How to make a monkey fist jig

Another tool that you can easily make at home is a paracord monkey fist jig.

As you might have noticed from my tutorials on the various tools such as the one on the lacing needle and the tutorial on the knitting spool, I like to make my own tools. This allows me to replicate the tool, should it be damaged or lost. Having a bit of an insight on how it is made is also nice. So, this time I made a monkey fist jig. For those that are not familiar with these jigs, they are designed to hold the inside of the monkey fist still, so you can make the monkey fist knot easily and consistently. Usually a marble, ball bearing, a pool ball or something spherical is used for inside the knot.

It is an easy project that does not take up a lot of time (about 20-30 minutes after you have the supplies at the ready). I decided on the wooden jig, since I like the feel (and smell) of wood, plus it is comfortable to work with.

Once you are done with the jig, see how to tie a paracord monkey fist.

The monkey fist jig supply checklist

To make this type of jig you will need the following:

  • two pieces of wood for the base
  • a dowel rod, which you will cut into 4 or more smaller dowels
  • a saw or knife to cut the dowels
  • a hand drill or a power drill, whichever you are more comfortable with
  • a couple of wood screws to connect the two wooden pieces (in order to form the L-shape of the jig)
  • A screwdriver or even better, an electric screw driver (saved a bit of effort)
  • some sand paper to smooth out the dowel rods and the holes that are drilled

Monkey fist jig tutorial

With the supplies gathered, its time to do some work!

In the following tutorial you will see the steps I took to make a jig. Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Drilling the holes

I started by marking out the holes where the drilling will take place. First I drew two lines that had a 90 degree angle between them. I then marked the radius of the ball that will fit inside the monkey fist on both of the lines and connected these. Finally I marked the drill holes and started the drilling.

marking box holes-drawn-out drilled-out-holes

Preparing the jig

I pre-drilled small holes to the back of the vertical piece of the jig. Then I inserted the wood screws and screwed them in.

bottom-of-the-jig l-shape wood-screws-in-wood

Dowels and finishing touches

Finally I cut 4 pieces from a dowel rod, applied sand paper to make them smooth and also sand papered the holes drilled for the rods.

dowel-rods dowel-rod-done

Testing it out

Finally the moment of truth was here. Was all the work worth it? Did the ball fit the jig?


Victory for the good guys!













About Markwell

I am a defense science graduate. I like to create beautiful things out of paracord.


  1. Your site I awesome, just found while searching for something as a hobby.

  2. Inspiring techniques……in the 70’s, I used to make macrame lanyards, wallhangings,etc using yarn & hemp. Similar techniques, different end result & better usefulness I still love bracelets, but they’re spends to buy……make my own. I’ve always, for four decades carried paracord in my trucks for “just in case”, but seldom using it, wishing I had a tow strap…..without knowing it,I already had one! Thanks

  3. There are a lot projects to do. I like the the videos.

  4. Thanks for this tutorial. Will be trying it out this weekend!

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