Monkey's Fist Recap - (long)
Mills, Ed (EMILLS@CC.STLCC.CC.MO.US)
Tue, 19 Nov 1996 12:04:25 -0600
For the benefit of the list here are the responses that I received
on how to tie a monkey's fist:
Start using a leather boot lace
hold about 6" of lace between the thumb and first 2 fingers on your left
hand ( the 6" end of the lace should poind down toward the little
Wrap the long end arround your first two fingers, four complete turns.
Wrap four turn around the first group of four turn at 90 degrees (ie
between the first and second finger)
carefully remove the coils from your finger and
Slip a marble into the pocket formed by the coils
wrap four complete turns at 90 degrees from the second set of coils
(ie throuth the holes that your fingers were in.)
using a pair of needle nose pliars start tightening the loops. work the
excess length out the end that you started out holding.
you will have to make several passes to hake a tight fist.
be careful to keep the cord from twisting during the entire process.
after the fist is formed cut the excess cord off at the point it comes
out of the fist (leaving a single cord to attach to your cup)
SM Troop 24 Ponca City, OK
I used to be an Eagle (SR-149)
I just tied one this weekend. I can't remember where I saw the reference,
so I'll have to try to explain it in words.
The line you are working with should be twisted and probably less than 1/4
1. Hold the line 2-3 feet from the bitter end and make three vertical loop=
around your open, outstreached hand.
2. Make three horizontal loops around the middle of the first three loops.=
3. Make three more vertical loops around the second three loops so that
they weave inside the vertical and outside the horizontal loops. These las=
three loops will also be vertical and will be rotated 90 degrees from the
other vertical loops when observed from above.
4. Tighten up all the loops, in order, so that there is about one foot of
the bitter end of left outside of the knot.
5. Next, splice the bitter end of the rope into the standing portion about
an inch of the monkey's fist forming a "y" shaped crotch next to the knot.
Make the splice four to eight "lays" and cut off the excess.
6. For a heavier fist a spherical piece of lead or a ball bearing could be=
placed in the center of the knot.
Hope that works.
"Der Knoten Meister"
TCC, BSA Troop 261
Sure, just wrap 3 times this way -, then three times this way | around
the first three, then three times this way o outside the turns going this
way | and inside the ones going this way -. That was probably almost
impossible to follow, but it is the general idea of how to tie it.
Depending on the size of the knot and your rope, you may also want to use
some sort of solid core inside the whole thing. The hardest part of the
whole knot is switching the directions of the turns, which really has to
be seen to understand.
If you'd like a better picture (3 ASCII characters aren't enough? :-) I'd
recommend one of the following books, probably avialable at your local
"The Art Of Knotting and Splicing", C. L. Day, Naval Institute Press
"The Ashley Book of Knots", Clifford Ashley
"The Morrow Book of Knots", translation from another language
I have all of them at home, but none here to check the exact references.
The Morrow book is a small (a little smaller than a scout handbook)
paperback with lots of color illustrations, and if you have to buy one,
it's probably what I'd recommend first. Day's book is an 8 1/2x11 book
about 1/2" thick, illustrated with B&W photos, and is more complete than
the Morrow book, but also more expensive. Ashley's book is as
comprehensive as they get, but often only illustrated with simple
drawings, and about $40-$50 or so. It's also quite large and heavy, but
it makes a great reference at home.
Thomas W. Strong Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll give it a try ... I know how to do them, but describing it may be more
difficult than actually show someone...
Take the monkey by the tail, hold his hands...and wrap the rope...no no no
that's not what you want... :)
but seriously... depending on the size of the rope, we use 1/8inch (makes
small 1/2 to 3/4 inch size fists... you'll need about 2 ft of 1/8... so you=
can work with it..
Take 1 end of the rope ... put in between thumb and finger, allowing it to
dangle across the palm toward wrist... leaving the longest part of the rope=
to hang over the back of the hand...
Hold out 2 fingers (first two) in a side-ways V shape... and curl the last
2 fingers (pinky and ring finger around rope in palm - to hold it there.
Now take long part of rope and wrap (loosely) around the two v shaped
fingers - 3 times... such that while looking at the open hand, the rope
will have 3 lines over fingers.
Now once again over the top... then wrap 3 times around these 3 lines,
from opening of V to closing of the V... (tough to describe, easier to
What you have now is something like the following:
| | | \
| | | \
| | | \ This represents the two fingers
| | | /
Now - take and wrap in the 3rd dimension ... this is the difficult piece...=
this I mean to wrap (3 times) the inside of the knot... basically you'll
be wrapping around the 'horizontal lines, but inside the vertical lines.
Once you've completed this step, you can now put something hard, round =
the fist, or leave it empty; but tuck in the end of the rope you had just =
wrapping (not the end stuck under your pinky and ring finger)...
Now, just start backing out the slack... basically you've anchored the end
and now need to back out the slack... like undoing what you just did.
Work this until you are all the way back to the end of rope stuck between
pinky and ring finger... Be sure you are making it tight...
And you now have a monkey fist! We have actually made a 'jig' to use and
have made several of these... 50-100 ... small, long, large, colored rope
and use them for sale, trade or just giving them as friendship .
I hope this was useful and descriptive enough to get started...
YiS - Pat
_/_/ _/ _/_/_/_/ _/ | Pat Meehan (WWW)
_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ | email: email@example.com
_/ _/ _/ _/_/_/ _/ | EXT email: firstname.lastname@example.org
_/_/_/_/_/ _/ _/ | Phone:(914) 433-7916
_/ _/ _/_/_/_/ _/ _/ | fax:(914) 433-8363
I can do it, but it is hard to describe. (Start with a small "3/16 =
about a yard (So I'm metrically incorrect, sue me...) long. Be sure the =
fused or properly whipped.
Make the Scout sign using you non-dominant hand. Make three complete loops=
around your fingers. Visualize three axes (mathematical axes, not the
kind) and wrap another three complete loops at a ninety degree angle to the=
three. Rotate to the third axis and put another three, but go inside. I
it helpful to put a marble inside, and think as if you are making a cubic
out of the cord. Then, if you have the basic structure, start removing the=
by tightening one loop and following it through. The first time you do =
take about a week, but with practice, it gets easier.
Jim Moriarty ASM Tr. 63, Cresco, IA
A monkey's fist is a very difficult knot to learn without someone
showing you how, but I'll try.
First, you need a long length of line and a small ball for the core.
that a golf ball works well and makes a nice sized knot. You wrap the
around the ball a number of times in one direction. The number of wraps
depends on the size of the ball and the line, so make enough to cover it
one end to the other. Then while holding these wraps secure, turn your
degrees and wrap some more (the same number of times). You should now
groups of wraps, one on top of the other at a right angle. Now, turn
90 degrees again and wrap it so that you go OVER the second set of wraps
Under the first set. This weaving is often the most arduous part of the
When you have finished the last wrapping, work the line back through so
tightens up. You can leave it either with two ends coming out, or you
one back under the final weave.
I know it sounds confusing, but I'm doing the best I can. If you
trouble with this, Maybe you can try a knot book, any good one will have
illustrated example. Good luck.
---Chris Roach--Life Scout--Troop 10---
This is what I have received so far.
If I receive any more I will try to pass them along also.
Thanks to everyone who responded. I will be attempting
this on my own soon.
SM Troop 580
St. Louis MO
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City