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I have a log that I want to hang against the wall, creating a small shelf. I'm attaching the logs to two iron screw eyes using 1/4" hemp rope, for a rustic look. Here's a diagram:

Diagram of the log attached to the screw eye

The screw eyes don't have a closed loop; they're open-ended like a hook. The log itself is very lightweight, and I don't plan on storing anything heavy on the log itself. The two candidate logs have several flat edges, they're not perfectly circular (see pictures below).

What knots/hitches should I use to attach the rope to the log and screw eye? My main goals would be to have a secure hold on the log. Beyond that, having an aesthetically pleasing hitch would be nice, too.

Initial googling pointed to a timber hitch to attach the log to the rope, but I also read that it's only secure under load, and comes easily undone (it's designed for dragging timber along the ground, I think).

Here are images of the two candidate logs (I'll only use one, unless I do this project twice):

Log 1 Log 2

  • I'm partial to the perfection loop - while technically an "angler's knot", I use it for lots of things outside fishing. It's not as versatile as a bowline because it can't be tied around an object, but it'll work with the open hook that you have. Like a bowline, it's a small knot that's easy to tie and won't slip. animatedknots.com/perfection – Dan A. Jul 8 '16 at 18:12
  • Are you planning to use two ropes per log? Are you open to the option of boring holes through the logs? – Tester101 Jul 8 '16 at 18:25
  • I'm planning to use two ropes per log, yes. I would rather not bore holes through the log if possible (I like the aesthetic of just tying the rope around the log), but I might do so if there were a good reason to @Tester101 – MaxGabriel Jul 8 '16 at 20:17
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A boom hitch (ABoK #1687), might look nice around the log.

enter image description here

A simple bowline (ABoK #1010), or other secure loop would be fine for the hooks.

A simple loop with a decorative weave on the standing end, might also look nice. That way the decorative bit would be above/below the loop.

  • Excellent suggestion. +1 for aethstetic forethought in addition to structure. – BrownRedHawk Jul 8 '16 at 18:57
  • Bowline-on-a-bight might be another answer, though it isn't as decorative as the boom hitch. – keshlam Jul 9 '16 at 8:22
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I would suggest a taut-line hitch if you want something that will slip tight or allow you to make adjustments. It has three loops around the main line and is a bigger knot.

I suggest a bowline if you want a loop of a fixed size that will not slip. It has some pleasing loops and a bit of a tail.

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For the log end of the rope, it sounds to me like you want to avoid the log tipping to one side and sliding out of the knot. If that's the case, an anchor bend around the center of the log. Another option is a round turn and two half hitches.

For the hook end, any loop knot that won't collapse: An overhand loop would be easiest, but either a bowline or a figure-eight loop would be great.

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