Author Topic: "550" cord  (Read 28247 times)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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"550" cord
« on: August 25, 2014, 05:12:56 PM »
Just a random thought, but another thread has popped up about using 550 cord.

It got me wondering for the x-teenth time about the relative merits of using this stuff for critical tasks, like hammocks and even ridge lines.
From what I have been able to glean over a few years of watching the popularity of "paracord" blossom, it dawned upon me that all "550 cord" is not necessarily "paracord".

People run out and buy a hank of '550' cordage at their local sports shop, or hardware store and think they are getting the same stuff one would trust to jump out of a plane with a parachute.
How many Asian knock-off brands are sold that might not come close to the tensile strength of true parachute cord? 

I left the military with a roll a paracord, and ended up using 6 strands of it to pull a 4x4 out of the mud. Years later I bought some in a bubble pack at the sporting goods store, and it broke trying to hang a cache.  ???

Any thoughts?  Anyone know of any comparison tests?
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Offline madmax

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 05:46:01 PM »
I'm becoming more and more disillusioned of paracord.  I like it's "hand", but bankcord is looking better and better for my uses.  Quality is def. An issue.
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Offline hunter63

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 06:04:04 PM »
Never even heard of it till about 5 years ago....when the new magic cordage sprang on the scene....or at least I heard about it, of course I hadn't heard much about "survival" either.

Parachute cord I had known was white braded nylon, that MF brought back from FT. McCoy from surplus.

First dead guy I ever saw was laying on the ground at a local "mound" ...(sorta a butte) in central Wisconsin.
Guy's parachute cord broke when he was climbing.

So yeah I do use 550 cord...but also other stuff like nylon rope, nylon strapping....and plain old hemp rope....Lots of rope.
 
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Offline SwampHanger

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 06:06:48 PM »
I bought some bright orange 550 from hobby lobby in a 100' pk. It was easy to see that it wasn't quality by the outer sheaths shape. Mainly just needed something that was hi viz so it served its purpose. The rest I buy through mil-spec sellers. But yes better check if your putting body weight on it.

Offline hunter63

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 06:19:00 PM »
Won't be putting my body weigh on it ever..........
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 06:21:14 PM »
If you want some REALLY strong parachute cord, seek out some magnum 'cargo parachute' cord.  It usually comes in shorter hunks that have been cut from surplus 'chutes.   Maybe Wilderbeast can get us some. :shrug:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 06:30:30 PM »
I buy almost all of the 550 I use from a vendor at our local gunshows.   His is all on large  rolls and the outer sheath appears to be of exceptional quality.  He will sell you whatever length you want at so much a foot or a fixed price for the big rolls.  Never had any break for the uses I put it to. 
Most of the time what I use it for doesn't put a great deal of weight on it although I have dragged some pretty heavy tree limbs to the burn pile with it.  It's real value to me is just general use around the camp.  Tie up ridge poles, use as guy lines, hang stuff in trees to keep it off the ground.

There are better things for hanging 200 lb. deer carcasses and for dragging or hauling stuff. 

Like you I have never seen a comparison test on the stuff but the truth is I never though about it until you made this post.
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Offline Monkee Peterson

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2014, 06:38:12 PM »
I like it on knife handles and I used it to dress up a wood handled tomahawk.  I wasn't concerned about the strength of it, but I used a couple of long strands of common store bought '550' to tie my fishin' boat upright to my dock to keep the rainwater out of it.  it's held up for a year thru some pretty windy storms, but since I've read this I'm gonna go see how it's holdin' up.  after the daily temps drop a little under a hundred.   

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2014, 07:36:26 PM »
The stuff I "liberated" from the AF had a very heavy sleeve, but I don't remember how many internal strands. Seems to me it was 7, so each 'thread' was about 70lb test with the sleeve carrying the rest. It was very compact and firm around the inner threads. I do know it was tough as wire, and most of the time we just burned it rather than cut it to prevent fraying.  The stuff I later got from the store was like a limp sock.

