|A (very) rough tutorial
on how to square-knot a belt
If you know me, you'll know that I'm no photographer! Still, in honour of a request I received from the Head Knothead of
Knotheads Worldwide, I have made the following tutorial on how to completely muck up a square-knotted belt.
DO click on the pictures for larger and clearer versions!
I have further decided to reveal the abysmally of my ignorance by including text along with this. Allow me to apologize in
(all pics shewn are smaller GIF's to permit the page to load quickly:: click for a larger JPEG version)
AN EXCELLENT SOURCE FOR MATERIALS IS MARTIN COMBS (www.knotstuff.com)
Tip: #24 line used below, for which 16 lines gives appx 1-3/8" width belt. Smaller line will permit more sets across for the
same width. 1-1/2" is about max normal width!
The most important component of the assembly, the Telly,
is not shewn, but is directly above the top of the picture.
Couldn't live without Oprah helping me out, y'know!
My workbench currently is a hard-maple TV Table to which I
have screwed a crossbar (scrap maple deck stanchion end)
using a three inch wood screw and four washers between the
table itself and the bar to provide spacing for the skewers
which provide stability for the work. I also "clamp" the work
with another skewer which goes across the work and under the
lashings shewn to the left and right of the work in the picture.'
(The bucket holds ten pounds of "Sackrete" concrete mix
which keeps the table from tipping over onto me... you can use
that, dirt, water (not recommended) or a large cat, as you
prefer. (Pic. #0)
To begin a belt (for real), one would larks-head the number of
lines to be used around the fixed end of the buckle, being sure
that the tongue is in the proper position and that the larks
heads are all facing up. Here I have done this direct to a
skewer, since this is only a demonstration belt and have lashed
that on top of a piece of cardboard to provide a focal plane as
well as a bit of contrast for the pictures. (see below: Pic. #1)
Here also I show my "belly-hook" which is a piece of bamboo
(from a toast-grabber! If you carefully separate the legs of the
toast-puller you can get two legs! Such a deal!) to which has
been lashed and glued a 5" piece of round chopstick. By
making up the standing parts of the knots as though the
belly-hook were a dock bitt, you can hold up to six pair of lines
at a time. (See pictures of this here)
Tip: Clean your hands often, especially when using
white material, and clean your area often as well... dust
gets into the lay of the lines and dirty is quite apparent
on these belts.
Note: Most belters will work in a standing position with
the work level with their eyes and a long drop at their
feet. I prefer to sit down, (1) because I'm old and lazy,
(2) because my back hurts and (3) quite enough
Irishmen have stood at the edge of a "long drop", thank
you very much, indeed!
(Pic. #2) Shows the larks-heading of the lines onto the skewer
preparatory to the debac... I mean, starting the belt.
For a larks-head direct to the beltbuckle attachment, measure
EIGHT TIMES the desired length and then middle it and put the
larks-head directly to the buckle's attachment point! Be sure the
larks-heads are all made the same way!
If you are making up the belt and will be adding the buckle
later on, measure EIGHT TIMES, middle it and then do the larks-
heads around a skewer. Do the simple square knotting until
you have about three inches and then consider THAT POINT to
your beginning... This allows enough "fabric" to fold over and sew
to the belt's back to hold the buckle.
Note that this is a good measurement for all belts which do
NOT utilize "Chevrons" and "Diamonds"... For those, you should
measure NINE to TEN times the finished length, depending on
how many Diamonds or Chevrons you'll be putting in.
(It's MUCH better to waste some material than to come
(Pic. #3) To start the belt, take ALL the lines in
your RIGHT hand and drop the FIRST on the LEFT,
then hold the next two and drop the FOURTH and
FIFTH, HOLD the next two, DROP the next two and
so on, until you've reached the other side.
TERMINOLOGY: Of any given set of four
lines, the OUTBOARD two are the working
lines while the INBOARD pair are the
"filler" or "standing" lines.
Smooth all the lines from the gripe toward your
belly and make them all up (as flat as possible) on
your bellyhook, just like you were making up to the
pier. (See Pic 1 and linked instructions.) You want
to get an equal (or nearly so) tension on all lines.
Thanks to Naomi Paskin-Parsons for catching the error!
Now, there are those who say the only way to make a squareknot is to take the two lines and do the "Right Over Left and
... Ahhh ... Err ..." method, but I use the "Loop And Pull" method, which is much faster. Also, I don't get so confused by
all those "Lefts", "Rights", "Unders" and all that lot. (For picture clarity, and to preserve your (putative) sanity, I am
only showing ONE set of filler cords!)
Follow the bouncing instructions:
Take the line FOUR and make a loop UNDER lines
TWO and THREE as shewn in (Pic. #4).
Push the standing parts of Line Four (see the right
hand above in PIC. #4) up around lines Two and
Three and pull them through the bight you formed
with the LEFT hand. This should look like (Pic.
#5). (If you don't get this part right, just stop and
work at it until you do...) (Thank you, Uncle Doug!)
Now, take Line ONE and pull it THROUGH the
double bight formed when you completed the step
above. Pull it completely through at this time
(Pic. #7) shews what you now should have
after going through the previous gyrations.
SNUG up the top part of the knot to the
larkshead, (Pic. #8) then...
SNUG up the bottom part (Pic. #9) and
you've got the first of the many, many knots
required to build the belt.
( NOTE: We're not trying to strangle Aunt
Matilda here, so don't REEEEELY tighten the
knots up, just get 'em nice and snug.)
TIP: If you DO overtighten you'll have uneven
rows and sloppy-looking knots.
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