Monday, January 14, 2008


Turk's heads are usually thought of as strictly ornamental work, but they serve many useful purposes, such as keeping the leathers on lifelines and the looms of oars in position.
The three-strand Turk's head is simple and easy to tie. By adding extra diamonds, as I will explained, you can make one long enough to go around your ship if you want to.

Start with two round turns around your hand, and pass the end over the second turn and under the first turn. Next, turn your hand so that you can see the back of it. Pull a bight of the first turn under the second turn. Pass the end through this bight, over the second turn, and under the first turn. Now turn your hand back, with the palm toward you, and lead the bitter end up alongside the standing part. This completes the first lay of the three-strand Turk's head. Follow around for two more lays, then work out the slack.

To make a good tool for tightening a Turk head, cut the handle off a toothbrush and sharpen it to a flat, square-pointed end. Spend few minutes making this pricker, and later it will save hours while tying Turk's heads because you can also use it as a needle when passing the second and third lays. To add extra diamonds to a three-strand Turk's head, complete the Turk's head just described. You'll need a little slack so, if necessary, work some into the Turk's head. Next, pull a bight under. Then pass the bitter end under, over, etc. If you want still more diamonds, repeat the steps until your Turk's head is long enough for your purpose.