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How to Make a Knot Tying Board

I was working with my son today on his Outdoorsman Activity Badge #11. The requirement for #11 is:

Demonstrate setting up a tent or dining fly using two half hitches and a taut-line hitch. Show how to tie a square knot and explain how it is used.

As I was preparing to teach him the three knots above, I realized that I have tied them all a couple of times, but not enough to remember how to do them without looking them up.  I realized I, and my son, needed a repeatable way to work on knots, so I came up with this knot tying board. I threw this together fairly quickly using a piece of cardboard, however you could just as easily make a more sturdy one out of a small piece of wood such as plywood.  The cardboard has spaces to practice tying a square knot, bowline knot, overhand knot, tautline hitch, clove hitch, two half hitches, a sheet bend, and whipping. While only the square knot, taut-line hitch, and two half hitches are listed in the requirements for the Outdoorsman Activity Badge, all the above knots are listed on pages 350-351 of the Webelos Book as they are all very useful knots to know for camping.

Here is what you will need for each knot:

Top Row

Square Knot:

  • Two holes side by side in the board
  • 8″-12″ of rope strung up from the bottom of the board through to the front

Tautline Hitch:

  • Two holes side by side in the board
  • 8″-12″ of rope strung up from the bottom of the board through to the front

Two Half Hitches:

  • Two holes side by side in the board
  • 8″-12″ of rope strung up from the bottom of the board through to the front

Sheet Bend:

  • Two holes side by side in the board
  • 8″-12″ of larger sized rope looped through the board from the front towards the back tied off in the back with a stopper knots on both ends
  • 8″-12″ of smaller rope tied to the larger rope. You may want to tie it off in a knot to the larger rope to keep it from coming undone.

Whipping:

  • Single hole in the board
  • 8″-10″ of larger sized rope strung up from the bottom of the board to the front and tied off in the back with a stopper knot
  • Approximately 2 feet of thread to whip the rope with

Bottom Row

Bowline Knot:

  • Single hole in the board below the square knot
  • 8″-12″ of larger sized rope strung up from the bottom of the board to the front and tied off in the back with a stopper knot

Overhand Knot:

  • Single hole in the board below the Tautline Hitch
  • 4″-6″ of larger sized rope strung up from the bottom of the board to the front and tied off in the back with a stopper knot

Clove Hitch:

  • 4 holes in the board in a 2×2 square below the Two Half Hitches
  • 8″-10″ of rope strung down through the board from the top to the bottom

Here is a photo of the knot board with all the knots tied. A bit of warning, the Clove Hitch took me quite some time to figure out how to tie using the board.  If the above link does not make it an easier, try this one: Clove Hitch using ends. This is the one I had to use to figure it out. Picture the 4 holes as above and below the wooden dowel.

While the board does knot have a slip knot on it (I built this for my Webelos scout son), it is a requirement of Bear #22b and can be easily added to the board with a rope through a single hole similar to the overhand knot or the bowline knot.

Achievements Fulfilled:

  • Wolf Elective #17a
  • Bear #22a
  • Bear #22b
  • Webelos Outdoorsman #10
  • Webelos Outdoorsman #11
  • Webelos Arrow of Light #2
 
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