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Old 23-03-2018, 18:19   #1
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How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

By now you should be familiar with my standard shackle described in:
How to make a 300% Shackle by Walt Spang

The reason I wrote the first part was; the standard shackle has very similar construction to the “TOUGH GUY” shackle.
Before I forget again; I use New England Ropes exclusively for my shackles. I just prefer it. Has a higher advertised breaking strength than Samson.
Start by cutting a length of Dyneema the size you want to use for your shackle. Add extra length to allow for a longer tail. If the length of the shackle is 16” from base of knot to the end of the loop you want the knot tails to pass the loop somewhat. You’ll decide on a good length with practice, so you don’t waste more Dyneema than you must. Next fold the length of line in half like previous. Mark where the knot will start like previous. Marking both sides together. Next place a mark down from the knot mark 2-3” on both halves. This is where you will start and stop the bury to the loop.
Measure and cut a length of Dyneema one size down from the material your making the shackle from. (1/4 cover,3/16 bury as an example). This time do not taper one end but bury the line from mark to mark (not the Knot start marks). Leave extra length on the bury line to be able to grab and pull during construction.
Now create your loop just like described for my standard shackle but leave the bitter ends out and don’t taper them.
Build your button knot. Make it as tight as you can during the building. I use a steel working scratch awl tool to get as much leverage on the strands as I can making the knot for ¼” shackles. And a regular pick for smaller.
When you’ve completed the knot; layout the knot tails side by side with the shackle body. Place a mark on each tail about an inch out toward the loop from where the marks are on the body that you started and ended your bury.
You are now ready to begin the overlapping portion of the build.
On the shackle body measure down 8 inches from the bury marks toward the loop and mark both sides of the bury. If it reaches the cross over point or beyond, place the marks further back. Remember the longer the overlap, the stronger the joint should become.
When you bury the tails you will have to use a smaller fid in order to run it alongside the already buried line.
Next take one of the tails from the knot and pull out a strand from the line at the mark you made on it. Pull out a second strand about ½” further down from the first toward the bitter end. Cut them off flush.
Go down now toward the end of the tail but beyond where the tail will wind up being buried and start removing 3 more strands as you get close to the end to form a taper. By now there should be enough strands removed to stuff the end into the back of the Selma fid. I use the scratch awl to cram it in so it doesn’t pull out easily. The fid has a built in hook to grab the brades but there basically aren’t any at this point. I use electrical tape to wrap my lines. I prefer it over masking tape. If the stuffed end comes loose sometimes it get hooked and you can continue to pull the line through the cover. Good luck with this and be sure to have patience.
As you work the fid along, pulling on the smaller line that is buried can help. What happens now is the cover will bunch up all the way back to the pierce on both side as you make the knot This something to keep in mind and I will explain. Note: On the side that goes through at the crossover I pierce the line on the knot side of the crossover making sure to also go thru the buried line. Otherwise the bunching up goes around the loop and is a bear to work it out. I will explain the reason to ensure a tight cover and bury later.
After you come out at the second mark; pull the line through the overlap section up tight against the knot base. The buried tails must be pulled tight. If not it will bulge out later during the knot tightening process.
Now begin kneading the overlap area milking back and forth, back and forth to tighten the cover and the buries as best you can. Be sure the loop area is good and tight.
After you’ve done all this; perform the same tasks with the other knot tail. Take your time, have patience.
After you have completed the tasks, stop, have a drink or beer or two or more. LOL
It is now time to begin tightening everything up. You have what looks somewhat like a completed shackle with 4 ends sticking out. What we are going to do now is pull the shackle and here is what can make or break your 300%.
I made a jig to put the shackle through and hold the knot. The loop end I place in a hook. I then attach the jig end to a line and run it to one of my manual winches.
Take your shackle and soak it well in water. Have it dripping and pull it using what device you come up with.
HERE IS A SECRET THAT IS GOOD TO KNOW. Dyneema has a very low melting point. Heat will weaken it tremendously. The water helps lubricate the strands and draw off heat from frictional forces. Also remember to just pull a little at a time, again to allow heat buildup to dissipate. Pull the shackle enough to tighten cover and bury uniformly. The fatness of the overlap will shrink down and the ends will get pulled in. (Not all the way LOL). Now take the shackle and mark where the ends come through the cover Pull on the ends to pull out a length on each. You won’t get much out but get what you can. Cut the ends off behind the marks and make as long a taper as you can. Now milk and pull etc. to rebury the tapered ends.
Now it’s time to tighten the knot. Re-soak the shackle and place back on your pulling device. And now pull that puppy as hard as you can. BUT DO IT SLOWLY AND A LITTLE AT A TIME. Allow for the heat buildup to dissipate between pulls. Don’t worry about overtightening the knot. Chances are you can’t.
Remove the shackle, dry it and you now have a 300% shackle.
Note: My shackle pulled to 300% without the first soaking pull. I pulled it dry. When I performed a post mortem on the shackles I decided to also pull the first pull wet.
The two buried lines form a like a fault such as in California. When the pressure gets great enough the fault ruptures or slides and you have an earthquake. The same with the buried lines.
So, adding this extra soak may bring your shackle even higher than 300%. I’ll keep you informed since I will be testing another batch shortly.
Walt Spang
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Old 23-03-2018, 19:52   #2
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Any chance you'd be willing to post step by step photos? It's a little hard to envision each of these. You should start a kickstarter page. I'd be happy to donate.
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Old 23-03-2018, 22:06   #3
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

