video Chluaid's 10-minute Monkey Fist
When I was a little kid I read somewhere that sailors made weapons from rope. Since then I've been fascinated with rope weapons (limited mainly to flails and whips) and always wanted to learn how to make them.

A few years back, I was in a book store and saw a step-by-step how to make a monkey's fist knot, so I memorised it (didn't really want to buy a whole book), went home and before long, the house was full of monkey's fists, ranging from small marble-sized knots to a big one with a golf ball inside.

In my video you'll see a range of rope flails at the end, with cores of steel, glass, wood and the big one with the golf ball. My favourite is the black leather one with a rip-cord handle and hardwood core.

This video isn't so much a tutorial as it is a time-lapse demonstration. Hope you likey!

*update - thanks for Feature and all the great comments! Good to know some people are finding this an inspiration or a refresher :)
siamonsez3 years ago
I have no knowledge to base this on, but it seems like a pretty complicated knot to have originated in sailing. If the purpose was to weight the end of a rope for throwing, couldn't something just be tied to the end of the rope?
The only reason I could see for using this knot would be to make something more permanent, but ropes wear quickly on boats so there's a limit to how permanent it could be.
The only exception I could see would be if the sailors were made to use these knots as they went about on their big, fancy, well supplied ships because they were part of a large navy. But if that's the case, wouldn't the knot have to have come from somewhere before that?
I have nothing against the knot, and this is just speculation; I just got caught up in the origin conversation. =)
RichM5 siamonsez9 months ago

First off, I apologize for replying to an ancient comment, hopefully a notification gets to you and you don't mind revisiting your question. As a bosun's son, I got this story way back, and unlike most bosun stories, it seems logical and probably true, so I'll repeat it. The monkey's fist originated as an easy way to turn any appropriately sized rock or weight into a line throwing device. Generally tall ships would have a bow, small gun, or lead weights with holes through them for this purpose, but those can all wear out or break, while any fool deckhand with some rope and a heavy thing can whip up a fist. Generally naval fists were tied with one end caught inside the knot, so only one rope came out of the ball. A bowline or other stopped-loop-knot would be put into the free end, and one fist could be reused for weeks, months, or years. Once the rope wore out, it was fairly easy to make a cut, discard the worn out rope, and tie a new fist, if your weight hadn't turned into gravel.

To heave a line with one, you take a light line and tie a sheet bend to the fist's loop. Spin that over your head and you can generally sail that line a good long way. If you miss you can just reel in the light line and try again. Once the light line is across, you use that to haul across your heavy line, chain, fuel hose, or whatever you need.

In the mid-1800s, though, there were problems in some port cities with drunken sailors (are there any other kind on liberty?) breaking the heads of lubbers with monkey's fists that the sailors had left on their belts. With laws and lawmakers being what they are, many states classified weighted knots as "slung shot" and outlawed them along with blackjacks, spring maces, and the like. Lawmakers are fast to pass and slow to repeal, so many states still have these laws on the books. Bear this in mind if you tie any weighted fists. For general use or keychains, it's safer to simply tie the fist around another knot or a small ball of soft filler.

reefcomber2 years ago
Anybody have feedback on how many wraps around a golf ball with 550 cord?

I tried 6 - didn't seem like enough. 13 was ridiculously hard to manage when tightening the knot. 10 wraps was still hard to manage.

Thanks in advance
CobraStitch3 years ago
what kind of rope are you using?
jjones-23 years ago
I learned this knot many years ago from the Ashley Book of Knots (best knot book ever!). I made one at fish camp so we could shoot a line across to the boat that picked up our fish -- the skipper, an older guy with bad eyesight, couldn't dock his boat next to ours, which was anchored. The first time we used the monkey's fist to shoot a line to his boat the rock-filled fist went right through his pilothouse side window. Mad? No, he was impressed that a kid could tie a proper monkey's fist and know what it was used for. Nevermind I was no good at actually using it.
Judging by the comments on your post, Chluaid, It's good to see the art of knotting still has it's fans. Thanks for the post!
ahooper3 years ago
Brilliant, I have over the years collected many mouse balls. these are basically ball bearings with a rubber coating. They come in handy for all sorts of little projects and i see this is going to be a must to try :) Thanks
bennyb16 years ago
When I was in the Navy we used them to get a line between ships. Throw the monkey fist with it's smaller line attached to a larger line, etc., to the ship next to you, and start pulling. We also had single shot 12 gauge shotguns fitted to fire a special blunt spear-like projectile(age has gotten the exact name of the unit) to send lines across. Much more accurate, but not as interesting. Of course there have been a lot changes in the way things are done since then. I like old school, but maybe not as techically updated. But then I tend to not be very politacally correct either, so maybe we oldtimers are dinosaurs. The monkey fist would make a good medium distance weapon. The ninja had a similar wepon on rope or chain with a sharpened hook on the opposite. Takes a lot practice, but very effective. BB
Thanks for your service! I did 6 years on subs, myself.

