Author Topic: Chest beckets / books  (Read 28835 times)

Frayed Knot Arts

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Chest beckets / books
« on: August 25, 2008, 04:19:18 AM »
Books on or containing info on traditional chest beckets?

I've got H.G. Smith's Marlinespike Sailor, the Encyclopedia of Knots and Fancy Ropework but I'm looking for a book which discusses in detail the construction of the traditional seaman's chest becket.


skyout

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2008, 05:21:30 AM »
I found this but haven't ever contacted him to see how much becket details were included. There is a contact "cell" phone # you could call first if you wanted.

Sea Chest Plans
"The Sea Chest, History and Construction Plans", written and illustrated by Tim Whitten.
$12 plus shipping.
http://www.marlinespike.com/sea_chests.html

Frayed Knot Arts

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2008, 02:49:15 PM »
Got Tim's book too.

skyout

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2008, 02:33:15 AM »
Do you have "Creative Ropecraft" by Stuart E. Grainger?
In Chapter 8, Practical projects, Project VI-Door Knocker, he states, "...if the Large Star Knot is omitted, or replaced by a wide but shallow knot, an attractive handle or becket, as often found on old sea chests, can be produced."

Frayed Knot Arts

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2008, 12:02:23 AM »
Thanks Skyout.  I just ordered a copy online. 

skyout

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2008, 02:55:32 AM »
Glad I was able to find a book you don't have. lol

As I'm trying to find my way around all the great info from this site and all the diff links from it, I did find another mention praising Grainger's drawings in the book here from Stormdrane (not about beckets):
http://www.khww.net/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id=42&thread_id=305&rowstart=0
Quote
I got a few books for Christmas from one of my sisters, one of which is 'Creative Ropecraft' by Stuart Grainger, great easy to follow drawings.

And I wanted to thank you for such a great home page you have. Your work is an inspiration and the tutorials are amazingly helpful! I've already mentioned your home page in another thread in the Chit Chat (I hope you don't mind):
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1123.msg7605#new

Frayed Knot Arts

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2008, 03:29:08 AM »
Absolutely not!  I did (and continue to do, with the help and skill of others) the tutorials so that more people could try this stuff for themselves and perhaps become as hopelessly entangled in knots as I have been for most of my life.  I am constantly astounded by the skill and artistry of so many of the members here and am constantly challenged to learn new things and make those I already know better and more workmanlike.  If I can convey that sort of impetus via my tutorial page, then I'll have accomplished something I can take with me when I go to Fiddler's Green.

A funny story:  I was in Turkey some years back and, at loose ends, found myself at the docks in a small town.  Strolling along and looking at the boats, I was stopped by an old man who pointed at my knife pouch and lanyard and babbled something (to me) incomprehensible in Turkish.  Conveying that I didn't understand, he took my arm and led me along the pier to a boat where three other men were sitting and making a fender.  More babbling ensued and I got the idea they were either remarking on the pouch/lanyard or denigrating it.  Needless to say, we sat all afternoon and swapped visual tips on doing knots and fancy knotting and then, as dusk approached, out came the Raki!  That finished the knotting session as Raki engenders "fiimble-funger-itis".  It nearly finished me, too.

Somewhere in the middle of all this appeared a sailor who translated for us and I was quite complimented by the attention and compliments of the old men.  I hope I was as gracious in return!

Anyway, I learned a few things about braiding, they learned a trick or two about square-knotting and all went away winners... that's what I hope for with the tutorials.

Sorry...long winded tonite.

Vince

TWhitten

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2008, 11:12:00 PM »
Vince,

"...discusses in detail the construction of the traditional seaman's chest becket"

Surprising question coming from you.  Are you having troubles or simply loking for a reference?  Just think of a becket as a bellrope with an eye on either end.  If you do a survey of museum holdings, you'll find that they are all different on the outside, and surely are on the inside as well.

skyout

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2008, 02:35:10 AM »
Hi Tim,

You have a great website with beautiful work!!! The link in your signature works fine but the link to your website in your profile is off by one "w" in the "www...":
Server not found

skyout

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2008, 02:51:00 AM »
Vince, Those are the kind of stories I love. The retired boson's mate I have the privilege to work and learn from (during down time at work) has bent my ears for hours with story after story and has yet to tell the same one twice.
He, too, is happy to pass information along. He told me how disappointed he was that his son has no ambition to learn knotting and that he would gladly show me. I originally went to him and asked if he would make a knot board for me for my home and he told me no but he'd show me how. I gave him the link to IGKT today and hope he jumps in.

Frayed Knot Arts

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2008, 03:20:27 AM »
Hi, Tim.  No, no joke.  I'm sure that I have most of the skills already, but I want to see if there's something somewhere that goes into a bit more detail than Smith did on mousing correctly, proportions, length, necking down to the bails, securing the bails, constructing a GOOD axle and which is the best knob to use for the stops on the axles.  Also, I'm pretty sure that I can canvas the knob lines but keeping the seams hidden seems to be an art in and of itself.

Once I get this in hand and make a couple of successful sets I'll do up another photo tutorial for the site on it, but right now I've a customer who wants an antique seachest to have "antique" beckets. 

Problem being, of course (and what job DOESN'T  have a problem?) that he does not want to remove the cleats as they're clinched rosehead nailed and so I'll have to construct the axle and finish one side "in situ".  Well, that which does not kill us only makes us weirder, I guess.

For those reading this who do not know Tim Whitten, he is a master knotter and a visit to his site is more than worth your time.  Be prepared to wipe your chin after you've drooled all over the keyboard, though.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 09:06:28 PM by frayedknotarts »

Frayed Knot Arts

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2008, 03:22:56 AM »
Vince, Those are the kind of stories I love. The retired boson's mate I have the privilege to work and learn from (during down time at work) has bent my ears for hours with story after story and has yet to tell the same one twice.
He, too, is happy to pass information along. 

Do give him my email address (from the contacts page) as well!  I collect Old Salts... I even found an old shipmate thru another forum! (I threw him back, though... "catch and release", y'know...)

skyout

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2008, 04:27:29 AM »
You got it, buddy.

Wouldn't that be something if you guys knew each other! 8)

Frayed Knot Arts

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2008, 01:51:24 AM »
Got the copy of Creative Ropecraft, but that example is ...  it's a very nice idea for a doorknocker, but it just ain't what I'd consider for a set of chest beckets.   See the endpages of ABOK (if you have that edition series) or some of the beckets in the gallery at the homepage for the Guild for what I want to build.

I'll just muddle a bit with Smith and experiment using the photos and such I've managed to obtain.

Anyway, now I've got two copies of "Ropecraft" (Found my other one when I went to shelve this one!)

skyout

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Re: Chest beckets / books
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2008, 03:47:40 AM »
I can't wait to see the end results of your "muddling"! I know it is going to be spectacular.
Sorry the book wasn't that much help.

There was a nautical antique dealer, I think it was in Naples or Ft. Myers, FL, that had some old sea chests. If my memory serves me correctly, none of the beckets looked anything like the beautiful ones I've seen on this site and others, like Tim's. They probably did when new, but these were really, really old. The owner was an antique dealer, I think in Chicago, all his life. He collected nautical antiques, so when he retired and moved to FL, he opened a store here and put some of his personal collection in it. I wish I had asked if I could take pics, but back then I didn't even know what a becket was. I saw his stuff on ebay a long time ago but I just checked now and couldn't find anything for you.