I'm sure everyone is aware that the tensile strength of this, and other 'rope' is determined the same way as fishing line. The rated weight is based upon a dead-weight drop, not 'stretching until it breaks'. So something that is rated at say 100 lbs 'breaking strength' can actually bear a lot more than that if the weight is applied gradually.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2014, 08:16:02 PM »
I bought a spool of black a couple of years ago to use for lanyards and various other utility purposes. It works well for me.

The really cheap stuff has no core at all.

This amazon seller guarantees mil-spec:

http://www.amazon.com/Paracord-Guaranteed-8-Strand-Military-Parachute/dp/B00ERZ562Q


...or at least the title seems to indicate that, lol! :D

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2014, 08:38:03 PM »
I bought a spool of black a couple of years ago to use for lanyards and various other utility purposes. It works well for me.

The really cheap stuff has no core at all.

This amazon seller guarantees mil-spec:

http://www.amazon.com/Paracord-Guaranteed-8-Strand-Military-Parachute/dp/B00ERZ562Q


...or at least the title seems to indicate that, lol! :D
Sounds like the real deal. Good write up in the ad, too.

Eight 3-strand inner cords, compared to seven 2-strand twisted cords. Significant difference.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2014, 08:39:18 PM »
I bought a 300' spool of this stuff from Sportsman's Guide for tent cord, tying down my deer blind and stuff like that......my rappelling days are long since past.  :-\   I carry a 5' length of it in my pocket for practicing knots and so far, it has not worn much at all in the 3 years I've been been using the same piece for practice......I practice and learn new knots a LOT, just while waiting for my wife to finish shopping or to pass the time waiting for someone to help me at the Social Security Office. :doh:   Seems like pretty good stuff to me.......doesn't cost much :shrug:

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/300-of-mil-spec8482-plus-550-cord?a=347656
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2014, 08:47:18 PM »
I bought a 300' spool of this stuff from Sportsman's Guide for tent cord, tying down my deer blind and stuff like that......my rappelling days are long since past.  :-\   I carry a 5' length of it in my pocket for practicing knots and so far, it has not worn much at all in the 3 years I've been been using the same piece for practice......I practice and learn new knots a LOT, just while waiting for my wife to finish shopping or to pass the time waiting for someone to help me at the Social Security Office. :doh:   Seems like pretty good stuff to me.......doesn't cost much :shrug:

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/300-of-mil-spec8482-plus-550-cord?a=347656

Looks like shopping for paracord is akin to shopping for insurance. 
That ad says 7 strands, each with 30# tensile strength.  In "550" cord.  Where's the rest o' the beef? (550 lb - 210 lb = 340 lbs tensile strength gone missing?)

The 8 strand stuff's description claimed it was good up to around 600 lbs.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2014, 08:50:41 PM »
The sheath counts for SOMETHING, doesn't it? :shrug:
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2014, 08:56:43 PM »
The sheath counts for SOMETHING, doesn't it? :shrug:
Yeah...I dunno how it balances out. The sheaths are woven tubes, like a Chinese finger puzzle. If you've ever tried to strip the threads out of some cordage you know what I mean!
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2014, 08:58:24 PM »
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2014, 09:01:08 PM »
Also its a good idea to avoid using rope or cord for climbing that isn't UIAA certified.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2014, 09:09:33 PM »
Here ya' go....

http://blog.survival-pax.com/2010/11/550-paracord-multiple-utility-cordage.html
Okay...

Quote
Much of the utility behind 550 paracord is due to the way that it is constructed. Quality 550 paracord is composed of seven inner strands and an outer sheath.
Here is the tensile strength breakdown of 550 Paracord:
Outside Sheath - 305 lbs
Inner Strand - 35 lbs each x 7 strands
---------------------------------
Total Strength - 550 lbs

So I guess that's why the 8 strand stuff (with 8 3-strand inner cords) gets closer to the 600# mark than the 7 strand (with 7 2-strand inner cords).  I would think having nearly double the inner core volume would be a good thing.

