The Spanish Windlass Lashing Technique

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by UncleMorgan, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    When you need a strong, tight lashing, but cordage is limited, the Spanish Windlass Lash can be very useful.

    A Spanish Windlass is often used to tighten the diagonals wires on a fence corner. A stick is put between two parallel wires and twisted several times to shorten them into full tightness, then the stick is just wedged into the fence to keep it from unwinding.

    The steel wire will take a permanent set, and even after the stick rots away, the fence corner will stay tight.

    The same kind of tightening can be applied to a basic lashing.

    It's a simple technique, quick, and easy to do. And it doesn't require a lot of muscle.

    The one thing you need to watch out for is winding it so tight that you snap the rope or cause your knot to slip. For that reason, a bowline is a good starting knot, and a few practice runs with your preferred rope (such as paracord) will give you a good feel for the necessary tension.

    In the video, a special stick is used to tighten the lashing loop. That's not necessary. Any sturdy stick about the size of your thumb will work, and any notching is purely optional.

    Likewise, you don't need a complicated lash to hold the stick in place. Just tie it so it isn't inclined to move, and go right on to whatever needs lashing next.

    Because you have the advantage of leverage, a heavy rope can be used for the main lash, and a piece of string can be used to tie down the stick. That means you can do more lashings with whatever amount of rope you happen to have on hand.

    Here's a video showing the lashing being used on bamboo:

    Ganado and chelloveck like this.
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I use that basic method to reseat a loose tire bead onto the rim upon filling.
    Loop is laid right down the center of the tread, and the twist forces the rubber outward against the steel.
    chelloveck likes this.
survivalmonkey SSL seal warrant canary