Lucet... Not a Viking slingshot.

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Project by horologist posted 08-25-2011 05:13 AM 14515 views 15 times favorited 11 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

11 comments so far

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2601 posts in 3013 days

#1 posted 08-25-2011 05:19 AM

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

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3708 days

#2 posted 08-25-2011 05:26 AM

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

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104 posts in 3735 days

#3 posted 08-25-2011 05:39 AM

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.

$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

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4258 posts in 3156 days

#4 posted 08-25-2011 07:49 AM

Search on youtube for lucet.

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

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1857 posts in 3457 days

#5 posted 08-25-2011 11:42 AM

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.

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104 posts in 3735 days

#6 posted 08-25-2011 04:18 PM

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

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#7 posted 08-26-2011 03:34 AM

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

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

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

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104 posts in 3735 days

#8 posted 08-26-2011 06:09 AM

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

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104 posts in 3735 days

#9 posted 12-31-2011 07:16 AM

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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31044 posts in 2862 days

#10 posted 03-17-2017 09:58 AM

These look very interesting and very nicely done. Maybe you could make a blog about how they are used in a little more detail. Thanks

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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104 posts in 3735 days

#11 posted 03-25-2017 03:31 PM

An interesting thought but my wife is the fiber artist, I am merely the maker of tools.
She is not likely to be very interested in starring in a blog entry so perhaps this video will do.
The video is a clear no fuss view of a lucet in use and shows the entire process in detail.
Hope this helps.
My main regret with this project is the lack of detail on the process of making the lucet itself. I need to make a four prong lucet and will do a better job of documentation.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

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