The ultimate guide to splices and whippings (used to splice ropes together)
It is not uncommon, especially in a wilderness survival situation where you possess limited supplies, to encounter situations where a longer length of rope is needed. Rope splices are used to splice shorter lengths of rope together to form a single, larger length of rope. Good rope splices hold tight without impacting the natural shape and resiliency of the rope.
A Short Splice is the easiest method to splice two ropes together. It is a bulky knot though, and will not pass easily through blocks or pulleys.
Step 1: First, unlay the lay of both ropes for several times the rope diameter. A temporary whipping one will prevent unraveling. Marry the strands together alternating one from each end.
Step 2: Next Tuck F under E and G under D.
Step 3: In #3, the first two tucks are completed.
Step 4: Finally (see #4) rotate the splice 180 degrees and tuck H under C. This completes the first set of tucks. Continue tucking F,G and H over one lay and under the next. Remove the temporary whipping and tuck C, D and E over one strand and under the next . Tuck each lay three times.
Step 1: Count 5 rounds of the rope.
Step 2: Count back and unlay 5 rounds of the lay of the rope.
Step 3: Fan the unlaid end of the rope and place it over the standing part of the rope. The strand to the inside of the eye must look like it is coming out from under the other two strands and the other two strands must be fanned in such a way that they do not cross each other.
Step 4: While holding the inside strand in place, stick the middle strand under one of the strands of the standing end of the rope.
Step 5: Pass the inside strand over the standing end strand and stick it under the next standing end strand. N0TE: The second strand goes in where the first strand came out.
Step 6: Turn the splice over.
Step 7: Stick the third strand under the remaining strand of the standing end.NOTE: The third strand is stuck in where the second strand came out and comes out where the first strand went in. [NOTE] When the third strand is stuck it appears to go backward but when it is examined closely you will see that it is stuck in the same direction as the other two
Step 8: Complete the splice by working the strands snug and adding 3 to 5 50unds of tucks. NOTE: When the strands are folded back over the eye, you will notice that there is one strand going in and one strand coming out between each of the strands of the standing end.
Back Splice (Lazy Man’s Whipping)
A Back Splice is a good splice to prevent a rope’s end from unraveling and is fairly easy to make. It does thicken the rope though, which could make it difficult to pass through a block or pulley.
Step 1: Unlay the rope 5 or 6 turns
Step 2 and 3: Form crown knot as shown. From above it should look like this:
Step 4: Tuck one lay over the adjoining end and under itself.
Step 5: Tuck the next strand over and under
Step 6: Tuck the remaining strand over and under.
To finish the back splice continue tucking each lay over and under several times.
Sail Maker’s Whipping
Step 1: Begin by unlaying (untwisting) the rope two inches. Make a bite in a 3-
foot length of whipping thread and place it around one of the strands.
Step 2: Re-lay the rope. Wind the whipping thread tightly around the rope end for a
sufficient number of turns.
Step 3: Carry the bight originally formed back over the end of the same strand around which it was laid.
Step 4: Pull ends tight and tie them with a square knot between the rope ends. Trim ends of whipping thread.
Form a loop in whipping thread and lay it along the end. Wrap the whipping thread tightly around the rope. When the whipping is as wide as the rope is thick, slip the end through the loop, pull hard, and trim whipping thread.
A Crow Knot binds the ends of the rope’s strands together with the strands coming out the bottom of the knot. In the description below we pass the lines through the bights (loops) of its neighbor to the left but it can be reversed and passed through the bight of the neighbor to the right.
Step 1: Unlay the rope.
Step 2: Bend strand 1 into a bight towards the end of the rope.
Step 3: Bend strand 2 into a similar bight with its end passing through the bight of strand 1.
Step 4: Pass strand 3 through the bight of strand 2 and work it tight.
A Wall Knot can be used to bind the ends of the rope’s strands together. It is similar to the Crown Knot but the strands come out the top of the knot rather than the bottom of the knot. It also differs from the Crown Knot in that each strand passes outside of its neighbor first before going upwards through his bight (loop).
Step 1: Unlay the rope.
Step 2: Pass strand 1 outside of strand 2 but inside of strand 3.
Step 3: Pass strand 2 outside of strand 3 and the end of strand 1.
Step 4: Dip strand 3 outside of the bight (loop) of strand 2 and bring it up through the bight of strand 1.