Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I am often asked by folks who own my Serving machine how to use it to seize blocks or make a mouse etc.  Truthfully it was never designed to do those things but because it is a very simple tool it can be modified/augmented very easily.  In fact I have written directions to dozens of folks about how easy it is to make a jig of sorts that can be used to hold and seize blocks using the serving machine.   So I figured to save time I would also post it here. As you know it is very simple "Amish" technology to say the least.  The jig/attachment for holding and seizing blocks or even making a mouse is equally as simple.


I will not include these devices with the machine because they literally cost only pennies to make but will take about 20 minutes in time.  The cost isnt the issue,  its the time and folks would probably balk at having to pay me for that time when they could make these on their own for literally pennies.   So here is how it is done...or at least one method.


So first...to make a block fixture.....




You will need a wooden dowel that fits snug in the 1/4" tube of the serving machine.....two alligator clips or any other clips.....and some glue.  That is it, although you could get fancy and use another brass tube or rod and fancy clips.  For me it isnt about the materials used but the functionality.


The brass tubes that are used on the serving machine protrude just a bit from the handles as shown.  This was done on purpose because I always knew the extra meat would be used for stuff like this,  I am just surprised nobody has done so yet.


Drill a small hole through this tube protrusion...straight through so it goes through both sides.  You will use it to insert a pin and secure the dowel/block holder.  I actually just use a length of 22 gauge wire.   It works great.




Then take a short wood dowel and drill another small hole through the end as shown.  You can slide the pin through the tube and dowel to secure it....easy-peasy.  The dowel should be a snug fit in the tube.


The other end of the dowel is cut to length so after attaching say....an alligator clip....it will be close to the side and gears.  The back of the alligator clip is opened up and crimped onto the dowel....also secured with glue.





That is it.  very simple.  Its so simple in fact that its easy and more economical for you make these on your own rather than pay me to make them.  This same concept can be used to make a jig for making a mouse too!!!  Just use another brass tube rather than a dowel or rod.   I am sure that you have seen these...


It makes the Serv-o-matic an even more versatile , low cost and simple machine to own.  If you have other jigs and modifications that you have made to your serv-o-matic.....please share them here.  I am sure that everyone could benefit from them.









Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chuck,


I've been using the machine rather intensively the past few weeks and it is dream to use.  I'm finishing up the standing rigging on Bluejacket's Smuggler and there are yards of serving on the model.  

Shortly after I bought the Servo-o-matic I came up with virtually the identical jig.  One small difference is that I used a dowel slightly larger than the inside diameter of the brass tube, chucked into a drill and created a taper.  I get a good tight friction fit and don't have to otherwise alter the machine itself.


Thanks for making such a useful tool,



Edited by Landlocked123


Connecticut Marine Model Society

Nautical Research Guild

Model Ship World

"So we beat on, boats against the current, bourne back ceaselessly into the past" F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

"If at first you don’t succeed.......skydiving is probably not for you”


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I made the same attachment, using another brass tube with a tight fit into the tube on the serving machine. The other mod I did was add a handle to the crank:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perfect, thanks for those ideas as my Serv-o-matic should be arriving any day.


Please, visit our Facebook page!




Per aka Dr. Per@Therapy for Shipaholics 

Finished: T37, BB Marie Jeanne - located on a shelf in Sweden, 18th Century Longboat, Winchelsea Capstan

Current: America by Constructo, Solö Ruff, USS Syren by MS, Bluenose by MS

Viking funeral: Harley almost a Harvey

Nautical Research Guild Member - 'Taint a hobby if you gotta hurry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...
  • 1 month later...

I use a handheld screwdriver to drive the serving tool. This is way slower than a standard cordless drill, and fits very well for the purpose. 

A 5 mm hexagonal head fits tightly to the brass tube. I removed the handle, this allowed a hole to be drilled and lead the thread out. I think the pictures make it clear.


Edited by DavidG

Past builds: Prins Willem,  Amati Coca

Current Build: Occre Diana

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Altima211 said:

Should I have a look on the Domanoff rope maker ? Or this tool is in the same quality spectre ?


I have the Domanoff endless ropemaker. He has two or three ropemakers. I have the "top of the line" one that will make any kind of rope, three or four strand, cored or not, right or left hand twist.  Truth be told, I've only "played with it" thus far. I've just ordered a bunch of Gutermann Mara thread and I'll be getting more serious shortly. I would say it's a quality machine. Its well made, considering its made of plexiglas. It has a microprocessor control in the control box that is not at all intuitive. You must read  the instructions to know how to set it up and adjust it. (Adjustments are made by pushing the "emergency stop" button a certain number of times when the other controls are set in various configurations. You have to read the instruction manual to know the codes.


I found Alexy Domanoff a great guy to deal with. He walked me through setting mine up because I hadn't received the set up manual when i bought it  used from another fellow who never used it once. I would consider it in an entirely separate class from the Dominoff serving machine in terms of apparent construction quality. I'll find out how well it spins a lot of different sizes of rope soon. I expect to be happy with the result. I haven't heard any complaints about its performance. Nothing but good stuff.

Edited by Bob Cleek
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have his vertical rope walk which I converted to use horizontally. It works great for me. I did have to replace the power supply but they are cheap and easy to find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

 A bit late to the party here but some great ideas here which hopefully I can replicate on my Endeavor build as |I move onto the shrouds


Completed     St Canute Billings            Dec 2020

Completed    HMS Bounty Amati          May 2021 Finished

Currently building HM Bark Endeavour  




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...