Sheer lashing - Pioneering ropes for the Scouts

A sheer lashing can be used singly or in pairs

For joining two spars to increase the overall length eg when making a flag pole - It is important to have a good overlap of spars - between a quarter and a third of their length.

Start with a clove hitch or timber hitch round one of the spars near the end of the overlap.

Wrap the rope neatly and tightly round both spars for 8 - 10 turns (a)

Finish with a clove hitch round the second spar

Add a second lashing at the other end of the overlap so that no movement is possible (b)

To tighten further, add small wedges between the spars next to the lashings

For sheer legs, where the spars are opened to form an inverted 'V'.

Line up the ends of the spars

Start with a timber hitch or clove hitch round one spar

Continue with 8 to 10 turns round both spars - these turns should be neat and firm but not too tight.

Do three frapping turns and finish with a clove hitch on the second spar (a) and (b).

The lashing tightens as the sheer legs are opened which is why the first turns round the spars should not be too tight or it will not be possible to open the legs as required (c).