And I'm not sure I agree that falling 2 feet in your sleep when your hammock breaks is not a big deal. :P

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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2014, 09:10:03 PM »
Also its a good idea to avoid using rope or cord for climbing that isn't UIAA certified.

Yeah, I'll bet! :P.   I was just kiddin' about the rappelling bit, but the point of my post was, the cheap stuff from Sportsman's Guide at half the price of the SOOPERDOOPER stuff on Amazon, is plenty good enough for anything I'd ever use it for......AND I can get twice as much of it for the same money! :banana:
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2014, 09:15:58 PM »
Here ya' go....

http://blog.survival-pax.com/2010/11/550-paracord-multiple-utility-cordage.html
Okay...

Quote
Much of the utility behind 550 paracord is due to the way that it is constructed. Quality 550 paracord is composed of seven inner strands and an outer sheath.
Here is the tensile strength breakdown of 550 Paracord:
Outside Sheath - 305 lbs
Inner Strand - 35 lbs each x 7 strands
---------------------------------
Total Strength - 550 lbs

So I guess that's why the 8 strand stuff (with 8 3-strand inner cords) gets closer to the 600# mark than the 7 strand (with 7 2-strand inner cords).  I would think having nearly double the inner core volume would be a good thing.

And I'm not sure I agree that falling 2 feet in your sleep when your hammock breaks is not a big deal. :P


I'll just have to be careful not to hoist any more deer over the crucial 550# weight limit with my sub-par cordage then! :taunt:
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2014, 10:10:24 PM »
I think the cheap stuff (as long as it actually has multiple twisted strands inside the braided jacket) is actually pretty decent for most uses. The really cheap stuff has no core at all, its just a hollow tube. One step up is a braided sheath over a core that is just a bunch of loose fibers. Those two I wouldn't trust for ridge lines or things like that but they are still better than roots and vines for tying stuff together.

The real paracord has one of the inner twisted strands marked with a colored strand. I will see if I have any of the real thing and get a picture.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2014, 10:26:42 PM »
I guess the bottom line is, know what you're going to do with it, and then be aware of what you're buying.

I get the impression a lot of folks have the stuff, but never considered the two points above.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2014, 10:33:22 PM »
I've had some of the cord with the one colored strand in the mix, but I used it all up years ago.  The cord from S.G. doesn't have one, but each of the seven strands is twisted 2-ply.  I don't recall any of it breaking for anything I've ever used it for.  I'll just say that it's good enough that I'll buy another spool of it when I run out. :)
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2014, 10:52:19 PM »
Between those two sources posted, 310 ft of 8 strand/3 ply for $44, or 300 feet of 7 strand/2 ply for $25.
Decisions, decisions....;)
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Offline SwampHanger

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2014, 01:14:34 AM »
When I said body weight some folks have used it in making hammocks. Although there is a technique that I was taught while in the Air Force that if you get hung up or need to go up a rope you double fisherman a continuous loop 5' round. Then purrsic knot on main line above figure 8 and step into loop. This takes weight off your system to unknot or retie. Or use two loops one over the other stepping in like stairs to a send the rope.

Offline Dano

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2014, 05:18:37 AM »
Here's a pretty good description of the different types- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracord

I read an article that described the way the load is applied to the cord when used on a parachute, compared to climbing or other outdoor activities and it's WAY different.  Not to mention that there are multiple strands on a parachute.  It also said that even true paracord from a parachute should NEVER be used for climbing as it's not designed for that purpose.

