More information from a noteI sent to Adam Tassin:

I like to use 2.5mm for the 9 and 13, 2.0 for the 15 and 17 and 1.2 for anything over 17.  I find that over 33 strands it becomes difficult
to control the lines and I get a LOT more errors in the braiding which necessitate going back and taking things out until you can
correct it.

If making a call lanyard (Bo'sun's Lanyard), when you have gotten ten passes done, slip a piece of black thread under the center
cross of the braid and continue... the thread will let you know which side you were working on:  once you have done the lanyard to the
desired length (14"-17" plus another two inches for join work), you want to lash the beginning with a constrictor knot (not real tight, but
enough to keep it from unlaying), remove it from the clamp and flip it to work the other leg, and also turn it so the thread is facing
DOWN (if working flat) or AWAY (if hanging vertically) from you.  That way the braid will be not only symmetrical as far as braid
direction, but from right to left as well.

When starting the second leg, just be sure your constrictor is tight, then flatten the lines and begin your braid, drawing it up so that
there is as small a space between the starts as possible... this will be covered by a 5x4 or a 7x6 square turkshead after you've
finished the second leg but BEFORE you start the breast-plate join.

For ANY uneven braid, I ALWAYS start with the uneven split (4, 5, 7, 9, etc) in the RIGHT HAND...

Every set of four tuck runs (2 from Right and 2 from Left) comprizes ONE complete pass.

1.4 x the final length plus .1 for safety.

9 strands middled in  the clamp... five in right hand, four in left hand:
(pattern:) Take outboard RIGHT strand OVER 2 and UNDER 2 to left... you now have 5 in left and 4 in right, right? LEFT outboard
strand O2/U2: RIGHT Outboard UNDER 2 and OVER 2 to left, left outboard, UNDER 2 and OVER 2 to right, repeat pattern to length.

VERY important that you ensure all lines are flat and true before lacing the last pass tight...if the lines cross each other you'll have a
'holiday' in the braid which, until you get some experience with the braid, will not show up for several passes.  I encourage you to go
back and remove** as many passes as necessary to get to the error and correct it.  The braid is so regular that the smallest errors
are readily apparent.  In any nylon, tighten each pass but don't be overly concerned with it looking "loose"... subsequent passes will
tighten up the braids.  In cotton, try to keep the passes fairly tight as the 'lay" of the cord will make tightening up later on difficult. If
working with small stuff in nylon (< you may want to tug the lines semi-taut after each fifth pass by pulling on each in turn from
top to bottom but -again- don't jam 'em tight... you'll only get an uneven braid.  Time and experience will show you how and how much
to tighten things.

The variations from there are numerous...  These are the ones that work best for me:

11-strand  O2U3 (nice braid)  or    vice versa (hard to control),

13-strand O3U3 (nice large braid pattern):  O2U2O2 (pretty but better for smaller lines)  (
O2U4 or O4U2 I find to be hard to keep
looking good...could just be my age and infirmities

15-strand - O2U3O2 or vice versa.

17-strand (my workhorse braid)  O4U4 or (small stuff) O2U2O2U2...(VERY challenging to keep everything straight!)

19- 33 strands, extrapolate from above...

OVER 33 strands I have a tendency to scream and bury my head in the pillows, hoping it will go away.

Allowances:  The more strands in the sennit, the more you must allow for final length...  I am still working this out for myself but
preliminary is:
1-mm/ 9-15 = 1.5 finished length
2-mm>/ 9-15 = 1.7 "           "
1-mm/ 15-21 =  1.7 "           "
2-mm/ 21-above  =  2.0 finished length

Unless you've got holes in your hands and feet, you ARE gonna make misteaks on this braid, so...

Once the error is perceived,  take the work and hold the ODD number of lines in that side's hand loosely, then pull the last pass out
until it's clear of the sennit, switch hands: now the ODD number is in the other hand, pull THAT last pass out and switch hands,
pull.... you get the picture.  This allows you maximum control (keeping the braid from becoming hopelessly muddled) as well as
showing you the error when you come to it.   ALWAYS keep control of the ODD bundle and you should have no problem.

COMMON  IRROR   (I thought I made I mistake in '46, but I was wrong.)
In the double braid, most problems are caused by screwing up and going UNDER twice in a row on the same side (or OVER twice in
a row) (i.e.: losing the O/O/U/U pattern momentarily) but that will become readily apparent after a few braids have been completed... I
can usually pick up THAT error before I've finished the errant pass, but certainly by the next pass.  As you may have guessed, since I
am un-holed, I have gotten quite good at finding that error early on... I certainly make enough of them!

I am working on a method of joining the two braids at the breastplate by merging them so that the result is two legs of (n) strands into
a single leg of (nx2) strands.. THAT'S gonna be an illness! (A doubled double-braid! Sheesh!) (
Actually, this is being worked on by
Don Wright and I'l publish this as soon as completed!

At the breastplate... you should have a couple inches beyond where you want to join the braids...  take your center point and arrange
the braid symmetrically for length and be sure you have the proper sides facing you (should be a mirror image) and throw a
constrictor around both braids flat side-by side (I like to clamp them at that point and constrictor with the clamp in a nice
flat join), then constrictor again about 1/8" below that to be sure that it won't come out on you.

Determine what sort of strop you want to make for the call  (do you want to reduce to a 16-strand square braid?  Want to make up
another three or four inches of double-sennit?) and snip and constrictor any unneeded lines from THE OUTBOARD strands.  
(Trimming them off so that you get a tapered effect is a nice touch).   I usually (17 strand) go to a 16 strand square for six inches, to
an eight strand square for the required remainder of the length to a 4-strand round-braid for the call loop ( the loop goes thru the
call's shackle and over the buoy to rest on top of the gun, so make it at least a three inch loop.).  

Cover the transitions with turksheads as required (at the breastplate, I'll cover the main constrictors with a 5 or 7 bight turks, triple
passed, and put a three-strand triple above and below up tight to the big turks to cover any screwups or exposed constrictors (I
haven't mastered the "Pineapple" Turksheads as yet, but a wide top/narrow bottom would be nice here).   At the transition from 16 to
8 and from 8 to 4 I'll make footropes out of the unused strands or constrictor and trim off tight to the braid and then "apply" a footrope
or a 3-bight double passed Turks.  Your choice.)

The call loop is simply backspliced into itself at the transition (ONE TUCK)  and LEFT UN-WHIPPED.  The footrope or turks will
provide sufficient tension to hold the loop together with the SINGLE backsplice for ordinarily usage, but in the event that someone
might be suspended by the call (in a fall), the loop SHOULD pull out and not hang the individual.  When you lash or double-tuck the
backsplice, it is known as a "Hangman's Lanyard".
17 - strand
double braid lanyard
courtesy of C. "Bud" Brewer
1946 - 2009
R. I. P.
Click on any picture for a larger version which has the instructions attached
to it.  Both Bud and myself have written on how to do this lanyard as well as
tips and tricks to make life easier while doing this and other lanyards and
projects.    As always, if you have any questions, please
email me . (Highly

BACK to Tutorials page                   BACK to Library main page


Quality inspector!
Go HERE for Don Wright's
addition on reducing from a
17-strand to a 13 strand braid!   
Last revised:
Go HERE for Don Wright's
addition on doing the "mirrored"
verzion of this sennit.