The "Half Moku" coxcomb has been used for years on handrails and on the rims of yachts because it gives an excellent grip for the hand, while providing a smooth under-wrap for the fingers to grip.
Here's an example aboard the USS Zuni (ATF 95) [USCGC TAMAROA WMEC-166] which probably dates from the mid-sixties. This rail is in forward twartships companionway and the ladder leads up to the 01 level (Radio and Captain's quarters) and down to Officer Country.
The ship (at the time of the picture) had been decommissioned for over 18 years and so there is a LOT of dust buildup on the rails, as well as a fair amount of damage from sliding equipment across the rails as she was "stripped out".
Start by stropping two lines to the rail/wheel to be covered.
For this coxcomb, use the tightest-laid line you can obtain... it pays off in the finished appearance.
If you can't get a really tight-laid cotton line, consider using (on a standard 1.75" piperail) some 3mm polyester-covered nylon-cored line. It will give an excellent result.
Take the RIGHT hand side line and make a half-hitch going to your LEFT. Get this as tight as you can without pulling the line out of it's stropping..
(WEAR YOUR GLOVES! This coxcomb is truly [turly???] tough on your hands!)
("Don't spell like my brother!")
Now take the free line (the LEFT hand line) and half-hitch over the first and to your RIGHT. (Don't forget to "roll" the line in your fingers to tighten up the lay!) then take the first line and make another half-hitch to the left and then tighten the livin' crapdoodle out of the hitching. You want these and the hitches to be as tight as possible and all about the same size. (It's important... really.)
Fair up back and sides as you go... when pulling this tight you won't get that much of a chance to do corrections later.
Keep on doing alternate-side hitching until you reach the SIXTH from the apex... tighten everything up hard as you go!
(Keep rolling that line between your fingers, but ONLY when you're hitching to the right, or against the lay. )
Tricky part: you should have SIX hitches on each side, including the one forming the apex of the pyramid.
Your SIXTH half-hitch on both sides is where you'll reverse directions, and it needs to be as tight as the rest of them, just heading in the opposite direction.
Continue doing alternate sides, rolling the line going RIGHT!
(Just showing you how it looks when you've reversed and tightened up.)
Now you should be looking at something like this. It will NOT be a totally symmetrical "diamond" shape as you have a large body being covered and using large line, but your edge points should be a just about the sidelines and your crossing point should be approximately at the centreline of the work.
Since our initial crossing was from LEFT to RIGHT, we'll do that again, so half-hitch to the right and OVER the series heading in the other direction and then just snug it down...
Now take the line you just crossed over, hitch to the LEFT and then tighten them both down as much as possible.
Consider this to be the first hitches in the next series and once again do six hitches, make the reverses, com back to center, cross and continue until you're finished.
(Sorry about the colour... never let a Boatswain's Mate loose around anything more complex than a chipping hammer!)
As I'd said, using large line on a large pipe rail will tend to exaggerate the slight skewing of the diamond pattern ... not to worry: "It'll never be noticed from a galloping horse!"
The main worry points for this one are to keep your side points in as lose to a straight line as possible and the apices of the diamonds on the centre-line,
Tightening everything up as you go and fairing will also contribute to the neatness of the job.
The diamonds ALWAYS go UP on the rail or the wheel's rim. They are there to improve your grip and that is best done when the pattern faces up.
Some people will want to paint this instead of varnishing, but varnish is (IMO) a better treatment as it will not "fill in" the projections of the hitching as much as paint will and will thus produce a more "grippable" job.
Last pic just shows the side points in a straight line... Gives the work a lot more visual impact!
NOTE: To convert this to a "full Moku" wrap, just don't reverse at the side points. Continue each line around in a "French" coxcomb, hitching alternating sides and you'll meet in the back, at "180 degrees".
Do the crossover as described and continue in the same direction and your next crossover will be in the front again at "0 degrees"...
Keep it straight!
If you have comments, suggestions, questions or want to do a tutorial for the site, please EMAIL ME and let me know!
Love to see pictures of your projects, both under construction as well as finished!