Rope Braiding and Splicing Instructions

By Tammy Domeier
Braiding, splicing rope, a useful skill
yellow rope image by Adkok from Fotolia.com

Braiding and splicing rope is often considered a camping skill, but knowing how to braid and splice rope will come in handy for almost everyone. Disparate groups such as hikers, arborists, sailors and bikers all make use of rope braiding and splicing techniques. Rope braiding techniques are also used to make clothing such as belts and jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets. The applications are limitless. This article will show you how to braid three-strand right-laid rope and how to splice the end using a back splice. A back splice is the easiest splice to learn and will provide a basis for short or long splices, which are used to permanently join two ropes.

Braiding the Rope

Lay three strands of rope out on a flat surface or clamp the strands using a metal clamp and hang the clamp from a surface at eye level if you prefer to stand while braiding.

Untangle the strands and begin by grasping the outside right strand and place it underneath the center strand and then grasp the outside left strand and place it underneath the center strand. Continue braiding in this fashion until you come to the end.

Place a metal clamp at the end of the rope to secure the ends. When first learning braiding and splicing techniques, you will want to leave at least seven to 10 inches of rope at the end for splicing.

Splicing the Rope

Dip the ends of the rope in quick drying glue so they will not dry out and make a crown knot with the three strands. To make crown knot, place one strand between the other two strands, forming a loop. Working counterclockwise, fold the second strand over the first strand and then place the end of the third strand through the loop and pull the loop closed.

Pass each strand against the lay (in this case, counterclockwise since we braided the rope using a right-hand lay, resulting in a clockwise pattern) over one laid strand and tuck it under the next. After you have tucked each strand once, each strand should be equally spaced around the circumference. Continue placing each working strand against the lay and under the next laid strand until you come to the end.

Cut the ends of the working strands off, leaving a small tuft of each, then roll the splice between your palms to smooth it out.