Knot List: Shear Lashing ‐ Step-by-Step
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Shear Lashing TechniqueTie a clove hitch around one pole. Wrap both poles with a simple lashing. Wrap the lashing with a two or three tight frapping turns. Tie off the end with a clove hitch. Spread the poles to make shear legs
Shear Lashing Details
Use: The Shear Lashing (ABOK # 2108 - 2110, p 342.) is used to lash the ends of two poles together. The other ends are separated to make a pair of Shear Legs.
Spelling: This Lashing is widely spelled both "Shear" and "Sheer". There seems to be little agreement and some writers use both on the same page. "Shear" was selected here because it was Ashley's choice.
Tying it: The two poles are laid side-by-side and an initial Clove Hitch is tied round one pole. A Round Lashing is then tied around the two poles near one end. Then two or three Frapping turns are tied binding the lashing turns tightly. Starting these turns can be awkward. It is sometimes necessary to spread the legs apart to open up the poles to make it possible. The Lashing is completed with another Clove Hitch. The other ends of the poles are then separated to make a pair of Shear Legs.
Use: Shear legs support weight. A single pair can be controlled with a rope as they lean over a stream to lift a bucket. A series of them can support an aerial walkway.
Frapping Turns: The turns surrounding the lashing at right angles exert a tightening effect on the lashing. These turns are known as Frapping Turns. Pulling them as tight as possible makes the Lashing more secure. Various techniques are recommended, but I'm indebted to Dana Holgate for the following: wrap the rope around a stick, stand on the pole, bend your knees, hold the stick across your thighs and then pull by straightening your legs.
Disclaimer: Any activity that involves ropes is potentially hazardous. Lives may be at risk - possibly your own. Considerable attention and effort have been made to ensure that these descriptions are accurate. However, many critical factors cannot be controlled, including: the choice of materials; the age, size, and condition of ropes; and the accuracy with which these descriptions have been followed. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.