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What Is an Eye Splice?

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  • Written By: S.R. Lewis
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2014
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An eye splice is a common method to create a permanent loop at the end of a stranded rope while maintaining at least 85 percent of the rope’s strength. The eye splice is made by weaving or tucking the ends of individual strands of the rope into the rope itself. The eye splice was originally made with three complete tucks when ropes were made with cotton or hemp. As technology has advanced and more synthetic ropes are used, it is now recommended to use a minimum of five tucks or more for security. The eye splice is commonly used with wire ropes.

To determine how long to unwrap the strand of the rope, one should take the diameter of the rope and multiply it by three, then by the number of tucks needed. For example, a 1-inch (2.54-cm) rope with five tucks would be 15 inches (38.1 cm) unwrapped. The base of the rope should be taped to prevent further unraveling and to provide a point of reference for the loop. After the length has been marked and the rope unraveled, the ends should be melted to prevent fraying. Each end of the rope should be wrapped with tape to create a spike to help weave the ends into a tightly woven or new rope.

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As with any weaving, the remaining strands likely will twist. They might even become tangled. With each weave, one should straighten the remaining strands and untangle them, if necessary, before moving on to the next tuck.

To begin the eye splice, one should take the unwrapped strands and lay them over the base of the rope to create the loop. One should note which strand is inside to the rope base, the center and the outside. Weaving the center strand into the base of the rope can begin by going under the strand of the rope.

The inside strand can be taken and tucked into the next strand in the base of the rope. The middle strand goes in where the first strand came out. One should then turn the rope over and take the outside strand that has not been used yet. The strand should be tucked in where the middle strand came out and the first strand went in, which will complete one tuck. One should then continue to weave and tuck until at least five tucks are completed.

After the number of desired tucks have been completed, there might be a small amount of rope left. It is best for one to tuck an additional time rather than cutting and melting the end again. If the loop of the eye splice will be repetitively stressed or chaffed because of friction of another rope, the loop should be wrapped with wear-resistant twine or a rope thimble to prevent damage.

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