I'll make one and do pics of the process. Don't know what a kick starter page is.
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Old 24-03-2018, 18:12   #4
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Here are the Photos.
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Old 24-03-2018, 18:14   #5
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

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Old 25-03-2018, 12:46   #6
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

What's the smallest shackle that you can make with a 1/4" line? what's the smallest shackle you can make with a 3/8" line?
Thank you!
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Old 25-03-2018, 19:43   #7
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Oh dear God. Help this long winded guy. It like homework. And i just dont wanna read that much
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Old 25-03-2018, 20:22   #8
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Think I'm long winded? Try the You Tube video I just published.
"How to make a 300% soft shackle" by Walt Spang

Link----https://youtu.be/LfaSls3LpZU

Make a head call first and bring popcorn.
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Old 26-03-2018, 01:02   #9
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Pilgrim, some guys just lazy and can't concentrate.....that is okay. Thanks for taking the time and energy. That is some cool shizzle, man!
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Old 26-03-2018, 03:23   #10
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Hi Walt
Many thanks for the video. Any thoughts on construction are always useful in the advancement of these soft shackles. I know just how time consuming good instructions are to put together, so the time you have taken is appreciated.

I like your tip of wetting the soft shackle before tensioning it. Thanks also for that. Heat generation can be further minimised if you tighten the stopper to a greater degree manually before pulling on the winch. I use a marlin spike for this, then pull hard on both the working ends and legs with the stopper under a vice (similar grip to your wooden device). The stopper then only moves a couple of mm when tensioned with the winch.

A couple of other suggestions from me:

Tensioning the stopper before burying the tails will avoid that big gap you have between the stopper and commencement of bury. When tensioning the stopper allowing it to sit under load for around 20 min is recommended.

I have found using a needle style fid rather than a Selma one makes it much easier to get the bury super close to the base of the button. A soft fid may work even better for tight situations like this and it should greatly help to avoid snagging that will cause fibres to snap easily. This is super hard to avoid completely with Selma fids. I think snagging fibres would weaken this style of shackle considerably (unlike other soft shackles it is damaging the area in which failure will occur) so it needs to be avoided at all cost. Hearing any "crackle" is the giveaway that this is occuring. I have never used a soft fid, but Nigel1 alerted me to the invention of these. Needle fids also help avoid snags as they are totally smooth and considerably narrower than Selma ones.

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Old 26-03-2018, 04:32   #11
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

I have one other thought when looking at the mode of failure. The fact that this is occuring in a leg rather than the loop at the end probably signals the dyneema is not handling the two lots of bury.

Have you considered tapering the buried portions dramatically more? Apart from the last little bit when the taper was nice and gradual, essentially only about 2-3 strands of the 12 have been removed in the bulk of the buried portion leading from the stopper. For the inserted portion none at all has been removed apart from the very end.

I am thinking of a very gradual taper in all 4 buried bits over the entire portion of dual bury, so that the thickness at any point is not greater than it would be had there been no overlap of bury.

It may be worth trying this . I am greatly hampered by lack of load testing equipment (I usually cruise full time), but I am brimming with ideas .

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Old 26-03-2018, 10:26   #12
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

couple comments:

my conclusion was that the % of line strength was a bad metric for shackle strength/design, because you can easily make a billion % strength shackle by just making it really long and looping it many times.

A much better metric (imho) is shackle breaking strength per weight of dyneema used.

And using that metric there are easier to make and stronger shackles than this one for the given weight of dyneema. A simple double looped shackle will be significantly stronger (500% ish) for about the same amount of dyneema.

Also shackle construction complexity reduces the 'minimum rated strength' because that complexity introduces greater quality variation. I was surprised when I tested pro riggers soft shackles (of the classic designs) about the variability and how many broke way lower than they should have because of construction and finishing errors.

That all said, strength is NOT the be end all for shackle choice. Even the basic ones are mostly 'strong enough', and most pepole are choosing their shackle on other factors (elegance, ease of construction, last of snagging, security are factors I know various people actually use). And the one in this thread is in finished form a bit more elegant than a double looped one. So, I am not at all knocking this effort, but would suggest its real value/appeal is creating a strongish elegant single loop shackle rather than its raw strength.

From a historical perspective, Brion Toss and I did explore a ways down this exact path. We both made and I test broke several with extra internal reinforcing (I would guess there are pictures on that old SA thread of them) but we both ultimately concluded it was not the best way to get extra strength. My own personal path to the highest strength shackle design has gone away from the button knot/noose approach to a much simpler zero strength loss endless loop/spliced loop/toggle approach (as Benz was alluding to) - I have been focused on truely high strength in +12mm dyneema for commercial lifting and aerospace applications.
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Old 26-03-2018, 11:11   #13
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
couple comments:

my conclusion was that the % of line strength was a bad metric for shackle strength/design, because you can easily make a billion % strength shackle by just making it really long and looping it many times.

