lashing (or a sailmaker's lashing for that matter) to make a tripod but from a quadpod upwards you need the cloverleaf lashing.

1. Lie the four (or five or six) poles with their bases lined up (so your multipod will stand up straight) and make sure that there is space between the poles to be able to pass the rope through for the lashing (you can use short poles to space the poles out, like in this drawing). The poles should be evenly spaced so that they form a square (or pentagon or hexagon- from here on I'll assume we're using 4 poles).

2. Tie the rope to one of the poles with a clove hitch.

3. Wrap the rope once around each pole, in the same direction each time, as shown in this drawing.

4. If your poles were correctly spaced, you'll see a square in the middle of the lashing. By looking at this shape, you can check whether you are tying the knot properly. If it's not a square anymore, you have tightened the lashing incorrectly.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, going around all the poles three times (but see this post for a discussion about that).

6. Start frapping, putting a set of frapping turns around each pole in succession. Start frapping at the pole and wrap towards the inside.To start the next frapping, take one turn around the next pole, so that you are able to start the frappings from the pole and work inwards. Repeat for each pole.

7. For the last pole, frap from the inside to the outside, and end by tying a clove hitch around that pole.

(alternatively, read it in Dutch here)

So, an interesting little lashing, that is useful for one specific job (just like the scaffold lashing has one, very specific use). I imagine that it's best not to use a frapping mallet to tighten this lashing, because it will probably stretch out as you spread the legs of the multipod out. As far as I can tell, this lashing originates in Belgium - at least all of the web sites that reference it are in Belgium. The drawings here are courtesy of the 44th Sint-Maarten Scout Group.

So, can anyone share a photograph of this lashing in action? Are there any Dutch or Belgian readers who have used this lashing successfully?
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