How to Make a Netting Shuttle

Written by frank whittemore
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How to Make a Netting Shuttle
Net makers use a shuttle to manage net lines. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Making nets by hand is a craft that has been practised for thousands of years. Net makers use a device, called a netting shuttle, to help control the long net line, weaving it in intricate patterns to form the knots that make the net. The shuttle consists of a length of flat hardwood with a notch in one end and a large hole with a wooden pin formed in the middle. The line is tied to the pin, then wrapped in an alternating pattern around the notch and pin to gather the line onto the shuttle for working.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Maple or ash wood, 1-1/2 inch wide by 1/4-inch thick by 8 inches long
  • Whittling knife
  • Pencil
  • Vice
  • Drill with a 1/4 inch bit
  • Coping saw
  • 100 and 200 grit sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Shape one end of the wood with the whittling knife to form a curved notch about 1 inch across and 2 inches deep. Round the other end of the maple or ash wood to form a gradually curving point, about 2 inches long.

  2. 2

    Draw a half-circle across the wood about 1 inch from the rounded end with the open side of the half-circle facing the notched end on the wood.

  3. 3

    Draw two lines about 3 inches long from either end of the half-circle line and perpendicular to the side of the wood. This forms a long "U" on the board. Draw a narrow "U" inside the larger "U" to define the pin in the shuttle.

  4. 4

    Drill a 1/4 inch hole directly between one end of the large "U" and the closest end of the small "U" on the board. Repeat this step on the other side of the wood.

  5. 5

    Place the notched end of the wood in the vice. Insert a coping saw blade through one of the drill holes in the wood. Fasten the blade to the coping saw. Saw along the line that defines the large"U" on the wood, then along the line that defines the inner "U". Remove the scrap wood. There should now be a hole in the shape of a "U" in the wood with a wooden pin in the centre.

  6. 6

    Shape the edges of the wood with the 100-grit sandpaper, including the point, sides, notch, pin and shuttle hole to round them off completely. Sand the pin in the centre until it is perfectly round and smooth with a rounded tip. Finish the edges with the 200-grit sandpaper to complete the shuttle.

Tips and warnings

  • Place wooden block on either side of the maple or ash wood when inserting the wood into the vice to prevent marring the wood.

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