I think what we see available on the market is what the link above describes as "commercial" vs actual "mil-spec".  I think a better name would be multi-strand cord, because true parachute cord is quite different.  Even the words "mil-spec" have become whored in today's world, just like most everything else.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2014, 09:39:23 AM »
This is the stuff to use for prusik cords. I would not use even the mil-spec 550 cord for climbing prusiks unless there was no other option, and if I did, I'd double up on it.

http://www.amazon.com/Metolius-Prusik-Cord-Set-47-5/dp/B000N2ONB2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1409067404&sr=8-3&keywords=prusik

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2014, 09:50:15 AM »
Here's a pretty good description of the different types- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracord

I read an article that described the way the load is applied to the cord when used on a parachute, compared to climbing or other outdoor activities and it's WAY different.  Not to mention that there are multiple strands on a parachute.  It also said that even true paracord from a parachute should NEVER be used for climbing as it's not designed for that purpose.

I think what we see available on the market is what the link above describes as "commercial" vs actual "mil-spec".  I think a better name would be multi-strand cord, because true parachute cord is quite different.  Even the words "mil-spec" have become whored in today's world, just like most everything else.

This article pretty much nails it down:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute_cord

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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2014, 09:59:50 AM »
I'll go along with that. :thumbsup:
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2014, 10:09:04 AM »

This article pretty much nails it down:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute_cord

Interesting to note in the specs in this article is that the "elongation" for all these MilSpec cords is 30%. Unless I miss my guess, that translates to "stretch".  My experience with 550 Cord is it's like a bungie cord! :P  With a stretch of nearly 1/3 it's unstressed length, it (IMHO) has some limitations.
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Offline Sarge

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2014, 11:12:02 AM »
I've used it some for low stress work but mostly for handle wraps, lanyards, and tying knots - monkey fist, cobra weave, etc. I've bought what I suspect to be mil-spec cord with the separate inner strands and some cheap stuff with a fuzzy center. Even with the good stuff, I would consider tensile strength vs. working strength before I put it under load in a critical situation. I'm not a ropes expert but I think 10% of the tensile strength is the rule of thumb for the working load. So 55 pounds would be the recommended working load limit for true 550 rated cord, even less for the cheap stuff. Just my 2 cents....
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2014, 01:00:51 PM »
I've used it some for low stress work but mostly for handle wraps, lanyards, and tying knots - monkey fist, cobra weave, etc. I've bought what I suspect to be mil-spec cord with the separate inner strands and some cheap stuff with a fuzzy center. Even with the good stuff, I would consider tensile strength vs. working strength before I put it under load in a critical situation. I'm not a ropes expert but I think 10% of the tensile strength is the rule of thumb for the working load. So 55 pounds would be the recommended working load limit for true 550 rated cord, even less for the cheap stuff. Just my 2 cents....

FWIW.... (And I was wrong about "drop weight" vs "breaking (tensile) strength")

Quote
http://whitewatersolutions.net/Rope_..._Strength.html


One area of misunderstanding that needs to be brought to the surface is the proper interpretation of rope strength, appropriate usage and care. Let's start by defining two important terms: "tensile strength" and "working load". Tensile strength is the average strength of new rope under laboratory conditions. This is determined by wrapping the rope around two large diameter capstans and slowly tensioning the line until it breaks. The manufacturer's recommended working load is determined by taking the tensile strength and dividing it by a factor that more accurately reflects the maximum load that should be applied to a given rope to assure a comfortable safety margin and longevity of the line. Of course that factor varies with the type of fiber and the weaving construction. There are however always exceptions, most notably the fact that rope is susceptible to degradation and damage in numerous ways that are not controllable by the manufacturer.
It may surprise you to find out that the working load for most kinds of rope is between 15% and 25% of the tensile strength. Now consider the fact that any time you tie a knot in a rope you effectively cut the tensile strength in half. The knot when tensioned cuts the line. While certain kinds of knots damage the line less than others, the 50% loss of tensile strength is a good general rule to live by. Research has shown that the figure 8 knot reduces the tensile strength by approximately 35% instead of 50% for other common knots tested.

