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I Forge Iron

A challenge

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Attached is a series of photos on tying a "Sailor's Lanyard Knot" in cord. They tell me it's difficult for some and easy for others to follow pictures of knots...bad luck, it's all I've got. There's probably other descriptions on the net. The challenge I propose for readers is to tie this knot in steel.

The last three photos show an attempt in modeling clay/plasticine. With out attaching to many tickets to myself I reckon that in itself was a fair achievement. See how you go at rolling out a sausage of plasticine and tying it into a knot.

Some may say, just show us how you managed it in plasticine and we'll do it in steel. No doubt there'll also be lots of suggestions as to tying claytons knots or Bill Epps (I think) knots. Forget it. I'm not challenging you to reinvent the wheel, I'm challenging you to come up with a way of tying this particular knot and no other. All I'll say about the plasticine model is that you'll probably forget about tying the knot as you did with the chord. There was a bit of lateral thinking involved. Out of interests sake I'm wondering whether your lateral thinking is any different to mine. Some are probably thinking I should get off my backside and just do it. I have tried and thus far failed. I have cheated and made the loop separately and shoved it down the middle of a steel turks head. It looks OK from certain angles but is "just not right"

Why bother you say? I see this knot as having a multitude of applications and if a successful method is found the configurations of these types of knots is almost limitless.

By the way, those that know my stance on fabrication will understand that this is a challenge in forging not forgery.

If there are rules to this challenge then let these be them
1. It must be a replication of the "Sailors Lanyard Knot" which consists of a loop on top and two leads extending from the bottom of a three lead, four bight turks head which when tied in cord uses one continuous length.
2. it must be made of iron or steel
3. It shall be known as the Strine's/(insert successful smith's name here) Knot
4. It must be the product of blacksmithing methods used prior to the invention/discovery of electricity.

Finally, you are correct in thinking that this is not explaining a particular aspect of blacksmithing and you've learnt nothing by reading this post. This is not a "taking" exercise it's a "giving" exercise allowing you the opportunity to give something back to the craft in the form of something bordering on "new" in a craft where nothing is new.







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Is a torch allowed?

Any size limits on the stock?

If clay is not available, some thick lead solder wire and a tack hammer might be good for experimentation.

A mind-bender for sure!

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Good point Thomas. I should at least allow the use of steel hammers and anvils :D

Rule 4 now shall read

4. It must be the product of blacksmithing methods used prior to the invention of electrical machinery and gas torches, however an electric light in the shed is permissible.

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This is a great challenge Strine. I've been studying it from the point of folding several loops in a piece of bar and then folding them onto them selves. That's the route I'm thinking might make this feasable. However, could you add some pics between the first set of pics and the second set. Breaking the knott down further might help.

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I could break the clay knot down and post some pictures but I won't because I fear it will taint your thinking. As I have mentioned, thus far I have failed to achieve the end result. There's no point dragging you along my dead end track.

I wait with bated breath to see how your idea goes.


I think you should take the one that you finished and make a mace head out of it.
The one shown in the pikkies is made of modelling clay. As a mace it wouldn't knock Grandma off the toilet seat!!;)
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