Marlin Spike

Marlin Spike

A Marlin Spike is a simple tool (most commonly steel, but I made this one out of an oak dowel) that is tapered to a narrow but rounded point on the end.  It is often curved but not always.  It is used to help organize the cords and clear a path while tying a complicated knot.  You can see demonstrations of its use in the various flogger tutorials.  It is almost impossible to tie Double Diamond Knots, Footrope Knots, Manrope Knots, etc., without one.

I made this simple Marlin Spike out of the small piece of dowel I happens to have around the shop.  I used a drill as a rudimentary lathe.  I clamped one end the dowel in the chuck of the drill, turned on the drill and slightly rounded the other end using a piece of sandpaper.  Then I clamped the slightly rounded end in chuck, turned on the drill and, using a piece of sandpaper, made the tapered point.

Note that the point is not super sharp.  You want it narrow enough to be able to work between the strands of a knot but not so sharp that it can pick your rope apart

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