Another analysis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_load_limit
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2014, 04:42:11 PM »
Clifford Ashley, my hero :hail:, labeled the Carrick Bend, "The Perfect Knot" for joining two lines together. :thumbsup:  Easy to learn to tie and untie even after being put under a heavy load!  The knot can be "reefed' open for greatest strength.....the line loses less percentage of line strength in this configuration than ANY other joining knot known!  When it is not reefed, it upsets and morphs into a completely different-looking knot, but still loses very little in line strength while retaining the ease of untying.

The Gospel according to Ashley O:-)

http://www.realknots.com/knots/bends.htm



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Offline SwampHanger

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2014, 05:15:37 PM »
What's wrong with a zeppelin.

http://www.animatedknots.com/zeppelin/

Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2014, 05:24:13 PM »
What's wrong with a zeppelin.

http://www.animatedknots.com/zeppelin/
Not a dang thing & truthfully, I use it a lot more often, but according to Ashley it weakens the line by a greater percentage than does the Carrick Bend. :shrug:
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2014, 05:26:15 PM »
I like a triple fisherman's for joining two ropes of the same size, but you will definitely need a marlinspike to pick the knots apart after you load it.

http://www.animatedknots.com/doublefishermans/index.php?Categ=climbing

Edit:

I like the looks of that zeppelin bend. I am going to practice that one because it looks like a better option in the event you want to untie it.

Offline SwampHanger

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2014, 05:40:28 PM »
PW I use a triple fisherman as my termination knot on my climbing saddle. If I need to undo it I just slip out the carabiner. But if you put to much weight on them tied to another line you create the Mexican knife knot.  ;)

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2014, 06:02:53 PM »
PW I use a triple fisherman as my termination knot on my climbing saddle. If I need to undo it I just slip out the carabiner. But if you put to much weight on them tied to another line you create the Mexican knife knot.  ;)

I used them on prusik cords and was able to untie them afterward but they were so tight they were like solid hunks of wood. I just tried the zeppelin bend on some 550 cord I had lying around and it unties easily even after I stretched the loop pretty hard. I like this knot!

I also found a "b + q" diagram that makes remembering the sequence easy. You make a lowercase "b" with one rope and a lowercase "q" with the other rope and then the ends wrap around through the center. Pretty easy!

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/Zeppelin.html

Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2014, 06:03:20 PM »
I like a triple fisherman's for joining two ropes of the same size, but you will definitely need a marlinspike to pick the knots apart after you load it.

http://www.animatedknots.com/doublefishermans/index.php?Categ=climbing

Edit:

I like the looks of that zeppelin bend. I am going to practice that one because it looks like a better option in the event you want to untie it.
It's interesting to me how one component of a knot is seen in many differently named, but related knots.  For instance, your 'Double Fisherman's Knot' is the same thing as two 'Poacher's Knots' tied side by side.  The 'Triple Fisherman's Knot' is just two 'Scaffold Knots' tied side by side, and the 'Scaffold Knot' is nothing more than a 'Poacher's Knot' tied with three, rather than two wraps.   It's enough to drive a person knuts! :P
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2014, 06:05:27 PM »
I like a triple fisherman's for joining two ropes of the same size, but you will definitely need a marlinspike to pick the knots apart after you load it.

http://www.animatedknots.com/doublefishermans/index.php?Categ=climbing

Edit:

I like the looks of that zeppelin bend. I am going to practice that one because it looks like a better option in the event you want to untie it.
It's interesting to me how one component of a knot is seen in many differently named, but related knots.  For instance, your 'Double Fisherman's Knot' is the same thing as two 'Poacher's Knots' tied side by side.  The 'Triple Fisherman's Knot' is just two 'Scaffold Knots' tied side by side, and the 'Scaffold Knot' is nothing more than a 'Poacher's Knot' tied with three, rather than two wraps.   It's enough to drive a person knuts! :P


I learned the double fisherman's bend as the "grapevine knot" but used the more common term here. ;)

Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2014, 06:06:58 PM »
PW I use a triple fisherman as my termination knot on my climbing saddle. If I need to undo it I just slip out the carabiner. But if you put to much weight on them tied to another line you create the Mexican knife knot.  ;)

I used them on prusik cords and was able to untie them afterward but they were so tight they were like solid hunks of wood. I just tried the zeppelin bend on some 550 cord I had lying around and it unties easily even after I stretched the loop pretty hard. I like this knot!

