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February 2, 2007

Tightening lashings: using a frapping mallet

A frapping mallet is used to tighten lashings while they are being tied. Using hands alone, it's not typically possible to tighten a lashing enough for it to be secure, especially with larger poles. This post illustrates one way of using a frapping mallet, the method I am familiar with.

A frapping mallet uses a half-hitch to lock the rope so that it can be tightened. Begin by twisting the rope to form a loop, making sure that the running end of the rope is facing towards you.

Now insert the mallet into the loop- if the loop was made correctly, the running end will now end up at the bottom, closest to the head of the mallet. The end of the rope that runs into the lashing will be 'locking' the free end.

Slide your hand to the end of the mallet handle, and hold the running end in it so that it is pulled up against the half-hitch and locks. Rest the head of the mallet on the pole, and pull the handle of the mallet towards you, tightening the rope. This is repeated to tighten the rope. For a square lashing, you would typically do this for every turn around the poles, and every half-turn of the frapping turns.
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