Splicing a soft shackle

Moderator: GreenLake

Splicing a soft shackle

Postby RobH912 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:32 pm

Have been looking at trying my hand at splicing soft shackles for some different applications on the DS. So far have come across a couple of videos that look to be helpful and thought that I would post these links for others.

Soft shackle loop and a diamond knot - https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/gear/softshackles-38323

I ordered some dyneema line and while I have been waiting for it to start on a basic splice, I also found some other useful links / videos on line.

Premium Ropes has a lot of info on splicing; videos, tools, ropes, etc. https://www.premiumropes.com/splicing-rope

Here is one of their more advanced (to me) splicing videos Splice an integrated soft shackle on a rope https://youtu.be/rRKOkYqWpug

The video with its music, no voice over, etc. without a voice over, seems like watching a "magic trick" with ropes to me. :D Person doing the splice has a lot of skill.

I'll post my first splice next week.
Rob


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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby GreenLake » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:00 pm

Amsteel (name of the rope) made from Dyneema (name of the fiber) is a hollow braid. Same for similar ropes from other rope makers. That type of rope is really easy to splice with Brummel splices.

There are a number of sites that give instructions on how to do this. I followed a set of instructions on https://L-36.com, which assumed a halyard without cover, which is the way I have mine set up. (To be able to get a good grip on them while hoisting, I spliced a cheap tail made from double braid to the end, instructions on the same site - see my thread Rope for various lines for more discussion).

For anyone who likes to work a bit with their hands, splicing can be fun. Don't bother about special tools: some instructions mention hollow fids - just use a sharply bent wire, where you trap the part that you want to pull through in the bend. Works like a charm.
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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby RobH912 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:43 pm

GL - so for my first soft shackle attempt I have ordered a couple of feet of this New England rope made of Dyneema to start with...

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/new-engl ... e=12357430

It is not "AmSteel rope", is that a problem?

Sampson AmSteel Dyneema rope (also offered by West Marine) was $.23 / ft more and since I have no idea how this splicing will turn out I went for the lower cost for the experiment. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/samson-r ... ecordNum=1

1/4 inch rope and I was going to work on a soft shackle to attach the jib to jib sheet (soft shackle / Prusik Knot) like we discussed in another post.

Thanks
Rob


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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby GreenLake » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:09 pm

Amsteel is single-braid Dyneema manufactured by Samson Rope. It should be comparable to the single-braid that you quote. When you make splices that use multiple different ropes, it can be critical to get the relative dimensions correct, because, once stretched to the maximum allowed by the braiding, Dyneema will not stretch further to accommodate the other rope. For example, if splicing single braid Dyneema to double braid tail. That shouldn't be an issue if only a single rope is involved.

The price difference is because it's AS-78, which uses a fiber that is a bit stronger. Unnecessary for your purpose. It's the style of braiding that makes a difference, not the fiber.

1/4 inch is probably overdimensioned for almost any application I can think of on the DS. Even a 1/8" holds more than a couple thousand pounds. If the result works for you, fine. If you need to make another one, try 3/16" or 1/8".
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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby RobH912 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:57 am

GL - thanks for the clarification on AmSteel Dyneema.

I bought 1/4 inch not for its strength, but thought a little larger diameter would be easier to practice different splices on before moving on to making DS applied splices. I will however use this 1/4 line for the jib sheet shackle.

Premium Ropes in addition to their videos also has a free App on splicing for either Android or Apple phones. Nice feature is that instructions for each splice are made up of step by step still pictures rather than video so you don’t have to stop the video and do the step. Looks great.

Thanks
Rob


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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby GreenLake » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:50 pm

1/4" will give a little under 3/8" in diameter for the shackle. I have a pretty hefty shackle for my jib sheet, and it works, but I did read somewhere that the Prusik works best if its tied in a thinner line than what it is attached to. You'll simply have to experiment, I guess.

About splicing instructions: Samson Rope publishes (used to publish?) a spiral bound booklet with splicing instructions. That was my preferred format. Generally dislike videos as too linear. Sometimes there's something where the quality of the motion is critical or full motion is better at giving you the general idea. Some things never come across in videos.
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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby RobH912 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:48 pm

GL - Yes 1/4 inch maybe too big for the jib / jib sheet, but I'll see.

I am just looking to practice and see how splicing goes.

Quick question; Do you have any problems cutting the AmSteel Dyneema with a utility knife or scissor?

You have mentioned not needing any special spicing tools, but after reading up a lot on splicing, seems like I often see mentioned a "ceramic" blade knife or "high carbon steel" scissors needed to cut the Dyneema cleanly.

Thanks
Rob


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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby GreenLake » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:23 pm

I think I usually use a disposable razor blade. The kind with a blunt edge on one side. I keep some in my toolbox.
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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby RobH912 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:54 pm

Great. I do have those type of blades.

Thanks
Rob


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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby daysailingDFW » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:02 am

Just wanted to mention I'm the type of sailor who has a hard time tying his own shoes, but have been successful in making a few nice soft shackles using online videos and a Ronstan D-Splicer kit. Make no mistake, I've made some ugly ones too, but once you get the hang of it, not too difficult and kinda fun.
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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby GreenLake » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:36 am

Splicing eyes into double-braid line or doing it in traditional three-strand are all separate skills from working with single-braid. That one is just so much easier. I've dabbled in all of these, so I know (a little bit).

I've also tried out "sown" splices for eyes, just to see how that works and I have a purchase I use for hoisting in my garage, where I made all the eyes by wrapping the splice tightly (very tightly) in wire. Has held up to lifting my DS when I still had room to fit it in there ;)
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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby RobH912 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:37 pm

So have I spliced some soft shackles and they have come out pretty good.

Here are some pictures of the shackle I have spliced to connect the jib sheet to the jib. I used 1/8" (3mm) AmSteel Dyneema and the pictures have the shackle wrapped with a Prusik loop around 8mm jib sheet. I think that the remaining loop will be large enough to attach to the jib clew grommet. If not, maybe just two wraps for the loop.

After wrecking some line trying to use a home made pull through picture wire, coat hanger, etc., I ended up buying a D-Splicer tool for 2-4mm line. Makes it super easy!!

Tying the diamond knot was clearly the most difficult part of this for me. Followed a lot of on line instructions / picrtures, ended up coloring up one of the lines with marker to keep track of which line was which. The knot has been very time consuming.

GL - The first shackle I spliced for practice used 1/4" line... It was good practice, but you were right shackle is giant, not sure what I'll do with it. Maybe a nautical, woven, bracelet :D

Now working on some 7/16" line shackles to attach the 30mm blocks for my traveler. These seem to be easier as they are shorter, less pull through.

Thanks!
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Rob


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Re: Splicing a soft shackle

Postby GreenLake » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:41 pm

very nice. You'll get that diamond knot eventually. Sometimes, different tying directions are easier to follow than others. Have to meet you half-way, the way your own brain wants to work.

Me, if you tell me that it's a Carrick bend with each of the free end wrapped outside one of the standing ends and pushed through the middle of the knot, I could probably tie one without pictures (not speedy, but I'll get there). But that description would mean something to me the way I think about knots.
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