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a rope When overstressed ropes almost always break at together which is why they have been used to make. the point where a knot has been tied or some other kink rope for centuries Although the fibers are long they are. has disturbed the straight passage of the line Ropes are also very stiff so rope made from them is stiff as well. said to be de rated when knots bends or kinks have It is much easier to tie knots with a more flexible line. made them more likely to break which is why cotton sash cord became popular in the. theatre It is harder to twist the short cotton fibers into. yarns so rather than make traditional rope from it the. braided exterior concept was developed Nylon rigging. ropes are also made in this way and so is cotton tie line. Tie line is really just very small diameter sash cord. Sash cord gets its name from its original intended. use as a line meant to connect the counterbalancing. weights used in old style windows The sash is the part. of a window that moves up and down when it opens, and closes The same properties that make sash cord. bend well around a small diameter window pulley also. make it an excellent choice for tying knots It is very. supple and is often used where great strength in a line. is not required but 1 8 tie line is not strong enough. Two basic types of cordage are used in the theatre. those made of stranded fibers that are twisted together. and those that are woven or braided together Twisted. ropes are made from fibers that are spun into loose. strands known as yarns which are then twisted together. to form the line The size and weight rating of the rope. depends upon the number and size of the yarns as well. as the material used in making the rope Yarns are, usually twisted together in a right handed orientation. clockwise as you look toward the end making it easiest. to coil ropes in a clockwise direction Twisting is the. oldest form of rope making and has existed for thou. sands of years It requires only a moderate amount of. technology to manufacture twisted ropes Rope fibers of Number 4 black tie line is the most popular choice. this type may consist of sisal Manila hemp or synthetics for securing cable to an electric or for the ties on top of. like polypropylene or polyester a curtain Jute tie line was used in the past but it is so. Manila a variety of the hemp plant is the best loosely put together that it does not last very long and. choice for a hemp line used to carry weight over the has fallen into disfavor It is not at all suitable for use. stage The grade one type is easily spotted by the blue on drapes or other goods that must be frequently tied. fiber that runs through it Polypropylene and or poly and untied The 4 designation comes from an older. ester ropes have become much more common in recent way of determining the size of a braided line with a. years These synthetics start as very long strands and are gauge number much like with electrical wires White is. more easily manufactured into rope They are somewhat also available but black is more easily hidden. stronger and rot resistant in most situations that do no. include a large amount of ultraviolet UV radiation. from sunlight Hemp is rapidly falling out of favor for. rigging applications but there is still a lot of it around. Braided lines are formed by weaving together many, very small yarns to form a cover or sheath that fits over. an interior group of strands Because they are not twisted. together these ropes are easier to work with and less. likely to become kinked Cotton was historically used. for this type of rope which requires some fairly complex. machinery to create Hemp fibers come from the stalks. of that plant which are pulverized into individual. strands The fibers are very long and are easy to twist. 42 Illustrated Theatre Production Guide 2 ed, Sash cord has become increasingly hard to find in ally the most often used knot in theatre because it is. recent years as the windows it was designed to rig have used to hang drops and curtains Drapes are tradition. been mostly replaced by more energy efficient ones It ally manufactured with a tie every 12 inches so a. is still available from some theatrical suppliers Newer 40 foot long border has 41 knots to tie Multiply this. versions of this same basic type of line but made from number by however many curtains are in a show and. synthetic materials are readily available from local hard the importance of the bow knot becomes clear The bow. ware stores They come in various sizes but 3 8 is contains the same basic building blocks that are used in. frequently the most useful and can be used to rig a all knots It is essentially a square knot in which the two. traveler track Twisted lines don t work at all well on a tails are doubled over before making the final half hitch. traveler because the twist tends to kink up at the pulleys Pulling on the very end of the tails slides the two loops. More information about ropes aircraft cable and back through the knot and the bow is untied If you. chains can be found in Chapter 14 can visualize that process it will make it much easier for. you to understand more complex knots, You should learn some basic terms used in tying knots.
in order to better understand the descriptions in this. chapter The free end of a line is called the tail It is the. part that you actually manipulate to tie the knot The. standing part is the long length of a rope that may be. formed into a coil or be tied to the grid or laid out in. some other fashion It is important to visualize which is. which especially if you are using a short length of cord. to learn how to tie the knots in this chapter, Most knots begin with a loop of some sort which. is a rounded turn of the line To double over means to. bend the line over itself so that it runs back thus creat. ing an artificial tail in the middle of the line, The bow knot requires two tails or ends The first. part of the knot involves tying a half hitch which is. simply wrapping the two tails around one another and. tightening The friction of the two lines rubbing against. one another tends to make them stay tightly together. But a half hitch will not stay tied on its own the friction. is not great enough, Double over the two tails so that they are about half. of their original length Now tie a second half hitch. using the doubled over tails This completes the knot. It is easy to tie and it is very easy to untie by pulling. on one of the tails The bow is an excellent example of. how a good knot is easy to tie and easy to untie When. you are untying curtains from a batten pull one tail all. the way straight up and then down to the side this. action will loosen the entire knot in one easy motion. The bow knot, You probably already know how to tie your shoe But. if you start off with an easy knot it will build confidence. for the harder ones ahead The same actions are used to. tie all knots so working with the bow first will give you. an understanding of the terminology The bow is actu. Ropes and Knot Tying 43, This very simple knot is quite useful for attaching a.
