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Essential Knots for Filmmaking: Clove Hitch

  • July 15, 2013
  • Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Essential Knots for Filmmaking: Clove Hitch

A useful knot to know is the clove hitch knot. This knot is second to the bowline knot and is also known as the “double hitch” knot. The clove hitch can grip anything, from round objects, to square objects, to rectangles, it can wrap around pretty much any shape. Once it wraps, it creates this binding factor so that things won’t slip out of it as well.

Clove hitch knot

 

Clove hitch knot

Clove hitch knot around a round object
Clove hitch knot around a round object
Clove hitch knot around a more rectangular object
Clove hitch knot around a more rectangular object

Tying this baby

Let’s break it down. To tie the clove hitch, first wrap your rope around your object. In this case it is our 2×4. We’re going to mark one side of the rope in red for you to follow so it makes more sense.

Notice how the rope is around the 2x4
Notice how the rope is around the 2×4.

Now take your rope piece (red) and cross it over the other side so that there is an X.

Notice there is an X once the rope crosses over.
Notice there is an X once the rope crosses over.

Make sure the rope is brought under the 2×4 after you’ve made the X.

Notice the rope that crossed over to make the X is brought under the 2x4.
Notice the rope that crossed over to make the X is brought under the 2×4.

Once you’ve done that, take the piece of rope and bring it under the X.

Notice the rope is crossing under the X.
Notice the rope is crossing under the X.

Then just cinch down on that baby so it’s tight. You can use this for securing speed rail, so that it doesn’t come crashing down on someone.

Cinching the rope
Cinching the rope

To make this knot even stronger, come in with a half hitch. To do that, bring the piece that went under the X around the other part of the rope.

Beginning to create the half hitch
Beginning to create the half hitch

Then loop through the hole and cinch.

Cinching the half hitch
Cinching the half hitch

With this extra half hitch, the rope is even safer. If you need to tie off to the perms, to 12×12 frames, 6×6 frames, or anything where you need a locking power to make an object not slide, you can go with the clove hitch.

Read Essential Knots for Filmmaking: Bowline

Read Essential Knots for Filmmaking: Figure 8

Read Essential Knots for Filmmaking: Sheepshank


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