Marlinspike Seamanship is a dying art....I blew my chief's mind one day when I tied a taunt-line hitch while rigging a tarp topside. Kinda sad, rope-work is fun!
Dad was a Boatswain Mate, and taught me knots and line work as a kid. I love working with lines and ropes. Cut a couple of fingers off, got sewn back on, but theydon't bend a lot, so most things like that are a chore anymore. It is a shame that more folks aren't into that kind of thing. Like you said, it's a dying art.
I was on an ammo ship, don't think I'd like a sub! Used to crawl around in caves, but I could come out when I wanted! haha
Have a pleasant day.
Heh. I was a nuke electrician (responsible for the electrical distribution, turbine generators, motor generators, switchboards, breakers, motors, etc aft of the forward reactor compartment hatch). We were so short on manpower fleet-wide that, in a division that was allotted 12 men, we typically operated with 6 or 7 guys. The boat at Pearl that had the most electricians had 9. So we were typically kept too busy to worry much about not seeing the sun. And when they'd do an oxygen bleed (pumping pure O2 into the boat to raise the levels), you really didn't care much. LOL There weren't too many occasions that I got to use knots in my work, but I still did a lot of hiking in my down-time, and rigged stuff around my rack on the boat to squeeze a little extra storage space (darn all that wasted space on/around pipes!!! Its MINE!!!). When required to hot-rack (hated that), my bunkmates (keep your minds outta the gutter, civilians...old Navy hands know what I'm talkin 'bout) always appreciated an extra shelf lashed here and there. Got to teach a couple of knots that way, too.
I know what you mean. Always a use for knots, and so many people don't know how to tie really good ones.
You've got me on the nukes, but I did some similar stuff around my rack. Most of the guys called me 'hillbilly' (Arkansas) and thought it was just some wierd redneck stuff, till a boats' saw what I was doing. My dad retired as a Chief Boatswains Mate, and made sure I knew how to tie things. Fingers are pretty artritic now, but I still get most of what I want to do. Ha, you can't an old swabby down.
Don't you have the instructions in writing?
stevenh4293 years ago
I FINALLY made one (took like a year because I didn't have the rope
Trick: take a trackmouse ball and cut the silicon off the outside and you have a BIG ball bering
69th 5 star rating!
dark sponge6 years ago
Really cool, I need to find something to do it with. Somebody should try this with a bowling ball... By the way, what's that song?
i'm pretty sure it's a song by Billy Talent... try looking for titles like "monster" or "is it a monster"?
it is called monster and its by a group called "the automatic"
A bowling ball??? ROFL.
That would be tricky to throw...
maybe just a really big one with a bowling ball in it
maybe just the bowling ball... I don't know, is there string thick and flexible enough?
i think he means having a bowling ball as the core.
Implying you can swing and throw a bowling ball with ease. What did you think I meant?
Someone did use a bowling ball, and a brick! www.ropepots.co.uk I almost bought one til I thought....'I can do that!'
ahmad21174 years ago
what is a monkey fist used for?
Adding weight to the end of a rope/line. Makes it easier to throw a guide rope from a ship to the shore, the weight gives it momentum and distance. They would tie a fist on a small, clothesline-sized line, throw it to the shore, then the shore guys would tie that on to a larger hawser to be hauled back aboard ship. Or vice versa. Also handy for getting a rope out to someone in the water, tie the knot around a piece of cork so the knot doesn't sink. In a pinch, a musket ball or ballast stone can be used in the knot, which then turns the whole thing into a serious bludgeon/weapon. A good tight knot around a rock will really light your day up when it comes upside your noggin.
 primary use= to add momentum
whether that momentum is to be used as personal defense, or some nautical purpose, or whether the core is some hollow object that might help you float is all conjecture.. the knot has traditional uses, and there is a best knot for every purpose but there is no knot with only one purpose

