Monday, April 29, 2013

The Old Rugged Cross

Working on a Mother's Day present. She's the Irish Catholic mother of four grown men, so her place in heaven is already reserved, right?

Anyway, I did a crucifix in the Celtic Knot style, with a strict over-and-under pattern. I used white nylon rope, and whipped the ends and left them free as you can see in the photo. I've mounted it on a 5" x 7" wood plaque with corner cuts, that I stained with mahogany color.

I was planning to coat with polyurethane clear-coat to protect it, but my wife thinks this is unnecessary; I think she just doesn't want me to spend any money.

What do you think?

Celtic Knot Crucifix
The old rugged cross: Celtic knots from white nylon, with whipped ends

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Monkey Fist Paperweight

This monkey fist is one of the first I created, just a few short months ago. I used plain old cotton rope, then tied a series of half hitches hat spiraled naturally for a handle. This isn't for slinging, obviously. It's a paperweight on my desk, and a cool little conversation piece.

Monkey fist made from cotton rope
Monkey fist made from cotton rope
Monkey fist made from cotton rope with spiraling handle made from half-hitch knots
Monkey fist with a handle made from spiraling half hitches.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My first lanyard: Snake Knot in Black

So, I'm a little out of order here, I suppose: I posted about my latest lanyard before I posted about my first lanyard.

I loved the snake knot when I first saw it. I've since learned it looks awesome in two colors, but at the time I only had some black cord and I was eager to try. It came out really nice, a very subdued, understated piece. A few weeks later I learned to do Turk's Heads, so I fashioned one into a ball and slid it over the lanyard to the bottom as an embellishment. Looked pretty friggin' sharp, if I say so myself. Still had that understated feel, too.

So, now that I have a new lanyard in the company colors, I am looking to re-purpose this one. I put my keys on it, but I don't like the idea of having my keys on something that's dangling from my pocket. Just seems like an unnecessary risk as far as pickpockets go, or even just getting it snagged on something.

Plus, I'm not 19 yrs old anymore, so I look like an idiot with lanyards dangling from my pockets.

I've thought about maybe just cutting it down to key fob size, or using it for multiple lanyards for knives of flashlights or such. I suppose I could just offer to give it to someone, though...

Snake knot lanyard
Snake Knot lanyard

Turk's head
Turk's Head added after the fact

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Turk's Head Bracelet & Boat Drinks

Just a quick post to show a little Turk's Head Bracelet I did with some 3/8" dock line. I whipped the ends together to create a sorta "tail" you can see in about the the eleven o'clock position in the photo below.

Very beach-y look. The dock line looks a little too nice for everyday wear, but if you wanted a little arm candy for gathering at a beach bar or tropical-themed party, it would look pretty good.

Dock line, turk's head, whipping, sun, water, rum, & coke. Everything I need...
I think it looks great with that Cuba Libre` in my hand...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cobra Knot Lanyard

So, I have to be the world's worst photographer. But, here it is, in red, black, and gray:

Cobra knot lanyard in red, black, and gray
They don't make 'em much cuter than this one
Took the family to Walt Disney World over the weekend. My wife and kids are into pin trading, so everyone MUST WEAR A LANYARD. Even Dad, who could care less about pin trading, because I have to carry my entrance pass somewhere, right? Because a pocket would never do...


Anyway, I did not have a lanyard with me, but I had my backpack full of paracord supplies, so a quick couple hours in the hotel room the night before and I was good to go. It helped that I used a bit of Captain Morgan's finest anti-inflammatory tonic for my knuckles. Felt like I could just go and go and go...

I used the red and black for a cobra knot because I can eat up a lot of real estate real quick while still looking cool. The gray was the core, except at the bottom where I used it to create a little visual offset where the two strands come together. A stainless steel shackle finished it off in fine fashion.

The colors match the logo colors for the company where I do my day job, so this is now my everyday lanyard. I need to do a post of my old lanyard, my first real usable project, in the near future. Would appreciate any suggestions for re-purposing old lanyards.

I would also appreciate any suggestions for making lanyards with knots that are as flat as possible to permit pins to be attached. Cobra Knots (Solomon Bar) are too thick for pins that use the little metal or rubber backs. Flair buttons work fine with just about anything, but the pin on trading pins is usually too small to go through a knot with multiple layers.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Homemade Monkey Fist Jig

When I first started making Monkey Fists, I had a devil of a time handling the cord and the core. I knew I needed a jig, but I'm useless when it comes to woodworking or machining. I also knew I didn't want to pay a lot of money for one. Finally, I'm a bit of a proponent of the KISS philosophy: Keep It Simple, Stupid. So I found a couple of bamboo skewers in a junk drawer, broke off a couple pieces of styrofoam from some packing inserts I found in the garage and wrapped them in masking tape, and voila: an adjustable, portable, monkey fist jig was born!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Badass Monkey Fist

These things are really popular at work, now. My boss got this one. It's tri-colored, with three separate sections of fusion knots for the strap: The initial section coming out of the monkey fist is just a stack of wall knots made with three strands, each a different color. Next is a section made up of snake knots, in black and gray. Finally, a section of fishtail knots, also in black and gray. The transition knots are Turk's Heads, doubled.

This one is my favorite so far. Almost hated to give it away, but my boss was pretty pleased so maybe I'll get to keep my job for another day. ;-)

Tri-color Monkey Fist with badass fusion knots for the strap - BADASS!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

First Knot Board: Complete

Completed my first knot board, but it isn't this knot board. Just ran out of time. I needed to finish this one for my father's 70th birthday, which we celebrated Easter weekend.

Starting from the middle and moving out:
  • A photo of the 19-yr old Seaman Apprentice
  • Framed by 4-Strand Flat Braids, with Carrick Bends dressed into buttons.
  • Two coxcombed dowels capped by Turk's Heads
  • A string of 4 lanyard knots
  • A string of 4 binding knots
  • A flat Turk's Head
  • Four stopper knots
  • Four hitches
  • A prolong knot at twelve o'clock, with the excess wrapped in a coil.
  • Framed by 1/4" dock-line, done in 2 passes to create a beveled look.

19-yr old Seaman Apprentice graces the knot board
The biggest challenge turned out to be all the whipping that needed to be done. Very time-consuming for me. But, I had a lot of fun with this and I have a bunch of ideas to incorporate into my "other" first knot board.

But not right now. I need a break!