How to Eye Splice Three Strand Rope




Introduction: How to Eye Splice Three Strand Rope

Hi all,
this is my first instructable, so any feedback would be great.

I needed to put some short lengths of rope on a tarpaulin (tarp), and figured that this would be a good way to do it, rather than just tying a knot and hoping it holds.

The eye splice is a great way to permenantly put a loop in the end of any length of rope. it is commonly used on ships in rigging, but can be used on any application.

Update 7/8/14:
I've gone through and added some photos showing electrical tape used instead of the clear tape. Thanks to everyone who has read/favorited this so far. Really satisfying to see.

Step 1: Prep

Wrap some tape around you rope at the length that you want the splice to be, plus some extra. You want some room to work. I'm using clear tape, but electrical tape would probably be better.

Step 2: More Prep

Unravel the ends right up to the tape. twist the end of each strand tightly and wrap another bit of tape around it to stop is from fraying. Don't bother about burning the ends at this stage, as they will be cut off later.

Step 3: Starting Off

Lay out the eye, then get the middle strand and put it under another going AGAINST the braid. Make sure you give the strand a good twist once it is through. This will make for a neater splice. Pull it tight.

Step 4: Second Strand

Take the strand on the right and go over the strand that the middle strand went under, then under the next strand. Again, pull tight and twist.

Step 5: Last Strand

Turn the rope over. Pass the last strand under the strand that doesn't have a strand under it(see first photo). Twist, pull tight.

Step 6: Over, Under.

Now go over one strand, then under the next. Keep doing this with each strand, being careful not to cross them over/get them confused. Make sure you pull tight and twist each strand, and always go against the braid.

Do this until you run out of tail, or until the splice is long enough.

Step 7: Finish

You should now have a pretty good looking splice. Now you can remove the tape from the top of the splice, and carefully cut and burn the ends of the rope flush (do I really need to put a "be careful with fire" thing here?) Do it in a well ventilated area, as rope doesn't smell great when it burns.

This takes a fair amount of patience to do, and you probably won't have a perfect splice straight away.

I hope this has helped, and that it is easy to follow. please post any feedback, both good and bad!

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4 Discussions


Question 4 months ago on Step 5

So the all go from left to right and downwards. The first to are easy, but i keep having diffuclty with the last one

Grar Varg
Grar Varg

3 years ago

The term is plaiting a rope, I have used this when I worked in a nuclear power plant to pull wire through conduit.


5 years ago

For a synthetic rope, I've always been taught to do 5 tucks. 3 for natural fibre.

Another way to neaten it up when you're finished is to tug give it a tug - pulling from the eye and below the final tuck. Coupled with a quick roll in your hands (think fire starting with a stick)

There are other ways to finish off the dog ends, but generally speaking onboard ship, we just melt it and/ot wrap it in gaffa tape ("Protection, Bos', protection!")


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Because the lines that I'm putting on the tarp wont be load bearing, I'm not to worried about the amount of tucks, but i will at some point go and include that sort of info on the number of tucks for different ropes.

The one problem that i had with the rope i was using was it flattened itself out when it went under, making for a messy looking splice. This would probably not be such a problem with softer rope, but this was suitable for the application. I still have to cut and seal the ends of them, so I'll include photos for that at a later date.