Monday, December 10, 2007

Monkey's Fist Zipper Pulls

I made these Monkey's Fist zipper pulls with 2mm trot line(Type I paracord also works good for these). I made an overhand knot at the starting end of the fist and tucked it inside for use as a core before tightening it up. I've seen small ones like this used for earrings before.

When attached to a zipper, they make it easier to open bags, backpacks, jackets, etc., especially when wearing gloves. And if you have a lot of metal zippers on a bag/pack, they can tend to make a lot of racket as you walk, so replacing them with cord helps to cut down the noise.


Shown attached to a Maxpedition Cocoon pouch.









I've taken some photos showing the adding of the loop to the monkey's fist. Once the fist is made and tightened with just the single strand left, you work backwards pulling enough of the end strand back to make a loop. Work that amount back thru the fist (just like you worked the slack out of the fist when tightening it). I take it thru to the center of the second set of turns. Then trim the single strand off the fist and tuck it into the fist, a clay stylus is useful with such a small monkey's fist.

23 comments:

k13pt0 said...

that looks nice, simple yet effective... i have a question though, how are you tucking the final loop and getting it to stay so that it is not loosened with tension from pulling on them to open the zipper?

Stormdrane said...

After making the fist and just having the remainder of the single strand coming out of it, I pull whatever amount I want for the loop back from that end strand and work that slack amount, following it thru to the second set of turns. That way there's no chance of it working loose. I trim/melt the excess off the last strand and tuck it into the fist. You can pull all you want on the loop, it's not gonna go anywhere.

k13pt0 said...

I've made the monkey fist the way you describe it and left with that single strand but I'm still a little hazy on the finishing the loop. any chance of some pictures of the final process? if you have some spare time that is.

Stormdrane said...

I put up some 'adding the loop' photos.

k13pt0 said...

thanx alot Stormdrane that really helps alot :)

thag said...

Stormdrane, I have seen your work posted on a forum that I am no longer able to locate. Can you point me to a forum that has lot this stuff? I looked on your links but did not seem to find it.

Thanks!

Stormdrane said...

I've posted on so many, I've lost track of some of them myself, but the ones I frequent most are in my links list. Some of them that I've posted on with others that also do similar knotwork are:

EDC Forums
BladeForums
KnifeForums
CandlePower Forums
JerzeeDevil Forums
Kifaru Forums
Knot Heads World Wide
Flashlight Forums
Microholics Forums
Outdoors-Magazine Forums
The Hoodlums Forums
Zombie Squad Forums
Multitool.org Forums

Google those forums and once there, you can search for 'lanyards', 'knots', 'paracord', etc..

thag said...

Ah yes! Thanks!!! It was EDC forums @ http://edcforums.com/index.php?topic=4055.msg160045 They have a lot of contrubutors and photos.

By the way your photography is awesome. Good lighting and resolution!

Thanks again!

k13pt0 said...

hey stormdrane .. im planning on picking up 2 or 3 books on decorative knots. just wondering if you have any good recommendations, maybe on books that have plenty of pictures as well as a good description on how to make each knot.

Stormdrane said...

The Book of Decorative Knots by Peter Owen, The Complete Book of Decorative Knots by Geoffrey Budworth, and Knots by Gordon Perry are good ones to have. There are links for the first two at Amazon in the sidebar, and the other is linked in one of the other posts(with Ocean Plait Mat). You can try your local library for other books on knots as well. A lot of the knot books have the same knots, but with different perspectives, which can help in learning them. Combined with online links, they make good reference material.

G Brad said...

Where did you get those small wooden double ended fids from? Knotting tools are very hard to come by.

Thanx, Brad

Stormdrane said...

That's a 'stylus' used for working with clay, but they also work well with knots. I bought a variety pack at a craft store(Michael's), a couple were double ended and a single ended one. All the ends with slightly different sizes.

G Brad said...

That's a pretty ingenious use. I'll take a look at our local clay shop or
Michael's. Thanx for the quick reply. Keep up the artistic rope work.

Thanx again, Brad

Anonymous said...

do you sell these cuz i don't have much time on my hands to make anything.

Stormdrane said...

I'm not currently making anything to sell, but if you look thru my 'Links' list, you can find a few folks that sell some knot work items.

Check with deano, Ken at Knives and Lanyards, The Lanyard Zone, etc..

Matt (Central California) said...

Where can I find "trot" line and 1.4mm braided cord?

Stormdrane said...

Look on ebay, from seller 'mowfugger', or similar sized cord called 'Handy Hundred' from R&W Rope Warehouse(both links in my 'links list').

And you can also use 'mini blind cord'(braided nylon or poly type cord) which comes in similar small sizes and different colors, google brings up many distributors.

Anonymous said...

Your work is just amazing! Thanks for posting all these pictures! I've been going through all your posts and getting really inspired! I decided to try my hand at some zipper-pulls like these for my new Maxpedition Monsoon.

I just have a quick question for you about nylon cordage. I found some 2mm nylon "craft cord" at Hobby Lobby, but I can't find out its strength. I know that all cords are not created equal, and I want to make sure I'm using something durable. Have you used this type of cord before? Do you think it is similar to the 150 lb trot line you use?

Stormdrane said...

@Anonymous, I have tried some nylon craft cord from Hobby Lobby, and it was pretty weak stuff, not even close in strength/durability to the much better braided nylon trot line/mini blind type string.

You might look at the smaller diameter 'Type I' paracord/accessory/dummy cord from the Supply Captain, also good stuff to work with.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Stormdrane! I think I was taken in by the pretty neon pink. I'm a sucker for all things pink! (In fact, I was also planning on using some to make a lanyard for my new pink Spyderco native.)

I really appreciate your advice! I'll get to work on finding the more suitable types you've mentioned.

Bruce said...

Be neat to see a quick article on how this two pass zipper pull is done: http://www.redoxx.com/Cool-Luggage-Accessories/Monkeys-Fist-Zip-Knot/92009/170/Product

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I need more help. What is the cord length you used? Also, I am stuck on pic #5 - I have one strand coming out but still can't figure out how to make the loop. do I pull the end back through , undoing what I've already tightened? Thank you!

Stormdrane said...

@Anonymous, I used about a 2 foot length of cord to start. You will not use all of that in the tightened/finished knot, but you need the extra to loosely tie the knot in the first place.

If you're worried about wasting cord, don't cut any off your spool or hank, just tie the knot directly from it and work any excess back to the spool/hank before final trimming of the cord.

After you've tied/tightened the monkey's fist, you create the loop by working some slack back into the fist, just the amount for the loop you want. Then feed that amount backwards through the fist to the second set of wraps.

You need to have it worked back that far, so that there's no chance of it working loose over time.

Make sure the rest of the fist is tightened up before trimming to finish.