when a line needs to be swung, or throne, it is a good idea to add weight.. when weight needs to be added it is a good idea to use this knot 
since your sounding so professional, you spelt thrown wrong :P
"your" is possessive. "You're" is a contraction consisting of "you" and "are". Just sayin'. LOL
RabidAlien3 years ago
Back in my Navy days, while out at sea (on the surface, for once), I was bored on watch so grabbed a nearby length of line and started making a monkey's fist. This was about 1/2" hemp line. So, after about three or four layers, the thing was about the size of a cantaloupe, with a small hollow center. We played catch with it a couple of times until the tug guys asked me to untie it (we were getting close to port anyway).
yaly4 years ago
I made one but I accidentally made it a 5 ply. as it is the first time for me to make it right and I didn't understand the part in the video from 0:29 to 0:35 can you please explain that to me and here are two pictures of the one I made.
jade12344 years ago
great thanks alot

batonas4 years ago
I made one of these monkey fists out of small round rock and my homemade sting, I think the best practical use would be cat toys, I know that because I had a cat, but there's no more cat to test it out with :(
JimRD4 years ago
Did you see the Monkey Fist used in the movie "Inception" during the killing-the bad-guys-snow-skiing scene?
Yeah. Pretty ingenious.
i just saw that and it was awsome!!!, but i am still a little confused about it
Aegian24244 years ago
a woven meteor hammer
Heres mine I made with a Golf Ball core
That's awesome! How long was the cord you used?
Thanks, I used a slightly different technique but It was a total of 4 pieces of I think 4 clothsline
I'm starting to make tons of em
An Villain5 years ago
How did this break the 4* barrier by the margin it did (not saying this is a bad instructable.)
Darter766 years ago
the monkey's fist is accually a floatation device not a weapon
It used to be used on ships for throwing shotlines from the mooring station to the pier. the shotline was tied to the end of the mooring line which was then pulled from the ship and looped onto the Bollard. Nowadays they use a heavy plastic ball as a weight on the end of the shotline. Oh the thing that you learn in the Navy
maz22 Darter766 years ago
i've heard that they're used to weight the end of ropes.
they were put on the ends of lines used to throw to other ships when the other ship needed help
40 years ago, when I was in the Scouts, we learned this (as a "heaving line knot") WITH a core.

Every book I've ever read on knotting since then has included reference to a core.

The ONLY time I've ever seen a suggestion that a core isn't appropriate, and/or would be removed by "real knotters or wharfies" was on some knot-tying website in the last year or so, and who's to say they are right?
 I know I agree. The point of the knot is to get distance from a throw so unless the rope is extremely heavy I think a core is needed.
bboyx35 years ago
cool like it going to make it tomorrow morning
drphilthay5 years ago
 I was always under the impression that the monkey's fist was used as a ballast to toss over  the booms of a ship's mast, it seems like it would make a pretty painful weapon though.
LivingDread5 years ago
Nice instructable.

When i was little i had a poster of sailing knots, and there was a picture of a monkey's fist.  Believe it or not, i taught myself the knot with only the pictured end product as my guide.  one thing that always detracted from my monkey's fists however was i did not figure out how to tuck the loose end back inside.  thanks for that all important finishing touch.

I find that if you are doing 4 or more loops you will need a core, but you can get away without having one with only 3 loops.  i forget if i ever have tried for a 2 looped fist.

PS, years later i read up on it, and it is not just a weapon, i believe it was used for throwing lines from ship to ship or ship to dock.
Ex Marine6 years ago
isnt it illegal to do more than 12 loops on the dead mans knot (noose) (the one they hang people with if i spelt it wrong)
actually its illegal to do 13. 14 is ok 12 is ok
That's a myth, there used to be laws regarding number of knots back when they were still regularly used but now it's just illegal to use them in an intimidating way. 

It was said that the KKK used to use 13 knots on theirs representing the 13 stars in the stars and bars and that's probably why the myth about legality became.
chluaid (author)  Ex Marine6 years ago
I don't know what's illegal for deadman's knot but the handle of the flail isn't one of those.. it's just a wrapped rope handle, not a noose ;)
ok nice instructable (might come in handy one day hehe XD)

Here is a picture of one I made from silver pot warp line
I used a wood core and tinfoil.Spiced an eye and served an parceled and used shrink wrap.
The tools seen from left to right that helped:
SS Marlinspike shaped on a drillpress and grinder,
polished up with sanding from 80 grit to 1000 grit sand paper
SS  poker:  Some SS scraps welded with slickstick .

