I’ve been spending a lot of time at Pocket NC’s workshop lately, learning about CNC machines and adapting my knot code to generate tool paths for them. Pocket NC makes a small 5-axis CNC machine, which packs a lot of bang for its buck. In addition to the standard XYZ axes of movement, it provides 2 additional axes of rotation A and B. When I saw it, I knew I could use one of the rotation axes to engrave the knot patterns generated by my Advanced Grid Maker into a mandrel. The Advanced Grid maker is used by knot tyers all over the world to generate knot tying instructions along with a 2D representation of the knot called a knot grid. The knot grid can be printed out and wrapped around a cylinder, and the pattern can be followed. My idea was to remove that step, though, and have the knot grid directly engraved into the mandrel. Here was my first successful test:

I’ve since had a few other successful tests, such as the Boy Scout Woggle Mandrel:

Knot tyers have asked if I sell these, and it’s something I’d like to do, but currently only have access to Pocket NC’s machine on an occasional basis. If there’s enough demand for them, I could purchase a Pocket NC machine of my own to make them. So, if you’re interested in buying one of these, let me know on my contact form!


  1. Paul Schnoes says:

    I am interested in these guides Can do a 4 bight 3 lead woggle one for those knot impaired Scouters?

    • jallwine says:

      Absolutely! I’ve been making 5 bights x 3 lead woggle mandrels. You’d prefer a 4 bight, though?


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