Gee whiz, but blocks are expensive; probably because they are marketed for construction companies and spiffy yachtsmen. You can make beautiful blocks in any case-rope-stropped blocks whose shells are shaped, drilled, and mortised from blocks of locust, elm, ash, madiera, ironwood, or lignum vitae. Sheaves, washers, pins, and thimbles can be had at a good chandlery. The block is stropped with a rope grommet made from a single ropestrand relaid into itself. It is forced around the shell, holding in the pivot, and seized tight with marline. H.G. Smith's The Arts of the Sailor gives the true 'gen on rope-stropped blocks and other watery marvels—fine book.
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