Live Long And Marlinspike !!
madrasi5 years ago
Bring up the video and then go to the right to where it says " more related " click on that and at the top where it has the title of the video right click on the title and you will have a window come up asking where do you want to save this, choose where and click save. There you have it. It would be a lot easier if you save it to a thumb drive...It will go right to it.
EvilSmiles6 years ago
thank u, i just finished one but i can't get the neatness urs has, what happened?
nevermind four tries later it's perfect thank you it's a good video
szechuan536 years ago
ooo an evil cat! I wanna get a 2" N45 sphere and use that in my monkey fist!
That would be awesome! That way, when you're fighting steel robots, you'd never miss!
DiamondBack6 years ago
Just tied my first one, without any sort of ball. Not the cleanest, naturally, but it'll be fun, as I start getting better with this. Your editing could have been a little cleaner (or I need a faster video card, which is very possible), but still helped alot, in learning how to make this, thanks
aussie4576 years ago
I've made a couple of these before I saw this but this looks like a way easier method, great video. The song is "Monster" by The Automatic for everyone who wanted to know
sgtreed6 years ago
Hey thanks for the video it was alot of help. I made about 5 before I finally got it right. I just turned 16 now I have a great key chain. p.s. whats the name of the song.
elyador6 years ago
What's the song in the music video? I think it is absolutely awesome. great tutorial. i've been trying to figure out how to make one of these for a long time. I was trying to do it without a core, and not suceeding.
Kasaron6 years ago
Hmn. I can think of a bajillion uses for this knot, very nice.
wow... I could only think of a zillion ways to use that... but a BAJILLION?!?!...(awe struck). thats a lot of uses.
There is no such word as zillions and BAJILLION? Is there?
yes, zillions, bajillions, apotozillions, tyrannosillions, brachimillions, and other words like this (just check websters fake coined words) But yes, bajillion is the mother of them all.
Actually, zillion is a word in the dictionary. Zillion:An extreamly large indefinite number. So even though it is not a set amount, it is technically a "word".
I probably shouldn't mention these to my little brother. you know " I'm a tyrannosillions better than you!"
of course there is! where did you grow up......
In New Orleans, the word does sound somewhat familiar, but it does not spark my mind... :-(
They're fake words that people have coined to represent extremely large numbers. Hope that helps. I love your i'bles :D
Scurge Plasmana6 years ago
I think they're in the same category as the Jiggawatt.... LOL
davbran Scurge6 years ago
umm ... a Gigawatt, yes that would be what the Doc was saying when he said 1.21 Gigawatts in Back to the Future, is a billion watts. You might have heard of Gigabytes. Don't be surprised if you see Petabyte in your life time. It's just an interpretation on pronunciation.
Scurge davbran6 years ago
....... =/ .... yes I know. I was spelling it that way to preserve the pronunciation from the movie, poking fun at "bajillions." Jig-ga-watt.
I'm not surprised, my comp has a petabyte in hard drive space (two drives) but you can buy one petabyte ones.
You mean all this time Back to the Future has been lying to me?! NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!
jongscx Scurge6 years ago
And certain uses of the term Parsec
Serpentine6 years ago
Someone should try this with a billiard ball... o.o
or a soccer ball...
my friend did it with soccer bal lolz! but when he kicked it it was destroyed xD
That must have been a gigantic monkey's fist...
allen_idaho6 years ago
A Monkey' Fist was originally used in the Navy and Coast Guard to fire a line across from one ship to another. They are, however, no longer allowed to be used because it is unsafe. When you have a heavy metal-filled ball flying at high speed toward somone's head, you know it isn't going to end well. Now they have these rubber balls which they attach the rope to.
They don't "fire" them, they throw them. Like this:<div style="margin-left:15px;"> <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/fDBjbfjos4g"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/fDBjbfjos4g" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344" wmode="transparent"></embed></object></div><br/>
The navy uses a shot line adapter for the M14 which lets you "fire" the monkey fist across to another ship at sea. This is done for Unrep. Here is a picture.

