serving mallet

Quick Reference

A wooden hand mallet used on board ships, in the days of sail, for passing a serving round a rope. The bottom of the mallet had a semicircular groove which fitted round the rope, and the spunyarn with which a serving was made was led from the rope and a turn with it taken round the handle of the mallet. As the mallet was turned round the rope, the spunyarn rendered round the mallet handle, by which means it could be kept taut and the serving applied with the maximum tightness. A board, with a similar groove at the bottom, was sometimes used instead of a mallet.

Subjects: Maritime History.

Reference entries