ARSE of a block. The end through which the fall reeves.

AUGER. An iron instrument to bore holes with; it consists of a shank, having at one end a bot, and at the other end an eye to admit a handle, by which it is worked.

BEARDING. Reducing the thickness on the sides or edges.

BIT. An iron instrument resembling the shank of a gimblet, from 6 to 12 inches long, and from ½ of an inch to 1 inch diameter, and has at its end either a screw, a sharp point, or edge, to cut or bore holes with.

BOX of a rib-saw. Two thin iron plates fixed to a wooden handle; in one of the iron plate is an opening to receive a wedge, by which it is fixed to the saw.

BRAKE. An instrument to confine blocks while boring the hole through the sheave: it is formed of a piece of elm plank, 3 inches thick, about 13 inches broad, and 3 feet long, in which, near on end, are two pegs 2 inches and a half square fixed in mortice holes. Two inches from the side edge, towards the other end, is a double row of holes; to one of these holes a brake is attached by a wooden pin, which brake is 2 inches thick, 20 inches long, and 4 inches broad at one end, and tapering to a handle at the other. It is used as a lever, by pressing against it with the knee, and thereby confining the block.

BREAST of a block. The opposite end to that which reeves the fall.

BURR. A triangular hollow chissel, used to clear the corners of mortises.

CAP. A semi-circular projection from the sides and round the end of a block above the pin; Through it two holes are bored, obliquely from the sides, which meet and form an angle at the end; through these holes the strap is passed, to prevent its being chafed.

CHAMFERING. Taking off, or flatting sharp edges.

CENTRE-BIT. A bit, having in the middle of its end a small steel point, with a sharp edge on one side to cut horizontally, and a sharp tooth on the opposite side to cut vertically. Holes bored with this instrument are not liable to split.

CHEEKS of a block. The two sides of the shell.

CHISSELS. Sharp edged tools, made of iron and steel, of different lengths and breaths.

CHOCKS. Cylindrical pieces of wood or iron, screw-cut at one end, to screw into the end of a mandrel; some at the other end have a sort of peg to be driven into the work, which is retained by the assistance of an opposite centre; some chocks have, instead of a wooden peg, three pieces of iron in the end; this sort is chiefly used for broad thin work, without an opposite centre. Iron chocks are screw-cut, similar to wooden ones, and have a box at the end into which the work is driven and retained with, or without, an opposite centre; in the sides of the box are holes to admit a punch, to punch out the work.

CLAVE. A stool 14 inches high, made of elm, and supported by 4 legs; the top 6 feet long, 2 or 3 feet wide, and 8 inches thick at each end, and only 4 inches thick in the middle, in which the shells are set up with wedges for making the sheave-holes.

CLENCH. To make a pin or bolt fast by battering and spreading the point.

COAKING OR BUSHING, is letting through the middle of a sheave a cylindrical piece of metal, with a hole through its centre, agreeably to the size of the pin that is to be admitted as am axis for the sheave to run on, &c. &c.

COUNTERSUNK. A hollow, cut by a bit round the edge of a hole.

COUNTERSUNK-BIT. A bit having two cutting edges at the end, reversed to each other, which form an angle from the point.

DRAWING KNIFE. An instrument made of a piece of steel, 2 inches wide, and 20 inches long; the ends are drawn out fine, bent and fixed in wooden handles; it is ground to a sharp edge, and is sometimes used instead of the stock-sheave, to pare off the rough wood.

FALL. The rope that with the blocks composes a tackle.

FORELOCK. A small wedge of iron driven through a hole near the end of iron pins to keep them from working out.

FRAME-SAW, for two persons to saw with, has an iron bow over the back confined at the ends by rivets: some are set in motion by a mill, and have wooden frames.

FUTTOCK PLATE, is of iron; the upper part of it is open like a ring, to fix the dead eye in, and a round hole is punched in the lower end of the plate for the futtock-shrouds to hook in, or a bolt to be driven through when used for the lower shrouds.

GAUGE. A wooden instrument to mark off distances, is a square stick 9 inches long, with an iron tooth through one end; this stick slides through a mortise in the middle of a semi-circular piece of wood that serves as a stop, the stick being moved at pleasure.

GOUGES are long, sharp, circular-edged tools, similar to chissels. Gouges and flat tools, used in turning, are stouter and longer than those used with a mallet.

GOUGE-BIT. A bit smaller than a centre-bit, with a hollow edge at its end like a gouge.

GREEN-HEART, a wood imported from the West-Indies, used for the pins of blocks.

HOLDFASTS to confine the work on the holdfast-bench, are made of iron from 15 to 30 inches long, and from half an inch to one inch and a half diameter: this iron is bent at one-third the length, and forms nearly a square; the longest part is round, and is called the foot; the shortest part is flattened in the inside, and is called the head: to confine the work it is put through a hole in the bench.

