Knots 101

Submitted by Bob Mead on 5/25/01. ( )

Even after 12+ years of doing taxidermy, I haven't found a knot I really like (or can remember) for finishing a sew job. I know this is basic stuff, but I could use some help. I doesn't seem like this subject comes up often, because I would have definitely payed attention had I seen it mentioned.

Does anyone know a source for instruction on a good knot used for taxidermy purposes? I have seen a "surgeons knot" tied in some seminars, but I couldn't ever replicate it. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Bob Mead

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Surgeons Knot

This response submitted by George on 5/25/01. ( )

In the Air Force, this is called "demoperf" or demonstration/performance. As you can't see me, you have to do it for yourself, so here goes.

Sit down and take a piece of waxed thread and wrap it around your leg holding the tag ends up. Lay the tag ends across your leg in opposing directions and wrap the one in your right hand under the other TWICE ONLY. Now pull the tag ends until the wrap becomes snug against your leg. Again hold the tag end up, and take the one in your right hand and wrap OVER the other one only ONE time. Pull tight. What you have is a surgeons knot. The first wrap with the double turn acts as a lock while the second one secures it in a SQUARE KNOT configuration where both the main thread going into the knot and the tag end of the thread coming out of the knot are on the same side of the loop. A square knot will not loosen as will the common "granny" knot.

I don't cut the tag ends, however. I insert them into the incision with a sail needle and push the thread about an inch below the incision. I pull the needle through and snug the knot back down inside and under the incision with the tag ends. Then I cut the thread at the needles and wait for the skin to dry before I carefully remove the tag ends with a sharp scalpel.

Fisherman's knots and nets

This response submitted by Bill K. on 5/25/01. ( )

by Raoul Graumount and Elmer Wenstrom. Great book. Lots of pictures (my favorite). "Knot" only does it have all the basic ones but it is also packed with valuble information that you can use around the shop on a daily basis, like harpoon lashings and fish trap construction. Seriously though, its a good book if you can find one.
Bill K.

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