I also found a "b + q" diagram that makes remembering the sequence easy. You make a lowercase "b" with one rope and a lowercase "q" with the other rope and then the ends wrap around through the center. Pretty easy!

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/Zeppelin.html
I like to refer to them as a "6" & "9"......seems easier to remember for most guys. >:D
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2014, 06:10:24 PM »
I like a triple fisherman's for joining two ropes of the same size, but you will definitely need a marlinspike to pick the knots apart after you load it.

http://www.animatedknots.com/doublefishermans/index.php?Categ=climbing

Edit:

I like the looks of that zeppelin bend. I am going to practice that one because it looks like a better option in the event you want to untie it.
It's interesting to me how one component of a knot is seen in many differently named, but related knots.  For instance, your 'Double Fisherman's Knot' is the same thing as two 'Poacher's Knots' tied side by side.  The 'Triple Fisherman's Knot' is just two 'Scaffold Knots' tied side by side, and the 'Scaffold Knot' is nothing more than a 'Poacher's Knot' tied with three, rather than two wraps.   It's enough to drive a person knuts! :P


I learned the double fisherman's bend as the "grapevine knot" but used the more common term here. ;)
That's what I call it, too, but you said "Double Fisherman" at first.....I was just trying to be nice! O:-)
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2014, 06:48:05 PM »
I like a triple fisherman's for joining two ropes of the same size, but you will definitely need a marlinspike to pick the knots apart after you load it.

http://www.animatedknots.com/doublefishermans/index.php?Categ=climbing

Edit:

I like the looks of that zeppelin bend. I am going to practice that one because it looks like a better option in the event you want to untie it.
It's interesting to me how one component of a knot is seen in many differently named, but related knots.  For instance, your 'Double Fisherman's Knot' is the same thing as two 'Poacher's Knots' tied side by side.  The 'Triple Fisherman's Knot' is just two 'Scaffold Knots' tied side by side, and the 'Scaffold Knot' is nothing more than a 'Poacher's Knot' tied with three, rather than two wraps.  It's enough to drive a person knuts! :P


I learned the double fisherman's bend as the "grapevine knot" but used the more common term here. ;)
That's what I call it, too, but you said "Double Fisherman" at first.....I was just trying to be nice! O:-)
That's why I don't drive myself crazy trying to learn a boatload of similar knots, and their names.
It's also why I was happy calling the Buntline the "twisty, loopy thingy" for about 55 years. :rolleyes:

The only one thing that gets to me is calling the "power cinch" a "trucker's knot".
I only do what the voices in my wife's head tell her to tell me to do.

Offline SwampHanger

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2014, 06:54:20 PM »
For a midline knot try the Alpine butterfly and tell me what you think.

Offline SwampHanger

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2014, 06:58:00 PM »

The only one thing that gets to me is calling the "power cinch" a "trucker's knot".
[/quote]


OP I knew it as a hay knot growing up. When we loaded the truck with bales like the Clampet's that's how we tied them down.

Offline wolfy

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2014, 07:00:05 PM »
Ol'P, that wasn't exactly what I was trying to convey.....the point being, just one simple knot like the 'Poacher's Knot' can be the foundation for several different knots that have very specific jobs to do.  Being aware of the variations, just widens the possibilities for having exactly the right knot for a specific problematical situation. :thumbsup:

For a midline knot try the Alpine butterfly and tell me what you think.

