Knotted Hubs - a Useful Twist on a Decorative Knot!




as a former squid (navy), i love knots!  i especially like ones that are useful first, decorative second, and both most of all.  these knot "hubs" are simple accessory, multiple-attachment points that can be used singly or in combination to serve a variety of outdoor, indoor and workshop needs.  they are all based on a form of knotting called "crowning."  there are other instructables that do a fine job of explaining the rudiments of crowning, so i'm not going to go into it too much.  this instructable is on a way to use crowning to create multiple-attachment hubs for any variety of uses.  enjoy!

Step 1: Step One - Creating a Loop

i've found, at least for me, the easiest way to begin this endeavor is to close up a piece of line into a loop.  you can use any number of knots to create a loop from a line (carrick bend, overhand of two strands, figure eight of two strands, fisherman's bend, etc...).  i prefer a standard matthew walker knot; it's easily consructed, secure and can be undone even after stressed (three tenets of a great knot).  again, this instructable is to create a useful hub for multiple attachments.  there are many great instructables out there on how to tie these bends and knots and i don't want to repeat them.  my purpose is to show something that can be done with them.

i should note that there are more "permanent" ways to create loops using different splicing techniques depending on whether you're using hawser laid rope or core-and-sheath line.  they're harder to undo (pretty well not gonna happen for core-and-sheath line) if you happen to need said line for another purpose at a given moment - and i'm kinda all about modularity and multiple uses when it comes to functional knotting.

Step 2: Laying Out the Crown

you'll next want to form the loop into a shape giving the proper number of lobes for the number of loops you want your hub to have

IMPORTANT NOTE: i have found that a single line may easily be used to create a hub of three or four loops.  if you want six, i think the best way is to tie one 3-lobed crown about a first.  why?  because as you add more loops to a single line, the process of crowning can become very convoluted and the end result can be sort of floppy, for lack of a better descriptor.  in normal crowning of 5 or more strands, this problem can be solved by using an "over two" technique, but since there is no foundation to accomplish that with these hubs, its harder to do.  if you had a cork board and t-pins, it may be easier to do, but i just prefer to combine multiple crown structures.

Step 3: Tighten It Up and Bingo-bango - a Knotted Multiple-attachment Hub

work the loosely laid up crown nice and tight and "well dressed" so the lines are parallel and things work out nice and pretty (stronger too than poorly laid lines - have a little craftsmanship and dress your knots properly, please).  one side of the crown is noticeably different in appearance than the other side.  either could be called "up" versus "down" in this application.  the pics show what both sides look like - take note what the 6-way hub looks like as it is one 3-way hub tied about another.

the 6-way hub works great in concert with bungees to six points of attachment on either a pack frame or the bed of a pick-up truck

you'll note i never mentioned how long a given line needs to be since these hubs can be scaled up or down given the required application.  some can be as small as the palm of your hand while others could be 3 feet in diameter or more.  use common sense though - don't be using small stuff to tie huge hubs unless you're using some of that maxim-brand tech cord stuff that has a 5000lb tensile strength on 5mm diameter cord.

hope you enjoyed this, my second, instructable and find use for these hubs  :)



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    4 Discussions


    Nice. Think I'll try a small one to hang my keys from. I have 3 sets that all hang from a single clip that I snap onto my belt loop. Makes it a tad irritating to flip through them all to find just the one I need.

    BTW, many years ago an old boss of mine that was in the Coast Guard showed me a way to loop rope around your hand in such a way that when you threw it it formed Knots every foot or two. Would you by chance know what it is called and how to do it? I would really love to learn to do that one.

    1 reply

    the trick your coast guard boss did was just to set up a bunch of half hitches, leaving a tail long enough at the beginning such that you can flip the whole thing inside out, essentially, forming a string of overhand knots


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable! I can already think of several uses for this "hub" system.

    I do have one request. Since you specifically recommend the Matthew Walker knot for forming your loop, could you link to a description of that knot? Maybe you should make an instructable on it, since I don't see one in the archives. :-)

    1 reply

    here's a pretty good picture-set of how to tie a two stranded matthew walker knot