HOLDFAST-BENCH. A bench of elm plank; its top is 4 feet long, 12 inches wide, and 3 inches thick, with 4 legs 20 inches long; within 4 inches of one end are two upright pieces, 3 inches square, fixed in mortises; and along the middle of the bench are two rows of holes, in which the holdfast is jambed to confine the work that is to be sawed or trimmed.

JAMBED. Set fast with wedges.

LASHING. The rope lashed to a block for securing it to any object.

MANDREL of the turning lathe. An iron spindle, with a screw-cut box at one end, to screw the chock in which confines the work; round the middle of the spindle is a collar with a groove, in which the cord works that turns it. It is used in a lathe that is worked by a wheel instead of a treddle.

MILL. A patent invention used by some block-makers; it consists of a large horizontal wheel, turned by horses, which, by means of other wheels, iron cranks, leather bands, &c. gives motion to different turning-lathes and frame-saws, that cut the sheaves, and turn the sheaves and pins. The plate of this mill more fully describes its construction and use.

NOSE-BIT. A bit similar to a gouge bit, having a cutting edge on one side of the end.

RASP. A sort of rough file made of steel, with short sharp teeth upon it. It is fixed in a wooden handle, and is used to rub down the edges of the shells of blocks, &c.

REAMING. Encreasing the size of a hole by a larger instrument.

RIB-SAW is a long narrow saw used in a pit.

ROLLER, a cylindrical pin turning on its own axis, and is used in some blocks instead of a sheave.

Patent rollers are made of two parallel circular plates of brass, about ¼ inch thick. Four or more solid brass cylinders are placed at equal distances round these plates, and work upon their own axis, rolling surfaces of the solid brass cylinders, by which the friction is considerably lessened.

SADDLE, is that part of a monkey-block which is hollowed out to fit the convexity of the yard, to which it is nailed.

SCORE. A notch or hollow cut by a saw, gouge, or chissel.

SHACKLE. A semi-circular ring of iron, with a hole in each end for a ring or bolt of iron to pass through, and is used to hook or lash a tackle, &c. to.

SHOULDER. A projection made upon the surface of blocks, pins, &c. by reducing one part to a less substance.

SPOKE-SHAVE, a kind of plane to smooth and finish the shells, is a piece of steel, 4 or more inches long, and one inch ½ broad; sharp at one edge as a knife, and ¼ of an inch thick at the back: at each end is left about 2 inches of narrow steel, bent up as pegs, by which it is regulated and secured in a piece of wood 10 inches long, and narrowed at each end, for handles.

STOCK. A wooden instrument to bore holes with, by fixing a bit in the lower end, and a pin with a round head in the other end; the pin and the bit serving as an axis to turn it on.

STOCK-SHAVE. A large sharp-edged cutting knife, with a handle at one end and a hook at the other, by which it hooks in an iron staple that is driven in an elm block; it is used to pare off the rough wood from the shells of blocks, &c.

STRAP. The circular binding of rope or iron surrounding a block, by which it is fastened with a hook or lashing to any place.

SWIVEL, any thing which is fixed into another body, in which it turns round.

SWIVEL-HOOK. A hook that turns in the end of an iron block-strap, for the ready taking the turns out of a tackle.

TOGGLE-BOLT. A small iron bolt, having a flat square head, with a hole or eye punched through.

TREDDLE. Two thin battens 4 feet long, laid transversely under the lathe; to the lower batten the cord is fastened that connects it to the lathe, and the work is put in motion by the pressure of the workman's foot: the upper batten is fixed at one end to the ground with a thick piece of leather, resembling a hinge, and at the other end across the under one by an iron pin, for which purpose 8 or 10 holes are bored along the middle to regulate it to the work.

TURNING-LATHE, a well known machine for turning sheaves, pins, &c. is composed of two legs 34 inches high, and on each side their upper ends is fastened a piece of oak, called cheeks, about 8 feet long and 5 inches square, and about 3 inches asunder; between which slide two pieces of wood called puppets, that are made to fasten at any distance the work may require, by a wedge driven through them under the cheeks. Near the upper part of one is fixed a strong sharp spike of tempered steel, and opposite to it in the other is a sharp-pointed iron screw; between these the work is sustained and kept in a circular motion, by means of a cord turned round it, and fastened above to a pliable pole, and underneath to a treddle moved by the foot: against the sides of the pupperts is confined a batten, with a pin through one end, called a rest, for the workman to keep his tool in a steady position on. When the work is too heavy for the treddle to perform, a wheel is substituted, which is turned by one or two handles, and is connected by means of a cord, the ends of which are spliced together, and fixed in a groove round the wheel, then crossed and put round a groove in the collar of the mandrel: to be turned with a swift and regular motion.

WEB. The thin partition on the inside of the rim, and between the spokes of an iron sheave.

David Steel: The Elements and Practice of Rigging and Seamanship
Printed for David Steel, London, 1794. pp 151-153.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1999 Lars Bruzelius.