Not NOT this knot, but also kinda not this knot
May 29, 2019 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Knot-filter: I know nothing about knots, but a new lighting fixture I got seems like a good place to put a neat one. Cord comes out of wall, goes around a T-shaped swag hook, then hangs down to a pendant lamp. I need a knot at the swag hook. What is this knot setup called (so I can google it)? What knot would be good? Photos here, and additional requirements to follow:

The "rope" in question is fairly stiff electrical cord, and I have maybe 18" of slack to work with. It seems amenable to at least a 1/2" radius bend, probably 1/4".

Note the droop in the existing setup; I would love a knot that allows my to use up any arbitrary additional amount of cord. Even better if I can take up additional slack without redoing the whole thing.

I spent a lot of time putting the swag hook directly in line with the faucets on a new vanity. If the hanging pendant could hang centered with the swag hook (so more like the overhand loop than the... other one) that would be awesome.

I can't take the swag hook off to do this, so I'm going to be standing on a stool looking up, so let's not get too crazy complicated. That said, I'm happy to practice while standing on the ground and then implement in situ.
posted by supercres to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ah, and only one end is free and it has a ~1"-diameter bulb socket on it, so it can't really navigate any tight loops. For something REALLY awesome I guess I could redo the power connections at the junction box.
posted by supercres at 10:01 AM on May 29, 2019

Make a u shaped loop straight up, with the two directions of cord hanging down from it. At the length you need to have the light where you want it.

Bend the loop toward you touching the the two cords. This is about one inch of loop not big.

Where the loop crosses on the right side with the lamp whichever side has the lamp, put the outer edge of the loop around the sink/ lamp side of the T, then the other outer edge of the loop on the other side of the T. The two sides of the cord should be held by the loop against the T. Just make sure it is tight enough it can't unloop from the T. If you have too much cord, then yes shorten it at which ever end it is easiest for you.

If you have worries, there is always very sticky two sided white adhesive material that can be trimmed to exactly disappear under the cords.

I am sitting here fiddling with a charger cord. It works exactly as stated and their should be no slippage, even without tape.
posted by Oyéah at 10:21 AM on May 29, 2019

Position the cord as you want it and collect all the slack in a loop at the hook.

Pull that loop out straight so that you have a length of doubled cord.

Then, treating that doubled length as a single rope, tie a round turn and two half hitches on the hook.

The slack can then be hung on the hook.
posted by automatronic at 10:23 AM on May 29, 2019

Looks like a trucker's hitch to me.
On this diagram, just do step 1 and 2.
Take up slack by making the loop longer; i.e. the knot is more distant from the swag hook.
posted by notsnot at 10:26 AM on May 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Choose from any knot on this page
The figure 8 double loop will take up lots of slack, and won't be too tight.

Similar for bowline on a night.
posted by Acari at 11:19 AM on May 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

The one in the photo looks like an overhand on a bight to me.

Acari is right about “choose a knot from that page”. I’d personally go with a butterfly (“alpine butterfly” on that page) or a single figure 8 on a bight, which is both more aesthetically pleasing than an overhand on a bight and easier to untie in rope (likely not a huge concern in cord?). It’s weirdly not listed on that page though.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 3:10 PM on May 29, 2019

If there is electrical cabling in there you won't want tight loops anyway, as kinking the wire could lead to failures in the cable.
posted by Aleyn at 6:19 PM on May 29, 2019

Seconding what Aleyn said. Tight knots in electrical cords are a bad idea. The recommended wrap in the first picture is probably about as tight as you should go. I understand that you want to take up the slack in the cord. I suggest either feeding it back into the place it emerges from the ceiling, or shortening it at one end or the other.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:16 AM on May 30, 2019

Thanks everyone! I'm going to play around with the mid-loop knots to attach to the hook and either do something boring to take up low-tension slack between the hook and junction box like zip tie, or maybe play with a loose sheepshank or something like this.
posted by supercres at 9:29 AM on May 31, 2019

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