bridge and secure your project and lastly
some know how and loads of common
Each project should be approached in a
Pioneering or Scout engineering refers to
the work of military engineers who went
ahead of the army on foot, to build
bridges, roads and to generally prepare
They got therefirst, often in the
wilderness, and had to make do with
what they could find, or carry. With axes
and ropes they worked wonders and
created many functional structures.
In Scouting we carry on this tradition as it
provides Patrols with a challenge and an
opportunity to develop as a team and
achieve something worthwhile.
Before building it is necessary to have an
understanding of the skillsinvolved as
well as enthusiam. Firstly, it is
necessary to know how to tie the
required knots and lashings, secondly,
you must have spars or poles from
which to build your project. The next
consideration is ropes and pulleys to
What are we trying to do
What equipment do we have
What is the best way to use this
Designing the project
Planning the steps to complete the
projectTesting and safety
Dismantling the project
Every project should be approached in this
way. The designs suggested are tried and
tested however you rarely find a level river
bed or trees in the right places for rope
bridges etc. so each of the basic designs
suggested will have to be modified to suit the
conditions you encounter.
Experence would suggest that
the bestlashing to use in the
construction of the projects is
not the traditional square
lashing but rather the
Norwegian lashing which is
easier and quicker to tie than
the traditional lashing.
With the Norwegian lashing
the sisal or lashing rope is
halved and you are constantly
pulling the strain against
yourself which makes it easier
to tighten and manage the
construction of the lashing plusyou finish it off with a reef knot
or granny knot which ever is
easiest. Once you master the
technique it can be adapted to
the other lashings - Tripod,
All pioneering structure are created
using a number of basic forms the A frame, the A frame with double
bar, the sheer legs, the square
trestle and the rectangular trestle.
All of these basicstructures are
stable if constructed properly and will not
move out of shape.
Once the basic shapes are constructed on
the ground they are combined perhaps with a
number of linking spars to provide a tower,
bridge or similar structure. As a general rule
it is better to build a big structure from a
number of smaller and reasonably light
frames rather than try to lift heavy frames or
Simple wooden rope
Ropes come in many types and sizes and to simplify
matters you should use the following as a guide.
75mm rope (25 mm diameter) or larger, certainly no
smaller than 75mm, should be used whenever it is intended to hold
weight such as in the case of a monkey bridge - foot and hand rails,
aerial runways, and commando rope bridges.
Quickreference - the size of a broom handle is approx.
25 mm diameter.
50 mm rope (16 mm diameter) should be used for ‘reeving’ up pulleys
and anchors and for rope ladders.
Quick reference - the size of a man’s thumbr is approx.
25mm rope (8mm diametere) should be used for guy ropes in general,
on large structures this size would need to be increased.Quick reference - the size of a index finger what is known as
sash cord or heavy cloths line.
Rope lenghts will vary according to how
they are purchased, 25 metre lenghts will
normally cover most projects as the
distance between sheer legs or rope
bridges should not exceed 15 metres to
avoid ‘flipover’. Flipover occurs when the
slack in the rope is such that it acts much
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