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Julie Mo

What Do You Put In The Center of a Monkey's Fist?

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Marlinespike Sailor suggests a ball of aluminum foil...

 

I want to make four monkey's fists to be used as pulls for doors and drawers.  I was thinking I'd need small wooden balls to place in the center.  I had some 1/4" hemp rope and made one using aluminum foil for the ball.  Two problems - 1) making all four the same size. 2) the reflective foil makes it easy to spot the gaps in the rope.

 

What is typically used for the center?

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The Heaving Line I made hanging on my wall alongside my Privateer Rattlesnake print has a dog chewy ball in it, smaller than a tennis ball but heavier and the Heaving line could be used. Have several hanging on drape pull extensions that I used glass marbles inside the cotton braided line that I saturated with white glue as the last step on the ball, made nice pulls and can be cleaned. Since you are not intending to be throwing it where line handlers are, any ball, from firm to hard should be fine. Your idea of the wood balls is good, gaps in the rope can be handled several ways and with a wood core should be easy to incorporate a hidden screw or bolt for a fastener. Choose line that leaves no gaps with the normal 4 turns or go with more turns, have one around here someplace that uses nine, trial and error was the recipe I used too arrive at that number. Monkey fists are handy for many things, I prefer cotton line, well soaked in white glue to seal and harden them when used for pulls.

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If decorative, I concur the wooden balls sound like a good solution.  For real heaving lines back in the day we used scrape metal cubes from the machine repair shop.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith 

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On ‎1‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 6:39 AM, el cid said:

For real heaving lines back in the day we used scrape metal cubes from the machine repair shop.

So you were the one!

 

A weighted monkey's fist can kill a man if it hits him in the head.  In many ports, if a weighted monkey's fits hits the dock, the first thing a longshoreman is going to do is cut it off and toss it into the drink, accompanied by the sounds of some very salty language!

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Yeah, I guess it was identified as a potential hazard; as I understand the Navy now uses ball-like "nerf" heaving line weights.  I don't think the weights we used were of sufficient mass to kill anybody, except in some bizarre event.  In any case, it was common practice and I don't recall ever getting any feedback from pier line handlers.  However, the gunners mates would get feedback when a well-aimed shotline "bullet" scattered line handlers or left a nice black smudge on a clean radome.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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