I have been making the "monkey fist" knot since about 1957, when my Dad was assigned to a Naval Air Station on the shores of Manila Bay, the Philippines. An elderly sailor showed me the knot when he saw ne trying to throw the end of a rope to another boy.
It wasn't TOO difficult to tie, but it was sure a puzzle trying to put the third loops on the knot, and even more of a puzzle when tightening up the rope strands.
I found that this knot, commonly called "The Monkey Fist" knot, had been used for probably centuries, as a means of getting a line strung between two vessels. In use, it was common to use a wooden ball as a center piece, as this gave nice weight to the baseball sized knot. It was commonly made of 1/4" or 3/8" manila line, seized to a lengthy light-weight line, and tossed between two ships, or between a vessel and a dock. Attached to the ball was a light line, and the ball was swung like a lasso, and released to pass between the two ships. This lightweight line was attached to a heavier line, which may be attached to ab even heavier line. Many times, especially with Naval ships, they bet resupplied and fueled by "Under Way Replenishment", or "UNREP".
I did a 4 year hitch in the navy, and when I got out I was taking about any job that came along. One enjoyable job was rigging sailboats. I rigged boats from about 15' up to 65', mostly sailing vessels.
I liked each owner to have a heaving line available, so I would make one for each boat. I would give it to the Skipper, telling him or her how to use it. Most of the time, I got paid for it, sometimes it was a gift.
But ALWAYS, since 1957, it was sometimes a pain in the rear making up the knot. Time consuming, for sure!
Now we have this wonderful (and simple) jig to make it easy and quick to make up a heaving line, and we have this company to thank. Use it well, and wishing you pleasant winds and following seas.
After calling the company for "instructions" that I eventually found were clearly indicated in "small print" on the paperwork that came with the jig, I sat down and made one. I've made them by hand in the past, but using the jig was like having that "third" hand we sometimes wish we had. It was fun. And, the tutorial was good. The only thing that wasn't quite clear to me was "where" to start on the cord...and mine didn't turn out to have equal ends. I think the start cord should be much longer so they are equal. I, too, as another reviewer requested, would like to have kind of a "guide" / "template" / "chart" to take the guess out of how many wraps to use on a particular sized ball to make sure it was covered. Good product.
Superb monkey fist jig. I have the speedyjig pro and I could not get buckles to fit on one end at first because the paint was too thick. Easily fixed with filing the paint down. I love it, so when I needed a jig for monkey fists, this is the brand I chose. I used to make all my monkey fists on my fingers, however due to an injury, I was no longer able to. With this Speedyjig I am back to making monkey fists and much faster than I could by hand. The added goodies that come with it is a very nice touch, thank you. I highly recommend this quality product that is made in the U.S.A. and also highly recommend the speedyjig pro which is perfect for bracelets and dog collars.
Diane Stacy Van Etten
This jig is absolutely incredible. Not only is it a quality product, but the customer service after the fact is also wonderful.
I recommend the jig for anyone that wants to learn how to make a monkey's fist! You can make any size, up to 3", quickly.
In addition, the video, which walks you through your first attempt, is so informative and easy, everyone can use this and become an expert in just days!
The jig does what it is supposed to do, it is a quality product. I numbered the sides for easy recognition of the process. A core size larger than 2.5 inches splays the rods. The added bonus was a nice surprise. I recommend the jig, excellent quality product.
Hey Speedyjig, How about adding chart on your site listing core size and number of passes and cord length needed for the monkey fist.
Great!!! Can't believe how easy
This jig is seriously the best!!! I have never made a monkey fist before tonight. To set the jig up the first time took less than 5 minutes. Using the instruction video on this site I made my monkey fist in less time than 20 minutes. Will recommend to everyone I know. I would totally buy this again.
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