How to End Splice Braided Rope

Written by beth asher
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End splicing, also called back splicing, is used to clean up rope ends and keep them from fraying. It lasts longer than whipping the ends and looks better than taped ends. Create the splice by first unravelling the end of the rope, then weaving the strands back into the rope end. End splicing does not require as many tucks as other applications because no load is applied to the splice. End splices will keep garden projects like woven deck railings or sun awning fastenings tidy.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Awl, marlinspike, fid or knitting needle
  • Waterproof rescue tape
  • Measuring tape

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    Make an End Splice

  1. 1

    Unravel the rope end for a length equal to six times the diameter of your rope. For instance, one-inch rope would require six inches to be unravelled. Tape the main body of the rope just under the unravelled strands to keep it from further unravelling. Tape the rope ends tightly to make them easier to pass through each other while weaving the splice.

  2. 2

    Tie a crown knot in the rope end. Lay each rope strand over the one next to it with the end overlapping. The loops will look like backwards Cs with the end of each strand inside the neighbouring loop. Pull the strand ends down through the formed loops and pull the knot tight. Remove the tape at the knot base.

  3. 3

    Start your end splice with one strand from the crown knot. Using an awl, fid or marlinspike open one of the rope strands directly below the crown knot. Pass the strand through the opening and pull tight. Work the rest of the strands the same way, going counter-clockwise. Complete the first tuck correctly and you should have the three strands hanging down beside the body of the rope. All three strands should be of equal length.

  4. 4

    Make another tuck by repeating the process. Open a rope strand below the first tuck and pass one of the strand ends through. Pull tight and repeat with the other strand ends, going counter-clockwise.

  5. 5

    Complete three or four sets of tucks for the entire splice. Always remember to work in the same counter-clockwise direction. Your untapered, untrimmed splice will have strand ends protruding from the bottom. Trim any protruding strand ends and be careful not to cut the splice. Roll the rope end to smooth out the splice.

Tips and warnings

  • In crown knots that are correctly tied the ends should hang downward when the knot is pulled tight.
  • For nylon rope the best finishing method to prevent fraying is fusing with heat.
  • Use a fid or a Fid-o tool to make passing strands through each other easier when splicing.
  • Take into account that end splices are nearly double the thickness of the rest of the rope. If the rope has to go through a tight spot you may want to whip, burn, or tape rope ends instead.
  • Natural fibre ropes will tend to shrink lengthwise and pull in damp conditions. Make sure to allow for this when stretching rope between deck railings or rigging swings.
  • Know the load capacity of your rope if rigging a swing or hammock. Always choose rope for your application by consulting the manufacturer's rope guide.

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