Favorite Pioneering Knots: Scaffold Hitch

Scaffold Hitch rigged with a Bowline
Scaffold Hitch rigged with a Bowline
Bundles of 4' Spars
Bundles of 4′ Spars

The scaffold hitch is a superb knot, and in pioneering easily serves a dual purpose.

Primary Role: This is a seriously good knot to use in the construction of a pioneering project bosun’s chair (boatswain’s chair) for a small, straight aerial runway adaptation or a project where a seat is needed to suspend a Scout from a rope swing. As John Sweet points out in Scout Pioneering, it’s a good idea to cut notches about 4 inches from the ends of the board to give the rope something to bite into.

Second Role: Many different knots can be used for fastening bundles of sticks or poles together, but when it comes to bundling up of 3 to 4-inch ladder rungs, platform spars, and walkway cross spars, the scaffold hitch provides superior clinching power, which is what is needed to keep the bundles tight. (It’s unparalleled for bundling Scout Staves!)

Working your way towards the end of the board, make three wraps around the board. Take hold of the 1st wrap and lay it over the 2nd, then take hold of the 2nd wrap and carry it over both the 1st and 2nd wraps and over and under the board.. Pull both ends of the rope tight and position the rope ends so the board will be held in place.
Tying the Scaffold Hitch: PRIMARY ROLE
With the middle of the rope, working your way towards the end of the bundle, wrap the rope three times around the bundle. / Take hold of the 1st wrap and lay it over the 2nd. / Take hold of the 2nd wrap and carry it over both the 1st and 2nd wraps and around the bundle. / (Pull both ends of the rope tight and wrap the remaining length of both ends around the bundle. / Secure with a square knot.)
Using the Scaffold Hitch to Bundle Poles.

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