Gah! Now I'm having flashbacks to UNREPs of years past!
Monkey's fist has been used to throw ship lines forever dude. It's in Ashley's book of knots.
mszoomy6 years ago
nice job dude!! I like to play with ropes and knots nad I doo some weaving and plaiting. I've tried to make these Monkey balls/fista a couple time and got so frustrated that I gave up
dr.tran6 years ago
Very nice! I'm gonna have to try that out
Neotron6 years ago
Hey nice one I think I'll implement this in to a poi ball just got to figure out where to put the swivel top or bottom ? Oh ya and a racket ball in side this will make it big and some what bounce you think ?? Ill figure it out nice vid though very nice.
akeyno Neotron6 years ago
A poi ball would be a great idea, making it with a Racket Ball core could work however I think a great use, would be to make yourself a meteor hammer :)

You can learn a lot of neat swinging techniques through it.

There are many videos and how-to online to learn how to use it.

Incidentally... In this video, he appears to be using it as a meteor hammer at the end when he swings it at the camera.

Great 'ible. :)
ERCCRE1236 years ago
can you make a monkey fist with no core, then on the long end use the knot as a core for another monkey fist?
actually, you can. i make my fists without any core at all. with a little practice in tightening, they work almost just as well as adding the weight if your not too far and if the rope is thick enough. making it without a core is also good to know in the event that you daon't have one.
I never use a core when i tie monkey fists, partially because I am to lazy to find something, but if you tighten them up enough they are extremely hard.
just a correction. i didn't fully understand the question. i have never tried tying one with a fist as a core, but i will now. and what i said before was right. you do not need a core for the monkey's fist. they work just fine without, unless of course you want to make it leathel. then you can use a golf ball or a pool ball. i have even considered making i big trebuchet and using a bowling ball for the core, and the monkey's fist would be the sacrificial sling! just an idea, but nowhere near that phase yet. hope this cleared things up.
I saw one made while in the Navy with a large steel nut as the center. This gave it mass, to overcome wind resistance.
thats awesome!
It's actually quite common on the USN ones.
you can make them with cores????/
The core, like Abehambino and Gilbert2048 said, is not necessary for the cosmetics of the thing, but it will give the MF more momentum travelling through the air, and less wind resistance.
The ones we used in the Navy were normally made around a center core, such as a big metal nut.
crippy5556 years ago
omg fun lol 8 tries and 2 hours but i finally got it :D thnx
i wanna make a monkey fist but then i splice the 2 ropes together whith an eye splice! but wut rope can i use ? the red nylon rope 3 strands?
halogirl6 years ago
you could put thumb tacks on the inside threw the rape and make a real flail with litle spikes ;P yay random cat!!!!!! (3:07)
lucas11236 years ago
if you make a noose and pull the loop in it becomes an excellent flail
lizardboy6 years ago
it is very good but it is very fast!!!!
freshvolk6 years ago
nice shirt, good animation, what the shirt is from i mean...
espdp26 years ago
Thumbs up! Thanks for the video. This format probably works better than a step-by-step.
wendelrm6 years ago
Legal Gostei, muito simples de se fazer.
bobtooce6 years ago
I work on the San Francisco ferries (insert joke here) and I make and use monkey fist heaving lines fairly often. A small (1/2 to 1") monkey fist with about a five inch lead and an eye spliced in the other end makes a great key chain.. The keys sit in the bottom of your pocket but the monkey fist hangs out the top, making it easy to pull your keys out of tight jeans. For added flair, try a Frisco fade on the eye splice. That's where the "fingers" ( or bitter ends) line up along the length of the splice, each one tuck above the last, instead of all three ending at the same point and forming an equilateral triangle (as per a standard splice). If you're really good, you can whip the ends with silk thread or dental floss instead of taping or melting them.
can you make a tutorial on how to make your 'keychain' ? i think that would be a great idea.
MAD-16 years ago
Great work If you bring the end you start with out it can get spliced on to the Main leader to make the fist more durable
cubemonkey6 years ago
they actually make spikes for knot tying, it's called a marlin spike because knot tying used to be called marling.
Joanassie6 years ago
This knot is amazing, guys. Real great.
hey could anybody tell me how to make the handle at the end of it? i made one and had a quite a bit of rope left so im wondering wat to do with it now . . . cheerz great 'ible
big-jamie6 years ago
Ive known how to make Monkey fists for ages, but to be completely honest i didnt know they were used as weapons, so thank you for that information and a great instructable =)
jkyas6 years ago
I use a golf-ball-in-1/8"-rope size monkey fist for heaving lines on my boat. Haven't needed to use it yet (and you can usually get by by locking in a small coil of whatever you're tossing for weight rather than a monkey fist) but it looks good next to the rescue throw bag. Nice job. jky
CandyLV6 years ago
COOL! I have been buying these for my dog, its the only ball he likes to play with! Thanks
jongscx6 years ago
bastion726 years ago
Nice video. I'm in the Coast Guard and have made one or two for actual use for a heaving line, but that was about 14 years ago. We would use it to pass a mooring line to the pier when we were mooring up. We eventually started using softball sized rubber balls with a line thru it instead of a monkey's fist.
I made one, and put a dice in to keep the shape and have some weight. I used some shoelace, and it worked perfectly. After I tightened it, the long end I used for my keys. Thanks.
Ward_Nox6 years ago
id recommend NOT using a glass ball as there is a very good chance it coulf shatter if it hits something hard enough
chluaid (author)  Ward_Nox6 years ago
By 'glass' ball I mean a solid glass marble.
yea i know its Unlikely but it could still happen i admit it would take alot of force and hitting somethign dencer than itself...know what nvm however i think a wood ball would be better simply cause you can find em easyer
The rope would cushion any solid impact. A human wouldn't be able top generate enough force by throwing it. You'd have to crush it in a press or shoot it with a gun, and it would still probably stay intact.
Pkranger886 years ago
To add to your history, these were used to tidy up the ropes that hung off the sides of ships. They became illegal because sailors would store small cannon balls inside them and then cut off the monkey fists with a couple feet of rope and instantly have weapons. One nice use for these is to make a fist in both ends of a rope and make a bola. I did this with some 5/16" grappling rope and it works great for taking out stationary objects. Haven't tried it on a human. The key is to keep the knot neat. A not neat knot is not a knot. Good job.
erosser6 years ago
Nice job. Never knew these were so easy to make. If a picture is worth 1000 words, your video is worth millions!
hg3416 years ago
cool how big around was the rope for the golfball? i made one at camp one time it had a marble
chluaid (author)  hg3416 years ago
That rope around the golfball is about 6-8mm diameter but you can use thicker or thinner. With thicker rope you'll fit fewer loops but with thinner rope you'll have more. I like to use rope that suits the size of the ball, or vice-versa.
hg341 chluaid6 years ago
cool now i just need to find some rope...
this site has aver like 5 pgs of diff rope projects including monkeyfist and other cool stuff its awe some nice instructable
how much rope do u typically use for a marble one tthough
chluaid (author)  crazycommanche=US=6 years ago
Come to think of it I've never measured how much rope is needed. It's be proportional to the size of the ball, the thickness of the rope and how many loops. I usually buy a lot of rope and just make them until there's no more rope :P
MrLouque6 years ago
How do you make the handles on them??
chluaid (author)  MrLouque6 years ago
The handle is basically just wrapping the rope around itself and tying it off.
Just made my first Monkey fist , gave it to my dog for a new chew toy. He loves it !
Photo 33.jpg
chluaid (author)  Arch Stanton6 years ago
Ah man that's brilliant! I might make a mouse's fist for my cat :D
You could spin it around by the free end of the rope, and throw it some distance for him to fetch, just like those spoonlike ball throwers add distance to your throw to give the dog more exercise.
muffin16 years ago
Good job, well explained Instructable. I always wanted to know what a monkeys fist was XD...

