|A demonstration of the various coxcombs available.
Click on any pic for a full-sized copy
15" 'destroyer' type steel wheel with four types of coxcomb around rim and spokes. I have
gotten to the point of preferring the spokes un-wrapped to give a more 'floating' appearance to
the 'combed rim, but for larger wheels (30" and up) a half-wrapped spoke (from the rim down
toward the hub) increases the 'grab-area' available for heavy weather. One additional turkshead
can be added to indicate the 'rudder amidships' position. Wheel done in #18 nylon but any line or
size can be used at customer's request. Dark turksheads are of 'steam-tarred' #21 nylon, light
turksheads (white) are #21 natural polished cotton; darker three strand is of #21 hard-laid
natural cotton line.
(from bottom up)
Six-bight 'split' turkshead which covers the ends of the
rim and spoke coxcombs and gives a continuous
appearance. Once varnished, this also reduces water
penetration beneath the coxcomb and prolongs life of the
(left) French, or single-strand radial coxcomb which gives
a good 'hand' and is the usual coxcomb seen on wheels.
(right) Half-Moku or Java coxcomb: better palm control
without having something rough under the fingertips. Full
Moku would continue around the rim in a dual radial wrap
as seen at the centre spoke. The very bugger to do,
Twinned three-strand turksheads in two materials for
comparison of size.
Centre spoke in 'St. Mary's' coxcomb, three strands
radial but over-wrapped to give the appearance of a
served line atop a plain wrap. (see right spoke in picture
The most commonly seen coxcomb... Three strand
'Spanish' coxcomb, used for everything from wheel rims
to handrails, to walking sticks, to.... Smooth to the fingers
but the raised plaited rib give excellent palm control. (Also
known as "RingBolt Coxcombing".
Twinned three-bight turksheads...left of #21 white, right of
#21 natural cotton.
Shows transition from smooth radial into the French
coxcombing, both previously discussed.
Six-bight 'split' turkshead at centre, rationale previously
described. #21 natural cotton.
Spanish coxcomb to left, and a radial smooth-wrap to
right. The smooth-wrap increases tactile grip of a wheel
but is usually used to hide a rusted or pitted surface** or
as a transition between fancier coxcombs.
Good view for comparison between the St. Mary's and the
French coxcombing on spokes.
Better view of the "split" quality to these
turksheads... They are constructed so as to
be symmetrical around the spoke/rim
jointure while completely concealing the
ends of the rim elements. With varnishing,
this will prevent any water penetration at
this point and thus improve the life of the
Besides, when did you last see a split
turkshead on a wheel?
Yah. Thought so.
Work rates are $50.00/hr, which time is charged for actual work time. This includes return shipping and handling for wheels up
to 30" sent to me. Over 30", please request additional charges. I travel between Newport, RI and Norfolk, VA and as far inland
as Pittsburgh and Erie PA from my home base in Philadelphia at no additional charge. (Eigh, draw a shaggin' circle, then...)
Beyond that I can travel, but again, please request travel and time charges for those trips. (Arranging several commissions in a
100 mile area that I can do in succession will be a great inducement for me to travel afar, as does permission to 'sleep aboard'
the craft while I'm working on her.) (A 'wee drop' of the creature would be agreeable, as well.)
Demonstrations of fancy-work are available for organizations or groups while I am in your area.... I can only work so many hours
a day on the wheel... And I'd be pleased to do demos in the evenings. I do charge an honorarium for these demonstrations.
Please request more information. I also sing and teach sea-songs and work-chanteys.
" used to hide a rusted or pitted surface**": Shipmates, when confronted by rust or pitting, especially in a steel item,
IMMEDIATELY take steps to stop the corrosion and limit the damage to the item, but if the corrosion or pitting is such that it
threatens the integrity of a part of your watercraft.... R E P L A C E I T . N O W !
Ship's stores are many and varied on land, but when you're out at sea and the thingamabobbie goes south on you, it's damn
hard to convince that dolphin to swim in and get you a new one, innit?
Torn between having it covered with a pretty coxcomb or spending more money for a new one? No contest. Get the new one!
I will NOT use coxcombing to hide what I consider to be unsafe surfaces, even if it costs me money. I'd rather have you alive
with a plain wheel than at the bottom with a broken but beautiful wheel, d'ye take my meaning. Dead men buy no belts.
Here endeth the lesson.