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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Just look it up in Ashley's!", Oct. 10 2002
By 
Brian A. Glennon "BAG" (South Boston, Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS (c.1944) by Clifford W. Ashley, is the definitive reference work on knots, splices, and ropework in general. Born in 1881 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Clifford W. Ashley was an antique dealer and artist, who spent eleven years writing his magnum opus, THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS, and died three years after its 1944 publication.
In his pursuit of ropework, Mr. Ashley spent six months at sea on the whaling bark SUNBEAM; and six weeks on a Delaware Bay oysterman called a 'bugeye'. He interviewed tradesmen, such as: steeplejacks, cobblers, truckdrivers, butchers, electric linesmen, and boyscouts as well as sailors and sea captains to document each nuance of knot unique to its trade. He was taught a few knots by Mr. Ringling himself of circus fame; and taught a knot to Mr. DuPont, a captain of industry.
The result of Mr. Ashley's research was a significant collection of 7,000 drawings of 3,900 knots and their application in a 620 page knot tyers tome which has become a veritable bible for rope workers the world over. In just about any capacity that a rope can be utilized has found its way into THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS. Mr. Ashley has covered: netting, lashings, block & tackle, splices, hitches, and bends. He went from purely decorative knots with no practical value to knots applied to industrial use. He included a whole chapter on rope tricks and puzzles. There is an amusing catalog of small figures the author drew to rate the quality of each knot described, such as a deuce of clubs to designate 'unimportance', or an kedge anchor to indicate 'reliability'.
Equally important as the knot's description was their utilization on incidental equipment. Mr. Ashley fortuitously included a description of a rope's application on fairleads, belaying pins, H-bitts, cleats, thumb-cleats, fife rails, pin rails, pin racks, and timberheads; as well as escoteric equipment such as euphroe blocks and crows foots.
The book also includes the important distinction between the kevel (or cavil) and the quarter cleat. The glossary in the back makes another refinement by distinguishing the knot from the sinnet, splice, hitch, and bend. Thus clearing up any misassumptions in knot application (such as that Knot Theory is a branch of pure mathematics and has nothing to do with Knot Tying!) - THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS settles any disputes in nomenclature.
The only short-coming to this significant work is that the drawings are unclear and vague in some instances, making it impossible to tye a knot in the example given. The book is dated in respect to splicing modern power braids such as Liquid Crystal Polymer, Spectra, or Kevlar; and makes no mention of the type of knot or splice found in an Astronaut's tether.
Still this can be tolerated in view of the wealth of information and history on knots, splices, and rope contained within its pages. And THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS has gained a further importance in its power of verification. For when some nimrod claims to have invented a new knot or splice, immediately the universal response is: "Just look it up in Ashley's!"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Real informative., Nov. 22 2013
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This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
Easy to read and understand. More information than I had expected. Would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about knot tying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashley Book of Knots, Feb. 12 2002
By 
Michael F. Boelter (Nashville, TN, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
If I were to have to chose a book to be the Bible of knot tying this one is it. It covers many of the aspects of Marlinspike Seamanship and just about anything knot tying you might ever be interested in.
There may be books with easier to follow directions for different knots, but this one is relatively concise and once you puzzle out how his nomenclature works you are well on your way to tying just about any knot in the book.
This book is expensive but is well worth the price. It is a main stay of my personal reference library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Above all other knot books...in weight only., Jan. 30 2002
By 
"bm_coastie" (Grand Haven, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
I gave this book a 4 for just one reason, a lack of detailed drawings. Although it is the most extensive book of knots known to man. A must for any extreme mariner or avid boatswain mate.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book for knot enthusiasts, Dec 29 2011
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
I have wanted this book for years, so has my entire family. We are all sailors and have been our whole lives and have always thought of this book as the Holy Grail. Now that I own it... It lives up to the expectations. With thousands of knots it is well written and well illustrated, it even has a large section on tricks and games. Makes a perfect gift for a knot lover (which is why I bought it for my Dads birthday).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ashley's book of life, Nov. 30 2001
By 
"fewfish" (Zagreb, Croatia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
Excellent from the beggining to the end. Suitable boath for kids and adults. It gives the reader how and why for every of 3854 knots listed. Only the size of this book is umpractical, and knowing why it is so, just gives you more pleasure before every further reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book BEFORE you buy any other knotting book., Nov. 3 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
... This book is indeed the Bible of knots and ropework. It's entertaining and darn near comprehensive. It's an older book, so it doesn't have a couple of the more modern knots, such as the Zeppelin Bend, and the Gripping Sailor's Hitch. But that's ok! Just do an internet Google search for them, print them out and tape them in the extra pages of the book. If you do that, you'll never need to buy another knot book ever!
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5.0 out of 5 stars No better book on knots, Sept. 11 2001
By 
Harold McFarland (Florida) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
This is THE authoritative work on knots. There is simply no better book available. Every kind of knot for every purpose is detailed along with every variation (good or bad) that you are likely to find. Includes a lot of details and stories about many of the knots and additional information on why tieing it one way might be preferrable to another. Decorative knots, occupational knots, it doesn't matter, it's here in this book. How to tie them, when to use them, when to use another knot. This book is from an expert for those who want to be an expert on the quickly disappearing art of knot tying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Knots as objects of beauty and utility, June 30 2001
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
This book is the fruit of a live passion for knot tying; it contains approximately 3900 knots, sinnets and splices accompanied with individual explanations and 7000 drawings.
The involvement of Mr. Ashley with knots began as he relates, in his early childhood when his two uncles that were whaling captains taught him the first lessons in knot tying, after this he began the gathering and practical study of every kind of knot that crossed his path. The result is this imposing book that took him 11 years to finish.
The book presents in an organized way knots of general utility, and others that are used in more particular circumstances as fishing or camping. You can find and discover scores of very interesting uses for knots from simple ornamental to practical and useful purposes. The sections that I enjoyed the most are the one about occupational knots and the section about tricks and puzzles, one can spend hours and hours navigating through the book that is so full of interesting details and curiosities.
If you are like me a beginner in knot tying, you could find some of the illustrations and directions a little difficult to follow at first, but I can assure you that if you keep trying, in a short time you will get the knack of it, and you will agree with the author when he says: "To me the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quick way of learning, April 4 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ashley Book of Knots (Hardcover)
A great little book for the novice to get an upper hand on the knot problem. Learn quick and you are ready to go sailing with the best of sailors.
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Ashley Book of Knots
Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford Ashley (Hardcover - June 21 1944)
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