P.S. I really liked littlefoot =)
chluaid (author)  muffin16 years ago
Thanks dude :D
a useful thing for all those old ball mouses :D btw your girlfriends hot :P
chluaid (author)  mitchell9319936 years ago
I gotta agree with you there :D
IPlayGuitar6 years ago
nice man, new project, lol did i notice one made of a lawnmower cord?
chluaid (author)  IPlayGuitar6 years ago
Yep, kinda. I made one from black leather with a hardwood ball inside and a lawnmower rip-cord handle.
Rob K6 years ago
These make good dog toys. leave the tail long and let it unravel. Gives you something hold onto throw.
dmnhunt3r6 years ago
the automatic! =D
thepelton6 years ago
The monkey fist was not used as a weapon when I was in the Navy. It was used to throw a line from a ship to a dock, or other ship, since the line itself would be slowed by the wind. the monkey fist was put on the end of a small line, that would be attached to progressively larger lines, then the hurler of the line would spin it around, throw it to the other ship or dock, where it would be hauled in, and returned to the throwing ship after the heavier line was secured.
yokozuna6 years ago
I've never seen rope weapons like this... 5 stars.
LOL I LOVE THESE THINGS one time when i was bored and had my hands on some old "retired" climbing rope i made a 3-layered monkey's fist (i think it was something like 3 loops on the inside, 4 on the middle layer, and 5 or 6 for the outside) ahh... good times
zascecs6 years ago
Really cool, BTW, whats the song in the video called? 5 stars
chluaid (author)  zascecs6 years ago
it's "Monster" by The Automatic. I didn't include the song title in the video in case I had to audio-swap it later.

