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Mean Time Moderator
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Discussion Starter #1
Well I've been researching soft shackles and the various methods of manufacture for a while and in doing so I've come across some interesting articles. Initially I thought I'd leave them to the experts though, being that they are 'mission critical' but spurred on by another member I thought I'd give them a go.

@FatJohnson asked for a thread so here it is. Though it is more sharing my discoveries that made it easier for me that I thought might help anyone else thinking of trying.

The first article I recommend is here:
A comparison of Soft Shackle methods | Slack Science

It gives some interesting info and set me on the road to which version I was going to make.


Then check this out:
Stronger Soft Shackle | How to tie the Stronger Soft Shackle | Splicing Knots

This was the main guide I used. But I did get a bit lost.

Then found this which helped a lot.

You only need the sequence from 1:12 to 1:39 approx. This gives you a really easy guide to the first part, the Wall Knot.

From here I return to the animated knots page and used slides 12 (the point that you've tied the Wall Knot) to slide 16.



That's all the info that I worked from, and a rough guide about the length of rope required. Now I'll share some things that helped me get my head around it and to make two identical and well tied shackles (attempt 3 and 4) of decent length with no wastage.

This is what I ended up with
 

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Mean Time Moderator
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Discussion Starter #2
So here's the info I worked out as I went along:

Rope length: 150cm is required to make a reasonable, approx 3" diameter finished loop with 8mm diameter rope.

With the rope folded in two mark a distance of 70cm from one end. This is the point that you will use to make the loop. Thread the other end through the rope at this point. This distance will give you an equal pair of loops when it is tightened.

Next with the two ends together measure 39cm from the ends and tape the two strands together. This is the 'base' of the knot.

I then found it really useful to thread a strand of wool (or anything) into one strand so I could identify the two parts. This makes tightening up the knot much easier and can be pulled out at the end.

You can do this without any tools but a fid makes it easier.

Once you have tied the Wall Knot (first part) then pull it up so you have enough end lengths to work with but you need to leave enough slack to feed the ends through as you tie the Crown knot.

Feeding the ends down though the knot should be fairly self evident of the route if you have tied it right. The ends should end up in line with the main part of the shackle below the knot. Once tied you can work it tight bit by bit.

Then remove the tape that was used to fasten the two strands together at the start. You can then do a final tightening from below.

All that is left to do now is feed the ends into the rope (tuck splice) and taper them for a neat (and stronger) finish.
 

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Mean Time Moderator
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
They get easier and better with practice.

Here are the first two I made, original on the right, note the imperfect knot and the different final lengths even though exactly the same amount of rope used.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
And here is number 3 added in. No 1 at the top, 3 at the bottom.

The length is greater than 2, whilst having longer tails (better taper) than number 1. The measurements given above from number 3 allowed me to make an exact clone in number 4.

Note that these were all made using the same 150cm of rope.
 

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How do you know what your load rating or working load limits are or calculated?
 

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Hi. It's been a while since I came here and was just browsing by. I had some pics saved away on this topic and so I thought I'd share.

I first came across soft shackles when I was a diver. They were useful for light duty applications and had the advantage of not banging around in a tool bag. When I saw them mentioned for offroad uses I was doubtful at first, but then again... I'm always doubtful at first. Nevertheless, I kinda like breaking stuff so I thought I'd give it a shot. Either way, I liked the idea of chucking some weight out of my under-seat bags.

This is 3/4" dyneema rope. You can get it in bulk made in China from a marine supply or pay 5x and get it from "Amsteel". It probably rolls off the same machine, either way.




It's a loose hollow 12 strand braid so it's nothing to run it back into itself in a loop. I don't recall if I used a makeshift fid. I might have taped a pencil onto the end the first time I did one. If you just stiffen the end with a few turns of tape it's probably enough.

You run it through itself and then come back out, then tie a monkey fist and you're done.





I don't know what the breaking strength actually is. As a rule of thumb, a knot has about 67% the strength of the line, but a tight bend can have less, and I have no idea what to say about a clusterific eye splice with the strands wrapping around themselves and taking asymmetric tension. Anyhow that's why I went with the obscene overkill rope size. Of the three I've made, I gave away 1, and I've used the other two on the end of my winch line. I've broken the winch line several times since then. I'm due for a new one actually. The shackles still look fine. They're at least 6 years old now.

What I like about them is they don't tighten up under load. Once the load is off, they just slide open. They work super awesome on cage bars too - something that metal shackles don't handle well.
 

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G'day All,
I use a variation of this method,
with a full bury thru both ends.... and a single loop to lock the knot.
Plenty of methods out there... find one that suits you....

Cheers
Baz
:blueblob:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What rope did you use? Where did you get your FIDS.
I used 8mm Dyneema SK75. The fids are from Norway. Selma as.

I bought them from a UK chandlery. There are other versions available Nd these are a new aquisition for me, having worked with just a splicing needle and Swedish Fid for many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you @BellyDoc for your contribution. All very valuable info.

Thank you for adding in an alternative version. Again the use of soft shackles originates from marine applications, as does the use of synthetic winch lines.

The documented data shows that the end product has a substantially higher break load than the line itself.

I agree with the scepticism angle. I was about the first person in the UK to research and suggest the use of Dyneema rope for recovery winch applications. (Samson were starting to use it on sme marine applications). Having researched the rope characteristics against wire I worked with a rope manufactuter and a winch supplier and vehicle builder to test and document it. There were lots of sceptics...look where we are now.... i've been away from vehicle training and engineering for a few years so soft shackles haven't been on the radar until now. I've been splicing my own ropes for years so this was the next step.

Personally I do stick with rope from known manufacturers with test certificates supplied. I've tested to destruction both in the field and on rigs various different manufacturers, grades and types of rope and prefer to have a test cert.
 

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Nice work.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just in case anyone else is interested in the fids...

This is what I've recently bought.

https://www.amazon.com/Ronstan-RF823002-Splicing-Kit/dp/B00QL5Y2H0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485442262&sr=8-1&keywords=selma+fid

(for once something that's half the price here :wink)

But as already said you can do this and other splicing without these. For example you can fix a broken winch rope in the field with just a biro/pencil and a bit of tape. I've been splicing for years and never had these. But I have to say they are brilliant.
 

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Well don't I feel like a tool( or should I say, 'spanner' )..Zero's..I believe I owe you an apology for calling you a man..I seen Baz's post start with 'Well done Sarah' and felt a rush of embarrassment surge through me! I'm sorry that I didn't realize that.

Baz, thanks for being subtle about it my friend.


Sent from my NiPhone using Tapatalk
 
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