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February 25, 2011

Testing round lashings: German round lashing vs. shear lashing

 The traditional lashing for extending poles is the round lashing. Recently I blogged about an alternative, the German round lashing. My troop did some tests to see which of the two works better. After teaching both knots to their patrols, the Patrol Leaders made two sets of round lashings, one with the shear lashing and one with the German lashing. We then tested the beams by  propping them on barrels and putting weight on the middle, to see which was stronger. I also asked the opinions of the Scouts about which was easier to tie.

The results: out of four patrols, one were able to make a tighter joint using the German lashing tighter than the shear lashing. One patrol had lashings that were equally strong, while the other two tied a much stronger lashing with the shear lashing than the German lashing. All patrols felt that the shear lashing was easier to tie (because the start of the German lashing is tougher to control without a hitch to pull against). I might try this test again later, when the troop is more familiar with the German lashing, which was new to them. One tip that the patrol who tied the tightest German lashings had: lay the 'loop' down on one of the poles, instead of in the gap between poles, so that it locks tight while you are wrapping the turns around.

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