for joining a
Boatswain's Lanyard
Last updated  Dec 07 2015
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This is a quick and dirty tutorial on one way to join the 17-strand lanyard, either the double flat braid or the
French braid.  It also will work with any flat sennit  to give you a presentable join with all the "fiddly bits"
concealed, but you'll have to adjust for number of lines available below the slippery clove hitch.

As always, if you have a preferred alternative and wish to share with the class, just shoot up a tutorial on it
and send it to me
(HERE) and I'll publish it in this section of the tutorials.

Now:  My objective is combine two 17 strand double flat braid sennits into a coherent unit to allow the
Bosun's Call to be presented in a seamanlike manner.  This can be accomplished with just a single string, or
the method shown below for "inspection-grade" lanyards.
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Here I am using a custom clamp made for me by PeeJay, but you can do
something similar by using a large "Chips Clip" of the sort used to close off
a chips bag and two large "banker's clip" paper clips.  The larger metal
banker's clips will provide sufficent "pinching" on the arms of the plastic
chips-clip to keep everything in one place.  This AIN'T rocket science and
you will suss this out almost as soon as you see the items above.

Any rate,  get your lines parallel and straight and then go to step 2

Step 2:  Determine where  you want to join the two sennits, allow 1/4" extra
for the joining to squeeze together and put a slippery clove hitch on the
sennits at that point.  

( A slippery clove is a standard clove hitch but with one of the legs as a
loop.   This gives you a pull-line to take the clove hitch off again without
digging around to get an end.)

Step 3:  Tighten the clove hitch somewhat but not REEEEL tight just yet.  
Strip out the lower part of the sennit into individual strands.

Step 4:  Once the strands are "combed" out neatly, you want to REEEEELY
tighten up on that slippery clove and then do a two or three step "idiot's
delight chain" with the ends.  See the illustration below and blame Clifford
Ashley if it's indecipherable.  You want to keep the two legs as flat as
possible while allowing the combed-out strands to bunch up into a
'roundish" pack of lines.
Step 5:   OK, so you've got a fairly roundish bunch of 32 lines below the
tight clove-hitch....  you want to separate these out so you can work with
them.  First, take ten lines spaced as evenly around the outer perimeter of
the bunch and lead them off to one side (just to keep them out of trouble)
as shown.  These are going to form the fender hitching and footrope knots
which will cover the connection and make it look "purty".   Ten lines,
because I know that using this size line and this many drop lines,  either
nine or ten lines will give me the nice straight up-and-down ribbing on the
fender weave that I want to see.   But I still have twenty-four lines left.

Step 6:   Sixteen of these lines will be used for the strop(s), which leaves
me eight lines that will do essentially nothing.   Select eight lines from
around the bunch, spaced as equally as possible and pull them off to the
other side as shown. Again, just to keep them out of the road.

This leaves you (or it should) with the unlovely conglomerate to the right:  
ten lines off to one side, eight lines off to the other, and sixteen lines left
in the center bunch.  (Lessee... 10 and 8 and 16 = 34...  BINGO!)

Step 7:   So now you want to pair up the remaining 16 so that you have 8
pair issuing as closely to each other from the pack AND spaced equally
around the bunch.   This is more to protect your own sanity as you attempt
to create a double square braid for the first part of the strops.   

I usually do a 15" overall strop, consisting of 6" of double square reducing
to 6" of square sennit and then a 3" loop of 4-braid which holds the call

I strongly recommend that those who are NOT adept at this manoeuver
spend some time with the
instructions for starting a square braid
from scratch and then, once thats in your head,  practice it using two
lines to produce a 16-strand braid.  While it IS somewhat clumsy to start,
your fingers will rapidly pick it up and soon you will be knocking these out
like "kissin' yer sister".