Fig. 1 shows a completed eye splice. Splices are measured when the eye Is closed and laying flat. The diameter of the loop that the open eye would make (like the loop of a lariat) is not the way the eye is measured. The determination of the length of the eye is usually made by the cleat or fitting (or thimble) that it will fit. If the eye is to be on a dock line and the cleat Is 8", it would be proper to make an 8" eye which will fit onto the cleat easily. The 8" would be represented by '1A" in fig. 1.
To make an 8" eye splice, we are going to allow two times that amount (16") plus the amount of rope that needs to be unlayed (10"). Depending upon the diameter of the rope, from 8" to 12" is usually unlayed. Our splice will have 5 tucks. This is an important number to note since it is the minimum number of tucks that should be given synthetic fiber ropes. Manila usually needs only three or four tucks. Since synthetic fibers are more slippery, a minimum of five tucks should be used. A minimum of three Is sufficient where such items as belt lanyards etc. are being spliced, and the most number of tucks needed would be seven on splices used in mooring pennants and the like where constant stress is being put on the rope over long periods of time.
Hold the rope as shown in fig. 3a. Since we mentioned before that nylon rope and other synthetics will want to unlay as soon as they are cut, the following procedure will help reduce this and allow us to make our splice with the least difficulty. FIG. 3 shows the beginning steps to follow:
Fig. 3a. After measuring and finding point "X" (fig. 2), tape as shown. This will prevent the rope from unlaying any further and not allow any of the strands to loosen up past the junction of the eye (point x).
Fig. 3b. Unlay the strands of rope so that the end of each can be taped. Tape each end using three Inches of tape, apply the tape so that it twists the rope tighter,
and does not untwist it. One or two turns of the tape around the strand starting 1" from the end will bring the tape past its end. Now reverse the direction of taping and form a point or sharp end on the tape as you begin to wind it on the strand back toward where you started taping . . . this formed point helps feed each strand through the rope as you splice. Remember that as you tape you want to be twisting the rope so that the fibers tighten up. This Is part of the secret In properly splicing any synthetic rope. .. the continual re-twisting of the individual strands and not allowing them to unlay. Everytime a tuck is made (a strand led through the standing part of the rope) the strand should be twisted to its proper shape to retain the overall correct lay of the fibers... do not over twist and make cockles or kinks in the fiber. This will defeat what you are striving for.
Fig. 4 shows the three color coded unlayed strands laid out with the gold strand under the blue and off to the bottom and the white strand moved off to the top. Fig. 5a. shows the West Fid inserted into the lay of the rope. The fid is hollow so that a strand can be led into it and fed through the rope. When the fid is removed the strand should be snugly in place. it is important not to pull the strand through each tuck, but to lead and feed it through. This enables the twist of the fibers to remain as they should and not disturbed as they would if each strand were pulled through during the tucking operation. Fig. 5a shows the fid inserted into and under a blue strand, opening up the strand to allow the blue strand to be led under and tucked. Remove the fid and tighten up this strand by twisting the blue strand as you gently pull it tight. Fig. 5b shows the gold strand being led under the gold standing strand. We have discontinued showing the fid in use to clarify how and where the strands are led through. Again, after removing the fid, snug up the gold strand by twisting it In the direction of the lay and gently pulling at the
same time. We now have two of the three strands tucked Into the standing part of the rope.
The most difficult strand to work on the first set of tucks is the third, white strand. Up to now, this whole exercise has been simple... it's even as simple to complete if you just pay close attention to tucking in this third strand properly. Fig. 5c shows the white strand ~ mg tucked under the white standing strand after the loop has been turned over. Note that the unlayed white strand is led under the standing part from right to left... this Is Important'. If there is confusion now and you previous tucks, with the third, do not look like the drawings, remove all of the strands and begin again. Drawing 5:1 shows all three strands tucked In, ready to proceed with the second set of tucks.
Not until you can splice in the first set of tucks with perfection should you attempt to do any additional splicing.
Again, see fig. 5d, it shows all three strands of the color - coded rope with the first tucks completed. Note that each strand emerges from the standing part of the rope from between two strands. Now, holding the loop of the splice toward you and the standing part of the rope away from you, take one of the three coded strands and then, working toward the left, turning the rope partially around as you work, tuck the blue strand over the gold and under the white; next, the gold strand over the white and under the blue; and then the white strand over the blue and under the gold. The result is that each strand emerges from between two others yet is separated from one another by a single strand.
Now, and this is important, by tugging gently at each strand, and while tugging, twisting the fibers so they follow the natural lay of the other fibers, knead the completed tuck so that the symmetry of the woven strands shows up clearly. Following the same principle of working from right to left and gently turning the rope over toward the right as each strand is passed over one and under another, complete a total of five sets of tucks. The color sequence of the third or fourth set of tucks does not follow the same sequence as the second set. You'll be able to judge a proper splice by the way the strands symmetrically go over and under the others.
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