piece of tie line to a pipe or lighting cable so that it grips. with holding force and will not slide down The choke. is one member of a family of knots that uses a double. wrap around a pipe for extra gripping power It is also. the most common manner of attaching a sling as dis. cussed in Chapter 3 Slings or Spansets are endless nylon. bands often used in rigging, Make a small loop in the tail near its end Double. the standing part and draw it through the loop Remem. ber that the standing part is the long end Hold the. doubled over loop and pull on the tail to secure the. knot If the knot has been properly tied pulling on. the standing part makes the loop smaller while pulling. on the loop itself makes it larger If you tug on the loop. and the tail pulls through and the knot is lost you have. tied the knot backward and it will not work properly. An easy way to avoid this problem is to make sure that. your first loop is formed very close to the end of the tail. Then there will not be enough of the tail sticking out. to make the mistake of pulling it rather than the stand. ing part through the loop, The clove hitch, The clove hitch is used to fasten a line around a pipe. As an example a choke works well if you want to handrail or other rounded object It s an important. tie up some lighting cable onto a boom so that it is up theatrical knot that every stagehand should know and. off the deck Apply the choke so that it is about chest be able to tie without thinking Like the choke this. high off the floor Then coil the cable and secure it with knot grips more tightly when force is applied Unlike. a bow knot the choke the clove is meant for use with a long line. The greater the force exerted on the choke the and especially one that is under load while the knot is. tighter its grip becomes preventing it from sliding tied One example of that is dead hanging a drape or a. down the pipe and lowering the coil to the deck piece of scenery In that situation weight is on the line. This method also works for tying cable or any other as you haul it up into the air and a clove hitch is easy. reasonable object to a truss handrail rope or other to tie under these circumstances because you can take. tubular item a wrap around the pipe to safety the line while you tie. the knot The clove hitch would also be a good knot to. tie on the hanging pipe, The clove hitch is a very simple knot to tie Drape. The slip knot, the line over the pipe and wrap it around the right side. The slip knot can be used to make a loop in the end of of itself Bring the line around the pipe and wrap it to. a line that will tighten when force is exerted It has many the left side Slip it under the first wrap that you took. useful applications for attaching tie line when speed is That s all there is to the clove hitch However the clove. essential The slip knot is also used in tying another will hold better if you take an extra half hitch around. knot the trucker s hitch Knitters may recognize it as the standing part to ensure that the line will not acci. the same knot that is used to start yarn onto a knitting dentally untie itself under stress especially when the. needle load is repeatedly shifted, 44 Illustrated Theatre Production Guide 2 ed.
Quite often there is a great deal of excess rope on The following method of tying a bowline is prob. the floor after hauling something into the air for a dead ably the easiest although there are others These instruc. hang When this happens the clove hitch can be tied tions are intended for a right handed person If you are. in the center of the rope by doubling over a few feet of left handed it is probably best to try the right handed. the line and using this doubled over part as though it method first and then adapt it to your own style later. were the end That avoids pulling a huge amount of Basically the left handed approach is a mirror image of. excess line through the knot Doubling over to create the right and will work just as well. an end in the middle of a line is a common practice Hold the line across your left palm so that the long. with many different kinds of knots and is similar to standing part is lying away from you and the tail is. what happens when tying a bow several feet long The length of the rope making up the. tail dictates the size of the loop in the finished knot For. some rigging jobs the size of the loop is critical If you. need a 2 foot loop in the bowline start with a bit more. The bowline than 4 feet of tail, This knot is pronounced bowlyn and not bow line Coil the rope counterclockwise so that one small. If you mispronounce it you run the risk of becoming loop is in your hand Pass the tail through the loop from. an object of ridicule by your fellow stagehands and or back to front around the back of the standing part and. climbing enthusiasts The bowline is used to create a then through the small loop so that the line passes back. fixed loop in the end of a rope It is another of the along itself Tighten the knot by pulling on the tail in. quintessential stagehand knots that everyone must opposition to the standing part. know It is the basic knot used by rock and roll riggers A story is often told to make it easier to remember. to hang chain motors The bowline s popularity stems the steps in tying the bowline There is a hole in the. from the fact that it is easy to tie it is very safe and it ground the small loop A rabbit the tail comes up. is also easy to untie which are all essential elements of out of the hole and runs behind a tree the standing. a good knot It will be much easier to tie the bowline if part The rabbit circles the tree and runs back down. you keep these two ideas in mind make the first loop into the hole This is a silly story I didn t make it. small and make the second loop the one you want to up but it is the traditional method of teaching the. keep much larger bowline Feel free to embellish it and adapt it to any. animals and or objects you feel are appropriate, Ropes and Knot Tying 45. The trucker s hitch or snub and loop, The most complicated knot of this chapter has been. saved for last The trucker s hitch is a popular knot to. use when you need to put a great deal of tension on a. line It is often used to tie down loads for trucking. 42 Illustrated Theatre Production Guide 2 ed a rope When overstressed ropes almost always break at the point where a knot has been tied or some other kink has disturbed the straight passage of the line Ropes are said to be de rated when knots bends or kinks have made them more likely to break Two basic types of cordage are used in the

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