Quick Skills #4: How to Tie Lashings - Pt.1 Square Lashing





Introduction: Quick Skills #4: How to Tie Lashings - Pt.1 Square Lashing

About: Hi I'm Alex and I love to make stuff! I mainly work with different metals but I also love to explore new (to me) materials and dabble in woodworking, jewelry, knife making, design and many more.

Hi everyone,

this week I decided to continue my Quick Skills series with a new mini series. Based on the previous videos & Instructables about Knots for Survival I'm going to show a number of different lashings for various survival, bush craft & general outdoor uses. The first part showcases the square lashing which should be considered to be one of the the most basic lashings one should know.

To practice this lashing you will need two poles (I used 2cm dowels) and some rope or paracord. It will take you just a few minutes of practice on a rainy afternoon to learn how to tie this lashing.

If you like this Instructable please vote, fav, share, subscribe & comment. You can also check my YouTube, Facebook, Blog, Instagram and Twitter for current and upcoming projects.

The current giveaway is still open until Sunday and you can win a 1-Year Pro Membership for Instructables if you subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment at this video. I will announce the winner on Sunday the 7th Feb 16 here on my orangeboard as well as my Facebook, Twitter & Blog. Please make sure you add "Count me in" to your comment as well as your Instructables username!!!

Take care, stay safe

Cheers Alex

Step 1: Uses, ​Terminology & Example

The Square Lashing is used to tie two poles that cross each other at an angle of 90° - 45° together. It is still used widely in developing countries to build frames for scaffolding with rope & bamboo. In an outdoor or survival scenario this technique could be used to build frames for roofs, lean-to shelters, tables as wells as frames for a backpack.

The example pictured here is just a very basic frame made with 4 poles and some paracord/utility cord. It is surprisingly sturdy and rigid. Depending on the intended use this basic structure could be further stabilized with crossing poles that are tied with a diagonal lashing (which will be subject of the next part of this series).

As with most things concerning ropes & knots there are a number of terms that require some explanation:

  1. Wraps or wrapping turns - Those are the turns of rope around the two poles to connect them.
  2. Fraps or frapping turns - are turns between the poles around the wraps. They have the function to tighten the lashing.

Step 2: Starting Hitch

You can start the lashing by attaching your rope to the horizontal pole with a simple hitch. Here I'm using a clove hitch for this purpose.

This method has the vertical pole placed on top of the horizontal and when using this lashing to build a frame I prefer to start the lashing on the inside of the frame.

Step 3: Wraps

Follow the steps in the pictures to create three wraps around both poles. You should ensure that:

  1. Each turn around the horizontal pole should be added inside the previous one (Seen from this perspective the new turns would lie further in the center.
  2. The turns around the vertical pole are outside the previous one.

Doing this correctly helps the frapping turns to tighten all turns evenly.

Step 4: Frapping Turns

Once you have completed the wraps you continue with so called frapping turns. As shown in the pics these turns are tied around the previous wraps between the two poles. In this example we are using two frapping turns and it might be not that clear from the pictures but it is important to pull these frapping turns as tight as possible to make the lashing more secure.

When both frapping turns are complete your rope should end up over the horizontal pole on the same side you started from (This is however not a must).

Step 5: Finishing Hitch

To finish the lashing tie another clove hitch (or other secure hitch) around the horizontal pole. Alternatively you could tie several half hitches as frapping turns around the wraps.

If using a hitch to secure the end I suggest you also use a stopper knot to prevent it from slipping.

Step 6: Other Views

These pics are showing close up pictures of the top and bottom view of the finished lashing. If tying the final hitch on the opposite site you would end up with a more symmetrical looking lashing. When build frames I prefer the two hitches to be on the inside of the frame to avoid them slipping from the poles end (However unlikely this is...maybe just my OCD :P ).

Step 7: Monthly Giveaway

As stated in the intro the current giveaway is still open until sunday the 7th Feb 16. You can win a 1-Year Pro Membership for Instructables if you subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment at this video. I will announce the winner on Sunday the 7th Feb 16 1800 GMT here on my orangeboard as well as my Facebook, Twitter & Blog. Please make sure you add "Count me in" to your comment as well as your Instructables username.

Starting from the next project I will switch to monthly giveaways instead of weekly/project ones. These will however consist of a small gift package with a number of items based on my previous Instructables, stickers and a Pro-Account for Instructables. I have attached a pic of what I plan to include in the package.

You can let me know via PM or in the comments what you think about this idea.



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    11 Discussions

    Nice to finally know how to do this the right way!

    Hi HLightning11,

    thanks for reading & commenting! Yes one could make a ladder with this lashing. I actually have a project in mind that utilizes this type of lashing and marlin spike hitches for improvising ladders. (Wooden ladder & rope ladder).

    Cheers Alex

    just as a suggestion, for windy or stormy weather you could use a restricter knot but passing the tail of your clove hitch under the first wrap. this will hold alot tighter and only gets tighter if pulled on.

    1 reply

    Hi asumner6, thanks for reading and for your suggestion. I was thinking about adding another step with alternative ways to finish the lashing. I will add yours to it along with some others.

    Cheers Alex

    How can you give away 1 year memberships? Are you now part of the staff or something like that?

    3 replies

    Hi Yonatan24, no I'm not part of the Instructables staff. I did explain this in my previous Ible. I won the 1 Year Pro Membership as a runner up price in the 3 Ingredient challenge last year. As a thank you and to give something back to those that supported me with their votes I decided to give it away. So far however only two people have entered this giveaway which was somewhat disapointing which is why I decided to include it in this weeks giveaway.

    Cheers Alex

    Yep, I saw that you won in the "3 Ingredient Challenge"(didn't you win with the cotton fire starters or something like that...?)

    I thought (and didn't understand) that you were giving 1 year Pro's for every 'Ible that you make...

    I started about a week or two ago to do a giveaway of a 3 month PRO for the first person that gets inspired and makes it one of my Instructables... I just give away the PRO memberships that I get from getting featured...

    :) I usually give away the 3-Month Pro Memberships from my featured Ibles too. Giving the gift code to someone that was inspired by your work is a nice idea though.

    Cheers Alex

    I just want to say this insttructible is really handy thank u and how to I enter the comp

    1 reply

    Hi sbarker13, thanks for reading & commenting. Check the info in the last step on how to enter the competition for the 1 Year Pro Membership.

    Cheers Alex