Home Depot Mason Line Help
I picked up some of the braided neon yellow mason line from Home Depot and have been playing with it a bit with my OES Spinn Deluxe and I have a few questions.
What knots are you using for the guyline? I usually will anchor the cord to the ring with a figure 8 and a slippery half-hitch to the stake, but with this mason line it is so slick that I can never get the slippery half-hitch to hold taught.
For the ridgeline I will use a a truckers hitch on one side to bring the ridgeline taught however once again I can't seem to get this mason line to keep taught, it seems like there isn't enough friction?
The other question I had on it is that it doesn't have a load limit anywhere on the package and seems relatively weak. I have in the past used cord with a 100-200lb breaking limit. How strong should cord be for a tarp? They have a warning on the package of the mason line to not use it with anything that will airplane and lately with the wind that is a definite possibly with the tarp.
The mason's line is ideal for the ground connections. Don't worry about the breaking strength. I've been using it for over a year with no problems and I've been in some serious wind. Besides, you want the lines to be the weak point. Better that they break than your tarp tears IMO. When I use a knot, I tend to use a half-hitch; the slippery factor goes away after a few uses. However, often I just wrap the excess line around the top of my Groundhogs being sure to overlap the line; never had it slip. Warbonnetguy showed me the MSR wrap yesterday and it is just a simple/cleaner version of what I've been doing. Works great!
I use it all the time. I almost exclusively use a tautline hitch. It doesn't slip at all.
I just did a quick experiment in the garage - dead lifted 85 pounds using a single cord of the HD (#18 ?) yellow braided mason line. Felt like it could have done at least 100 lbs, perhaps. I'll test it to failure later.
I use paracord for my tarp ridgeline and that mason line for the side guys. I've never had problems with either, although you have to snug up the tautline hitch pretty well before sliding it to set the line tension. I often use a tautline/midshipmen's hitch variant with an extra inside turn. Another idea is to back up the tautline hitch with a second tautline hitch.
Alternatively, you could try a two-loop trucker's hitch variant with multiple passes of the running end through the two 'pulley' loops. That puts a smaller load on the tie-off knot. Check out Griz's posts for more on that idea.
I've only setup my tarp once so far but what I did with the HD mason line is tie a small loop in one end to go over the MSR Ground Hog stake. I then threaded a Nite Ize figure 9 on and ran the end of the line through the attachment ring on the tarp and came back towards the figure 9 and terminated there. It seemed to work good. I also used the homemade shock cord tarp tensioners and those worked well too.
it's shouldn't be that slick if you got the 100% nlyon. they are talking about not using it with something that it can pull loose and get launched. they say this because it stretches alot, but a short section isn't going to do that from the stretch in the line. a tarp could yank out a stake, but that can still happen with non stretch line as well and it's not going to be anything like if you have 50 or 100' of it out and pulled tight with many feet of stretch alone, this can launch things like tentstakes or line pins like a slingshot.
i like the low stretch line like single braid dnneema or even polyester better because they are less prone to tangles and snagging on sticks and debri.
the 100% nylonmg construction line is often around 100-120# with a knot i'm guessing. it's less than bodyweight i believe, but still pretty strong.
Follow up testing: my mason line breaks repeatedly at 95 lbs.
Surprisingly, the breaks occurred in the line and not at the knot. I suspect the results could vary a lot from roll to roll, or even within a single roll. The fiber content was something of a mystery, based on the package wording.
Incidentally, I secured the line loosely to the barbell with a round turn and a modified (3 turn) slippery tautline hitch. The hitch held under load without sliding, though that's no guarantee it wouldn't loosen on a flapping tarp.
some is mixed content, the 100% braided nylon is more popular and probably would do better with friction knots.
I have also been trying the tautline hitch and it still didn't have the results I was hoping for. I tried the additional turn in the tautline and it held better but still would still eventually slip as the tarp tension changed due to the gusting wind on the tarp.
After playing with it for a while I did notice that it started to hold a bit better where the fibers had fuzzed up a little from previous friction.
I did read on wikipedia the following on the tautline hitch which is inline with what Caboyer mentioned.
These hitches should not be depended on to hold fast under all conditions. With some particularly stiff or slick modern fibers (especially Polypropylene commonly called 'poly' based lines) they can be difficult to make hold at all. Sometimes it can be made more secure by using additional initial wraps and finishing half-hitches.
Caboyer, thank you for the weight analysis test. It sounds like the cord would be more than adequate.
Warbonnetguy, it looks and feels like nylon but the packaging definitely is a little ambiguous around the composition. So it could be a mix. I will go back to HD to see if I can find one that says it is nylon.
I will have to try the additional wraps and a finishing half-hitch to see if it helps. If not it looks like it may be time to finally move to one of the other systems you fine gents have recommended.
Cannibal any websites or tutorials on the MSR Wrap?
Last edited by BlackGoat; 04-14-2009 at 13:33.
Not that I know of, but it would be pretty easy to take some pics and post them. I'll try to do that this week.
Originally Posted by damngoat
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