How to Make a Lucet

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A lucet is a tool used for making cord. Wooden lucets date back to the 16th century, and evidence exists of possible lucets made of bone or antler dating back to the times of the Vikings. The cord made on a lucet is sturdy and, when made in different colors, decorative. The craft is fun to learn and simple enough for a child. Though lucets can be purchased online from vendors catering to historical re-enactors, it's not difficult to make your own if you have some basic knowledge of woodworking.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper for pattern (a plain piece of copy paper will work)
  • Piece of hardwood, 1/4 inch thick, no smaller than 4 by 7 inches
  • Jigsaw, rotary tool or keyhole saw
  • Drill
  • Coarse, medium and fine sandpaper
  • Mineral oil
  • Steel wool
  • Rag
  • Wood sealer

Fold the paper in half vertically. Make a mark 1 inch in from the folded edge near the top. Measure vertically down the fold 3 inches and make another mark one-half inch in from the fold. Draw a gently curved U shape from the upper mark to the lower mark and the fold. At the top, add another small curve so that you have a very slight S-shape. Draw a 3-inch line parallel to the folded edge and one-half inch in, below the U-shape. Curve it at the bottom. Draw another curved line beginning at the tip of the upper curved line and gradually widening out to 1 inch as it meets the top of the lower line. Cut out along the final lines and unfold. It should look similar in shape to a lyre harp with a handle at the bottom.

Trace your pattern out on the hardwood and use the saw to cut it out. Cut outside the line so that it will be somewhat larger than the finished size. Drill a small hole in the center of the lucet where the handle meets the upper part.

Sand with coarse sandpaper until you have sanded away your lines. Soak the lucet in mineral oil for about 1 minute, then sand thoroughly with medium sandpaper. Soak the lucet in the oil again for about 2 minutes. Sand once more, this time with fine sandpaper.

Use steel wool to smooth the wood even more. Wipe it down with a rag and apply a wood sealer. Once dry, the lucet is ready to use.

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