Monkey Fist

Nice thanks! I’ll check it out.

I’ve been buying my tungsten from Midwest. I have a 2” cube that’s crazy heavy and hoping to get the 4 inch some day but it’s pricey.

Well said and very true...thank you!

And nice suggestion for the Marlin Spike. I have made many MSs from various items from around the house, but not from a small bolt. I'm giving that a go, thanks again!

I don’t know if his offerings would suit you guys for braiding but Lawson Equipment is a one-man operation and he makes absolutely fantastic cordage, better than what you can normally buy retail. He focuses on thinner lighter weight cordage for backpacking but has some slightly larger versions in his bear-hang and shoelaces. The “wire” varieties he has now would be great for things like a turk’s head, semi-stiff like old waxed cotton (like the old boy scout neckerchief slides), holds shape for routing but it’s not as soft and wants to hold its core shape more than paracord does.

Stock comes and goes based on what he’s selling most and needing to make, and I think he had a hard time getting the raw textiles for awhile with the pandemic interruptions. He does sales occasionally either word of mouth or via his email list. 100% USA made and some of the textiles are sourced here (believe he had to follow the source at one point as we lost some of our textile producing here where some factories would not spend the money to upgrade their machines/processes to keep up with Germany/Japan/China). He also makes a variety of titanium stakes and gizmos using grade 5 ti, very well done. He’s had other models of cordage in the past…some stronger, some fatter, and one that was like paracord with more core strands, but he let all those go.

Truly great cordage, though, smooth, holds knots but isn’t sticky or lumpy, doesn’t absorb a ton of water and despite its holding power it’s pretty easy to undo with most knots/loads. He was in Florida for many years, just moved somewhere else but I can’t recall where, still on the east coast.

I had completely forgotten about Lawson, for good reason unfortunately. There was a point where I really wanted to trial some of his small diameter cords despite the cost, but there was never anything in stock. It got to the point where I wondered if he had just stopped making cordage, but didn't bother to update the website. Unfortunately it appears nothing has changed, and since I can source 100% USA-made specialty cordage when desired from elsewhere, I doubt I'll ever return to his website.

Man this discussion goes to show that BLF is the right forum for me. I told a couple of friends about this new monkey fist hobby and they all think I’m an idiot.

Just went for a walk around the neighborhood with my kids and some angry dogs were barking at us from the neighbors yard. I feel like I could do some damage swinging the 2 inch steel ball version I have right now. I like dogs a lot but I like my kids quite a bit more :slight_smile:

Thank You ! :+1:

there is a monkey fist knot, which does not use any center ball

gotta not hit yourself though

like pepper spray and wind

Haha yeah I’ve almost done that a few times. This thing hurts no matter where it hits you, not just on bone

regarding lawson equipment….everything is Sold Out.

Looks like at the moment he’s got mostly 100’ hanks of 2mm and 5mm reflective line in stock, and some 50’ in the 5mm (no longer selling the less expensive 25’ hanks, though…? That’s what I’ve usually bought.) If there’s something shown in 100’ and you want less, message him and he’ll probably accommodate without any upcharge. I think he may have started to focus on the longer lengths just to try and keep the “free shipping” manageable. And the dyneema bear line shows in stock…which is awesome but not something you’d want for knotwork or lashing. I think the 5mm got popular with arborists. The reflective stuff is pretty impressive, shocked me when I first bought some years ago…way brighter than nite-ize or the old Kelty or any that I’ve seen on major brand tents including MSR and Hilleberg, and it’s not lumpy (like the nite-ize, or most that use wider sparsely spaced tracers)…same strength as the non-reflective. Backpacking is and always has been his core market and it seems like he usually ramps up before spring and fall. I don’t know what his future holds as it seems he’s contracted his product line over the last two years and the shop move with all the weaving machinery had some issues I think, but I’m sure he’ll keep going. I was hoping he’d get into some larger diameter stuff like 6mm or 8mm but not yet. I do not like his most recent website update - looks nice but the old dropdown lists were much easier to see what was in stock without fifty clicks. lol

I’m not sure how much is 100% US sourced materials anymore. We lost two of the mills we had and they weren’t cutting edge anyway, and the remaining major may not last much longer. Americans don’t want the $$$ investment nor the pollution, so most textiles made here now are using imported yarns (even cotton for the most part…sad to see how far that side of the industry has fallen). This is all akin to losses like Western Forge in Colorado a few years ago and so many others…big blows to our base and economy.

Seems a little harsh - he’s a good man, personally, solid head on his shoulders but he’s a small operation and his family/family time is at the top of the list (for better or worse, from our consumer points of view). The last couple years have been pretty spotty and I think he was trying to reestablish his market base for a bit before that, plus dealing with materials sourcing. I always thought his pricing was actually less than comparable items from major brands, but the quality was also better. I just mentioned them because his main focus has always been backpacking and until the hammock scene exploded, not too many others had heard of them. Probably can compare him best to some of our small flashlight guys that make great stuff but have stock issues at times but may be worth the wait.

thanks for the update.
and, dyneema is my girlfriend.
she is so slick and strong.

I knew a table saw fence like that once…

Before a medical exam procedure, my GI doctor gave me some of that dyneenema stuff too (from the greek meaning “power flush”). it really is slick and strong.

Monkey fists, yep I’ve made a few. If anyone is on Instagram you can find me @essexman_paracord. Link in sig line below.

I have a few tutorials there on paracord knots, lanyards etc.

I think I’m going to have the eBay dude make me a 5.5” pocketable with a 1” tungsten ball. I have one I bought for $4 that has a 3/4” steel ball and it’s kind of a joke.

Sitting here holding my 2” tungsten cube that weighs 5.2 lbs. beefy… I’m thinking of using a 2.175” ball (3.3 lbs) for my super monkey fist project

A teacher in school had one of those on a key chain and he did use it on the kids, gave you a nice bump on the head.

As a sailor i have also made a few myself, though this “knot” was not on the must know list of 17 knots.
TBH i am not sure if its illegal in Denmark, but it probably is as we are a overprotected sissy nation.

In my car i have a piece of firewood, i can do that but i can of course not have a baseball bat.

On a side note, immigrant gangs fighting over the lucrative drug market here are stabbing each other left and right these days, i fear this will prompt a revision of the already insane knife law here, instead of just raise the convictions for knife violence.
Personally i feel a scratch in another person should be 2 years of prison, a more severe scratch that require a few stitches 6 years at least, and finally a deeper cut / stab = attempted manslaughter and in that case, up against the wall.

Hey Essexman
I'm glad you chimed in and provided your Instagram link. You should know that by regularly posting your projects in the "Post your home-made lanyard photos!" (Part 2) thread on CPF, you along with BLF member "Jack the Clipper", and the popular blogger known as "Stomdrane" provided me with the inspiration to advance beyond the monotony of the ubiquitous, albeit boring Survival Bracelet, and on to more challenging knot types and braid styles. Turk's Heads remain of particular interest as they have ever since seeing the ways in which you guys incorporated THs into some of your projects.
Freestyling with Micro Stitching into new and previously completed projects has been of particular interest over the past 5+ years. I thank you, "JacktheClipper" and "Stormdrane" for your inspiration!

It appears that my state also has laws against slungshots. :person_facepalming: There are so many ways you can improvise a melee weapon that it seems silly to criminalize one in particular. As someone else pointed out, not sure if a monkey’s paw toy qualifies one or not. Common sense dictates that one with a short cord is not really a weapon, but common sense might not come into it considering we are essentially talking about laws against weights on the end of ropes.