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Fiddling with Fids

Discussion in 'Sails Call Lounge' started by Brian D, May 10, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,077 posts, 718 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    This is geared more toward the sailor who is thinking about replacing lines that have eye-splices. You old kosher salts already know about this issue.

    Well I learned a lesson this morning. It was a lesson I have known my whole life: use the right tool for the right job. How could I possibly forget?

    The task at hand was to replace my mainsheet. OK, seem simple enough. I look and see the mainsheet has an eye splice in the line. OK, time to study how to do an eye splice. (I had a similar task with my dock lines several months ago and passed that with flying colors. But the dock lines were 3-strand, not double braid).

    Also, some time ago I order fids for just such an occasion. Got my tools out, prepared the 3/8 double braid for surgery, and had my morning Joe, so all was good.

    Except, the diameter of the PLASTIC fids was too wide for the rope. I made three attempts to pass the core of the rope through the cover. Totaly failure. The cover of the rope was compressing on the fid because the fid was too wide. And this was the smallest fid I had.

    OK, I should have spent the extra $$ and purchased REAL fids. So today I order Selma Fids from the SBO store. Could have gotten them cheaper but I like to support SBO. As soon as I get the new fids I will finish this project. I did replace the mainsheet already but used a bowline instead of an eye-splice. But I still want to do that.

    Lesson learned.
     


  2. Apex

    Apex

    Joined Jun 19, 2013
    797 posts, 101 likes
    Oday 28
    US Traverse City
    once the fids arrive, put the eye splice on the other end of your current mainsheet. Once subjected to use, splicing becomes more difficult. The current tail end will not have been worked.

    If you really want a challenge, try splicing parallel innercore line like sta-set-X . If you figure that one out, let me know.
     


  3. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,077 posts, 718 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    Thanks for the advice on the free end.
     


  4. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,539 posts, 2,385 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Brian.. Splicing is being patient and following the steps. I like the Samson method.
    You can find a list of splice instructions here.
    http://www.samsonrope.com/Pages/Splice_Instructions.aspx#PDF
    The class 1 eye splice for used rope is the one I often use. The correct tools are important.
    The Brian Tosh tool can be helpful when you can not get the fid to work. You can also use a smaller fid to push the lines through, but use the correct size fid for the measurements. I find that electrical tape is a great tool to secure that stuffed line in the end of the fid.
    The working of the rope to finish and smooth the splice is always the an issue with older rope. It just takes time and persistence. If your lines is longer than needed, you can always cut the end off and then try again on the same end of the line.
    Good luck and send us pictures.
     

    Attached Files:



  5. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,077 posts, 718 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    John, I studied several different videos about eye splicing. The one that seemed the least complicated was produced by Marlow Rope.



    The problem was the plastic fids are much thicker than their aluminum/steel counterparts. I too used tape to hold the core but because of the tightness of the cover over the thick fid pulled the core out of the fid. I tried three or four times then gave up and used a bowline.

    When I get the new fids from SBO I will try again.
     


  6. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,519 posts, 349 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    Brian.......Trying to thread a long section in one pass can sometimes be difficult... as you experienced with the fid being strangled. So, try breaking the pass into two or three sub sections by exiting the fid through the cover, pulling the rope with it... then re enter in the same spot and work on the next sub section.
     


  7. thinwater

    thinwater

    Joined Mar 26, 2011
    2,031 posts, 410 likes
    Corsair F-24 MK I
    US Deale, MD
    A sewn eye is also a practical alternative. There are several alternatives, most as strong as the rope if done properly (most industrial rope slings are sewn rather than spliced. One of the simplest is a seizing, followed by two 3 inch passes of stitching (basting stitch), followed by another seizing at the tail. Use #4-8 whipping twine doubled. For a low-chafe application like this, no cover is required. This is done on sails all the time.

    Also very handy on used double braid rope, which can be a bastard to splice--that is mostly where I use this trick.
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  8. BobbyFunn

    BobbyFunn

    Joined Apr 16, 2017
    330 posts, 144 likes
    Hunter 170
    US Tampa
    Hon....why are you taping rope to my crochet needle.
     


