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Lucet... Not a Viking slingshot.

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Project by horologist posted 1062 days ago 7433 views 15 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are lucets, tools for making cord that date to the Vikings. Last year my wife got a lesson on making cord at the CLA show (Contemporary Longrifle Association). While heading to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we stopped at the fiber festival in Allegan MI. Cathy saw these things for sale by folks who seem to prize them very highly. In true engineer fashion (cheap) I told her to save the $30 – $90 and that I could make one. These are the ones I made while visiting the workshop in the woods. One is made from locally harvested tamarack (pine) the other is maple.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida





9 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2583 posts in 1613 days


#1 posted 1062 days ago

How are the cords made? Can you show pictures of at least some cord being made? Looks interesting!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4982 posts in 2308 days


#2 posted 1062 days ago

30 to 90 dollars apiece How much material and shop time/costs would it cost to make one of these 6 inch articles? I am guessing at a small percentage of that 90 dollars! It is amazing what people will pay for, mind you I guess it may be a fellow LJ making them so I guess there is two sides to every coin. An interesting artifact no matter how you look at it. I’ll second the request for video on how it works.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View horologist's profile

horologist

93 posts in 2335 days


#3 posted 1062 days ago

Erwin,
Another Floridian! I have posted an additional close up photo showing a cord in work, the best I can do for now. Cathy is the fiber artist, I’m the woodworker. Based on my limited knowledge, one can make the cord using two fingers, but the tool makes it much easier. The cord is square in section and there are four prong versions of the tool that allow the use of multiple colors. She has an excellent how to book but I can’t remember the author or title. If you would like I can get the info and send it your way.

Mark,
$30 to $90 is trivial compared to some of the prices of the yarn. I made these from scraps destined for “the pit”. While I can’t begrudge anyone for trying to make a living, it seemed excessive to me. I spent more time researching designs and creating different sized templates than cutting wood. It is a simple project but then everything is easy when you know how. There are free plans on the internet for what is probably a perfectly functional but horribly clunky design. I wanted to make something a little nicer.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

View rance's profile

rance

4125 posts in 1756 days


#4 posted 1062 days ago

Search on youtube for lucet.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1476 posts in 2057 days


#5 posted 1062 days ago

Troy, Nice work. I have seen these things and didn’t know what they were for. I actually thought it might be a toy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “that’s something I could make, honey” and then spend hours figuring out how to do it.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View horologist's profile

horologist

93 posts in 2335 days


#6 posted 1062 days ago

Ken,
This years fiber fest project is an inkle loom with shuttles. I’ve got one prototype shuttle ready to varnish and will start cutting wood for the loom today. At least she provided a book with loom plans!

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14578 posts in 2271 days


#7 posted 1061 days ago

Nice work. I can see why you made them rather than pay 30 to 90 dollars!! ;-)) Curiosity got the best of me like it usually does ;-) Looks like a lucet is to square cord what a crochet hook is to a stocking hat or afghan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y5K7FiT2Og

What does she do with the square cord after it is made?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View horologist's profile

horologist

93 posts in 2335 days


#8 posted 1061 days ago

Thanks for the link, that pretty well covers the how it is done.
Mostly she uses the cord when making jewelry although it can be used for securing clothes or drawstrings for bags.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

View horologist's profile

horologist

93 posts in 2335 days


#9 posted 934 days ago

I suppose it is unlikely that anyone will ever see this but it didn’t seem like enough to create a new project.

Cathy thought the length of the handle might be slowing her down and requested this model. She is still getting used to it but feels that the loss of the handle hasn’t increased her speed all that much. If you decide to make one of these be sure to make several sizes. The width of the lucet is critical, too narrow or wide and the knotter will suffer increased hand fatigue.


Made from a scrap of tamarack from the UP.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

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