I like it a lot!   It's one knot that I've learned about 4-5 different ways to tie....all giving the same end result. ???
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2014, 07:28:48 PM »

The only one thing that gets to me is calling the "power cinch" a "trucker's knot".


OP I knew it as a hay knot growing up. When we loaded the truck with bales like the Clampet's that's how we tied them down.
[/quote]

Yup!  It's my go-to knot for cinching down loads in my tailer bound for the dump.

Just a few months ago my son had to haul a mattress/box spring across town on his SUV. When he got here, I looked at his knot job. Yipe! I didn't say a word, but he saw the look on my face and tells me, "I couldn't remember 'your knot'."
So over the next two evenings we practiced the Buntline and the power cinch until he could do them with his eyes closed.
I only do what the voices in my wife's head tell her to tell me to do.

Offline SwampHanger

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #47 on: August 26, 2014, 07:54:30 PM »
There's a lot to be said about doin things in the dark! >:D

Offline Sarge

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #48 on: August 26, 2014, 08:13:09 PM »

I've used it some for low stress work but mostly for handle wraps, lanyards, and tying knots - monkey fist, cobra weave, etc. I've bought what I suspect to be mil-spec cord with the separate inner strands and some cheap stuff with a fuzzy center. Even with the good stuff, I would consider tensile strength vs. working strength before I put it under load in a critical situation. I'm not a ropes expert but I think 10% of the tensile strength is the rule of thumb for the working load. So 55 pounds would be the recommended working load limit for true 550 rated cord, even less for the cheap stuff. Just my 2 cents....

FWIW.... (And I was wrong about "drop weight" vs "breaking (tensile) strength")

Quote
http://whitewatersolutions.net/Rope_..._Strength.html


One area of misunderstanding that needs to be brought to the surface is the proper interpretation of rope strength, appropriate usage and care. Let's start by defining two important terms: "tensile strength" and "working load". Tensile strength is the average strength of new rope under laboratory conditions. This is determined by wrapping the rope around two large diameter capstans and slowly tensioning the line until it breaks. The manufacturer's recommended working load is determined by taking the tensile strength and dividing it by a factor that more accurately reflects the maximum load that should be applied to a given rope to assure a comfortable safety margin and longevity of the line. Of course that factor varies with the type of fiber and the weaving construction. There are however always exceptions, most notably the fact that rope is susceptible to degradation and damage in numerous ways that are not controllable by the manufacturer.
It may surprise you to find out that the working load for most kinds of rope is between 15% and 25% of the tensile strength. Now consider the fact that any time you tie a knot in a rope you effectively cut the tensile strength in half. The knot when tensioned cuts the line. While certain kinds of knots damage the line less than others, the 50% loss of tensile strength is a good general rule to live by. Research has shown that the figure 8 knot reduces the tensile strength by approximately 35% instead of 50% for other common knots tested.

Another analysis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_load_limit

Ok. Cool. That sounds better.


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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: "550" cord
« Reply #49 on: August 26, 2014, 08:21:11 PM »
I was reading this topic & I decided that much like many things in the Bush Lore world, there are many opinions on what is good, & what is not good.


 Regardless, I have used a lot of cordage over my time in the woods,(and made some when it was needed, & didn't have some),
& "real" para-cord has had its' place, & it still has its' place for "Me".


  The last time, about 3 years ago, that I bought some... It was about a 1000 ft. spool. I have about 3-400 ft.left. Used some, gave some away, but it was the "real" good stuff. Cost about 50-60 bucks with shipping, if I remember right (US $$).


It has worked good for me , and so has cheap cotton line at time for its' lightweight purposes. "Decoy cordage", which is a heavy "Bank" line, and, IMO, is actually better than "bank" line, is my "go to", for disposable to permanent type cordage.



  Regardless..


If ya don't use paracord..


Fine.


If ya do..


Good for ya.


Use what ever works in your area.
 :)


I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)