Full Chisel Blog

September 29, 2009

The Net

Filed under: Historical Material,Nautical,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 6:18 pm

No, the other one.  And while it does look like a Web, it is simply some loops and hitches.  The size of the openings is determined by something called a spool or mesh stick.  I have made several nets from a variety of material.  This one is of cotton twine.

It is 9 inches in diameter and 28 inches long.  It is that size because there are 16 hitches on the bottom and the size of the mesh stick.  It is that length because I ran out of twine, got a bit carried away.  The maple netting needle was loaded up six times to get this length.  It is the smallest one I have made but felt good in the hand and worked well.

So it ends up being a fishing net, which of course is illegal to fish with today, but it was fun to make.  Would be good for collecting potatoes, apples or other fruit or foods.  Historically nets and netting was a common item especially along the coast.  But it can also be handy in rivers and lakes.  Making a net is a singularly rewarding experience and gave me a connection to the past.  I was even playing 18 and 19th century Whaling and Sailing songs in the background.

So, ‘Farewell and adieu to you Spanish Ladies, Farewell and adieu to you Ladies of Spain, for our Captains commanded we sail for Old England and hope in a short time to see you again.



  1. Can you recommend reference/instructional material on net-making?

    Comment by Chuck Nickerson — October 1, 2009 @ 11:57 am

  2. Chuck,

    Ashley’s Book of Knots is good but very expensive, there is a book by Percy Blandford called Practical Knots and Rope work that has a section, also The Arts of the Sailor by Hervey Garrett Smith also talks of net making. It is actually quite easy with simple hitches.

    Once you get it down it is quite enjoyable, I wish I needed more nets.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — October 1, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

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