listen for the lyrics and then type them into google
what was the song u used?
chluaid (author)  rockendrumer6 years ago
The song is called "Monster" by The Automatic.
atrus7136 years ago
they look like little volley balls
atrus7136 years ago
i was told it was supposed to be a weight to throw ropes between ships and docks and such since the ropes themselves coulnt be thrown that far.
luvit6 years ago
you have acquired quite the plethora of monkey fists... someone should alert homeland security.
pitty6 years ago
I haven't made one of these in years but you have inspired me to go and make one right now. Never have done it with a ball before either. Great video.
A Monkey Fist is not a weapon, it is used on a Heaving line to get dockline to the dock or to shore. They are sometimes cored with a ball to add weight. When throwing remember aim for an arms length away from the recipient. Cheers and Fair Winds !
Just about anything can be turned into or used as a weapon. Open up your mind and you open up possibilities.
Open up your mind? to turn everything into a weapon? A little grim.....
shrugs been part of intelligence training since intelligence was invented
No, open up the possibilities that what you see in the world around you is not limited to just the intended purposes, it's not just about weaponry. It's about finding the uses for things that have not been considerd.
Isnt that the point of this site?
A monkey fist may not have been created with a weapon in mind but I have no doubt it was used as a weapon. A belaying pin is only meant to secure lines but it has been used as a handy club.
strmrnnr6 years ago
These are considered illeggal to use on commercial ships in North America. The Unions got too many complaints from the shore linesmen knocked in the head. Some are lead core and then dipped in paint for weight. Between the ship's crew it is usually alright on a windy day. Another way to tie the short end, if you are using splicable line is to evenly splice it back into the main line. This also gives it a bit more stability for the throw. If you back splice an eye in the rope about a foot from the ball you can attach any line to the ball and throw in minimum time. Then you can use the lines anytime and just pull out the balls when your docking. I make big ones for the barmaids I like out of 1/2 soft nylon, with no ball core. They can use the back splice for a wrist strab so they don't loose it and hit someone else by accident. Nice video I like the fid also.
SinAmos6 years ago
Dude, totally awesome. I love it.
NightFire6 years ago
The monkey fist is intended to help throw rope. Most people that work extensively with knots consider it unethical to insert a ball into one and will typically cut a monkey fist if it has a ball in it.
i have an old book titled "encyclopedia of knots and fancy rope work" printed in 1945 and in said book a monkey fist is shown and said to have a small ball in the center of it so i was wondering where you hear it was considered unethical to place a ball in the center of a monkey fist?
Yeah you're supposed to have something in the core to give it its shape. ;) It says so in a book by Des Pawson.
not only shape but weight as well since its used to cast a line over a distance
A cork ball can help the monkey fist float, so you don't lose track of it (or for use as a nice-looking rescue line) Just because it's "unethical" doesn't make it any less useful. With that said, I'd love to see a instructional on the ball-less version.
Dr.Bill6 years ago
Today the are fired from special guns on Navy ships to pass the lines that eventually serve over refueling pipes. Arr me hearty! We never aimed for arms length. We always aimed for the deck officer. If'n he got hit he had his head up his @$$ ! Arr.
finfan76 years ago
I made a practice fire meteor with monkey's fists inside the monkey's fists. It was awesomely dangerous.
whoa i just did it! this is awesome! thanks
xcoastie6 years ago
*inserting a ball into a monkey fist is a clear violation of the Knot Ethics Board and will be severely punished by the cutting of said knot.* //haha Thanks for the instructable! I can't wait to give it a try!
I learned it without putting something in the middle, but it seems like it would probably work better. And I forgo how to do this, so this was a good refresher.