Selma Fids: Choosing the Size and Length?

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It's been a long time since I used my Selma Fids, and suddenly I'm confused; perhaps because I have read more on the subject.

I have some 16mm Double Braid to Eye Splice. Using the formula, this gives a "fid length" of 16 x 21 = 336mm. The largest Selma fid is 13mm internal diameter (also marked "13") and is 285mm long, which is close to 21 times 13mm (273mm).

However, this "13" fid is much too large even to splice my 16mm, as you only use the fid with either the core or the cover, never both. I have seen videos and instructions (even from Uncle Tom Cunliffe) where they appear to use a fid that is the same diameter as the rope, this is clearly wrong. The fids themselves say they "... can splice braid on braid rope ... [up] to 22mm", so this largest fid is clearly meant for 22mm.

So now I'm left with a quandary, do I:

  • Follow the herd and use "one fid length" of the longest fid (285mm) for both measuring and threading? [Really tight to thread through]
  • Use "one fid length" of the correct size fid for 18mm (either a 10mm or 7.5mm fid)? [This is clearly wrong]
  • Use the long fid for measuring, and the smaller fid for doing the threading? [Close enough]
  • Or use what I believe is the correct length (336mm) and the correct fid?
 
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prv

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I'm not a fan of the Selma fids. The "fid length" instructions refer to a different design, as used in videos by English Braids among others.

Pete
 

Woodlouse

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Ignore fid lengths since at best they are only mentioned to help aid the clueless. You've clearly worked out how long you reckon the tails of your splices have to be so work to that with a fid that will fit the rope.
 
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Ignore fid lengths since at best they are only mentioned to help aid the clueless. You've clearly worked out how long you reckon the tails of your splices have to be so work to that with a fid that will fit the rope.
Thanks, but what about where they use "2/3 fid", do I use 2/3 of my calculated length?

I'm quite concerned that there are many splices out there with very short bury lengths!
 

prv

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Thanks, but what about where they use "2/3 fid", do I use 2/3 of my calculated length?

The good (not Selma) fids have a line engraved on them to mark what they call a "short fid length".

They also don't have a seam whose end acts like an old style tube jammer to pick up strands from the inside of the rope :p

Pete
 

Norman_E

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I have Selma fids and find them to be a very poor design, mainly because they are rolled from sheet and strands get caught. What other makes are good, the Marlow ones? Can anyone provide a link to good ones?
 

Norman_E

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You are right to use the smallest size you get the core or braid to go into, but if you are splicing rope that is tightly woven you can easily get strands of the cover caught in the slit where the metal has been rolled into a tube when putting the core through the cover.

EDIT: Damn it! I have just seen Martin J's post. SWMBO has just come back from a month in the USA and could have bought me a set!
 
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Woodlouse

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Thanks, but what about where they use "2/3 fid", do I use 2/3 of my calculated length?

I'm quite concerned that there are many splices out there with very short bury lengths!
To be honest I've always worked by eye when deciding the length of the bury. If it looks right it probably is and if in doubt go longer. I seem to recall once seeing a ratio for rope size and length of bury and I think it might be around 100x the diameter of the line.
 

Woodlouse

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I have Selma fids and find them to be a very poor design, mainly because they are rolled from sheet and strands get caught. What other makes are good, the Marlow ones? Can anyone provide a link to good ones?

I've never had a problem with the Selma fids provided they've not been bastardised. If someone takes a pair of pliers to them or bends them then they're as good as useless but I almost prefer them to the bullet style of fid since they don't always require a push rod.
 

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I tried two methods of splicing this Dyneema cored cord: one with a covered eye, and one without. The cover is too tight to get the final bury in, so I had a look at the original splice; underneath the heat-shrink it looked like this:

SLR-Whipping_zpsneil4lkr.png~original


I cut the strands at the end to see if they were anything more than through the side, they were not!

I gave up on splicing and whipped it: sew through both diameters, loop half round, repeat every few mm, then bind over. It can't be any worse than the above.
 

Woodlouse

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I tried two methods of splicing this Dyneema cored cord: one with a covered eye, and one without. The cover is too tight to get the final bury in, so I had a look at the original splice; underneath the heat-shrink it looked like this:

SLR-Whipping_zpsneil4lkr.png~original


I cut the strands at the end to see if they were anything more than through the side, they were not!

I gave up on splicing and whipped it: sew through both diameters, loop half round, repeat every few mm, then bind over. It can't be any worse than the above.

For splicing dyneema you really need a mechanical advantage to pull the splice into its self, a strong bench with either a winch or hydraulic ram at one end and a strong point at the other. It can help if you milk some slack into the cover from the loose end too, just remember to milk it back afterwards.
 
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