A much better metric (imho) is shackle breaking strength per weight of dyneema used.

And using that metric there are easier to make and stronger shackles than this one for the given weight of dyneema. A simple double looped shackle will be significantly stronger (500% ish) for about the same amount of dyneema.

Also shackle construction complexity reduces the 'minimum rated strength' because that complexity introduces greater quality variation. I was surprised when I tested pro riggers soft shackles (of the classic designs) about the variability and how many broke way lower than they should have because of construction and finishing errors.

That all said, strength is NOT the be end all for shackle choice. Even the basic ones are mostly 'strong enough', and most pepole are choosing their shackle on other factors (elegance, ease of construction, last of snagging, security are factors I know various people actually use). And the one in this thread is in finished form a bit more elegant than a double looped one. So, I am not at all knocking this effort, but would suggest its real value/appeal is creating a strongish elegant single loop shackle rather than its raw strength.

From a historical perspective, Brion Toss and I did explore a ways down this exact path. We both made and I test broke several with extra internal reinforcing (I would guess there are pictures on that old SA thread of them) but we both ultimately concluded it was not the best way to get extra strength. My own personal path to the highest strength shackle design has gone away from the button knot/noose approach to a much simpler zero strength loss endless loop/spliced loop/toggle approach (as Benz was alluding to) - I have been focused on truely high strength in +12mm dyneema for commercial lifting and aerospace applications.
EStarzinger, why the totally negative response? Constructive criticism is extremely beneficial, but there was nothing constructive in what you wrote.

I agree with many of the points you have made, but I did not express any of these as it only acts as a wet blanket. It then totally puts people off not just exploring options, but reporting what they are experimenting with.

I think there is twofold value in reports such as Walt's. Firstly it is possible that some portion of any detailed descriptions may be easily incorporated into current methods to improve them. Secondly the ideas expressed may simply spark completely new lines of thought that may be beneficial. I have personally experienced this and knows how valuable discussions such as this are.

It is the sharing of information that has enabled such rapid advances to be made via the internet in relatively new areas such as the construction of soft shackles. This only ultimately benefits all cruisers.

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Old 26-03-2018, 13:25   #14
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Well said Seaworthy Lass and thank you for the compliments.
I tried the taper approach initially but with the first test batch found it had detrimental effects. The linear stresses want to pull the buries apart and a taper lets it go easier. If the taper were reversed so it got bigger at the ends, then it would wedge the lines that are being pulled tighter together in the cover. Perhaps putting a small dia. Piece of Dyneema inside the buries to accomplish that.
I will try those fids. Haven’t seen them advertised so wasn’t aware of them. The Selma’s have their shortcomings but have worked okay for me.
If you think this shackle design is all I’m working on you’re missing the point. I do all things using Dyneema and have come up with some interesting solutions for my interests.
As for the Tough Guy shackle; I wanted to take a 100# years of knot and loop shackle to the maximum that Dyneema can take it. I personally set a goal of 300%. This shackle can be built by anyone willing to watch the video and work on it. It is strong. I used the measure of strength that everyone else seems to use.
I have used the bury method for my shackles from day one. I quickly found that burying a size smaller line inside especially around the loop area provide much more toughness to the shackle. Protection from chafing to some degree etc. etc. That given; my standard shackle has 260% strength of the listed Dyneema breaking strength. Breaking strength increases as the line size increases and if you can hold the same percentage from size to size, I find it a good parameter for measuring.
The tough Guy shackle is what the name projects. It is a very tough durable shackle that will stand up to the harshest applications. It is not necessary for everything but when it counts you can rely on it.
If you worked buries, your test results would indicate it. The Brian Toss knot stronger shackle is a Chinese Button knot stopper and it breaks at 240% vs. a buried loop shackle at 260%. And now this one at 300+%.
Nough said.
Now back to servility. LOL
I don’t want this thread turning into “Should we carry guns on board” thread!!!!!!!!!
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Old 26-03-2018, 13:42   #15
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Re: How to make a 300% Shackle (Part Deux) by Walt Spang

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
there was nothing constructive in what you wrote.
Hmmm . . . .I offered what I think is a much better metric to judge strength, and I offered two approaches which would generate greater strength, and I then suggested that strength was not the be all and end all and this this design had other merits. And my post was completely on topic with not a touch of personal attack in it.

If you think there was nothing constructive in that . . . so be it. It seemed to me that readers of this thread might want to know those things.


And since you seem to have blocked pm's (I would have sent this all by PM if you were not blocked) . . . . it seems to me that your post was the one which was off topic and simply a personal attack; and PLEASE use my user name and stop using my proper name when you respond to me in forums. Using my proper name is not proper here. You should well know from our prior interaction I am trying to minimize that.
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