  9. BobbyFunn

    BobbyFunn

    Joined Apr 16, 2017
    330 posts, 144 likes
    Hunter 170
    US Tampa
    Sta-set 3/8" yacht braid. Has lasted 3 years with dog that chews the line. Leash is for a moodle.
     

    Attached Files:



  10. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,684 posts, 375 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    I use a little Dawn to get the core to slide easier, then soak the line with water. Some of my splices on old line worked out nicely with this method.
     


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  11. Jerry Clark H356 SV Persi

    Jerry Clark H356 SV Persi

    Joined Mar 3, 2003
    628 posts, 44 likes
    Hunter 356
    US Grand Rivers
    Have been trying to eye splice myself for a new 7/16 Stan set outhaul. I got aluminum fids but am having a hard time with reinserting the core where two cores wind up in one cover. Have used smaller fid, electrical tape but it acts like one of those Chinese finger things I used to get at the county fair when I was a Kid! Got to be a trick to it. Looks easy on YouTube, not so in my experience. What is the trick?
     


  12. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,684 posts, 375 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    I have cut several strands back to insert the core and use masking tape keeping the edges smooth so as not to pick up any threads from the cover. That’s where I use the Dawn soap.
     


  13. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,539 posts, 2,385 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Yes @Jerry Clark H356 SV Persi that is an issue. I’ve not tried the soap a lubricant. It is worth a try. I have made it work by using s Fids one size down. I also work the vid through it steps rather than all the way to the take out point. With old line, once the cover has been worked through using the fid, then comes the working of the cover to blend the lines smooth. This can be work. I other wear leather gloves to work the line so the cover is smoothed all the way. Takes time and persistance. Trick with old or dirty line is to get it as cleans as possible before beginning to splice it. Work the line in your hands to loosen the cover grip on the line and as much of the dirt out first. Real old line sometimes can not buried spliced. That is when you either trtiremthr Ling or use a side by side whip splice. Almost as strong as the buried splice.
     


  14. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,077 posts, 718 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    Well I got the new fids. They are not working either. The bottle neck issue from the previous plastic fids is gone. But it is now replaced with the steel fid catching parts of the core or cover when I pass it through. Very disappointing. I tried 4 times today and ended up cutting off the bad parts. My rope is getting shorter and shorter. The video makes it look SO EASY. :cuss:

    Tomorrow is another day, and more wasted double braid. LOL:yikes:
     


  15. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,691 posts, 743 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    First try today. Makes me wonder what’s about to go wrong.
    09E8AE62-E6B3-4D01-A17C-82B02F23047B.jpeg
     


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  16. Solitude

    Solitude

    Joined Jul 23, 2014
    13 posts, 0 likes
    Beneteau OC 400
    US Anacortes
    This is the best youtube video I have seen for a eye splice in double braid line. New England Ropes. Step by step with a couple of insider methods. New line is much easier that line that has been used.


     


  17. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,691 posts, 743 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    One of the things that you can deviate with is the use of a much smaller fid to pass the core and the cover with.
    Using the "proper" sized one to do the markings gives you the exit marks in the right place. This is a particularly good trick when you are inserting the core back in at the last step. The smallest fid can easily be milked along between the cover and the existing core.
    Make sure that you don't twist the core or the cover during any of the processes, and when the cover or the core go back into the assembly, make sure they are straight, and there's no sign of wrapping. That's easy to miss, and makes milking it out at the end a bear.

    If there's any burrs or sharp edges at all on the fid, and you probably can't feel any, they will catch on strands. You can use cut polish, the gelcoat restorer with the grit to polish up a fid.
     


  18. Dan_Y

    Dan_Y

    Joined Oct 13, 2008
    446 posts, 43 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Hampton
    Took me 3 hours each to make two double braided halyards with loops. Decided the extra $15 to have west marine do it was worth it when I needed a loop. Then I discovered the halyard knot. I will use it first when ever possible.
    Dan
     


  19. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,301 posts, 340 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Hi John, good insight. Have you done a double braid constant diameter butt splice before? Need to do one on our boat for the double line furling.
     


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  20. Dan_Y

    Dan_Y

    Joined Oct 13, 2008
    446 posts, 43 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Hampton
    Try this...looks complicated though. :-/
     

    Attached Files:




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