How does a boatswain splice a steel wire?
An eye is to be formed in a steel cable, to serve for example as a mooring cable. The size of the eye is determined such that the cable can be passed smoothly over a bollard or mooring post but also in a way that there is not too much play so as to avoid the loop coming free in an uncontrolled way. The boatswains have the equipment required for this. All of the required cables and requisites are present on board. To achieve the required breaking strength and safety the splice will have five tucks.
We shall first look at the equipment that a boat builder uses for this and in the second part the splicing will be explained in successive steps.
Tools and implements for splicing a steel cable
A fid is used to create a gap between two strands.
Whipping material for the ends
Twine, tape or fine steel wire can be used for whipping the ends of the strands.
Axe or saw
The strands are cut to length preferably using a hacksaw but if one is not available then a sharp axe can be used.
This hard fat is used to grease the cable and the fid to ensure smoother insertion through the strands.
Successive operations to splice a metal eye
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